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on 19 November 2010
I had been used to a 10x zoom on my old Olympus C765 but more recently (2007) bought a Canon IXUS 70 as I wanted something very small to take some pics while on business trips etc. This my first Canon quickly became my favorite as the pictures were so good and it was so easy to use.

I decided to get a new camera to replace the functionality of both these camera's. I looked at the Panasonic TZ8/10 but did not like the artificially sharp images. I looked at the Canon SX210 also and after studying a 100 or so images taken with this camera from Flickr and other photo sites concluded that the degree of purple/green fringing on high contrast areas around the outer parts of the images was not acceptable.

I then found the SX130 IS and the features and picture quality won me over. The price with the £20 Canon cashback made this a no-brainer! £136 for this spec is amazing. I ordered Sunday night and Amazon delivered Tues afternoon using the free Super Saver service. The expected date they had predicted as Wednesday. So great service from Amazon!

If you are worried about battery life - there is a particular You Tube review slating this aspect - don't worry at all. I've used this camera quite a lot since I received it and it's still on the first pair of re-chargeable batteries. I used Duracell Supreme 2450 mAh NiMH batteries. I've been taking video's, flash pictures as well as many still images. I have also sat for ages working around the menu's and features (as you do with a new toy!) and there is still no sign of the battery warning. I have reduced the brightness of the display which must help. I found it to be too bright in normal use. A also cancelled servo AF which continuously tries to re-focus even when you are sat going through the menus with the camera pointing at the floor! It's not necessary to have this on all the time but it is set on by default.

The best pictures so far I have attained using the P - Program mode setting. I used my IXUS 70 this way with great results. In Auto mode I had some good results but also some strange results in poor lighting or dull weather.

Some reviews stated that the camera was slow in operation. I use it with a veho 4Gb class 6 card and it's absolutely fine. No waiting for data saving at all.

The 'wheel' for selecting menu's and values is not very good. My finger tends to not grip the wheel when attemting to turn it. I have dry skin. So I press harder to get grip but this then activates the functions available by pressing the wheel at the 12, 3, 6, 9 o' clock postions. Thankfully very few features need the wheel - those that do usually respond to pressing the left right 3 or 9 o'clock postions anyway.

I'm very pleased with the excellent video quality and stereo sound especially indoors at a family birthday yesterday!

The camera seems reasonably well built it feels well made. This model is made in China. It's larger and a little heavier than the IXUS as you would expect. The Zoom operates very smoothly and quietly.
It's pocketable, inside pocket of a coat is fine. The wrist strap does not have a tensioner like the IXUS 70 which is annoying.

Canon uk website recommends the DCC-750 case for this model which is like a woven bag. On the Canon US website they specify PSC-3300 which is Leather case similar to the IXUS cases which I would prefer. I've also been looking at the case Amazon do for the Powershot G series G11? as this camera has similar dimensions.

All in all very pleased with the camera and the image quality, which is excellent.
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on 18 September 2010
First of all - it's hard to describe just how much I've wanted this camera. I have the previous camera but one, the SX110is. It has served me extremely well, and has taken around 6000 photos in less than two years. Ordinarily I wouldn't even have thought about upgrading, but it was dropped at Easter, and since then it hasn't been focusing when you zoom in. Around 20% of my photos have been out of focus to the point that they are useless.

I had considered the SX120, but had heard a rumour it was going to be replaced by the sx130, although Canon managed to keep it very quiet until it was finally announced in mid-August. Even then I held back, partly because stock seemed limited, and partly because I was waiting for some reviews from camera magazines. I still haven't seen any, but didn't have any more patience and decided to go for it anyway.

