Canon S100 12.1 Megapixel Advanced Compact Reviews Roundup

On September 15 2011, Canon announced a premium compact camera - the PowerShot S100. It features a 12.1 Megapixels CMOS sensor, the same DIGIC 5 processor found in other high level Canon compact cameras and a fast and wide angle 24-120mm lens with 5x optical zoom. Additionally, the camera utilizes an f/2.0 lens increasing the camera's low-light performance while creating a shallow depth-of-field. Canon has opted to include a special lens control ring which behaves like the usual scroll wheels found on DSLRs. You can use the ring to control things like aperture, focus and shutter speed.

Full HD video is supported at 1920 x 1080 resolution at 24fps. The top ISO setting is now 6,400. On the back of the S100 is a 3-inch PureColour II G LCD screen for viewing back stills, video and composing shots. Finally, the S100 adds a built-in GPS receiver, to help you geocode your images as you take them. A map utility software is included with the camera to view the locations where images were captured. There's also an internal GPS logger to track the day's photographic route. The estimated selling price of the PowerShot S100 Digital camera is $429.99 and is scheduled to be available in early November.

Canon Powershot S100 Sample Photos on Flickr



Canon Powershot S100 Camera Reviews Roundup


PhotographicCentral - Jan 03 2013
"All around I am pleased with the S100. It's a close to perfect compromise in handling and ultra small compactness. It retains a lot of external and internal control for the serious photographer, yet will shoot just as pleasantly in full auto for the beginner. The 5x 24-120mm focal range is also near perfect and from what I've seen optically, it's quite good..." More »
90out of 100
digitalcameraHQ - Jul 19 2012
"There's a lot to love about the S100, and as a highly functional compact it checks almost all the right boxes. Images are sharp and rich with detail in both good and bad lighting conditions, and the 24-120m lens is versatile enough to not feel limiting. The very good HD video is an added bonus, as is the inclusion of a GPS (although it didn't always tag the..." More »
90out of 100
RegHardware - Mar 16 2012
"However, this camera is designed to deliver the ultimate in compact quality - something which always suffers in any super-zoom configuration. At the wide-angle end, the lens opens up to a wide f2 aperture, allowing for some great low-light opportunities. This is assisted further by a maximum ISO speed of 6400 - up from 3200 in previous models. Unfortunately..." More »
80out of 100
Imaging Resource - Feb 24 2012
"At first the Canon S100 seems pretty similar to its predecessors. It certainly looks similar, despite the few cosmetic accents that don't appeal to me personally. Its odd color and strange grip put me off at first, but as I continued to use it and flesh out this review, it became clear that the Canon S100 is indeed a step above its predecessor, while mainta..." More »
Not Rated
DPI - Jan 16 2012
"The Nikon Coolpix S100 is a stylish little camera created with simplicity in mind. The camera has a big 3.5 inch touchscreen and 5X optical zoom, with just about everything save for the firing the shutter done via the touchscreen. While the screen is big, bright and responsive to touch, and Nikon has leveraged their experience in making touchscreen int..." More »
Not Rated
MacWorld - Jan 11 2012
"In my hands-on tests, I found that the S100 turns out excellent images; on a purely personal level, however, I thought the S95's CCD sensor (which is the same as the one found in the PowerShot G12) might deliver slightly better overall quality. With the S100, I found colors nicely saturated, and test shots appeared sharp and well detailed. Exposures we..." More »
90out of 100
dpreview - Dec 23 2011
"The S100 produces well-balanced JPEG images that are full of detail and color. In typical Canon style, minimal default chroma noise reduction in the S100 results in JPEG images that retain a good amount of low-contrast detail without appearing desaturated. Overall, the S100 is very competitive: it is capable of delivering very good image quality in an addic..." More »
72out of 100
Steve's Digicam - Dec 09 2011
"Looking at our outdoor images, we see outstanding overall image quality; as was expected in the continuation of this powerful "S" line. The new 12-Megapixel High Sensitivity CMOS imaging sensor and DIGIC 5 imaging processor produce sharp, well exposed images with less image noise that with a standard CCD sensor. This HS system is not only more sen..." More »
Not Rated
PhotoReview Australia - Dec 08 2011
"Despite the new sensor, image processor and lens, the review camera delivered similar image quality to its predecessor. Shots taken in bright outdoor lighting often contained blown-out highlights, although shadow detail was usually well recorded even when -0.3EV of exposure compensation was applied to make highlight details recordable. (This wasn't always s..." More »
85out of 100
ePhotoZine - Dec 06 2011
