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Canon PowerShot SX160 IS

16-megapixel digital camera with 16X optical zoom (Red)

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  • Canon PowerShot SX160 IS

    Front

  • Canon PowerShot SX160 IS

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  • Canon PowerShot SX160 IS

    With included accessories

  • Canon PowerShot SX160 IS

    With pop-up flash

Item #: 280SX160R
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS

by David Brown
Canon

Today's point-and-shoot cameras make great pictures easier than ever

From baby's first steps, to that dream vacation in the islands, these cameras make it easy to capture life's greatest hits. Today's cameras have helpful automatic features, like face detection and scene recognition that make shooting more foolproof than ever. And they all have plenty of megapixels for detailed photos that stay sharp, even when you enlarge and print them.

The camera for every occasion

Don't let life's big moments escape. Keep the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS at your side and capture your children's milestones, your pet's antics or your friends' expressions. Portable yet powerful, the SX160's 16X zoom lens means your camera can take you inside the game when you're stuck on the sidelines, so you don't miss the winning goal or the big hit. And Canon's high-speed autofocus ensures your camera is ready when your subject is, so you can turn fleeting moments into high-quality photos.

Read more

Canon's smart AUTO mode adjusts your camera's settings for your shooting environment based on 32 predefined shooting situations. So if you're attending an indoor wedding with an outdoor reception, your camera will snap great shots throughout without any effort from you except to point and shoot. And image stabilization keeps your photos blur-free, so you can concentrate on getting the shot instead of keeping the camera absolutely still.

HD video from your camera to your HDTV

Photos of your child's first steps are nice, but wouldn't video be even better? The SX160's movie mode records HD video for those times when still photos just aren't good enough. You can review your footage on the SX160's 3-inch LCD display, or purchase a mini HDMI cable to plug your camera into your HDTV, so your friends and family can enjoy your videos on the big screen.

Specifications:

  • 16.0-megapixel effective recording CCD sensor
  • 3" LCD screen (230,000 dots)
  • 16X optical zoom (4X digital zoom/34x total zoom)
  • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards
  • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 28-448mm
Special Features:
  • DIGIC 4 image processor for detailed, accurate photos
  • optical image stabilization for blur-free photos and video
  • Intelligent IS chooses from six digital image stabilization modes to counteract shaky hands
  • high-speed autofocus for faster response and reduced lag time
  • face detection automatically sets focus, exposure, flash, and white balance for better portraits
  • high-definition movie mode (up to 720p resolution)
  • auto mode adjusts settings based on 32 preset scenes
  • pop-up flash
Connections and Dimensions:
  • USB port
  • mini HDMI output (HDMI cable not included)
  • 4-3/8"W x 2-7/8"H x 1-3/4"D
  • weight: 10.3 oz. (with battery and media)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • USB cable
  • wrist strap
  • software CD-ROM

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
LCD Screen Size 3"
Adjustable-angle LCD No
Wi-Fi No
Touchscreen No
Waterproof No
GPS-enabled No
Lens 35mm Equivalent 28-448mm
Optical Zoom 16x
Digital Zoom 4x
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output Mini
Memory
Internal Memory None
Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Image
Effective Megapixel Count 16
Total Megapixels 16.6
Image Stabilization Optical
Highest Resolution 4608 x 3456
HD Video Recording 1280 x 720
Dimensions
Width (inches) 4-7/16
Height (inches) 2-7/8
Depth (inches) 1-3/4
Weight With Battery (ounces) 10.3
Warranty
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Digital camera (red)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • Wrist strap
  • 50" USB cable with in-line noise filter (cable has a USB Type A connector on one end and a mini-USB Type-B connector on the other)
  • Digital Camera Solution Disk Ver.120.0
  • Canon Warranty card
  • Getting Started booklet (English)
  • Getting Started booklet (Spanish)
  • Canon Customer Support/Online Product Registration card
  • Canon Printer advertisement

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Playback, Editing and Print Functions
Battery Information
Inputs and Outputs Notes
Supplied Software

Recording Features

LCD Monitor: The Canon PowerShot SX160 IS has a 3" TFT LCD monitor, featuring 230,000 dots with approximately 100% picture coverage. The LCD display's brightness can be adjusted to one of five levels. The LCD display also features a Night Display feature that when shooting in dark conditions, the camera automatically brightens the LCD monitor to suit the brightness of the subject, making it easier to frame the subject.

