Canon PowerShot S100 

This little black offering fits into the smallest pocket but can take HD video as well as rather nice still images. Even if you have a larger and more powerful unit, this can be ready even before that comes from the bag.

Canon PowerShot S100 Digital Camera
click image to enlarge

The Canon PowerShot S100 measures 10.5x6x2.5cm and weights 192grams. 12.1MP, 5x optical zoom, a highly sensitive CMOS, ability to shoot RAW, GPS function, Full 1080P videos, high speed burst, 24mm ultra wide lens and intelligent IS for better low light capture.

The face has the 5.2x26mm lens with the 2x.5cm flash emerging from the top when required and it is never nearer than 4cm from the lens, even then there is a tiny cut out on the bottom left of the flash to avoid flashback.

The right side has a door with HDMI and USB sockets behind it; there is a wrist strap anchor point at the junction with the top. The left side is clear. The base has tripod anchor point and a door behind which is the solid battery and any SD card you might use.

On top of the unit on the right edge is the nine position wheel and just to the left of this a silvered shutter release with wide angle/zoom control around it, to the left of this the slightly indented on/off button and on the far left edge the flash, as stated this rises automatically when required but be careful where you place a finger as it can impede the flash rising if it is more than resting on the rear of the top edge, perhaps this is a slight problem.

The back is dominated by the 6.7x4.8cm TFT screen (3.25inch imperial diagonal measurement) to the right two rows of two buttons with the five position joystick in between. All the buttons are clearly marked and easy to follow.

The possible shooting modes are 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 1:1 and 4:5. While I have reviewed a number of units with 1:1 option this is the first with 4:5.

The image sizes are for 16:9 9MP, 4MP, 2MP and VGA. For 3:2 11MP, 5MP, 2MP and 640x424. For 4:3 12MP, 6MP, 2MP and VGA. For 1:1 9MP, 4MP, 1MP and 480x480. Finally for 4:5 7MP, 4MP, 1MP and 384x480. All are described by L, MI, M2 and S in the units menus. Easily found by using the Function Set (middle of joystick) and then using the other joystick buttons to select your choice. A message saying what size it can print and how many images of that size will fit on your current SD card.

Videos can be captured in 1920x1080, 1280x720 or 640x480. The other option on this simple ‘Auto’ screen is self timer or not.

Once you progress beyond ‘Auto’ then you can delve into the menu system where all the joys of this unit are yours to change.

It is rare in a small pocket camera to have RAW capability, however my own opinion its like giving someone a gun to shoot at tins, might they then progress to shooting at other things? RAW images are really for semi professions at least and putting this ability in a pocket camera is strange. Perhaps the novice will have more fun with the ‘Burst Mode’ and this might encourage more people away from video and back to still photography the 8 frame buffer (up to 9.6 frames a second) means that very fast moving action can be captured.

The F2 lens means that the flash is less important providing you can keep the unit still when using it in poor light. The flash itself works well and the little cutout to the lower left edge means there is no flash back on images.

Doing my searches found the Canon PowerShot S100 at £369 with free delivery the optional silver version is £8.75 cheaper should you not like black.

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OverallCanon PowerShot S100 rated 76 out of 100

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