Back in March, I wrote about the perfect point-and-shoot camera, the Canon Powershot S95. Even though it was already six months on the market, it was a great little camera and I looked upon it with envy as I held my Canon S90, its worthy predecessor. Fortunately, I’m a patient man when it comes to technology and this fall my patience has been rewarded with the Canon Powershot S100.
Whereas the S95 had a few upgrades, Canon has practically reinvented the model with the S100. If I may be so bold, allow me to bore you with some salient features: a whopping 24-120mm equivalent lens range (F2.0-5.9); 12.1 megapixel Canon CMOS sensor; ISO 80-6400; 2.3 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting; full HD (1080p24) video recording; optical zoom in movie mode; and built in GPS.
“Great!” you say, now what does that all mean? Canon has increased the range of focal lengths, but to do so, also had to increase the f-stop used at the telephoto end of the range. Still, I think it is a fair trade-off. The S100 uses Canon’s own proprietary sensor and, at 12.1MP, you will get a large enough image file for any typical personal and even most business photography needs. Once again, Canon has increased the ISO range, allowing you to shoot in less light. I’m not sure how they managed to go from under 1 fps in the old model to 2.3 fps, but it is welcome news for anyone who ever took a photo and missed a great moment while waiting for their camera to be ready for the next exposure. True, 2.3 fps is not going to suit a real speed freak, but for the average photographer, it is a huge improvement. Being able to shoot HD video with a point-and-shoot camera is a real convenience and Cannon improved the experience by even adding a record button on the back so no more changing dials. They also incorporated the optical zoom in the video function, so now you can shoot more dynamic videos. And finally this little camera has caught up with smart-phones with the addition of GPS. This allows for location tags on photos, but can also be used as a tracker so you can upload your movements on sites like Google maps.
Frankly, I’m sure there are more changes I could mention, but I think that includes the main features. The S100 is retailing in the USA for about $430 and comes in black and silver. If you would like a more thorough review of this camera, or any other camera for that matter, always go to www.dpreview.com.
In a nutshell, the Canon Powershot S100 makes a great gift this holiday season for anyone who enjoys taking photographs; even me.