How is the Canon PowerShot SX130IS in low light? Hi, I just bought the above-mentioned camera over the weekend but haven't taken it out of the box yet as I'm still mulling it over. The reviews I've read have been great, but I want to make sure it has the (few) features I really want:
* great optical zoom
* great action shot capability
* great low-light photo quality (without flash)
* good video

I've had a wonderful Fuji FinePix camera for 10 years which, unfortunately, is now rattling (not a good sign) and no longer takes reliable photos. What I've loved about that camera was that it was (relatively) small, had great optical zoom and photo quality, and took great photos in low light without flash. Will I be happy with my new Canon? I don't look for lots of fancy features, just the few mentioned above.

Also, how fast is the continuous shot mode? I've read anywhere from 1-3 shots/sec depending on the setting. I just want to get some crisp action shots of my daughter playing soccer. Will this camera fit the bill?

I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks!
asked by MK on November 29, 2010
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Showing 1-3 of 3 answers
Hi MK. The short answers are:
* good, not great optical zoom (per online lab tests for barrel and pincushion distortion). I think you'll be very happy with the zoom. It gets wide enough for me and has good range (12X).
* NOT a good camera for sports or fast action photography. It takes exceptional quality photos, but it is somewhat slow shot-to-shot and does not have a super "fast" lens. I don't think it even has a sports mode on the dial.
* good, not great low light photo quality. Low light performance was one of the reasons I chose this camera to replace my Powershot A630 (which struggles greatly in low light). I don't think you'll find many sub-200 dollar cameras that are much better in low light though.
* I'm impressed with the video. You CAN do optical zoom while recording (contrary to some reviews and something the SX120IS could NOT do). BTW, one of the professional reviews I read mentioned the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5 and ZR3 as having better video.

The action/sports shot issue is the only thing I'd be concerned with for your needs. You might want to look into the Panasonix Lumix cameras (ZS_ and ZR_) or Sony cybershot H55. When I did my homework for a megazoom, these four were the contenders. The SX130IS won becuase I really dislike proprietary batteries, the SX130IS has the best image quality, and I've had good experiences with the well-respected Canon brand.
MC Maks answered on December 5, 2010

Dear Former Brand X
To find out if Your Canon powershot SX130IS is really all you are hoping it will be you will have to do a few things. First take it out and play with it. that's the only way your going to know. you can read all the reviews you want. until you load your camera up your never going to know. The only down side you will find with the SX130is is that your not going to want to stop using it. As for the action shots set the speed to 400 and you should be golden. The zoom is great to I've personally taken shot of cars in motion up to two miles away and got the passengers faces like they where right next to me. from a hill top over looking a nearby lake I got a friend fishing 4 miles away at the other end of the lake. and it was clear to. As for the flash and low light? I'm the guy that prefers natural lighting so I have never used my flash. as for the movie option use at least a 32 gig card and lithuin ion batteries. and turn all the sounds for the camera off. those nice stereo mics are very sensitive and can pick up a Nat's fart downwind from you a mile thing I have found that helps with the zoom feature is a good tripod with a quick release mount.
George answered on March 15, 2013

For anyone still curious about this camera's low-light capability: It's exceptional in color and clarity if you have a steady hand. In fact it has amazed me how it brightens up an image. Movement will cause streaking though!
Robert P. answered on March 26, 2014
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