809 of 820 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2011
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
First, let me say that while I am not a professinal photographer, I do earn some money from photographing weddings and other events for friends and acquaintences, and consider myself to be an advanced user and photography enthusiast. I shoot primarily with Canon DSLRs and was looking for a compact camera to supplement my current photography equipment. The Canon PowerShot XS150 IS is a very nice compliment to my gear and overall, I am pleased with it.
Canon has produced a very good alternative for the compact camera market in its PowerShot XS150 IS platform. The camera boasts a 14MP picture size with 12x optical zoom capability and the camera delivers. The XS150 IS is a little larger and heavier than most compact cameras but is of quality construction and durable. The case is molded plastic and has a very ergonomic design with specific places to rest your fingers and thumb for one-hand operation. All the controls can be operated with the right hand while holding the camera.
The picture quality is very good. Canon's processor provides vivid colors and impressive clarity for a compact design. The large viewing screen is impressive and easy to see, even in bright sunlight. The controls are easy to use and placed such that they won't be accidentally changed. The controls in the on-screen menu are easy to use and, if you're familiar with Canon's menu system, you'll be able to start shooting right away. Those that aren't familiar with Canon should read the manual, but even then, the menu selections and control layout are very intuitive and easy to use.
The camera provides a lot of special shooting features that can be used not only for still photography, but also for the video recording. There's an "easy shooting" mode for those that want to pick up the camera and start shooting right away, allowing the camera to make all the decisions about ISO, white balance, focus, etc. There are scene and filter shooting modes that allow the photographer to select a style for their photos (monochrome, color accent, color replacement, miniature mode, macro, smile and face detection, beach and snow scenes, fireworks, etc.). For those that want more control over their photography, the camera does offer shooting modes in Manual, Program, Aperture and Shutter Priority.
The movie feature works well and provides decent HD video that can be copied directly from the SD card to your computer. The movie feature is a nice function, but keep in mind that this camera is not a movie camera, so don't expect Hollywood quality from it, but it's nice enough to document short events for display on HD TVs and the web. The stereo sound for the movie function is quite good as well, but the microphones will pick up the sound of the zoom lens motor whirring if you use the zoom feature while shooting video. The lens motor sound can probably be minimized or eliminated in some video or sound editing programs such as Adobe Premier, DVD Studio Pro, or Soundbooth, etc.
The flash is a little different for this camera. It's centered over the telescoping lens but is manually activated (you have to lift the flash open with your finger) to turn on the auto-flash feature. While this may seem like an annoyance at first, it's actually not a bad feature, just different; and it prevents that annoying "pop-up" of the flash when you really don't want flash but the camera's sensors require it.
The XS150 IS is a little larger and heavier than most other compact cameras but is still very portable. The weight and size are detemined mostly by the fact that the camera uses two AA batteries, and the size of the lens for this camera. Still it's a small camera for what it can do and will easily fit into a cargo pocket or purse, or in a case that can be worn on a belt or attached to a backpack.
The only real complaint I have about the camera is the battery life with alkaline AA batteries (this is why I rated it 4 stars instead of 5). While it's nice to have a camera that accepts a common battery type (AA) that can be purchased almost anywhere in the world, I would recommend getting the rechargeable NiMH AA batteries because the battery life for alkiline AA batteries seems to be a little short, especially if you're going to shoot video.
Overall, this is a great compact camera and it will meet most user's needs especially if they are looking for a camera that provides a lot of shooting features in a small package with HD video and is easy to learn to use. I highly recommend it.
242 of 253 people found the following review helpful
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
Still going strong. I use it mostly for technical pictures of repairs. I'm working on a series for a carburetor clean and rebuild. I'm starting to use the video feature a lot. Sometimes in scenes with a lot of action there will be a pause in the video like it could keep up. Not sure why this happens. Also, I shoot everything at standard not high definition. I dropped the camera a couple of times on to concrete but it is still working and didn't crack.
I updated the review. I have been using this camera for around 6 months.
PROS: Great control over the flash. If you don't want it then leave it down. If you do want it then just lift the flash with your finger. Quality is good (but not great).