Note: There is no separate viewfinder on this camera.

Image Sensor: The camera is equipped with a 1/2.3" CCD image sensor with 16.6-million total pixels, and 16-million effective pixels.

Optics and Stabilization: The SX160 IS has a 16x optical zoom lens with a 5-80mm focal length (35mm equivalent is 28-448mm). The built-in lens shift-type Image Stabilizer helps control camera shake to give you clear images when you're zoomed way in. Image Stabilization can be used for Still Images (Dynamic IS), Panning (Powered IS), and Macro Shots (Hybrid IS).

Zoom: In addition to the 16x optical zoom, the camera features a 4x digital zoom. When used in combination, the total zoom is approximately 64x. When optical and digital zoom are combined, the total focal length is 28-1792mm (35mm equivalent).

Digital Tele-Converter: The focal length of the lens can be increased by an equivalent of 1.6x or 2.0x through the use of the Digital Tele-Converter. The equivalent focal lengths of the lens (35mm equivalent) are 44.8-716.8mm when using the 1.6x digital tele-converter, and 56-896mm with the 2.0x tele-converter. The digital zoom and digital tele-converter cannot be used simultaneously.

Recording Media: The camera records still images or moving images with stereo audio on SD Memory Cards (2GB or less), SDHC Memory Cards (4GB to 32GB), and SDXC Memory Cards (32GB and higher). Still images are recorded in JPEG format, and the movies are recorded in MOV format (Image data: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio data: Linear PCM (stereo)). The camera has no built-in memory, and no memory card is included with the camera.

Still Image Resolution/Compression: The SX160 IS can record still images in 4 different sizes (Large, Medium 1, Medium 2, and Small) and 4 aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9, 3:2, and 1:1). For each resolution, you can set the compression ratio to Super Fine or Fine. You can choose from the following resolutions:

  16:9 3:2 4:3 1:1
Large 4608 x 2592 4608 x 3072 4608 x 3456 3456 x 3456
Medium 1 3264 x 1832 3264 x 2176 3264 x 2448 2448 x 2448
Medium 2 1920 x 1080 1600 x 1064 1600 x 1200 1200 x 1200
Small 640 x 360 640 x 424 640 x 480 480 x 480

Movies: Movies can be shot in High Definition at 1280 x 720 at 25 fps with stereo audio. Standard definition movies can be recorded at 640 x 480 pixels, with a frame rate of 30 frames per second and stereo audio. Recording will automatically stop when either the clip file size reaches 4 GB or the recording time reaches approximately 30 minutes for HD, and 1 hour for SD. SD Speed Class 6 or higher memory cards are recommended when recording movies.

Movie Modes: There are 3 Movie Modes to choose from:

  • Standard: Shoots standard movies
  • iFrame: Shoots movies that can be edited with iFrame compatible software or devices
  • Miniature Effect: Shoot movies that look like scenes in miniature models. People and objects appear to move quickly during playback.

Continuous Shooting Mode: You can use the continuous shooting mode to shoot successive frames while the shutter button is fully pressed. You can shoot continuously at approximately 0.8 images per second. In the Low Light mode, you can shoot at approximately 2.8 images per second.

Focusing Range: The camera features the following focus ranges (from the end of the lens):

  • Normal/Auto: 0.4" to infinity (W), 2' to infinity (T)
  • Macro: 0.4" to 1.6' (W)

Shooting Modes: Using the mode dial on the top of the camera, you can switch between the following shooting modes:

  • Manual: You can manually set the shutter speed and aperture.
  • Aperture Priority: You can set the aperture to a value at which you want to shoot, and the camera sets the appropriate shutter speed for the aperture you set. Aperture values can be set between F3.5 to F8.0 (W) and F5.9 to F8.0 (T).
  • Shutter Priority: You can set the shutter speed to a value at which you want to shoot, and the camera sets the appropriate aperture value for the shutter speed you set. Shutter speeds can be set between 15 and 1/3200 seconds.
  • Program: The camera sets both the aperture value and shutter speed.
  • Live View Control: Image brightness, colors, and tone can be easily customized while shooting.
  • Auto: The camera will automatically select the best settings for the scene.
  • Special Scene: Select from the following, according to the scene or effects desired: Portrait, Face Self-timer, Low Light, Snow, and Fireworks.
  • Creative Filters: You can add various effects to images when shooting, such as Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, and Monochrome.
  • Discreet Mode: Lets you shoot without the flash or camera sounds.
  • Movies: Record movies in High Definition or Standard Definition in Standard Mode, iFrame Movie, and Miniature Effect modes.