"Detail in images when viewed at full size have a good amount of detail in them when shooting at both ends of the lens. Images are well exposed and have excellent colour reproduction, although there is vignetting visible, particularly when shooting against light backgrounds. The lens has a minimum focus distance of just 1cm a takes an excellent, well detaile..." More »
80out of 100
Digital Camera Resource Page - Dec 03 2011
"The Canon PowerShot S100 is a premium ultra-compact camera that offers a lot more than your typical point-and-shoot. It has a solid, well-built metal body that looks good in black (and okay in silver), and well-placed controls. One of its unique features is a customizable ring around the lens, which can be used to adjust exposure, ISO, the zoom, and much mo..." More »
Not Rated
Camera Labs - Nov 28 2011
"Canon's PowerShot S100 builds upon its predecessor to become one of the best pocket cameras for demanding enthusiasts. It keeps the full manual control, RAW files, bright f2.0 lens (at wide angle), detailed 3in screen and genuinely pocketable body, but broadens the zoom range to 5x, upgrades the movie mode to 1080p with zooming and continuous AF not to ment..." More »
90out of 100
Photography BLOG - Nov 25 2011
"The Canon PowerShot S100 may look a lot like its popular predecessor, but a brand new sensor, processor and lens combine to produce a more versatile, faster, better specified and more capable pocket camera that makes an ideal everyday shooter for DSLR and CSC owners. Only a significant price increase, lack of control over the flash and poor battery life pre..." More »
90out of 100
CNET US - Nov 18 2011
"Despite a slight bump up in resolution, the S100 maintains the excellent photo quality that contributed to the S95's popularity. Exposure and metering, color accuracy, and tonal range are good, and the lens is relatively sharp; there's some distortion but less than you'd expect given its minimum focal length of 24mm-equivalent. Given its size (and its relat..." More »
70out of 100
ePhotoZine - Nov 17 2011
"Handheld nightscene mode records 4 photos and combines them into one shot, if anything is moving such as cars in the shot shown then you will get an image with ghosting. HDR is similar in that it will take a number of shots (3 shots) and combine them for increased dynamic range, however the camera doesn't appear to use the high speed (10fps) shooting mode a..." More »
80out of 100
Digital Camera Info - Nov 13 2011
"Following in the footsteps of the excellent S95, Canon once again strikes gold with the PowerShot S100. It's a camera that fulfills the promise of every ultracompact: to cram an astounding level of power into a tiny, portable body. From now on, it is likely the S100 will be the point-and-shoot by which all others are judged. Changes from the S95, where..." More »
Not Rated
TechRadar - Nov 11 2011
"With a launch RRP of £439, there's no denying that the S100 is a little pricey. Some of its main rivals can be picked up for anything up to around £100 less. However, the S100 is a well-engineered camera with plenty of features. In terms of manual control, Canon has got it right with the S100. The lens control ring is handy, and the incorporation of..." More »
80out of 100
Pocket-lint - Nov 03 2011
"The S100's lens has a wide range and is easy to use. A seven level 'step zoom' is also available to rapidly jump between focal lengths in double time (pre-set to 24, 28, 35, 50, 85, 100 and 120mm). Close-focusing is fine at the 24mm wide-angle setting where subjects can be as near as 3cms from camera. Although a claimed 30cms from lens is achievable at..." More »
80out of 100
Photography BLOG - Oct 04 2011
"The new range of compacts from Nikon are certainly shaping up to be some of the most exciting we've seen from them in recent times. Based on looks alone, the S100 should be a pretty basic model with mediocre functions and performance results. But what the S100 has brought is flashy good looks, forward thinking technology and fabulous image results. We're as..." More »
90out of 100
CNET UK - Sep 26 2011
"Throughout our tests, colours in each of our shots were well rendered and true to the originals. The aqua used on the sponsored London bicycles below is Barclays' corporate colour. Both it and the green of the trees in this shot match the originals. This was a pleasant surprise. Throughout the time we spent shooting with the S100, we were concerned tha..." More »
60out of 100
KenRockwell - Sep 18 2011
"The Canon S100 is a 1-year newer version of the extraordinary 2010 Canon S95, which in turn was a 1-year newer version of 2009's Canon S90. The Canon S100 adds a slightly broader zoom range, GPS and 1080/24p video over the S95, and that's about it for significant additions. This is easy: if you already own an S95, you don't need the S100. If..." More »
Not Rated
dpreview - Sep 16 2011
"Externally, the S100 looks very much like its immediate predecessors. The original S90/S95 design worked very well, and sensibly Canon hasn't done a lot to change it. The excellent multi-functional 'Lens Control Ring' that can be used to change a wide range of settings is still in place, and is accompanied by a rear dial / 4-way controller that according to..." More »
Not Rated