Speed - camera is fast between pictures, fast to start up, etc. I like snappy "real time" menus and zooming etc.
Focus - very very clear. I used macro mode to take pictures of business cards and I can zoom in and see the hairs of the paper. Very impressive, very important to me. Took a picture of a letter on the wall 5 feet away with zoom. I could review and zoom in and and read very fine print ~ 5pt type font!
Low light - very good even without the flash.
Screen: large, good quality - it is NOT a touch screen but I think it is much more durable than a touch and you don't need the touch as the controls are easy to use.
Manual options: good manual options.
Video: very good quality, you CAN zoom while filming. File size was too big for my taste in HD so I reduced the quality to normal. Sound is so-so / average but perfectly acceptable.
By far the lens is bulky even when closed. This is the most serious drawback to this camera IF you intend to carry the camera in the front pocket of your pants or shirt. I find myself using my cell phone camera because of the bulk and discomfort of keeping this point and shoot camera in my pocket. It would be nice if the flash had more power and height when extended.
Power button: sometimes the lens has opened in my pocket (or attempted to) because the button was pressed. Th button should have been smaller and / or harder to push to prevent this.
Flash - at night when I open the flash I have seen the message flash is charging which takes a few seconds. This delays the picture. Wish it was a bit faster.
The overall camera is kind of large to be a "pocket camera". However, the lens is good quality and good in low light and has lots of zoom so this is a trade-off. I would like it if the body was rubberized. The hard plastic is slippery.
Complexity of the manual settings. I guess having more features or adjustments brings on this evil. I'm getting better but sometimes I stumble or fumble to set the aperture or white balance etc. I'm not sure how this could be simplified without adding more buttons and cluttering things up.
What to buy: buy this camera or the Nikon ??? model that costs about $200. The Nikon is a little smaller and has a rubberized finish but the lens on this camera is probably better due to size.
Kill the Paper Monster:
I have all sorts of little notes, business cards etc. I use this camera in macro (close up) mode with a table lamp and no flash to take a picture and then throw the paper out to go paperless. Then I transfer these digital records to the computer and label and organize the pictures - Business cards, Letters etc so I can search for it later. Manuals - watch, tool, instructions for a windshield for my scooter - will probably never need them but if I do it is in the computer in the "manuals" folder. Serial numbers - same deal. It is much easier to search for "furnace" or "water pump" "thermostat" (a model of wireless router) and find the instructions then try to figure out where you put the manual when you bought it 6 years ago.
135 of 145 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2011
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I bought this camera to replace the Canon Powershot SX130 that my daughter took to school with her. The only thing I was initially disappointed in with the purchase was that a memory card did not come with it (note to self; read the fine print! Other than that, I like that this camera gives you options/settings to use for different types of photo opportunities. I have taken some very nice quality photos of pets (horses, dogs, cats) as well as trip photos and am pleased with the clarity of the photos and the fact that, if the settings are right, the photos can be printed in large sizes. I took a photo up close of a feathered tulip; the photo was even more striking when I had it printed in an 11 x 14 size - it won first place in its division at state fair).
I'm not as pleased with the video quality on this camera as I was on a previous Sony point and shoot camera I had. The pro is that you can zoom in and out while videotaping (I couldn't do that on other camera). The con is that the image is not as clear as I would like.
It takes a while to learn all the settings on the camera, especially for a novice like myself; but I like the options and the fact that it is small enough to take anywhere.
273 of 302 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2011
Color Name: RedVerified Purchase
The new Canon SX 150 camera should probably be subtitled, "Possibly The Best All-Around, Point-And-Shoot, Off-Road-Adventure Camera - Affordable - for the Average Person Today."
I recently bought this camera, the SX 150 HS, and I also have owned/used the earlier models in this same line for several years now - the SX 110, SX 120, and SX 130 - so I have several years experience with it, all of it very positive. Yes, it runs on AA batteries, but that is the GOOD NEWS! If you don't like that, then buy one of the 100 other cameras available that don't use them. Use some form of proprietary lithium-ion battery instead which will set you back $25 to $75 apiece for each spare battery, and it will not even last two functioning years. You will also need several of those batteries for any extended trip, and when you buy your next camera they won't fit it, so you can then just throw away that extra $100 to $200 in useless, expensive, non-interchangeable batteries.