First of all you need to be clear what you are buying here. It is a mid-range compact camera, which is probably a bit too big to put in a pocket, but is much smaller than lugging a DSLR kit around with you. If you are coming from a cheap point and shoot camera you will be amazed at the image quality, but will possibly be baffled by all the options. There is a basic easy mode, but I would suggest you bypass it and use the smart auto mode. Then you can move onto using specific modes. A lot of my photograhy is scenery and on the SX110 the landscape mode was a firm favourite. You can go onto fully manual settings if you want, but I have never felt the need beyond increasing or decreasing exposure, and choosing specific settings such as a fast shutter speed. If you are a DSLR user then you may be used to paying this much for a lens, but this would make a pretty good second camera, for when you don't want to carry your main camera, or don't want to risk damaging it.

The SX130 provides an upgrade to 12.1 megapixels from the 9.0 I had and to 12 x zoom from 10. That's not quite the whole story though, as the lens starts slightly wider, but doesn't go any further, 5.0-60.0 mm compared with 6.0-60.0 mm. The new one also has a smaller aperture starting at f3.4 where my old one was f2.8 (basically the lower number corresponds to a wider aperture, which lets in more light) Canon claims that this is more than compensated for by the fact the 130 is optimised for low light.

A plus point for me is the use of AA batteries. We buy high capacity rechargeables and always have a spare set in the camera case ready to change. Some people don't like them, but they really suit me.

A big thing in cameras now is the use of video, and that has been considerably improved, with higher resolution and some cool special effects, including a slow motion one - although the most exciting thing is that you are now able to use the optical zoom whilst filming. You are warned that using it may be heard in the audio. It also has stereo sound where my SX110 only has mono.

So on to the camera - well it appears familiar yet different at the same time. Different plastic and more curvy, but familiar feeling controls. It still doesn't come with a full users manual, but that can be downloaded from the Canon website. Given what happened to my last camera I intend using the supplied wrist strap all the time, and I would recommend you do the same!

So far pictures have been very impressive. I have given it a try under a few different conditions, and I'm very happy with them all - particularly the zoomed in outdoors ones. The indoor ones also seem good, and I think the claim to work better in low light appears to bear true. This camera has a Digic iv processor, where my old one had a Digic iii. One strange thing is that despite the bigger sensor, file sizes on the highest quality setting (I almost always use it)are smaller than my last camera. Just over 3meg in general, compared with 4-5 on my SX110. That must mean the file is being compressed more in the camera, but nevertheless the quality appears even better- which I didn't really expect.

I'm on holiday for a week in October, and after taking a lot of photos then I will edit my review, but in the meantime I think an already very good camera has become even better. You will already have gathered I like Canon products, but the combination of picture quality, decent zoom, versatile settings and manual controls make it a very good all-rounder at this price point. The new processor and beefed up video are useful incremental additions and overall it has to be worth 5 stars.
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on 7 October 2010
I used to own a Canon digital camera many years ago and only moved to another manufacturer because it was time to upgrade. I have owned a Panasonic and a Samsung and now decided to go back to Canon. I am glad I did. After a lot of research on mid priced compact cameras with decent optical zooms I shortlisted this camera along with the Sony DSCH55, the Canon SX210 and a Fuji fx80exr all with similar spec and price. After reading a lot of reviews and weighing up the ease of use I opted for the Canon SX130 IS - which is a fairly new model from Canon. I have had the camera only for a few days but I can safely say I think I made the right choice for what I need the camera for i.e. family holidays and a keen amatuer photographer. No qualms about recommending this camera to other like minded people. I would recommend getting high powered rechargeable nimh AA batteries and a largish SDHC card (at least 4Gb, I purchased a Transcend class 10 8Gb card). Looking forward to taking some good quality photos and HD video on my forthcoming holiday.
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on 15 October 2010
Bought one of these for it's HD video and 12x zoom and have been very impressed. As this is also a backup camera for my Canon DSLR I also wanted good image quality - not been disappointed.

August 2011 - UPDATE
Some review sites mention the poor battery life - I filled an 2 x 4GB cards on holiday on the same set of batteries including a 10 minute hd video - just make sure you have some good rechargeables (I use the Uniross ones) and you won't have a problem. By the way - it only takes 2 batteries - my old 620 took 4.

