on 26 November 2011
I can't believe that I'm back again reviewing a Canon powershot - but I am. I saw this one come out, with no intention of buying it, but there was a good price on Amazon, cashback from Canon, and a relative needing a camera, so I couldn't resist passing the old one on and buying the SX150is. It's available in silver and red as options, but I stuck to black.
First of all this is a superzoom camera, which means it has a big range of focal lengths. This gives a body which is slightly bigger than most pocket-sized cameras, but the benefit is the ability to zoom in - and boy can you zoom in! It has a 12x optical zoom and to indicate what that means; I was standing so my shed was filling about a quarter of the screen, and then zoomed in fully and the fairly small shed window filled the screen on the optical zoom, without resorting to the digital zoom. It is the equivalent of 28 mm to 336 mm, for a 35mm camera, which is as much as you are ever likely to want.
Power is provided by AA batteries, which doesn't suit everyone, but it really works for me. We have dozens of high capacity rechargeables, and they are long-lasting, with charged spares always to hand. The original alkalines didn't do very well though, so try to use rechargeables. If you are going to carry them charged for a long time it's also worth getting the long-lasting ones.
The sensor has been upgraded to 14.1 megapixels, from 12 before, which helps in low light, and is all anyone is ever likely to need for everyday family use.
Settings are simple to use, with lots of manual options. I tend to ignore the easy mode and go straight to auto option, which has 31 settings for the camera to choose from. Then you can move to SCN mode, which I generally use for scenery and people. Then there are the programme modes, and finally manual settings.
There are various filter modes, including a miniature scene mode, toy camera mode and colour swap. I rarely use them, but they're useful for a bit of fun. Speaking of fun smart shutter, smile detection takes a photo when it detects someone smiling. It may seem a little gimmicky, but it does actually work, and has improved photos of people - maybe because they know they're stuck there until they smile!
Photo quality is very good, probably an advance on the last one. Because of the large sensor you can blow the photos up quite large, and retain the detail. Canon reckons you can print to A2. I rarely print photos, but like to use the highest quality setting nevertheless. A 4gb memory card holds around 1000 photos at the highest resolution. Even zoomed in the detail is good, with the image stabilisation working to reduce shake. Colours are good, very realistic, although I have sometimes detected a slight yellowish cast indoors.
I have tried the video, and am quite happy with it, but it isn't why I bought the camera, and I'm unlikely to use it very often.
It's worth giving the software a quick shout as well. I like zoombrowser to upload new photos to my computer with very little fuss. Plug in the camera, switch it on and off you go.
So all-in-all this quality of camera, with this range of zoom, with an overwhelming range of manual settings, but very good photos out-of-the box in auto mode, has to be worth 5 stars.
Edit 27-12-11 I've added two photos of Leith Hall to the product description. They are intended to show the range of the zoom, rather than being held up as good photos. They were both taken from the same place, one at the wide-angle setting, and the other fully zoomed in, using the optical zoom only. As you can see it really does have a huge range.
on 17 April 2013
Originally I bought this as a replacement for a faulty SX200is (one of the first hi-zoom cameras around). I wasn't expecting much from it, with a 14Mp sensor, I was expecting more noise in the pictures at lower ISO levels than before. A function of squeezing more pixels onto the same size piece of silicon. However I have been pleasantly surprised with the photo quality, and some of the included features. I won't go into huge detail, except to say that in everday use it is superb, and very easy to use at a moments notice for those instant photos you might otherwise miss.
Some pros:- superb 'tracking' feature allowing you to track a subject in focus even when they move about the photo frame; light and quick to start up; large 3" display on the rear; a flash with quite a good range and that doesn't pop up constantly (you have to open it up when wanted); 720p movie recording via a dedicated button on the camera back; the addition of several fun modes including a 'miniature effect' function; a quick acting 12x zoom, and if you reduce the pixel count (e.g. down to 7Mp) that zooms further without loss of quality; standard AA battery usage, not dedicated Lithium-ion, means replacements are easy to find if you're caught out, though this is balanced out by poor battery life on alkalines they are still good for emergency usage.
Some cons:- poor battery life with standard alkaline batteries means you really have to use hi-capacity NiMh rechargables to get a good life span from the camera between changes (I reccommend a minimum 2100mAhr at least); no view finder means you have to rely on the large rear panel (but on the up side it's easy to view in most conditions so far), the loss of the 'panorama stitch assist' function is a big downer for me as I used that one an awful lot.
P.S. Search on eBay for this camera, and if you don't mind a refurbished item direct from Canon (with a full 12mth warranty) you'll pay less than £50 for this excellent little camera. I did.
on 25 June 2013
First of all, I just want to say I am in no way experienced with photography, I am used to just taking pictures with my iPhone.