Now if you are an average person who doesn't HAVE an extra $100 to $200 to throw away every couple of years on proprietary batteries that only fit one camera, then please read on.
This is the LAST REMAINING, top quality, 2-AA battery, point-and-shoot camera left on the market, people. There are some very good economical reasons to PREFER that choice. Anywhere you travel, you can ALWAYS buy - or borrow - AA batteries to keep it going. The AA batteries are about as universal an item as exists on the planet, so you can still keep shooting this camera almost anywhere you go. But you absolutely should use rechargeable AAs whenever you can to save money - a LOT of money. And they last much longer on each charge. I get about 350 large JPEG photos per charged set, and since I sometimes shoot a lot of photos in one place, I always carry at least two pairs of backup batteries to swap out.
UPDATE EDIT: In Dec. 2011, I bought my first few sets of Sanyo eneloop AA rechargeable batteries. Since then I have used them very, very successfully in this camera. On a recent field trip to the local mountains near Monterey, CA, I set out with a fully-charged pair of eneloop AA batteries in the SX150, and I carried a backup pair of eneloop AAs just in case. I did a full day of shooting with 425 full-sized JPEGs and 8 minutes of HD video, and I used a lot of zoom and frequently turned the camera off and on too. That is a LOT of battery use for one set of AA batteries. The batteries finally ran out early the next day as I was testing some of the features on the camera. It is my understanding that it costs less than 1 cent apiece in household current to recharge them each time, and that they are guaranteed to recharge at least 1500 times. And they are also supposed to hold about 70% of their full charge even after three years just sitting on a shelf! (Unlike the older style of rechargeable AA batteries that lost their charge fairly quickly.) Since they last at least 2 to 3 times as long as standard alkaline batteries on each charge, that would represent a total savings of at least $1500 (fifteen hundred dollars) over the cost of buying 3000 alkaline batteries on sale at only 50 cents apiece FOR EACH PAIR OF AA ENELOOP BATTERIES that you would use on any other household devices in your own home. Don't think of them as just being for use in a camera. They work in everything requiring AA batteries. Flashlights, computer mice, remotes (they make them in AAA too), children's toys, shop tools, wall clocks or anything else you might use them for in your home. They sell for about $20 on Amazon for an 8-pack of them. That represents a savings of about $6000 over the 1500 cycle lifetime of each 8-pack of eneloop batteries you buy and use instead of regular alkaline batteries. Do the math yourself and you will be astounded by how many thousands of dollars they can save you around your home over a period of 5, 10 or even 20 years.
BTW - As a special note. The "low battery" light comes on in the SX150 camera long before the batteries are actually dead. That is because the SX150 is calibrated for 1.5 volt alkaline AA batteries. The Sanyo eneloop AA rechargeable batteries only recharge to about 1.2 volts or 1.3 volts at most. The camera "thinks" they are low because it looks for a low voltage to decide that. Some cameras do have a menu item to change the battery check away from alkaline batteries (at 1.5 volts) to rechargeable batteries (at 1.2 or 1.3 volts), but I don't think the SX150 gives you that option. Just keep using them until they actually do run out and you will be surprised at how long they really do last.
Best wishes to all, - John
Regular alkaline batteries don't last long, and are obviously WAY too expensive to use in any AA battery camera for more than very occasional shooting. That is printed right in the instruction manual. Honestly, you are just supposed to know that fact ahead of time.
You only use alkaline batteries in emergencies when you simply run out of the extra recharged ones you are carrying with you and you find yourself in a tight spot. Later on when you buy your next camera, you can transfer those same AA batteries to it without spending a dime buying a single new, proprietary lithium-ion battery in the whole process. Rechargeable AA batteries are unbelievably cheaper in the long run - and much better for the environment - if you add up all of the costs and waste involved in going through one new set of proprietary lithium-ion batteries after another as the years go by.
