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Canon PowerShot S100

12.1-megapixel digital camera with 5X optical zoom (Black)

13 Reviews

Item # 280S100K

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Our take on the Canon PowerShot S100

Off for a day to hike in the mountains, or do an urban hike through the city, sometimes a DSLR can be too much to carry. That's why it's great to have a camera like the Canon PowerShot S100 to capture all your adventures. The built-in GPS helps you track your trip and make a visual map of your journey when you return home. Optical image stabilization keeps your shots steady and sharp, and the advanced image sensor teams up with powerful processing to give you detailed photos even when the lights are low. A fast, bright f/2.0 lens lets you capture portraits with a shallow depth-of-field and a blurred background.


Off for a day to hike in the mountains, or do an urban hike through the city, sometimes a DSLR can be too much to carry. That's why it's great to have a camera like the Canon PowerShot S100 to capture all your adventures. The built-in GPS helps you track your trip and make a visual map of your journey when you return home. Optical image stabilization keeps your shots steady and sharp, and the advanced image sensor teams up with powerful processing to give you detailed photos even when the lights are low. A fast, bright f/2.0 lens lets you capture portraits with a shallow depth-of-field and a blurred background.

Automatic and manual modes
The S100's automatic modes make life simple when you want to just "point and shoot." But for more creative control, you can use manual settings to capture one-of-a-kind photos. A control ring on the front allows you to easily adjust your settings without taking our eyes away from the action. You can also shoot images in uncompressed RAW mode for more customized editing options later on.

Shoot clear HD videos
When you want to capture people in motion, just press the movie button on the S100 to switch to movie mode and get full HD video (1080p). A wind filter keeps recorded dialogue and other sounds in your videos understandable and clear. You'll have lots of fun creating your own instant replays using the slow motion video mode on action shots. A mini HDMI output connects to your HDTV, so you can share your photos and videos on the big screen (separate HDMI cable required).

Great pictures, not as fast of a lag time as I thought. Raw images can really be massaged in Lightroom. Will not replace DSLR but great photos for what it is.

Jen, 92625

What's in the Box:

  • Digital camera (black)
  • NB-5L Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery (3.7V/1120mAh) with plastic terminal cover
  • CB-2LX Battery charger
  • 48" 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)
  • Wrist strap
  • Canon Digital Camera Solution Disk Ver. 97.0 JE/User Guide CD-ROM
  • Getting Started booklet (English)
  • Warranty card
  • Canon Customer Support/Online Product Registration card
  • Info sheet on Canon printers

Product Highlights:

  • 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 3" LCD screen
  • 5X optical zoom (4X digital/20X total zoom)
  • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
  • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 24-120mm
Special Features:
  • high-definition movie mode (up to 1080p resolution) with dedicated movie button
  • records RAW and JPEG
  • fast f/2.0 lens for sharp images in low light
  • easily adjustable manual control ring
  • optical image stabilization
  • Intelligent IS analyzes camera shake and applies the best stabilization for each shooting situation so you get a steady blur-free image
  • high speed burst mode (9.6 frames/second)
  • built-in GPS records your location so you can remember where you took your vacation photos
  • included travel map software lets you track your route from photo to photo, and share your trip on a world map
  • DIGIC 5 image processor for faster camera response, advanced face detection, red-eye correction, and better image quality
  • face detection automatically sets focus, exposure, flash, and white balance for better portraits
  • variable ISO (film speed equivalent) settings, including a high sensitivity setting for better low-light shooting
  • shutter priority, aperture priority, and full-manual exposure modes
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Connections and Dimensions:
  • high-speed USB interface
  • mini HDMI output for connecting the camera to a compatible HDTV (cable not included)
  • audio/video output for standard-def connection to a TV
  • 3-15/16"W x 2-7/16"H x 1-1/16"D
  • weight: 6.98 oz. (with battery and media)

Canon PowerShot S100 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(13 Reviews)
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Features and Specs

LCD Screen Size 3"
Adjustable-angle LCD No
Wi-Fi No
Touchscreen No
Waterproof No
GPS-enabled Yes
Lens 35mm Equivalent 24-120mm
Optical Zoom 5x
Digital Zoom 4x
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output Mini
Internal Memory None
Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Sensor Size 1/1.7" CMOS
Megapixels 12.1
Image Stabilization Optical
Highest Resolution 4000 x 3000
4K Video No
Video Resolution 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720
Width (inches) 3-15/16
Height (inches) 2-7/16
Depth (inches) 1-1/16
Weight With Battery (ounces) 6.98
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

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

Recording Features

LCD Monitor: The Canon PowerShot S100 has a 3.0" TFT LCD monitor, featuring 461,000 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.

