25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Excellent small camera with a lot of potential,
This review is from: Canon PowerShot S100 Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, Ultra Wide Angle, 5x Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD (Camera)
My main camera is a Canon 7D (SLR) with several different lenses. If I want to go out for a walk, and take my camera with me, I need to take a dedicated backpack, which, if I take all my accessories, weighs nearly 10kg. For long walks, this is quite a killer!
This is where the S100 enters the picture. I was looking for something pocketable, that didn't weigh a tonne, yet didn't restrict me in photographic versatility.
I originally contemplated the G12, however its size was an issue (bit too chunky!), and the other deciding factor was that it only shoots 720p HD. I also considered the S95 for its size, but again the 720p video was an issue. In the end I opted for the S100 as I am intending on using the video on the camera a lot, complete with a waterproof housing! (I'll update the review with some sample footage once I have it!).
Rather than cover the same old ground that other reviews have mentioned regarding technical details, here are my own thoughts, as an SLR user wanting a small,light camera.
SHAPE AND WEIGHT
Nice and small, as expected. The metal construction makes it feel a tad heavier than similarly sized plastic-made cameras, but to me it's not an issue, the material will be stronger, and having some weight behind it is reassuring.
The camera packs a lot into its small frame. There are a lot of options to choose from. I usually shoot on my SLR in Manual or Av mode, and expected to do the same with this camera. However I am quite impressed with the auto mode, and likely will leave it on Auto for spur of the moment shots!
EASE OF USE
There's a bit of a learning curve, as Canon has followed other manufacturers, putting the manual on a CD, rather than giving you an instantly accessible paper manual. Thankfully most functions are fairly straight forward and intuitive. The main thing which will require time and practice is learning which settings the camera controls automatically in which modes.
It is a bit slow in low light, and recording images takes time, even with a Class 10 card in. However my previous Olympus Tough camera took just as long, so it's not really an issue.
Can't fault it for a compact really. Any differences between it and my 7D's images are only noticeable if you are really scrutinising the image. And lets face it, if you are looking at image quality at that detail, you'd be using an SLR for (semi)professional purposes.
A quick note on the video. Due to various restrictions, the camera will record video up to a maximum of 29 minutes 59 seconds, or until the file reaches 4gb in size. If shooting in HD, this will take around either 16 minutes (1080p) or 24 minutes (720p). The HD video is very impressive in quality.
I've very happy with this camera, and am looking forward to having a camera that is small enough to always have with me. I don't really have any complaints. Continuous shooting and recording images could be a bit quicker, but it's not a deal breaker for me.