Canon PowerShot S100 Review

November 24, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Jonathan

When I zoom in on the photos they look soft and some of the corners are quite bad, especially when one compares them to the S95 sample shots (or XZ1 sample shots), not sure how PB gave it 4.5 stars for IQ when its seems quite obvious that the pics are not as sharp as the S95 (pic no.05, check out top left and bottom right corners, very poor). I generally go with PB’s reviews bad I don’t agree on the IQ verdict for the S100 (great iso performer yes but too soft and corners look bad) Come on PB, you letting the standards slip or what?

8:03 am - Friday, November 25, 2011

#2 Someguy

What is the overall rating - the award logo is missing from the conclusion page.

11:10 am - Friday, November 25, 2011

#3 SergioP

Ufff. I like that!

12:58 pm - Friday, November 25, 2011

#4 oooo

So, how would this stack up against the LX5??? I would be interested in some more comparative examples with reviews, as it can be tricky to choseone over another… Most importantly though, is the terriblebatery life, this above anything puts me off what could be a top compact. It’s all good having features galore, but when the battery dies you cant take a photo of anything…

8:24 am - Sunday, November 27, 2011

#5 S100, S95, LX5 or XZ1?

I’m in the market for a pocket sized professional level ‘point-and-shoot’ camera. The S100 is very impressive but I would’ve loved it with a flash hotshoe and at least 350-400shot battery life. For those reasons alone the Panasonic LX-5 or Olympus XZ-1 seem more appealing to me, even though they lack GPS and are bigger in size. Also it seems that the old 10mpix CCD was slightly better quality-wise. I guess I’ll need to wait for Panasonic and Olympus to throw in their updated versions before deciding…

11:26 pm - Sunday, November 27, 2011

#6 Mort

“Only 200 pix per battery charge” ? I shot a wedding with 180 pix. I carry 2 spare batteries in my pocket, as they are small. It is easy to change batteries in a few seconds.


11:35 pm - Monday, November 28, 2011

#7 andy clad

Not really much of an upgrade. Could of done more with the battery life. The lens is very soft round the edges and the bar shot is poor with bad CA around glass. Shame Canon didn’t include a faster lens such as the XZ1 or X10.
I’m waiting to see as to what Olympus and Panasonic have up their sleeve with regards to the serious compact market.
I wont be trading in my SX220HS just yet.

4:30 am - Thursday, December 1, 2011

#8 Cowshed

I read the review for the Olympus SZ-20 first because Costco has it on sale for $149.95, which is what fits my budget for a take-everywhere camera.  When I compared the reviewer’s images from the SZ-20 with the reviewer’s from this Canon S100, I felt the images of any given type for the SZ-20 were noticeably better than those for the S100.  It appears to me that either the SZ-20 takes better quality images or the S100 reviewer didn’t take as much care in shooting his images.  In any case, based on this comparison, I definitely will buy the SZ-20.  My recommendation would be that unless you just have to have the Canon name on your equipment, you’d be wasting almost $300 to go with the S100.

About 11 years ago, I purchased an Olympus digital with a grand total of 1.3 megapixels.  Several years ago I received a Canon Rebel Digital SLR as a gift.  It is a nice camera, but it is harder to get really sharp images with the Canon than with the old Olympus, which gave beautiful image color and crispness with little effort on my part.  Of course I love the flexibility and speed of the SLR, but I’m not so sold on Canon as most people seem to be.

7:50 pm - Thursday, December 1, 2011

#9 Vitalijus

All the sample images are from Photoshop CS5.

8:09 am - Saturday, December 3, 2011

#10 Prometheus

While the optics and electronics are very good the lens barrel is very flimsy - certainly not for the European trip as advertised. Got some debris in the barrel with resultant malfunction of the lens cover. Sent mine in for repairs to canon after 2 weeks of use - they charged $160 - not worth it.

3:22 am - Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#11 Mads

The sample video is certainly not 30 fps as stated, this camera is crippled the same way as the rest of the pocket cameras from canon. Limiting the 1080p mode to 24 fps. Which is too bad since the canon dslr’s has 30 and 25 fps options, and all the pocket cameras has 30 fps in 720p mode which produces much smoother video.

9:46 am - Wednesday, December 7, 2011

#12 Brian

There’s an obvious lens issue here that is choosing to ignore, particularly because while this camera is aimed @ the “enthusiast” market, the review for some reason glowingly reviews it as if it’s a camera that sells for half the price & is aimed at complete novices who’ll simply take it out of the box, set it on AUTO, never touch any of the controls, and who’ll only ever take full daylight “snapshots” w/ it & only ever present them to audiences no more critical than family gatherings. Noticeable in many of the image samples, there’s “softness” (if one chooses to euphemistically call it that), more prone to the right side of the sampled images, as well as varying degrees of chromatic aberration not present to nearly the same degree in either last years S95, or in images taken by present day competition, including the DMC-LX5’s newly firmware-updated version, and the Olympus XZ-1. Going to be interesting to see how Canon handles this obvious problem, in spite of glowing “reviews”.