Image Sensor: The camera is equipped with a 1/1.7" CMOS image sensor with 13.3-million total pixels, and 12.1-million effective pixels. Along with the new DIGIC 5 Image Processor, the S100 gives you clear photos with accurate colors and less noise.

Face Detection Technology: The DIGIC 5 chip's Face Detection Technology finds and tracks the faces of moving subjects until you're ready to shoot, then delivers perfect focus. In addition, exposure, flash, and white balance are compensated, so that faces exhibit natural skin tones and backgrounds are properly exposed.

Smart Shutter: Smart Shutter technology automatically takes a picture a short time after the camera detects a specific change in the scene. There are three Smart Shutter functions:

  • Face Self-Timer: The Face Self-Timer automatically detects an increase in the number of faces, and makes the appropriate adjustments. When the Face Detection Self-Timer is set, the camera waits for the photographer's face to get on-camera before it takes the shot. The camera will shoot, two seconds after the new face is detected.
  • Smile Self-Timer: The Smile Self-Timer captures smiles by tracking your subject's face and automatically releases the shutter as smiles are detected.
  • Wink Self-Timer: The Wink Self-Timer lets you set the camera in a "shooting standby" mode after the shot is composed. When a designated person in the frame winks, the camera takes a picture, two seconds after the wink is detected.

Optics and Stabilization: The S100 has a 5x optical zoom lens with a 5.2-26mm focal length (35mm equivalent is 24-120mm). 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 set to Continuous (Intelligent IS), Shoot Only, or Off.

Zoom: In addition to the 5x optical zoom, the camera features a 4x digital zoom. When used in combination, the total zoom is approximately 20x.

Digital Tele-Converter: The focal length of the lens can be increased by an equivalent of 1.5x or 2.0x through the use of the Digital Tele-Converter. The equivalent focal lengths of the lens (35mm equivalent) are 36-240mm when using the 1.5x digital tele-converter, and 48-240mm 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). The camera has no built-in memory, and no memory card is included with the camera.

Image Formats: Still images are recorded in JPEG and RAW formats. A RAW image is raw data recorded with nearly no deterioration in image quality resulting from image processing inside the camera. You can use the supplied software to adjust the image in any way you like with minimal loss in image quality. Movies are recorded in MOV format (Image data: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio data: Linear PCM (stereo)).

Still Image Resolution/Compression: The S100 can record still images in 4 different sizes (Large, Medium 1, Medium 2, and Small) and 5 aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9, 3:2, 1:1, and 4:5). For each resolution, you can set the compression to Fine or Normal. You can choose from the following resolutions:

  4:3 16:9 3:2 1:1 4:5
Large 4000 x 3000 4000 x 2248 4000 x 2664 2992 x 2992 2400 x 3000
Medium 1 2816 x 2112 2816 x 1584 2816 x 1880 2112 x 2112 1696 x 2112
Medium 2 1600 x 1200 1920 x 1080 1600 x 1064 1200 x 1200 960 x 1200
Small 640 x 480 640 x 360 640 x 424 480 x 480 384 x 480

Movies: Movies can be shot in High Definition at 1920 x 1080 at 24 fps, and 1280 x 720 at 30 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.

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
  • Super Slow Motion: Shoots fast moving subjects and plays them back in slow motion

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 2.3 images per second. In the High Speed Burst HQ mode, you can shoot up to 8 continuous shots at a maximum speed of approximately 9.6 images per second.

GPS Technology: The PowerShot S100 is equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. When you shoot still images and movies, the camera automatically records the location data and local time onto the files. The included Map Utility software lets you display your photo locations on a map, and track your route from photo to photo.

AutoFocus Frame Modes: The camera utilizes TTL (through-the-lens) automatic focusing with two focusing methods:

  • Face AiAF: The camera automatically detects the position of a face and uses the data to set the focus, exposure (evaluative metering only) and white balance (auto). When the camera is pointed at subjects, a white frame appears on the face the camera judges to be the main subject, and up to 2 gray frames will appear on other faces.
  • Tracking AF: You can choose the subject you want to focus on and shoot. The camera will track the subject within a certain range until you shoot.
  • FlexiZone/Center: A single AF frame in the center of the frame is used. This is effective for focusing on a specific point. FlexiZone allows you to change the size and position of the AF frame.