That is probably this camera's best, preferred, long-term feature, but by no means its only good feature. It is also very light weight and compact. It will not fit in your shirt pocket, but it is not supposed to. Your shirt pocket is where your cell phone goes with its own built-in camera. The slightly larger and heavier (and much better image quality) Canon SX 130 or SX 150 will fit easily into your coat pocket, travel bag, or purse, which is where it belongs, anyway.
Should you buy the new SX 150 if you already have an SX 130? That depends on you, but especially on whether you want a backup camera with you when you go out on a photo shoot. On my most recent trip I took my older SX 120 camera with me as a backup. I don't want to be out in the wilderness with no backup camera, and the best backup camera is the one closest to my current camera as possible. On my next trip I will take my SX 150 and my SX 130 will become my new backup camera.
Now I will sell my older SX 120, which still works fine after three years, to somebody else who understands the reliable and cost-effective value of having a good 2-AA point-and-shoot camera. That has been my experience with the whole Canon SX 100+ Power Shot line over the last several years now, and it has all been very positive. I hope this review may help others who may not have seen some of this economical, common sense information discussed in this way before. Best wishes and good photo results to all.
UPDATE: There is at least one other important option with the SX 150 that I have not really described here in my original post, but since it is a generally affordable one it deserves some serious consideration. It is the option my wife and I personally chose and have used with wonderful success together through the SX120, SX130 and now the SX150 model cameras. You can buy 2 - Canon SX150s, for the price of 1 - Canon SX40. (We do actually own an SX40, too, but we have found we rarely use it except for super-long 35X telephoto shots. It is just too cumbersome for us to carry around with us most of the time in it's separate camera bag.) My wife carries one SX150 with her, I carry the other. (She chose a black one, I wanted a red one!) At least one of us ALWAYS has at least one of those two SX150 cameras with us at all times. Together we get more good shots that way and under a wider variety of circumstances than either of us would separately. And we teach each other new techniques with the camera. If I figure out a new manual setting, I teach it to her. She may discover a new camera angle that had not occurred to me to try. We have found that when we shoot the very same field trip together we shoot different things because we zero in on different things. We complement each other's photography, and that has been an even more fulfilling experience for us personally to share together.
Again best wishes, John
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2011
Color Name: Black
I bought this camera to replace my Canon powershot A710IS. The SX150IS is a nice step up. It does a wonderful job in low light situations. The HD video is superb in low light situations as well. I'm especially happy with the recording mics on this camera. I use the video record option while at very loud karaoke bars. The sound is great, never over modulated.
There are too many features to list here about this camera. Included is the owner's manual on cd. I wish there was a printed copy so that I can read it in a more comfortable position. Don't care to sit at the computer or waste ink printing out the whole thing. For those of you who already own it, I found a neat little extra. while the camera is in picture taking mode, hold the function button in for about a minute. The whole display becomes a digital clock. By rotating the wheel around the func button you can change the colors of the clock. Found that to be pretty neat. Not sure if it's in the owner's manual or not, but thought it was pretty neat to come across.
The battery life is great. Be sure to use high MAH rated batteries. At least 2000 or more. If you want some long lasting superb battery performance, look into getting some eneloop rechargeables. They're put out by Sanyo and they're a very, very good battery. Check the reviews on them.
If I had to choose anything negative about this camera it would probably be the flash operation. Most cameras in this class have a flash that will pop up automatically in the auto mode when required. This one does not do it automatically. It will let you know to pop the flash up manually yourself if needed but it doesn't do it automatically. That can be a good thing though too. This way you can override the flash option. It will still take the picture but just without the flash.
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2012
Color Name: Black
I purchased this camera in October of 2011 after my old point-and-shoot finally kicked the bucket. I needed something that was a step up from a P&S, but not too big. I chose this, and I'm glad I did. I love this camera. I've taken over 1000 photos and 25 videos so far, and I haven't encountered any serious issues yet.