FEATURES
Before buying I compared this to a number of other cameras from Sony and Panasonic, but this seemed to be offer the best combination of features and quality and is a very good price. A friend purchased the Panasonic and has a problem with red streaks in photos on bright days - not something I have experienced. If this camera proves as reliable as my previous Canon cameras then this will be another excellent purchase.

QUALITY
I use this camera all the time now. The quality of the pictures from it are amazing. I use the 'P'rogram mode most of the time. My Canon DSLR is now relegated to very serious photography only - everything else I use this compact camera. Just been on holiday with both cameras and didn't use the DSLR once. The macro shots are phenomenal - just shows what a brilliant sensor and lens this camera has.

SIZE
This is not the smallest camera but it suits me - sometimes the buttons on smaller cameras are too fiddly.

VIDEO
If I shoot HD video and it's closer than 15ft I do tend to switch to Manual Focus and preset it otherwise the camera will try and refocus - this switching is easy me but may not suit other people. Shots of my son surfing in the sea came out fantastic using the standard autofocus.

DRAWBACKS
Only improvements I would have liked would have been a folding and tilting screen like my previous Canon (DSLR doesn't have one either) and the ability to program my own menus (like my DSLR).

SUMMARY
This is an amazing piece of kit for not much money (I have seen it for £130 recently) - buy you won't be disappointed.

Rob
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on 7 February 2011
I changed from a Panasonic TZ-7 to this and wow, what a huge difference in ease of use and quality of photos.

I have a 5D Mk2 for my professional Weddings / Portraits that I do but I wanted something to fit in the shirt pocket too that still gave me amazing quality photos. This does the lot, all the modes such as full Manual, TV, AV, P and fully Auto etc. Menus are really easy to find your way around (I've not needed the manual) and the batteries last for ages too. A set of NiMh 2800 rechargeables gives me over 300 shots and you can pick these up for £5 for a set of four and this only takes two AA's.

The only very slight negative I have about this is the screen on the back for previewing your photos isn't HD quality. But the HD videos and Photos it takes, even at only 6MP are amazing. Lots of good software with it too, for PC and yay, at last Apple MAC..!!

So for the price, it's unbeaten in it's field and I've been doing professional photography for 33 years now so I can spot good photos!
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on 5 January 2011
I am also a proud owner of SX100 IS and I would say it is one of the best camera I have ever had in point and shoot category. It still works well and it produces good quality pictures.

I bought this camera for gifting it to my mom and there is one downside compared to SX100 IS, which is why it gets one * less-

The lens doesn't support the f 2.8 stop any more which means, it wouldn't work that great in low light conditions.

The reasons why it gets 4 stars are:

1. Working on AA Battery rather than some proprietary battery which may be hard to find if you run out of batteries. Replacement costs also may be high

2. HD Recording availability.

3. IS (Image Stabilization) Support, meaning it is easy to take photos in low light and in shaky conditions.

4. Bigger display to review your photos.

5. Ability to override Auto mode and use Manual settings to shoot photos. This might be of some use when you are in awkward situations where Auto-focus may not work.

Hope you find my review helpful!
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on 25 January 2011
Purchased as a replacement for my 5 year old Powershot A610 that didn't survive a long drop with a sudden ending.

If you like small cameras, this isn't for you, it is larger than most compact cameras around at the moment, but I like that, having large hands this camera feels right when you hold it. The camera feels comfortable and stable when you are taking photos.

The picture quality is excellent, the image stabilisation is amazing, I've never had a camera with this before so had a play and was very impressed. The zoom lens is over 300mm and even when at this zoom I was able to take a picture at night of a street light and had no camera shake.

The quality of the LCD screen is very good, no need to worry that there is no viewfinder.

The only downsides are
i) battery life, it does seem to get through batteries quicker than my old Powershot, but it only takes 2 AA, whereas my old one took 4, so it may work out not as bad as it first seems
ii) The flash takes a while to replenish, sometimes 4 or 5 seconds.