AF-Point Zoom: You can magnify the AF frame and check the focus. In Face Detect mode, the face selected as the main subject will appear magnified in the monitor. In Center mode, the contents of the center AF frame will appear magnified.

Auto Focus Lock: If it becomes difficult to focus on the subject due to low contrast to the surroundings, close up and far away subjects in the same shot, or quickly moving subjects, you can choose to lock the focus or auto focus on an object at a similar distance, then shoot the picture after recomposing the shot.

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

  • Normal: 1.2" to infinity (W), 12" to infinity (T)
  • Macro: 1.2" to 1.6' (wide), 12" to 1.6' (tele)

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

  • Auto: The camera will automatically select the best settings for the scene.
  • Program: The camera sets both the aperture value and shutter speed.
  • 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 F2.0 to F8.0 at wide angle and F5.9 to F8.0 at telephoto.
  • 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 1/2000 seconds.
  • Manual: You can manually set the shutter speed and aperture.
  • Control Ring: You can register numerous functions to the control ring surrounding the camera's lens.
  • Creative Filters: You can add various effects to images when shooting, such as High Dynamic Range, Nostalgic, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Color Accent, or Color Swap.
  • Scene: Select from the following, according to the scene or effects desired: Movie Digest, Portrait, Landscape, Kids & Pets, Smart Shutter, High Speed Burst HQ, Handheld Night Scene, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, and Stitch Assist.
  • Movies: Record movies in High Definition or Standard Definition in Standard Mode, iFrame Movie, and Super Slow Motion Movie 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, Flash, Underwater, and Custom.

Flash Modes: The PowerShot S100 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 23' in Wide Angle and 1.6' to 7.5' 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. As with Exposure Compensation, you can adjust the Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2 stops in 1/3-stop increments when using the flash.

ISO Speed: The ISO speed can be set Automatically (ISO Auto), or manually between ISO 80 and ISO 6400 in 1/3 EF steps (20 steps). 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.

Display Overlay: You can customize the display with the following overlays:

  • Shooting Info: A wide range of information on the shooting conditions and settings will display on the viewfinder or LCD monitor.
  • Grid Lines: Displays gridlines dividing the monitor into 9 areas, allowing you to check the subject's horizontal and vertical alignment
  • Histogram: A graphic display that shows the distribution of brightness in an image horizontally.

Self-Timer: The S100 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, Date, Category, Type, and Number of Images.

Playback Displays: You can choose from the following types of displays: No Information, Simple Information, Detailed Information, 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/Direct Print: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge-compatible printer of any brand, or a Canon printer that supports the Direct Print function. You can also connect the camera directly to certain Canon SELPHY compact photo printers and PIXMA inkjet photo printers. 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 S100 powered by the NB-5L Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery. The camera includes the CB-2LX battery charger, which can charge the NB-5L battery in approximately 2 hours 5 minutes. For long periods of continuous use, or when connected to a computer, it is recommended that the camera be connected to the optional ACK-DC30 AC adapter kit. A fully-charged battery will last for approximately 200 shots, 40 minutes of movie shooting time, 1 hour 10 minutes of continuous shooting, and 4 hours of playback time.

Date/Time Battery: The camera uses a built-in backup battery for maintaining the date and time data for about three weeks after the battery pack has been removed. By inserting a charged battery or connecting an AC adapter kit, the date/time battery can be charged in approximately 4 hours, even if the camera is not turned on.

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 S100 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 (item # 280HTC100), 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 S100 comes supplied with the Canon Digital Camera Solution Disk Ver.97.0 JE CD-ROM. It contains the following programs:

  • Canon Utilities:
    • ZoomBrowser EX 6.8 (Windows) / ImageBrowser 6.8 (Mac): manage images transferred to a computer (view, edit, and print)
    • CameraWindow DC 8.6: transfer images to and from camera, organize images on the camera, and upload movies on the camera to web services
    • Map Utility 1.1: uses GPS data in the image files to display the photo locations on a map, and track your route from photo to photo
    • Digital Photo Professional: convert RAW images to JPEG and TIFF images
    • 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 (v10.5-v10.6)

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