Overall, the camera body feels nice. It's a little larger than the smaller point-and-shoot cameras, so it wont really fit well in your pocket like other little point-and-shoots (fits in coat pockets though). It's also a little heavy, but I actually like that because it feels like I'm holding a real camera. I'm a 5'11" slim male, and this fits perfectly in my right hand. It's not rubberized at all, but there are grooves on the front and back of the camera that allow for a nice firm grip, and it comes with a little cord to go around your wrist. I'm not worried about dropping this thing at all. The buttons are large and easy to press. Also, Canon seems to be known for user-friendly menus within the camera. It took me 2 seconds to figure out this menu system.
These claims of 20 or 30 photos on a new pair of batteries is ridiculous! Don't bother using the cheapo alkaline batteries that come with it, just save them for your TV remote or something. When I bought this camera, I bought two pairs of rechargeable Energizers to go with it. I don't use those batteries for anything but this camera, and I always stick them in the charger when I get home after using the camera, so I have two fresh pairs when I leave the house the next day. Like I said, I've taken a bunch of photos with this, and I've only had to change out the batteries a few times along the way. I haven't actually kept track to see exactly how many photos I can take on one set of batteries, so don't ask me for a specific number. I just know one day I took 50 photos and 20 minutes of video without killing the batteries. Another day, I took 70 photos where each photo was a 15 second exposure on a 2-second timer, so it probably took a little more juice for each photo than a regular snapshot. The camera was also on for at least two hours straight that day, and the batteries didn't actually die... The days where the batteries do die is when I'm out with my friends taking many photos, lengthy videos, constantly browsing through menus to adjust settings, etc... Really though, I don't have a problem with battery life. Note: Right when I got this camera, I adjusted any power saving options I could find so that I could make my batteries last as long as possible. Turning down the LCD brightness and whatnot is something I do with all of my electronics. I suggest you do the same.
The video mode is nice. It records 1280x720, very nice quality video. The sound is OK. You can zoom in and out while recording, though you can hear the motor moving a little bit. The only time you wont hear it is when taking video where there is loud music or other noise. It also zooms in and out fairly slowly. This may be a problem if you plan on using this mainly for video. If that's your plan, go get yourself an actual camcorder. Your son's baseball game really deserves better than this. I use this video mode for little moments with friends that I want to upload to Facebook/Youtube, and maybe just the grand finale of a fireworks show (but certainly not the whole show).
The colors and sharpness are great. It focuses well and generally chooses the correct settings. It also offers various manual controls, which are pretty easy to use. I'm able to play around with shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, and several creative filters. Though I shot in auto mode all the time when I first got this camera, I usually find myself flipping it into manual mode quite often these days. Occasionally, the automatic settings actually chose better settings than I do, but there are other times where the camera just isn't seeing exactly what I'm seeing, and these manual controls allow me to fix this and capture exactly what it is that my eyes see. I personally don't let the ISO go past 400 because photos do come out quite grainy in the high ISO settings. I compensate with the widest aperture possible and a longer shutter speed. Because of these manual controls, this camera actually does very well in low-light situations, assuming you have at least somewhat steady hands. Otherwise, there's a nice flash on top of the camera you can just pop up when you feel it's necessary.
Also, I feel as though it is very important to point out that this camera, like many others, does NOT come with a memory card. I don't understand why people are complaining about that. It's NORMAL for cameras to not come with a memory card. I got a SanDisk 16GB SDHC card to go with my camera, which is really more than enough (I could even use this card in an SLR). I also decided to get an SDHC card reader so that I wouldn't have to plug a cord into my camera and turn it on every time I want to pull my photos off it. It's just much quicker and easier that way. Note: The memory card is located in the same compartment as the batteries on the bottom of the camera, so hold it upside down when sliding the cover open so the batteries don't fall out.
I'm really not sure what else to say. This is a great camera that I feel is a bit underrated. 5 Stars all the way from me. This is my first ever review, so I hope I made sense :)
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2011
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I owned a previous version of the PowerShot. When I upgraded, there was no other choice for me.
