Skip Navigation

Canon PowerShot SX170 IS

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

4 Reviews

Item # 280SX170R

This item is no longer available.

Shop all Point-and-shoot Cameras


Our take on the Canon PowerShot SX170 IS

Ever try to zoom in on a distant subject with your smartphone? The results are typically grainy and soft — not a photo you'd want to look at, and certainly nothing worth printing. That's what cameras like the Canon PowerShot SX170 IS do beautifully. With 16X optical zoom, you can get in tight on your child's face while he's on stage or on the playing field. The 16-megapixel sensor ensures you'll capture plenty of detail, so faces "pop" instead of melting into the background. Your photos will not only look great on the SX170's bright 3-inch monitor, they'll sparkle when you print them out or view them on larger screens, too.

Zoom you can really use

Ever try to zoom in on a distant subject with your smartphone? The results are typically grainy and soft — not a photo you'd want to look at, and certainly nothing worth printing. That's what cameras like the Canon PowerShot SX170 IS do beautifully. With 16X optical zoom, you can get in tight on your child's face while he's on stage or on the playing field. The 16-megapixel sensor ensures you'll capture plenty of detail, so faces "pop" instead of melting into the background. Your photos will not only look great on the SX170's bright 3-inch monitor, they'll sparkle when you print them out or view them on larger screens, too.

Easy AUTO mode

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. Image stabilization keeps your photos blur-free, so you can concentrate on getting the shot instead of keeping the camera absolutely still.

More than just snapshots

Want to shoot HD video? The SX170 does that too, with the full zoom range offering plenty of flexibility. Anxious to show off your creative side? Check out the special scene modes for cool digital filters and effects. Or edit stills and video right on the camera. Zoom and crop, fix "red-eye," and adjust contrast levels, all without ever touching expensive photo software.


  • 16.0-megapixel effective recording CCD sensor
  • 3" LCD screen (230,000 dots)
  • 16X optical zoom (4X digital zoom/64X combined 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
  • portrait mode automatically blurs background to make subjects stand out
  • high-definition movie mode (up to 720p resolution)
  • auto mode adjusts settings based on 32 preset scenes
  • pop-up flash
Connections and Dimensions:
  • high-speed USB (Mini Type B) interface (cable not included)
  • 4-5/16"W x 2-13/16"H x 1-3/4"D
  • weight: 8.85 oz. (with battery and media)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • rechargeable lithium ion battery (NB-6LH) and AC charger
  • wrist strap

What's in the Box:

  • Digital camera (red)
  • NB-6LH Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.7V 1060mAh 4.0Wh)
  • CB-2LY Battery charger (4.2V 0.7A)
  • Wrist strap
  • Canon Warranty card
  • Getting Started booklet (English)
  • Getting Started booklet (Spanish)
  • Canon Customer Support/Online Product Registration card
  • Canon Wireless Printer promo card

Easy to use for beginners, lots of options for the well experienced...

Rob L, Flint. MI


Canon PowerShot SX170 IS Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(4 Reviews)

Canon Powershot SX170 IS

Rob L from Flint. MI on 6/25/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to use for beginners, lots of options for the well experienced...

Pros: Ease of use and portability

Cons: Small buttons can be difficult to manipulate

Excellent Pix

JohnR from Hoosick Falls, NY on 6/2/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Takes fantastic high resolution pictures. The face recognition and anti-shake are big improvements. I like to play with the fisheye setting.

Pros: Price Ease of use

Cons: None

PowerShot SX170 IS

Stephan from Houston, TX on 1/8/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought the camera for my daughter to replace an old Canon PowerShot she was using for pictures and short videos. I wanted something simple to operate yet good enough for taking good quality pictures (indoor and outdoor). The SX170 IS is a good camera for a beginner. It is compact and provides different shooting modes that are easy to comprehend. It has a good focal range for a compact camera. It is efficient in most conditions (indoor/outdoor, low light and bright). Overall a good camera for a good price.

Pros: Compact, Focal range, Large LCD screen, Image Quality, Price

Cons: Does not come with a protective film for LCD screen nor a carrying case

Conon PowerShot SX170 IS

Jay from Falcon, Colorado on 12/24/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this for my Mother for Christmas. She uses her cell phone to post photos and to be honest I cannot stand most pictures people post (due to the poor quality) I searched for a good entry level camera with a dedicated battery which tend to last much longer than using AA or AAA batteries rechargeable or not. When the camera was delivered I took a few shots to check indoor quality, then a movie and onto some video. It was a great camera for the price. It did take me a second to figure our that the flash does not "deploy" itself you need to manually pop it up so it will fire. I stuck an 8 gig sd card in package it back up and sent it out to mom in time for Christmas. I will update this after she has used it for a month or so. One last thing, I did expect it to be a little bigger than is was, this could fit in a small camera bag pretty easy. I have several Sony cameras HX -1 HX100, A57 and it is smaller than them as a comparison

Pros: Inexpensive, Includes a rechargeable battery cell, large LCD relative to the camera size

Cons: Manual pop up flash and that about it. If the flash was automatic I would give it 5 stars for a entry level starter camera.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

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 No
Internal Memory None
Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Sensor Size 1/2.3" CCD
Megapixels 16
Image Stabilization Optical
Highest Resolution 4608 x 3456
4K Video No
Video Resolution 1280 x 720
Width (inches) 4-5/16
Height (inches) 2-13/16
Depth (inches) 1-3/4
Weight With Battery (ounces) 8.85
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

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

Recording Features

LCD Monitor: The Canon PowerShot SX170 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 SX170 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, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards. 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 SX170 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 4 or higher memory cards are recommended when recording movies.

Continuous Shooting Mode: You can use the continuous shooting mode to shoot successive frames while the shutter button is fully pressed. You can shoot at approximately 0.8 images per second in the Continuous Shooting mode, and 0.5 images per second in the Continuous Shooting AF mode. In the Low Light mode, you can shoot at approximately 3.2 images per second.

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

  • Normal/Auto/Manual: 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 or 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 SX170 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 SX170 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, People (detected faces), 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 SX170 IS is powered by the NB-6LH Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.7V 1060mAh 4.0Wh). The NB-6L battery is also compatible. The NB-6LH charges in approximately 2 hours in the supplied CB-2LY battery charger. For long periods of continuous use, or when connected to a computer, it is recommended that the camera be connected to the optional ACK-DC40 AC adapter kit. The estimated battery life for the NB-6LH is as follows:

Still Images Movie Recording Movie Playback
Normal Eco Mode On Normal Continuous Shooting
330 shots 440 shots 1 hour 20 mins 2 hours 20 mins 7 hours

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

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 a 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.

Note: No USB or AV cable is included with the camera.

Supplied Software

Included Software: The PowerShot SX170 IS comes with no software in the box. You can download the following software from the Canon website:

  • ImageBrowser EX: import images and change camera settings; manage images (view, search, organize); print and edit images
  • CameraWindow: transfer images to and from camera, organize images on the camera, and upload movies on the camera to web services

Compatible Operating Systems:

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7 (SP1)
  • Windows Vista (SP2)
  • Windows XP (SP3)
  • Mac OS X (v10.6-v10.8)

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 verify what’s in the box, 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.