Pros Photo quality, in both crispness & color, easy to use controls, simple but with extras if one is feeling ambitious
Cons Flash recycling time can be annoying at times
Summary I bought this camera to replace the Canon SD870 IS I did not care for & returned. I have taken many pictures with it so far, in a variety of settings. The quality is pretty darn good. And when I say that, I mean it appears to beat ANY other Point & Shoot currently on the market that I could find. It performs well with the one exception of the flash recycling being too slow at times. While this does annoy me a little, especially in such an otherwise great camera, it does seem as though for the quality it is something I'll have to deal with.
The zoom rocks. Although I loved my old 7 MP 4X zoom camera (Canon A620), I am suddenly feeling like i'm not sure how I got by with it. With a 7-8 MP camera you can always "zoom" after the fact by cropping, but the 10X optical zoom is just so nice. Especially when it comes along with great image quality like this camera has and you don't have to sacrifice that to get it. The difference was quite apparent when photographing animals a good distance away in Disney's Animal Kingdom. There is no way you can be right up near many of those animals, and this camera makes it seem as though I was. It felt almost like using my old SLR again, without the neck crippling weight.
I find the controls very easy to use. I haven't experienced any problems with them. I have Tourette Syndrome, so clumsy fingers & a tendency to have trouble holding particularly still tend to go with the territory. I mention this because if I am fine with it, I'd think most people should be as well. The camera is also pretty easy to hold onto without being overly large.
I do not consider the AA batteries it takes to be a con. I purchased a very good, fast rechargeable set that came with 6 AAs (& 2 AAAs) at Costco that included a car charger for just about $20, that should do the job nicely. I like having the ability to buy batteries just about anywhere in the world, as a backup, if need be.
Test photos also printed well on my fairly outdated printer. They look good on screen even in large sizes. The colors are beautiful on this camera even in standard auto mode. One thing that did surprise me is how well it handled some cat eyes at close range with the flash firing. Movie mode seemed fine to me with crisp enough picture & sound, but admittedly it isn't a priority for me either, since I have a camcorder. But it does seem I would be fine taking short videos with this camera.
It's a good camera. Probably one of the very best non-SLRs on the market right now, if not #1. Could it be even better? I'd like to think so. I haven't been blown away by most of the cameras out there & I'm hoping future gens are really all around something to rave about. The flash recycling really ought to be faster. I wish it was. As I believe the editors said, if it wasn't for flaws like that, this one really would be the no-brainer choice for a P&S. However, given all the others I've seen in action, I'm thinking it might still be so, even with that one unfortunate flaw. It also came in at a price considerably lower than certain unimpressive other top choices for compacts, which for superior photo quality & a beautiful zoom sits quite well with me.
I've posted a whole bunch of photos in different settings taken with this camera on the site linked below. Please feel free to peek.
I have now gotten a bunch of photos I took with this camera professionally printed, and they came out really beautiful. Both the foregrounds & backgrounds were sharp & vivid. I printed both indoor & outdoor pics, taken with & without the flash. It was a final test & it most definitely met, if not exceeded my expectations.
I also should probably mention that the flash recycling time is most definitely not the same every time. It seems to depend on amount of available light and, it seems, some other things, but it definitely doesn't take the same amount after every picture where the flash fires. It still annoys me plenty at times, but on plenty of photos it wouldn't be an issue at all & the photo quality is just too good to pass up.
Pros High Qualtiy Images, big 10x zoom, compact size, great battery life
Cons 4.3 second delay between flash photos, only 8 Megapixel
Summary This reviewer Lori is way, way off in her remarks, and nitpicked a truly fine camera. The bottom line is that this camera takes stunning photos of the highest quality at ISO 100 and 200, and that is what matters most. And as she notes, higher speeds are pretty good too. That, plus its lightweight and compact design is big enough so that controls are easy for people with large hands to use, yet it is small enough so that it still fits easily inside a coat pocket or purse.
The real surprise is the absolutely amazing battery life that it gets on only 2 AA batteries. I was able to take 196 flash photos at a big Halloween Party, and at the end of the night, the camera's battery meter still read full! How the camera is this efficient with power I do not know. Perhaps that is why there is such a delay between flash photos. But I would much rather have this great battery life, than worry about the delay between flash pictures. My old Olympus SP-350, which I unfortunately dropped and broke, also used two AA batteries, but it exhausted the batteries after only 30 flash photos! It's battery life was absolutely horrible, and on the other end of the scale from the Powershot SX100 IS's excellent performance.
The bogus fellow who gave this cam a 5 rating obviously did not even use one, as he could offer no specific complaints of any kind.
Besides improving the movie mode, the only thing that could make this camera better would be to have even higher megapixels. But for most photography, 8 is plenty enough. And if you really want more, then get Canon's new A650 IS or G9 models, which both have 12 Megapixels.