Metering Modes: You can select from the following metering modes:

  • Evaluative Light Metering: used for standard conditions. The area within the frame is divided into several zones and light is measured based on subject position, brightness, direct light and backlighting.
  • Center-Weighted Averaging: averages the exposure from the entire image, but places more weight on the subject at the center
  • Spot: meters the area within the spot AE point at the center of the LCD monitor or viewfinder.

Exposure Compensation: If you are shooting against a bright background or strong backlight, you may need to correct the exposure so that the subject doesn't come out too dark. You can set the adjustments from -2 to +2 in 1/3-step increments.

Locking the Exposure Setting (AE Lock): You can set the exposure and focus separately. This is effective when the contrast is too strong between the subject and background, or when a subject is backlit. Flash Exposure Lock (FE Lock), just as with the AE lock, lets you lock the exposure for shooting with the flash.

White Balance: You can choose from the following white balance settings: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, and Custom.

Flash Modes: The PowerShot SX160 IS has a built-in pop-up flash. You can select Auto (flash fires in low light), Slow-synchro, On (flash always fires), or Off (flash doesn't fire). The built-in flash has a range of 1.6' to 9.8' in Wide Angle and 2.0' to 6.6' in Telephoto. In the menu, you can turn on the Red-Eye Reduction lamp for the flash, and apply Red-Eye Correction to the images that have been taken.

ISO Speed: The ISO speed can be set Automatically (ISO Auto), or manually to ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, or 1600. Lowering the ISO speed results in sharper images but there's a greater chance of subject or image blurring in certain shooting conditions. Raising the ISO speed results in a faster shutter speed, reducing blurred images. The images, however, will appear more coarse.

My Colors: You can choose the look and feel of the photos you take by using My Colors to add the following effects to the image you are currently recording or have already recorded: Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B/W, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, and Custom Color.

Self-Timer: The SX160 IS utilizes a 10-second, 2-second, and a custom self-timer to allow the photographer to be included in the shot, or to avoid camera shake when using a tripod. The custom self-timer allows you to set the time delay to 1-15, 20, 25, or 30 seconds for up to 10 shots.

Playback, Editing and Print Functions

Index Display: This feature allows you to view 4, 9, 36, or 100 images at once on the LCD monitor so that you can search for an image quickly. Movies cannot be played in the index playback mode. You can view the index display by rotating the zoom lever toward wide angle while the camera is in playback mode.

Filtered Playback: When there are many images on the memory card, you can filter and display them by a specified filter. You can also protect or delete all images at once while filtered. Available filters include: Favorites, Shot Date, My Category, and Still Image/Movie.

Playback Zoom: During playback, you can magnify the image up to 10x by rotating the zoom lever toward telephoto. You can move the zoomed image in all directions by using the arrow buttons, and an indicator will show the approximate position of the displayed area.

Review Info: You can choose different ways to display your photos/movies: No Information, Simple Information Display, Detailed Information Display, and Focus Check.

Red-Eye Correction: You can correct red eyes in already recorded images. However, red eyes may not be automatically detected in some images such as faces near the screen edge, faces that appear extremely small, larger dark or bright in relation to the overall image and faces turned to the side or at a diagonal and faces with a portion hidden which prevents the Red-Eye Correction from working. You can choose to overwrite the file with the corrected image, or store the image as a new file, retaining the original image.

PictBridge: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge-compatible printer of any brand. In this way, you can make prints directly from the camera without having to connect to a computer.

Battery Information

Power Requirements: The Canon PowerShot SX160 IS is powered by two "AA" batteries. You can use alkaline (included) or Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) rechargeable batteries. Typical battery life for alkaline batteries is approximately 140 images. With Ni-MH batteries, the life is extended to approximately 380 images. For long periods of continuous use, or when connected to a computer, it is recommended that the camera be connected to the optional ACK800 AC adapter kit and DR-DC10 DC coupler.

Date/Time Battery: The camera uses a CR1220 backup battery for maintaining the date and time data. The battery lasts for approximately three years, and can be replaced when it becomes exhausted.