7:44 pm - Thursday, December 15, 2011

#13 Vesa Vauhkonen

Hello. Powershot S100 ought to be a ‘DSLR-like camera’, but, (at least one) very big problem: when using exposure times longer than 1 sec you only can use ISO 80 sensitivity! How to do moonlight or night heaven shots with that low sensitivity? This is an important property and ought to be mentioned in the marketing of the camera. And the accumulator is terrible: less than 200 shots with one charge. Why to take steps backwards, Canon? AND: Sorry for my bad English.

1:45 pm - Sunday, January 8, 2012

#14 Ace

For those in the UK it is back in stock on Amazon and has come down in price -

11:24 pm - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#15 Liam

Just returned from a skiing trip with my S100 and Im really impressed with the results. I used an Aquapac Camera Case to protect the camera but found it had the added benefit of almost eliminating wind notice when filming which made a massive difference to my videos. Great that you’ve also got RAW with the S100

11:31 am - Monday, February 6, 2012

#16 Mark L. Dean

I am a DSLR owner that doesn’t always want to lug around all the equipment and this compact does all the tricks I want it to. Its very impressive for it’s size and price. Recently, I had purchased the s95 and returned it when I found out this was being released.

The s95 is a great camera however, I feel the s100 trumps it. The noise is greatly reduced in the s100. The built in ND filter is an amazing addition, and the extra zoom and wide angle while it doesn’t seem like much, but is. I could care less about GPS but it might come in handy when I travel.

All the complaints I am reading about AWB and tints seem either like a defective unit or user error. The AWB seems fine to me, and the screen is ultra crisp.

If you are a quality control freak this is a great addition to your camera bag. I added two photos that show just how fantastic this little camera can be. I can not stress enough that DSLR owners will be impressed.

7:23 pm - Thursday, February 9, 2012

#17 Mark L. Dean

This camera has a lot of advanced features and it really isn’t intended for the casual user who shoots on ‘auto’ mode. If you are not interested in exploring the advanced settings, you should save your money and get a more basic Canon. This is a camera for someone who wants to control their photography.

Overall, this is a great camera for a dslr user who wants an ‘everyday’ take everywhere camera with advanced features. Highly recommended!

7:25 pm - Thursday, February 9, 2012

#18 David S. Hough

S100 for myself so excellent properties that can be exhausted only in the manual range, and described some annoying weaknesses. Therefore, and despite all this, they will stand with me as a take-along camera in the first place and will always be in my pocket.

7:27 pm - Thursday, February 9, 2012

#19 Jermaine

I’m with the PowerShot S100 (which I now after 3 months - got wait) very satisfied and can only every ambitious photography enthusiast who is ready about a proud 450, - to spend on such a small elegant mini-photo put your heart.

7:31 pm - Thursday, February 9, 2012

#20 Canon PowerShot S100 Review

Canon PowerShot S100, good price in the geat performance

8:11 pm - Thursday, February 9, 2012

#21 JGray

Canon S100, cheap price for the great performance

8:12 pm - Thursday, February 9, 2012

#22 Aputure

All around good camera, although I lament the loss of a few buttons, and I find it to be more sluggish than the S90, as well as a bit more soft. Here’s my comparison:

9:56 am - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

#23 Aputure

Great camera overall, but I’m not happy with a few things:

- seems to be more sluggish than my S90
- loss of several external controls
- lag time for recording video
- seems to be softer than my S90.

Otherwise, I love the wider angle and better high ISO performance. Here’s more from my comparison/review:

9:59 am - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

#24 SimonP

I bought this camera after reading many reviews. The handling and IQ seems great, but on my first outing I ran into the limitation of the minimum aperture of only F8?
Is this common amongst small cameras?

Why give a camera like this AV and M modes when there is so little scope for adjustments? At full zoom you can choose only f5.9 ,f6.3 ,f7.1 and F8.

I was using TV mode to take longer exposure shot of a fountain in daylight, but the camera could not set a small enough aperture to compensate for the longer exposure. Am I expecting too much from a compact camera?

11:14 am - Thursday, March 15, 2012

#25 MJ

It’s a shame that this camera (or it’s competitors, namely LX5 and Ex1 as far as I am concerned) do not implement panorama mode function. By that I mean something like Sony’s Sweep Panorama mode.

Still waiting for a “big” sensor compact with this function. As it is a must for compact. Otherwise, from what I was able to test the images were perfect for my expectations. For serious stuff I drag DSLR around, but for “every day” things my Sony WX5 will still have to do.

5:47 pm - Sunday, March 25, 2012

#26 Anthony

I have been using several cameras so far.  I stopped using dslrs since I got the Lumix LX 5, this camera was great but a bit bulky so I went for the Canon S100.

So far I can say image wise it is better than the LX 5, specially video, the LX 5 had the purple fringe with highlights I hated and 30p, the S100 shoots in 24p and video looks great.  Plus the camera has some cool features, like toy camera effect, vintage, tilt shift ect, which I use a lot. 