The picture quality is very good. I take a lot of pictures at athletic events and this camera does a fairly nice job with even high speed events - somebody charging down the court for instance. With my old PowerShot I probably had 1 in 5 I deleted, which I expected. I didn't pay for a multi-hundred dollar camera with the ability to zoom in on the flea on my dogs back then and I didn't this time either. Now, I probably get 1 bad picture in 25 as far as action shots. No gripes. Regular posed photos, excellent. Although, I will say the flash sometimes has a mind of its own which can be frustrating. The zoom is excellent, much better then the old line in terms of magnification capability and still taking a good shot.
Download/transfer was made even more simple. Before I would have had to have the Canon interface installed on my PC, now it just transfers automatically. Hooray! I'd like to believe that's why this camera is a bit bigger as they added capability.
And as I see many people have been talking about batteries, I have had no such problems. Battery life is, with my rechargeables, as good as it was before. 100-125 shots minimum.
What I will tell you, is so obvious, do your homework! If you want to see the flea circus from 100 yards, then buy a camera that can do that. Also, find the battery solution that works for you. I like being able to slide two double A's in. Some people want the professional battery pack. It's really a matter of preference.
Rating: B+, A- if the flash didn't have a mind of its own.
51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2011
Color Name: RedVerified Purchase
Because I wanted more optical zoom, I upgraded from a Canon Powershot A1100IS with 4X to the SX150IS with 12X. I am very happy with it with two exceptions. It does not have a view finder like the older camera, which makes it difficult to take pictures in the sun. Also, there is a new red button which instantly turns on movie mode. Unfortunately, the red button is in the spot where I place my thumb, so I have movies of trees standing still. Except for these problems, I think it is an excellent camera for the price and takes photos that are as good as the ones from my husband's $800 Canon SLR camera.
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2012
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
ok listen to me knotheads. Just because the camera says raise the flash does not mean it is a command you must follow. I have been taking photos since 1967 when I was in the Marine Corps. I would have given anything to have this camera then. If you go to manual and set the shutter speed and aperture as well as iso you do not need a flash in many indoor situations. I used it once to try it out and it was as good as any other plus it is built in and does not require a hot shoe set up. Try being a little more creative in what you do before you enter a shooting situation and you will have better results. I had a Rebel and returned it in favor of the sx150 primarily because of the higher pixel count on the sx150. 14.1 compared to 10 or 12 for the rebel. The battery is another factor. Use rechargeables and carry a cheap pack of alkaline AA's for extras. Why deal with a battery that costs as much as 50% of the camera price when you can spend a few cents. Concerning camera noise on video, shoot in discrete mode and it almost totally disappears. Also keep your fingers off of the microphone for better sound,(all those little holes on the top left of the camera). Many of the reviews I read seemed to be from those who refuse to read manuals and test the features. The camera I have takes spectacular pictures in all kinds of situations. I was skeptical of it's size and not being able to change lenses but after using it one day realized it was the best of both worlds. If you are a true professional photographer then spend a few grand on a Leica or some such camera and be happy. I paid $150.00 for a camera that I could not touch for less than a few thousand not that long ago. For taking photos the best option is to go to manual and choose the shutter speed and iso and let the camera do the rest in easy mode. voila! One of the biggest plus features is the included software. Edit your photos and unless you're Gomer Pyle I don't see what the malfunction is sweetheart. The case that is sent with camera is a real stinker and much too small for the good fit it should have. Buy a real case. Oh yeah, if you're silly enough to carry a camera in a shirt pocket you should just buy a throw away single use and get on with it. The most common thing I see when people show me their camera is dirt, sludge and downright filth. Keep you rifle and your camera clean. Got that?
40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2011
Color Name: RedVerified Purchase
My camera was dropped and broke. I researched and researched which new camera to buy and ended up going back to a newer model of the camera I had broken. I don't think this camera can be beaten. They have improved it over the last couple of years with the fisheye effect and also the focusing. People often say I take wonderful pictures but I think it is really the camera. For a point and shot with lots of options..... this is the camera to have. It has one of the best zoom too. I couldn't be happier.