Canon Powershot S100 Review
- Fast f/2.0 lens
- Great sharpness and image quality
- Great high ISO performance
- RAW support
- Control Ring customisations
- High price
- Lower rated battery pack
On evaluating the scores for each of our tests, we found that Canon Powershot S100, dethroned our last year's best performing camera - the Olympus XZ1. This is the best high end compact in the market today. You will never fall short of any features including the battery sipping GPS. Pricing is definitely on the steeper side as at Rs. 26,999 you can easily get the Canon EOS 1100D. But then this camera is for the discerning photographer, who wants excellent quality in the compact body.
Canon Powershot S100 is the latest high end point and shoot camera from Canon's Powershot series. High end point and shoot cameras belong to a class of cameras that are targetted towards enthusiast community, who want a feature-rich, performance oriented camera having manual functionalities but all packed in a pocketable form factor. It can act as a great companion to the higher end DSLRs and also in itself it packs in quite a punch for those who want DSLR like functions in a smaller form factor.
Features & Design
The S100 sports a wider aperture of f/2.0 which ensures sharp images even under low lighting. But this aperture redues to f/5.9 on the telephoto zoom end which is a bit annoying. The S100 houses a 12.1 MP 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor along with a new DIGIC 5 image processor. Canon claims that this image processor works six times faster than its previous iteration. Optical zoom has been bumped up to 5x covering a range of 24-120mm (equivalent). It houses a GPS chip within it which not only makes geo-tagging a piece of cake, but it also has this mode called GPS logger which when activated maps your entire journey even when the camera is off. The S100 is capable of shooting in RAW mode. Its high sensitivity sensor ensures a better ISO range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. Its video shooting mode goes upto 1080p. So as we said before, it packs more than a punch in this compact body.
Just like its predecessor, the Canon Powershot S95, the S100 comes in an all black matte-finish metal body. The rubber grips on the thumb rest and a longitudinal one on the front face of the camera provide ample grip for the camera and the matte finish also helps in holding the camera comfortably without the fear of slipping.
On the front face you have the control ring around the lens barrel, which can be programmed for certain functions such as exposure, shutter, aperture, among others. The camera has already given some default functions to the control ring is respective modes such as it controls ISO in the P mode, Aperture in the Aperture Priority mode or Manual mode, etc.
On the top you have the pop-up flash unit on the extreme left hand side. When it pops up, holding the camera edge on the left hand side is tricky and you may not get a very stable grip. As you go to the right there is the on/off switch, followed by the shutter and the mode dial. The zoom lever is present around the shutter button as is the norm with most Powershot cameras. On the rear side you have a 3-inch LCD screen which has a resolution of 461k dots. The display is quite vivid. It lacks any sort of viewfinder. The arrangement of buttons on the rear side is quite intuitive. The Ring Func button can help you assign specific functions to the control ring. Beside that is located the video record button. Below this you have the four way pad which has a movable ring around it which can be used for adjusting aperture/shutter in those modes or can be used for toggling between images in the preview mode or navigating options in the camera Menu. The Preview mode button and Menu button is located at the base of the rear side. Accessing all these buttons is quite easy even with a one hand operation.
The user interface of the camera is typical Canon, with neatly laid out menus under various tabs. For someone familiar with a Canon camera, it is quite intuitive. If you do not want to access the Menu, you need to pull up the Func. Set button in the centre of the four way pad, which brings up a menu on your screen from which you can make the necessary selections.
Visit Page 2 for our look at the Canon Powershot S100's performance, and our verdict...