Canon PowerShot SX100 IS Review

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £229.99

As well as its dominance of the digital SLR market, Canon maintains a strong position at the top of the digital compact camera market too, with four very successful lines of cameras. The most popular are the Digital IXUS series of high-quality, premium-priced ultra-compacts, the best of which combine fashionable style with high performance and generally excellent picture quality. Alongside these are the PowerShot A-series, which range from sub-£100 budget models such as the 3x zoom A460 up to advanced models like the new 6x zoom A720 IS (review coming soon) or A650 IS costing nearly £300. On top of this there the current models in the Super-zoom PowerShot S-series and the semi-professional PowerShot G-series, both of which cost around £350.

However there is one section of the market where Canon is lagging behind somewhat, and that is the small but growing number of reasonably-priced longer-zoom compacts, as exemplified by the highly successful Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ2 and TZ3, the Fujifilm S5800, the Ricoh Caplio R7, the Casio Exilim EX-V7 and the Pentax Optio Z10. With zoom ranges from 7x to 10x these cameras offer more versatility than the typical 3x compacts that have traditionally made up a lot of Canon’s range, so it’s not entirely surprising that Canon has launched a new camera straight into this sector of the market, and wants to launch some more.

The new PowerShot SX100 IS is the first of a new line of Canon cameras, designed to appeal to a wide variety of users of all experience levels. Canon is describing it as a “family camera”, but what it means is an 8MP camera with a high quality 10x zoom, f/2.8 – f/4.3 image-stabilised lens, a 2.5-inch wide-view monitor, with both automatic and manual exposure functions that will allow the more adventurous user to tackle more creative photography. The SX100 IS was launched in September at a recommended price of £299 exclusively through Dixons in the UK, but is already available in stores for £229. Some online retailers appear to be offering what are presumably imported models for around £200. This is around the same price as the Ricoh R7, and considerably cheaper than the 7-megapixel Panasonic TZ3 currently selling for £235. However Dixons has another exclusive at the moment: the Fujifilm S5800, an 8MP version of the excellent S5700, which sells for just £142.30, so Canon doesn’t get everything its own way.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.