I went to get a cheap camera from a well known catalog retailer who I shall not mention for privacy reasons (although you know of course, that I'm talking about Argos,) as I just wanted a very basic camera to take with me to my birthday trip to the zoo.
Long story short, I came home less than an hour later feeling £70 lighter and brimming with all the excitement of a 6 year old on Christmas Eve.
I should also probably point out that I am in no way a responsible buyer. My entire research on this camera was the following;
- I like how Canon cameras look
- I have heard of Canon
- I quickly hit Amazon on my phone and read no more than 2 reviews and decided I'd give it a go!
2 months later and I am still in love with this thing.
I have learned a lot about photography in an effort to understand this, even the most basic of cameras.
To summarize, this camera has magnificent optical zoom, excellent stabilization, nice aesthetics (in my opinion,) very comfortable, enough options to suit most situations, and of course it is a Canon so you know it will be well made.
I merely have a couple of gripes about it. The camera when I bought it came with a pair of duracell batteries, and in my uncontrollable-fiddling with the camera after I had ripped it from its packaging, I'd say it was maybe 1h30 before the battery warning icon popped up on screen. I put it down to being dud batteries and went and bought an 8 pack of Energizer plus batteries (the blue and silver ones) and they also lasted no more than 2 hours of taking pictures.
I began to wonder if it was the camera itself, and so headed to Google where I found that it's one of the cameras' main problems. Still relentless in my quest to get some decent life out of it, I purchased some 2400maH capacity duracell rechargeables and stuck them in it.
Said batteries lasted an entire day of pictures at the zoo, followed by 2-3 days of me following my cat around his various activities trying to get him to strike a pose. I was finally content. I have since spent a few days at Manchester Airport and only had to recharge them once.
My other problem is that I find the images still to be a little noisy in most, if not all situations. That is of course a minor gripe though, as for the price I am very happy.
It's great for everything I can think of if you don't have the money or experience to get a Canon 60D for example, and I heartily recommend to you that you follow suit and spend your lovely pennies on this.
I'm sorry for the length and unhelpfulness of this review, I just felt that I had to share with you the bouncy excitement that this camera still gives me, I am so pleased with it that I am saving up for a DSLR, and I am certain it will be a Canon.
on 9 June 2013
The Canon SX 150 is a brilliant camera. It has a macro mode of 1cm so you can get clear close ups of flowers and bugs. The zoom lens is a 12* optical zoom and combined with the digital zoom, it goes up to *48. I took some photos of Megadeth at Brixton and we were right up in the balcony...the photos came out clear, bright and it was if we were standing right by the band.
The longest exposure time is 15 seconds, so night sky photos of stars come out lovely. The minimum shutter speed is 1/2500 of a second, which is good for fast moving shots. There are many fun features, such as miniature mode, fish eye and selective colour.
The Canon SX 150 is a solid, heavy camera and will fit into a deep pocket but a bag would be better for it. It takes AA batteries, which I liked because they are easy to come by and reasonably priced. I took about 50 snaps and a minute of video with the batteries that came with the camera, before they ran out. You do really need rechargeable batteries for a powerful camera like this one.
The only tiny complaint I have is that the Canon SX 150 doesn't come with any internal memory at all, so you can't do anything with it unless you buy an SD card. I already had one from my old camera, so I was OK but this is something to consider when you buy it.
Overall though, this is a really good camera and well worth the price :)
on 24 April 2013
The Canon SX150 is a really great camera. I'm not away of any other camera that comes close to it for value for money and in red looks even more cool. Built like a brick and I've dropped it and still works fine. It's not a pocket camera like the SX200 series it is a hunk of a camera, but I don't mind that. You can however still get it in decent size jean pocket and definitely jacket pocket, it's not huge like a bridge or DSLR.
I shoot night shots and macro mostly and this does the job brilliantly, due to the manual modes it has. Also a great lens to go on the front of it is the LittleBigShot which gives it DSLR performance for macro shots.
So saying all that why only 4 stars and not the max. I have to drop a star because of it's slow, almost non existent continuous mode, it really is terrible, even for a compact camera. I also have the SX220, cameras are my thing and the 220 blows it out of the water as regards speed. However if shootings wildlife and more static subjects is your thing this is a top camera it really is. These are some of the shots I've got with it [...]
Manual mode PASM Modes
12 x Zoom enough for most situations
Nice in the hand
I actually like the look of it
You can use CHDK Canon Powershot Hack with it, which is fantastic on this camera believe me
Great for night and macro shots