A few years ago, I wrote the most positive review of my career – a love letter to Canon’s newly introduced S90 point-and-shoot camera.
What did I say? “The S90 is the best compact camera I have ever used.”
So here’s the good news: Two years and two models later, the S90’s successor, the Canon PowerShot S100, is even better in every way. The lens remains nice and fast at wide angles, down to f2. Zoom capability is slightly better, now equivalent to 24-120mm.
>In our testing, the S100 handled all situations excellently. From portraits of preschoolers to landscapes at dawn, I’m very pleased with the results.
It has Canon’s latest Digic V image processing chip. It now has GPS, so you can tag your photos, and if you plan on recording video, it will now record video at full 1080p resolution. The case has been tweaked a bit, including a subtle handle on the front to answer the prayers of all us S90 owners who’ve dropped it multiple times.
In our testing, the S100 handled every situation we encountered excellently. Focuses faster than the S90 and handles low light even more gracefully. From portraits of preschoolers to landscapes at dawn, I’m very pleased with the results. Images have a slightly high color saturation typical of Canon, but that can be addressed in post-processing.
The S100 is a great camera, one that you’ll be delighted to buy.
But I’m not sure you should.
If you’re the type of person who buys a camera to take quick snaps of the kids as they blow out the candles on their birthday cakes, then you don’t need a camera like the S100. In fact, you may not need a camera at all.
Those nifty photos that were once the domain of cheap point-and-shoot devices are now strictly the property of your cell phone. Don’t convince yourself to buy a point and shoot – use your iPhone instead.
For example, the iPhone 4S will actually take photos faster than the S100. With iPhone, each shot has a delay of about 0.8 seconds; The S100 managed 1.2 seconds between shots. (The S100 has a burst mode for multiple shots. This is the recovery time between single shots.) The iPhone also has a great sensor for its size as well as some great software and filters. smart to make your regular snaps look cool. And it’s already in your pocket.
Most photographers don’t want to think about ISO, or what the equivalent zoom is, or how to adjust white balance, or debate the merits of RAW over JPEG. They just want a photo. They want what my friend Rob Capps calls Good Enough.
The S100 is not a good enough camera. It’s not a point and shoot game. It’s a job of thinking, drafting, editing, and fussing. For professional photographers, having the level of power and control that the S100 offers in such a compact form factor remains incredibly exciting – it’s what has made it a success. this entire product line. So, if you are that kind of photographer and are looking for a compact camera then the Canon S100 is still at the top of the list.
But just make sure you really need it.
WIRED All the stuff that made its predecessor great, with some cool new features like GPS and full HD video. The CMOS sensor uses technology from Canon’s DSLR line.
TIRED More cameras than needed; and probably less than what the experts claim. A dedicated movie record button on the back eliminates the need for photo controls.
Photo by Ariel Zambelich/Wired
See more:- Canon PowerShot S100 is a Low Light Hotshot Camera