The negatives are very minor when compared to everything else this camera offers.
Amazon's price was so much better that other retailers, don't know how they do it.
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on 12 November 2010
Very impressed.

The wider-angled lens is most useful and pics are very acceptable.

Despite the big lens and slightly larger body dimensions this camera doesn't seem any heavier than my Canon Powershot 720is and certainly lighter than my Canon Powershot A90.

There's no optical viewfinder but you can increase/decrease the screen brightness according to conditions.

The flash only works if you flip it up, so you can't use it unintentially.

I just wish it had strap loops on both sides of the body instead of the single loop to dangle it on a piece of cord.

Found no problem with battery consumption once I discarded the supplied batteries and used Lthium AA's.

I welcomed the fact that the self-timer can be operated without having to delve into the menus.
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on 16 October 2010
I bought this camera as a replacement for my rubbish Olympus. I bought it specificaly to take it with me to Nepal on Everest Trek. The pictures and films are amazing. Pictures are spot on, crystal clear. I was amazed that the battery lifetime was actually good. I bought 32 batteries to last me 3 weeks, 900pics/movies later I didn't even use half of them. I seriously recommend this camera. Ease of use, lots of advanced settings and really powerfull zoom (for the size) it all makes this camera trully amazing value for the money.
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on 19 May 2011
I bought the Canon Powershot SX130 IS after reading the review in Which Magazine where it was described as 'one of the best compact cameras we have ever tested'.

Initial impressions on unboxing the camera were very favourable. I bought the silver version, and rather than being the 'ugly duckling' I was expecting, was taken by the excellent build quality and overall feel of the product. It certainly wasn't as big as I was expecting, and would just about fit into a shirt pocket with a shove. You wouldn't really want to though as the camera is surprisingly heavy, despite being made of good quality solid plastic rather than metal, which you wouldn't really expect at this price point anyway.

I had a couple of re-chargable AA batteries standing by as I knew from previous cameras that the Ni-cads supplied would only be good for a few test shots. By now expectations were running high as I was really beginning to love this camera, unfortunately it wasn't too long before the love affair was over.

After taking several test shots both indoors and out at both ends of the zoom range, I settled down to look at the results. I limited the ISO to 400 for the indoor shots and was really pleased that noise levels were kept very low, while the pictures retained a lot of detail. The outdoor shots at the telephoto end of the zoom lens were better than I had dared hope for. The image stabilization worked miracles in producing clear sharp pictures, even with a fair amount of camera shake. Zooming in again on the picture enabled me to read the writing on a burgler alarm that I couldn't even see with the naked eye!!! Pictures taken at the telephoto end of the zoom lens were superb, unfortunately I wish I could say the same for pictures taken at the widest angle. Images were so bad I checked all the auto focus settings in the camera and then took them again. Second and third time around they were just as bad. At first glance they looked ok, but as soon as you started to zoom in on the picture it was obvious that images were decidedly soft, lacking detail and generally looked out of focus. I couldn't believe that a camera could be so good at the telephoto end of the zoom but so poor at the widest setting.

After running more checks just to make sure it wasn't me overlooking something obvious, I reluctantly boxed it back up and returned it. It was SO disappointing because everything else about the camera was so good, it was hard to believe that images that should have been blurred due to camera shake at the telephoto setting were excellent, but just the opposite at the widest setting.

Maybe I was expecting too much, but I have had superb wide angle pictures from my old 8mp Vivitar camera which cost half the price of the Canon, so there really is no excuse. At the end of the day you have to accept that this is a budget camera and you get what you pay for, and I would urge anyone who is considering buying the SX130 IS to re-consider and look at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 instead. It's approximately the same price and has virtually an identical specification as the Canon BUT only because Panasonic have bought out the TZ18 to replace it. Far from being a budget model, the Panasonic TZ8 is really a top of the range model at a budget price, and does produce superb results as I found out when testing it. It does lose out to the Canon in only having a smaller 2.7 inch screen, but in every other aspect it is most definately IMO a far better camera.
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