The SX130 will function much faster with a class 6, or better yet, a class 10 memory card. I bought SanDisk for my A560, and it's been functioning flawlessly for 3 years. For my SX130, I bought the SanDisk Extreme SDHC Class 10 High Performance Memory Card (SDSDX3-004G, Bulk Package, $25). Check out the Amazon reviews and you'll see that the higher class cards are a much better choice for a digital camera. Note that memory cards in the "bulk" package cost about half that of the retail package. Be sure to buy rechargeable batteries too. They'll last a lot longer than standard AA alkalines.
I printed my owners manual on my printer at home. Some other reviewers printed theirs at home and then took it to a print shop to have it bound. I just put mine into sheet protectors and into a 3" binder. Hope this helps.
I agree, I got better with auto mode as well. But the question was for manual mode. I've taken beautiful shots very close up of several things in auto and quickly too. I've been very pleased with what this camera can do for what price range this camera is in. It has several advantages that other cameras don't, but a few others still nit-pick it. Batteries is the most of all. Several reviewers here have had great results using high capacity rechargeable batteries and have been able to take well over 300 shots without a problem. Turning off continuous focus will extend your power even more. The advantage of complete control of the flash extends that battery life as well. Use the flash only when needed. Cameras that charge up the flash for every shot, then not needing it, wasted battery power. The manual flip flash gives you this control very simply. The camera will tell you if you need a flash. Having the option of manual control of all camera settings gives the camera many advantages and options of creativity.
I really like my camera for it's flexibility. Granted, it's not a sports camera, but you won't find very many P&S cameras that are anyway. At least not for the price. It's a 720p HD video stereo sound video recorder & still camera all in one. A 16GB class 4 or 6 SD card will give you best results in both pictures and video and give you capacity to shoot for days without a need to transfer them off. I got the adaptor ring to use 58mm standard filters as well. The variable view finder works great and allows to be very creative in getting shots that are otherwise impossible to get. When the sun is bright, there's always the built in view finder too. Even the digital zoom looks great without looking low res. I used to own the previous model, SX10is, and liked it just as well. The upgrade was only to get HD video. But I did lose a couple of features in the process. The audio recorder that records audio to attached photos and the Superfine picture setting. If HD video does not interest you, 'by the book', the SX10is takes slightly better pictures due to the Superfine mode and the fact that the image senors are the same size between the two. The SX20is has a slightly improved built in flash range though.
I carried my SX10is all over Italy without a problem. Being able to use AA's vs a proprietary special battery saved me from missing out on some pictures of a life time as well. Big advantage there for sure. Macro shots come out great too on both models. I put some protective film on the view finder. Then after the fact, I discovered an antiglare version here. There's a feature called iContrast that can also be used in post taken pics that can bring out lots of detail in shadowed areas. If used post, it does not replace the original picture, so it gives you a choice on versions. If turned on during picture taking, there's no choice. The latest software from Canon allows you to take still images from video and also panoramics which is really nice. The software also stitches still shots taken to be made into panoramics too. It's best to take those with at least 50% overlap for a good stitching results.
Verticals can be done too.
Due to inherent limitations and slowness of focus in any point-and-shoot camera, you have to plan the shot very carefully and practice a lot to be able to shoot moving subject with this type of camera. You have to learn about and learn to work around the limitation of the point-and-shoot cameras. In contrast to SLRs, they don't have dedicated focus processors and many of them focus using the image produced by the main imaging sensor. This is less than desirable and is very limiting for moving subjects. The sport mode will simply increase the shutter speed and possibly ISO to "freeze the motioin", it will not cause the camera to focus more quickly. Also, if you are shooting sports in-doors, it may present another challenge as focusing in low light is especially hard for pont-and-shoot cameras.
If you are really serious about photographing your son's sporting events and just kids in motion, I would strongly suggest saving up for a while and stepping up to a digital SLR. The focusing speed will amaze you, and the number of good quality (in focus, properly exposed) shots that you will end up with will be so much higher, it will make investment in SLR worth every penny.
If you are really not into SLR for one reason or the other, I suggest you read and understand the techniques involved in shooting fast moving subjects as well as technology behind focusing in point-and-shoot cameras. Then you will understand the limiting factors and will be able to work around them. It will be a lot more work for you than with SLR, but you will be able to do that.
Paulissa, I am sorry to say that this camera does not seem to have any lens accessories. But, I've made my own using 37mm lens filters, a cardboard tube cut very very short and some double sided foam tape. It's not really made for continuous use even, but it stays on the lens barrel well enough to get the shot when you need a polarized filter, or another type. you can even just hold the filter up to the lens if you can hold the camera with one hand if you want to use just the filter itself. The filter size is closest to the barrel size and still large enough for the camera to see through without the edges showing in the frame.
You could check out the comparison on this Canadian website, with lots of additional information:
But it doesn't mention another major difference: The SX130IS is powered by two standard-AA-sized batteries (that's why it is bulkier and heavier than the SX210IS).
Maybe you are already using (or considering to use) AA rechargeable batteries for other devices, so that you have got (or want to buy) a charger for them? The best choice would be Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables (or other brands of so-called low-self-discharge batteries), as they keep up the voltage required by digital cameras longer than normal rechargeables, and keep up their power for several months when not in use.
In the long run, this is cheaper and eco-friendlier than single-use batteries, and more flexible than the special battery included in most cameras, as you can buy single-use batteries anywhere as an emergency backup.
After all, if the technical data and reviews don't help you to decide, I recommend you to look at both cameras in a shop, to compare in real life how it feels to use them.