Now I shoot most of my travel pics with this one, and I love it, plus it records the location with GPS. 
You can check some of my shots at my blog 98% of the shots are with the canon S100, 1% with the iPhone and 1% film.
You can see some sample shots here

9:52 pm - Monday, April 16, 2012

#28 S. Thomas

I disagree with a previous comment about using the autofocus. There’s an autofocus for a reason and it ought to work. I’ve had my Canon PS S100 for a month now and the autofocus has never worked right. I thought it was just me and a new camera. But now I’ve nailed it down. When I zoom (either manually or digitally) and then retract, the autofocus no longer works, it’s just a blur. Now, I’m reading on the web of similar problems. Additionally, I too have noted that the barrel ring seems loose and I’m wondering about that as well. This camera has not worked properly right out of the box and I just couldn’t believe it. This is probably my 6th Canon and I’ve never had a problem before. Canon should recognize these problems though, that’s not right.  This is too expensive a camera to be having these problems.

12:56 pm - Thursday, July 26, 2012

#29 capri

hi..can we make a blurred background with s100? doesnt have to be as good as slr but can we?  I hope someone can help me with this. Thx.

4:11 pm - Thursday, July 26, 2012

#30 Maesstro

If someone is interested this is my comparison between Canon PowerShot S100 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7:

10:41 am - Friday, August 17, 2012

#31 shaun allen

Some really great content on this page and i think for the money this camera is great value for the money and in its range…..If interested i have a post on it at

8:02 pm - Monday, August 27, 2012

#32 Gary

I’m trying to decide between this camera (Canon S100) and the Canon Powershot SX240HS.  Purpose is to take to SE Asia.

7:40 am - Monday, October 8, 2012

#33 raf

Top compact camera. High quality pics, also in low light conditions. One very big flaw though: you cannot set the limit of shutter speed! A mode, 1/30 is the default setting, when you increase aperture values. I could hardly believe that while testing! It should be possible to change the default value of 1/30 to e.g. 1/125 sec in the menus somewhere, but not…........

4:12 pm - Tuesday, November 6, 2012

#34 Anthony

Well I have been using this camera, for quite a while and on a trip to Switzerland I got the damn “lens error” issue.  It was my 3rd day in Switzerland before climbing the Alps, and I had no camera only my iPhone!! That really sucked! 
Anyways, I managed to get some decent pictures with the iPhone 4S, with some panoramic apps which turned out to be better than the standard point and shoot.
You can see some panoramic shots here:
Thanks to the iPhone I didn’t miss much the Canon S100.  But it really sucked to get that error in the middle of the trip.
I can’t deny the camera is great, but quality wise, hhmmm!!
I got it fixed for free in Spain, but now the dial is failing on me, it gets stuck once in a while!

4:21 pm - Tuesday, November 6, 2012

#35 raf

sorry i was too quick, my comments are related to the Sony DSC RX 100…...I was too quick in my bookmarked reviews… sorry for that

4:25 pm - Tuesday, November 6, 2012

#36 Maesstro

People, S100 has excilent pics but lens error cucks. Recently i bought G15 and im fully satisfied!

4:44 pm - Tuesday, November 6, 2012

#37 manutd1878

powershot s100 is one of the best-selling compact cameras in Australia

9:38 am - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

#38 mohammad

this camera with 24-120&f 2.0-5.9 is not suitable for telephoto image esp.. at auto mode .esp at indoor light n , and image stabilizer is weaker than medium

8:48 am - Thursday, January 24, 2013

#39 Anders

Hello photographs :)

Now I have a old Canon Ixus 970 IS and I am really glad for it :)

But now - I feel time to change.

Now - I have the Canon Powershot S100 at home.
I also have the Canon Powershot SX240 HS
I got the S100 for 40 euro more than the SX 240 HS.

But I dont know what camera is the right one for me ?

Can someone please help me with choosing ?

I am not a professional user -
I am a based - but I like to take pictures on vacations etc.

I like picture of landscape - evening atmosphere - on the ski vacation - mostly in daylight.

I will return one of the camera to the shop soon - and the other - they must give me a new one - because I have a pixel error in SX240 and a click sound on the S100 then the object turns on - and will zoom in.

Thank you for helping with my choose :)

7:43 pm - Wednesday, February 27, 2013

#40 joe coelho

I have a problem with my s100 Canon camera. The lens does not want to retract and it gives me a “Lens Error” message. It also says “Will shut down automatically Restart camera”. I have tried to restart it and even removed the battery, but it didn’t help. It just seems to be stuck. Is there anybody that knows how to fix this without having to send it away to Canon?

Much appreciated

10:57 pm - Saturday, July 6, 2013

#41 Garg Ankit

Hey Mark, I consider it a pocket-friendly camera, in terms of money as well as size.
Correct me if I’m wrong.

10:54 am - Sunday, October 20, 2013

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, 1080p, wide-angle, hdmi, 12 megapixel, RAW, manual, 5x zoom, prosumer, gps, HDR, s100 review, canon s100, Canon PowerShot S100 Review

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