New Canon PowerShot SX100IS "Super-Zoom" Digital Camera
Canon has just recently released the first model in their brand new SX-series of digital cameras called the Canon PowerShot SX100 IS. This isn't your average digital camera by any stretch of the mind. This camera is part of a relatively new breed of digital cameras called "super-zooms" or "mega-zooms". The reason that they are called this is because of the amazing zoom power that these cameras possess.
A typical point-and-shoot digital camera has between 3x and 5x optical zoom power. This means that you can zoom in 3-5 times farther without losing any quality in the shot. Well the super-zoom cameras, like the SX100, can zoom in 10x or more! This technology was only previously used in much more expensive digital SLR cameras. This new breed of digital camera has brought the power of long-range shots to the average photographer.
The Canon SX100 IS is slightly larger than a typical point-and-shoot digital camera, but it's smaller than a DSLR camera. It weighs only about 10 ounces, so it's portable enough to take just about anywhere. The body comes in either black or silver, and it's made out of a very durable plastic which should withstand the test of time.
The SX100 IS is an 8 megapixel camera with a 2.5 inch LCD display for viewing images. The SX100 IS features a dedicated print/share button that allows you to print photos with the touch of a button (it must be a compatible printer). There are also 19 shooting modes including full auto, full manual, beach, night scene, kids & pets, and more.
Awesome Zoom Power
The SX100 IS features an amazing zooming power of 10x optical plus 4x digital. Digital zoom is not as significant as optical, because the camera doesn't maintain image quality when zooming digitally. You can use the zoom power of the SX100 IS to zoom in on far away objects, or to zoom in on small objects. This camera will take photos of images as close as 1 centimeter.
If you've ever used a camera to take a long-range shot, you've probably noticed that when you are in full-zoom the "camera shake" is magnified greatly. "Camera shake" is basically any type of small movement of the camera which causes a photo to become blurry. Canon has fitted the SX100 IS ("IS" stands for "image stabilization") with a great IS system which minimizes the "camera shake" drastically. This will give you a less blurry shot in long-range or normal-range shots.
The SX100 IS comes equipped with face detection technology, which "seeks" out up to 9 faces in the frame and focuses in on them. This is a great feature to use for group photos. You also have the ability to choose one face to focus in on, and the camera will "follow" that person when they move. This technology is great, although it's not perfect. The camera will sometimes focus in on unwanted faces in the background or things that just resemble a face. Still a cool technology, though, that will be surely improved upon in the near future.
Slow Performance but Excellent Image Quality
Unfortunately, you don't get both speedy performance and great image quality with the SX100 IS. It takes just under 2 seconds between shots to process the image, which is about average for this type of camera. It performs much worse when you add the flash to a shot. The figure jumps up to over 4 seconds between shots, which I haven't seen in any digital camera in a long time. This is very disappointing considering Canon has always been one of the leaders when it comes to speedy performance in digital cameras.
On the upside, the SX100 IS produces great photos with vivid colors and very accurate detail. Long-range shots look great as well and have no loss in detail. It's kind of a double-edge sword with this camera. You will get excellent image quality, but you lose the speedy performance that you can find in much of the SX100's competition.