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1857 user reviews


User Review of the camera - Canon Powershot S100

  • amazon
    amazon 23 hours ago
    Excellent small size camera.with advanced settings, Jack Zooawi
    Verified Purchase(
    Amazing little camera! Gives great control, with most manual settings one would expect from a much larger camera. Hard to tell it is not a full-fledged dslr when just looking at picture. Excellent price-point, practically small size conducive to carrying this when traveling, enough advanced settings to keep everyone engaged, even more advanced photographers. Even the camcorder function gives good quality 1080p video! In short this item will not disappoint.
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-09-11 07:00
    AMAZING pocket camera, until LENS ERROR, then clicking, bad focus issues after repair, Josh
    Summary: People who want a lot of customization and very detailed photos will love this pocket camera, and probably the S95, S110, S120, etc. line. Once you learn it, you can get an occasional near DSLR quality picture with minor touch ups in Photoshop. The cons are that the "Auto" Mode doesn't have a "Flash Always On" setting, and the line is plagued with and unfortunately common "Lens Error" which broke my camera, and it still isn't working right after being fixed.
    Long: I got this camera for $308 in 2012. I absolutely loved it and became disgusted at how poor quality other point and shoot pictures were. Unfortunately, after two years of use, I got the common "Lens Error" problem that plagues this line (that Canon knows about but refused to help me after the 1 year limited warranty). I sent it out to be repaired, not cheap but I had bought insurance for $75 which helped, and when it came back, it had trouble focusing when it wasn't zoomed in on a subject and also it clicked whenever it refocused during a video which made the audio horrible.
    When it was working, it could take incredibly detailed pictures, you could see pores on skin kind of focus, though sometimes you'd have to take two or three for the right one. The flash was harsh in auto mode, but can be manually turned down to one of three settings in a custom mode. There is no "Flash Always On" in "Auto" mode, a feature I'd like to see added. I had to, though trial and error, set up a flash on mode manually adjusting settings on TV or Manual mode. The video quality was above average, though it did have some focusing problems every so often, and it would occasionally take 5 seconds to get it refocused if the subject was moving. The quality of pictures it produced were quite better than a Nikon CoolPix point and shoot and I still am disappointed whenever I use someone else's point and shoot. http://snapsort.com/cameras/Canon-S100-specs It's 12 megapixels, which is not too many to make it noisy, and the pixel micron is 3.4 um, which is pretty good for a point and shoot. (A cell phone camera is only a measly 1.5 um, though the HTC ONE M8 has a 2 um pixel size, which is considered good.)
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-09-11 07:00
    very nice., Lizabelle
    Verified Purchase(
    best little camera out there.
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-09-10 07:00
    love the photo quality and camera, DMB
    Verified Purchase(
    Got it to replace another camera that died.... love the photo quality and camera features
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-09-09 07:00
    Lens error., swytz
    Verified Purchase(
    Lens error after ~500 pictures. Canon wanted $180 to repair the obviously defective camera. I will never be purchasing a Canon product again.
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-09-02 07:00
    Five Stars, shujian zhang
    Verified Purchase(
    very well
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-09-02 07:00
    I love it, shujian zhang
    Verified Purchase(
    very well
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-09-01 07:00
    The sound quality for videos is vastly superior to my previous camera's ability, Janet L. Haseley
    Verified Purchase(
    The sound quality for videos is vastly superior to my previous camera's ability. The colors and clarity of focus are outstanding. I wish Canon would go back to putting a viewfinder on their camera, however, since it is hard to see the screen in bright sunlight. But I knew that would be a drawback when I ordered the camera.
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-08-28 07:00
    Lens error. Great photos, but absolutely unreliable., Cesar
    It makes great pictures, but has failed twice when it was most need it
    I have been twice in Africa and this camera after being repaired has failed in all cases in second and third day in each trip. It is unable to work when there is too much dust in the ambient, while you will see other travelers with cheaper cameras working without problems.
    Objective gets locked and became unusable.
    I do not know if I will repaired again, I have bought accessories (which are not cheap) to make submarine photos.
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-08-28 07:00
    Five Stars, Ricardo
    Verified Purchase(
    Excelent Camera! Great image and RAW option
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-08-27 07:00
    Great, versatile camera with lots of fun extra options. Just don't drop the camera, though!, breazey
    Verified Purchase(
    I needed a point-and-shoot camera that takes great (not blurry!!) photos and is versatile for world travel... this was GREAT! My favorite "special" features are multiple photos on "timer" mode (you can take 1 to 10 photos in a row on timer, so you can make sure to get the PERFECT shot!) and the "movie digest" mode, where it takes four-second video clips each time you snap a photo and compiles the video clips into one daily digest.... this was fantastic for our travels, as we could get an instant edited summary video at the end of our day.