But neither of those cameras have a powerful 10x zoom, and are as compact and lightweight to carry. And it is great being able to use standard AA batteries, instead of some expensive proprietary battery. This is a well built, state of the art camera, and is made in Japan, not China.
Pros Diverse lens, 10x Optical Zoom!!!, quality photos, easy program navigation
Cons [Debatable] AA batteries instead of battery pack; No aftermarket lenses or flashes
Summary Needed to upgrade from my old Stylus 300 and overwhelming opinion was Canon. Lots of research led me to the SD850IS.
Right before going to Best Buy to purchase it I saw this SX100IS in an ad and checked it on cnet.com but no reviews. Went to Best Buy on 10/07/07 and they had both models - I played around with them, then had an employee look up specs on both to confirm that the SX100IS is the better camera for my needs (quicker shutter speed and MUCH better optical zoom (SD850: 4x; SX100: 10x).
I had a 15% off camera coupon, plus there was 15% off three accessories when you buy a digital camera, so I got the camera, a PNY 2gb card, 4 Energizer AA 2500mAh + charger, and an aftermarket carrying case (SX100IS does NOT come with a case) for just $342 with tax.
So far I'm positively happy with the pics this camera has produced. Well, almost: It seems to be a little too good at times because when you're doing facial photos it WILL find any and all blemishes. lol But that's why there's Photoshop.
Although I haven't owned it for long, some of my favorite things about it are it's design and construction. You'll never pop open the battery/sd card door on accident. All of the buttons are big enough and spaced out enough so that someone with bigger hands (me) can use this camera and not hit any buttons on accident. This camera is big enough to hold without feeling it's going to slip out of your hands (the SD850IS is TINY!), but it's not in any way too heavy or large - it's just too big to fit in your pocket (who puts cameras in there pockets anyways?!?!). All of the dials and buttons feel very sturdy and solid.
I played around with the video a little and am really impressed with that too! The playbacks seem YouTube worthy, with pretty darn clear sound and visuals.
I really look forward to playing around more and more with this camera. I rarely make large purchases without doing the research, but this time I'm very glad I did! Thank you, Canon!
Pros Powerful zoom, small form factor, picture quality, manual mode, decent screen, mini usb, SD ports and great user interface
Cons Less megapixels than others at this price, no viewfinder
Summary The 10x zoom and small form factor were the most important factors when choosing this camera. Since it's a Canon, the picture quality, user interface and mini usb, SD ports are other big reasons to pick this thing up.
10x zoom is great to have, most point and shoot cameras only come with a 3-4x zoom which hardly helps at all. Canon is know for picture quality and with the limited time I've taken to snap some photos, it definately lives up Canon's previous efforts. The user interface is awesome. I've played around with many different brands, Sony, Fuji, HP, Kodak, etc. and the Canon's is definately the easiest to use as well as one of the most configurable.
The battery indicator only flashes when power begins to get low and doesn't display any bars indicating the power level until you're almost out. I'm surprised since everything else Canon has done seems so well thought out. The alkaline batteries that came with the camera didn't last too long but I'll bet after testing with NiMH it will last a little longer.
Having the pop-up flash is a good and bad point but mostly good since the flash is always off by default and I rarely turn it on. The camera even prompts you when it thinks the flash is needed.
Overall if you're looking for a relatively small point and shoot with great zoom and picture quality the SX100 is what you want.Updated
Totally forgot about the image stabilization which is awesome and keeps pictures from blurring. You don't realize how shaky your hands are until you compare this feature to a camera without image stabilization. Everything stays steady on screen, allowing you to take better pictures, especially at 10x zoom.
Pros pitcure quality, shutter speed, functionality, user options, toughness
Cons size, AA Batteries (if you consider that a downside)
Summary I put this camera head to head with a Panasonic Lumix TZ3 and the comparable Sony CyberShot DSC H3. The Canon won hands down. This camera is amazing. The Image Stabilization is better than any of its competitors. The scroll wheel is not as small and sensitive as the review reads, the shutter speed does lag slightly when using flash, but the flash is manual and has to be raised to be used. This is very helpful because a LOT of your shots will be saved and not drowned out by un-needed light intrusion. I couldn't be happier with this camera. The options and user-friendliness is better than any other camera I looked at. Bottom line: all companies that compete with this camera make quality cameras. But Sony and Panasonic are not exclusively camera companies. I like to trust the experts and they didn't let me down here. Canon makes cameras....period. That's their focus. They did a great job and I really love using this camera.
As a side-note, I use my camera for traditional party, family, holiday photos, but I also use it for much more. Tailgating, college football games and hiking are where it gets most of its' use. New camera, but I don't see it letting me down...especially with the 10x optical zoom. I am going to get so many great shots with this feature...both on the trail and in the football stadium. I couldn't recommend a product more.