Power Saving Functions: The camera is equipped with the following power saving functions:

  • Auto Power Down for Shooting Mode: The screen will turn off approximately 1 minute after the camera is last operated. You can "wake" the camera at this point by pressing the shutter button halfway to turn on the screen and continue shooting. After about 2 more minutes, if no buttons are pressed, the lens will retract and the power will turn off.
  • Auto Power Down for Playback Mode and Connection to a Printer: The camera power down approximately 5 minutes after the last control is accessed on the camera.
Note: The Power Saving Function will not activate during a Slide-Show or while the camera is connected to a computer.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

HDMI Output: The PowerShot SX160 IS is equipped with a mini-HDMI (Type C) for connecting the camera to your HDTV. An optional mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable, such as the Canon HTC-100, is required.

A/V Output/Digital Terminal: The camera has a Mini-B Version 2.0 USB terminal to allow you to connect the camera to a compatible computer or compatible Canon printer via the supplied USB cable. This USB 2.0 Hi-Speed-compatible terminal allows you to rapidly download images to your computer or printer. Through the same USB jack, you can connect the camera to a TV or video monitor with stereo RCA audio and composite video input jacks using the optional AVC-DC400ST Stereo AV Cable. You can set the video output to NTSC or PAL.

Supplied Software

Included Software: The PowerShot SX160 IS comes supplied with the Canon Digital Camera Solution Disk Ver.120.0 CD-ROM. It contains the following programs:

  • Canon Utilities:
    • ImageBrowser EX 1.0: import images and change camera settings; manage images (view, search, organize); print and edit images
    • CameraWindow DC 8.9: transfer images to and from camera, organize images on the camera, and upload movies on the camera to web services
    • PhotoStitch 3.1 (Windows) / 3.2 (Mac): use to merge still images to make panoramas
  • User Guides: Camera User Guide, Software Guide

Compatible Operating Systems:

  • Windows 7 (SP1)
  • Windows Vista (SP2)
  • Windows XP (SP3)
  • Mac OS X (v10.6-v10.7)
 

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Quick impressions from the Lab

Comment by Ralph Graves Staff Writer - Creative,

Plain and simple

Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 10/23/2012 9:59:00 AM

The SX160 IS impressed me as a camera that's a step above point-and-shoots, but not so advanced that the casual photographer is overwhelmed with options. Not that this camera can't perform. The test pictures and videos I took in the Lab were all crisp and clear. And when I used different settings, such as the close-up function, the results were exactly what I expected them to be.

One of the best things about this camera is the mix of hard buttons and on-screen navigation. The major controls are all right there on the back of the camera. And as you dial different options on the wheel at the top of the camera, the screen not only displays the options, but explains what they do. For the beginner ready to move up a little in camera capacity, the SX160 IS makes the transition as simple as possible.

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Canon PowerShot SX160 IS Reviews

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Filter by rating:
4 out of 5

Good as it gets

Written By Gene, Williamsburg on Thursday, October 17, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Got this for my wife, works real good for her
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Great Product

Written By AlanS, Madison, AL on Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Superb picture quality. The zoom is outstanding. Picture response time good. Easy to handle and operate. Taking moving shots is very good. Auto focus on multiple objects is incredible. Overall, for the price, this camera is first class.
Pros:
First class software package that supports a first class camera
Cons:
None that I could identify.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great for the price!

Written By Tea Lady, Oregon, OH on Thursday, December 20, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Purchased this camera as a "spare" to use in my tea room, Stonehouse Tea Room. The pictures are great, but only within about 5 foot distance. After that the flash is just not bright enough. However the photos are so easy to adjust in the software that it is worth the price. Recovery time between shots is just a tad slow, but to be able to use AA batteries that also is okay with me. I do not photograph children, and most of the shots are posed, so the wait for a few seconds between shots if fine also. Over all, a great picture for the price.
Pros:
Like the way it feels in the hand. Clear, sharp photos with good color. Only AA batteries to purchase. Great price. Great soft ware package.
Cons:
Slow recovery between shots and pictures are best in short distances.
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Canon PowerShot SX160 IS Digital Camera-

Written By GregC, Newport, Vermont on Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Lens on Canon PowerShot 560 jamed after six or so years of use. Wanted a replacement that was quite similar. This SX 160 fits the bill.
Pros:
Clear pics. Easy to use. Get telephoto and Macro pics. Uses AA batteries which are available everywhere.
Cons:
No optical viewfinder. Heavier and larger than previus 560.
8 out of 8 people found this helpful
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