    **Just make sure you get a warranty that includes droppage, though!... as every other canon camera I've had, if you EVER drop the camera, there's a good chance you'll mess up the lens assembly and have to get it replaced. Fortunately, I bought a $50 warranty through square trade and they fixed it twice for me.
    I'd still recommend this camera, though, and will probably buy the newer model once I'm done with this one!
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-08-20 07:00
    LENS ERROR Strikes AGAIN, John
    Verified Purchase(
    Beware of "LENS ERROR". Do not buy this camera, unless you'd like to be disappointed when the deadly "LENS ERROR" message appears and the camera becomes totally useless just when the "once-in-a-lifetime" moment that you were going to shoot passes without a shot. . .
    I too have had the camera sent to Factory Service after receiving "Lens Error" message and realizing that my camera's serial number was among those identified as having issues. It was sent back, looks good. Used it once or twice. Fast forward a couple of months to my cross country trip of a lifetime. LENS ERROR on the second day of my trip! I bought a Nikon to continue with my trip. Sent the camera back to Canon Factory Service which sent me an invoice for repair of over $171.00! Service representative on phone stated that Powershot cameras (not just S100) have issues wit LENS ERROR. I am not having the camera repaired - what's the point if they know that it can (and probably will) happen again and again. . .
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-08-20 07:00
    Five Stars, Mark Harvey
    Verified Purchase(
    Nice camera
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-08-15 07:00
    Best point and shoot cameras ever!, Scott T.
    Best point and shoot cameras ever! Great quality of pictures. I gave this to my girlfriend so she could take pictures and carry around when I dont want to carry my Canon DSLR everywhere. Fits in her purse or my pocket. Lot's of settings on the camera. Very easy to use and user friendly. The camera goes on sale a bunch so watch for that. Very sharp images. Good in low light situations. The flash will take care of you.
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-08-12 07:00
    it worked wonderfully, and I absolutely loved it, Danielle
    I purchased this camera 2 years ago. For 18 months or so, it worked wonderfully, and I absolutely loved it. Then one day the shutter would not work right away, giving me delayed photos. A few days more and the shutter completely stopped working. This camera is now a zombie camera. It will not take a single photo. It focuses, but then will not take the picture. A quick internet search on the issue led me to forum after forum where camera owners had this same problem. It seems this is a manufacturing defect, as hundreds of people have had the same experience. I am bitterly disappointed. At this point, Canon will not recognize the problem or do anything about it. I would advise other to not buy this camera, unless you want frustration, close to $200 in repairs, and no pictures!
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-08-11 07:00
    Great camera right up until it craps out., O. San Antonio
    I had been a Nikon owner for years and years but decided to take a chance on this Canon because of the glowing reviews. It worked great when it worked; however, the camera died after the warranty expired. I spent SO much money on this camera too. Now all I get is a "Lens Error" and the lens stays open. The camera does not function. Mind you this happened during normal shooting. I wasn't forcing the lens closed. I've never used my camera on the beach - just normal every day usage. One second it was working, the next it would not. If you research online the lens issue is obviously a recurring problem with this model camera. Look at how many cameras show up on eBay with this issue! This repair should be covered. Customer service said that I can get my camera fixed by Canon for $180 which does NOT include labor and shipping or I can get a 10% discount though their Canon Loyalty Program for a REFURBISHED camera. 10% off - Seriously!? I swear I will NEVER buy another Canon product again!
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-08-05 07:00
    S100 is OK, Gandalf
    Verified Purchase(
    I have a Canon G9 and the quality of the photographs from the S100 are not nearly as good as the G9. Its sensor is superior to the G9 though. I sent the G9 back to Canon to correct gray spots on the photographs. The spots have returned. In the S100 it appears that Canon has corrected the problem. I often take strongly backlit photos and the S100 is great for this. The parallax distortion on the S100 is problematic when you dont hold the camera exactly perpendicular to the plane of the photograph. Fortunately I can correct most of the problems with GIMP2.
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-07-27 07:00
    The item arrived timely and as advertised. The camera ..., Kenneth S. Hempel
    Verified Purchase(
    The item arrived timely and as advertised. The camera developed a shutter problem, and only after I had agreed to a $175 fix it charge did Canon advise that the problem was systemic and the charge was dropped. I consider Canon's behavior duplicitous.
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-07-27 07:00
    Great camera, Jason Lancaster
    Verified Purchase(
    I've owned this for 4+ years now. It's a great all around camera that takes high quality pictures, has great focus capabilities, and comes close to mimicking some nice SLR features. It has traveled throughout Europe and the US and has served my family well. The only complaint I have is that it has trouble capturing decent photos in low light situations indoors without the flash no matter how much I try to tweak.
  • amazon
    amazon 2014-07-21 07:00
    Fairly expensive camera to just toss in the garbage but its out of warranty so that's where it's ..., R. Waldon
    Verified Purchase(
    Camera lens got stuck open with a lens error. Not worth fixing. Fairly expensive camera to just toss in the garbage but its out of warranty so that's where it's headed. Very disappointed in Canon.