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Showing 1-10 of 675 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 745 reviews
on September 5, 2012

URGENT UPDATE, September, 2013:

If you prefer using 2-AA batteries in a digital camera - as I do very much - then you seriously need to consider buying a Canon SX160, now, while the supplies still last. The new model SX170 runs on a Canon NB-6LH proprietary battery which costs $38 on Amazon for each spare battery, and it will only take about half as many shots per charge. The Canon SX160 is now the last remaining 2-AA battery, full-featured, full-function, compact, travel & field camera left on the entire worldwide market. When the remaining ones are gone, they are gone forever.

I have owned and used all of them from the SX100 to the SX160. I have long-considered the Canon SX100 line of cameras to be "The Best 2-AA-Battery All-Purpose Travel and Field Cameras Ever Made." I have posted 5-star reviews of both the SX150 and SX160 here on Amazon during the last two years, and I have made it abundantly clear why I feel so strongly favorable of them.

Both cameras - the SX160 and SX170 - have exactly the same features, the same functions, and the same specs - except for the batteries. Functionally they both work exactly the same, and they both produce identical quality pictures. No changes were made to either the sensor or to the DIGIC 4 image processor to bring any improvement to the final images produced by the SX170.

But it's your call.

If you like using 2-AA batteries in a full-featured, compact, travel & field digital camera, then you need to act now. As for myself, I just bought two of them. The Canon SX160 is still my number one favorite camera I have ever owned in my life, and I still plan to keep right on using it for many pleasant years yet to come.

Sincerely, and with best wishes to everyone, John AKA SLOphoto1

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 10 AM -- I bought the Canon SX160 IS today. (Early-Sale Source.) I've tested it out at home, and everything works great! Here are some observations and results.
Video Added, Friday, September 21, 2012 at 11 AM. Flyover of the Space Shuttle, almost over my house in Monterey, CA, shot with the Canon SX160 at 16X zoom using a tripod mount.
Oct. 17, 2012 Finally got my Red Canon SX160 locally from Green's Camera World here in the Del Monte Shopping Center in Monterey. Beautiful right out of the pristine box. I love it!
Oct. 25, 2012 Posted three images I recently took to the users' image gallery here with this camera. They show what this camera can do with the right adjustments in Manual Mode. (I give the exact adjustments for each one.) A Monterey Sunrise, A Blue Jay on a Wire at 16X zoom, and a Balcony View of Monterey Bay. Enjoy!

The Canon SX160IS is - in my personal opinion - the best 2-AA battery, all-purpose travel and field camera ever made. It is the latest and the best of a long line of highly dependable point-and-shoot megazoom cameras - the Canon SX100 series - which began five years ago in September 2007. With its combined features, its reliability, its versatility, and it's very economical price there is absolutely nothing else like it available today.

It is the only quality digital camera of its type left in the world that still runs on 2-AA batteries. In the world of digital cameras, it stands alone as completely unique. It is the last one its kind, and the very best one manufactured to date. And it's a Canon.

A WORD OF CAUTION: This camera is not ideal for everyone. There is no point buying something that you are not going to like. If you don't like AA batteries, then you won't like this camera. Its features probably don't outweigh its faults unless you really want to use AA batteries. It does not have a viewfinder, none of this line of cameras ever has, so if you want a viewfinder then this camera simply will not work for you. Also, for the record, this camera is not a fast-action camera. It is not the best camera for taking pictures of fast-moving children or sports action shots. Photos taken with it at higher ISOs (film speed) are pretty grainy even in good light. And the flash-recovery time is notoriously - there is no other word for it - slow! If any of this won't work for you in your own individual situation, then you really need to look elsewhere, seriously, because this camera simply will not meet your needs and will only frustrate you when you try to use it.

The SX160 has its own charm, but it's rather old-fashioned in style and a bit slow in operation. It's kind of like owning the latest version of a classic car. It feels like a classic, and after five years and six very successful models it is actually becoming a classic in its own right. If that idea appeals to you, then you will probably like the SX160 very much. For photographing things like landscapes, portraits, architecture, and pretty much anything without a lot of fast motion in it, it functions very well, and it has an excellent zoom. Realistically, you will need a tripod at times if you want to get the best quality shots with it, especially for lower-light shots, long-exposure night shots and for very precise full-telephoto shots.

If that still appeals to you, then this review of the SX160 is addressed to you.

I have owned and used all six of the cameras in this line over the years - SX100 (2007,) SX110 (2008,) SX120 (2009,) SX130 (2010,) SX150 (2011,) and now the SX160. I have also had an extra two of these cameras converted internally to shoot infrared photographs. Over the years I have used these cameras to photograph everything from brilliant outdoor landscapes to the wispy lights of the Aurora Borealis and out to some 12X images of the four moons of Jupiter (Now you can even do 16X images of them.) These cameras have shown themselves to be very versatile field cameras for me, very dependable, and have always worked out very well for me all the way around. After five years, I am very familiar with them, and I prefer them for general purpose, travel and field photography above all other cameras on the market today.

I always carry my current model of this camera with me wherever I go, and if I am on a vacation or field trip, I also carry last year's model with me as a backup camera. They produce an excellent quality image (for a small sensor) and they have all the features I personally want to do a wide range of photography. And in countless situations - particularly while traveling - I have been very, very glad that I had with me a camera that still ran on AA batteries. I always carry at least one or two extra pairs of eneloop rechargeable AAs with me, and the few times when even those ran out on me I was always able to find a pack of standard AA alkaline batteries nearby - anywhere in the world - to keep on shooting.

I shoot mostly in Manual mode, but Auto Mode also does an excellent job in selecting the proper settings for you. If I am unsure of the lighting in any one situation, I always make sure to take at least a few shots in Auto Mode myself, just in case.

The SX160 is very much like the previous model, the SX150 (which I also reviewed here at 5-stars.) I'm not going to list all the basic features about the SX160, since they are easy to find in any professional review, or from Canon's own website. But I will point out in particular what is new with the SX160, and there are some nice new features. So moving right along then...

PART 2 -- HERE'S WHAT IS NEW with the Canon SX160IS.

16 MEGAPIXEL IMAGE and 16X ZOOM: Last year's model SX150 had a 12X zoom and took a 14 megapixel image. This year's model SX160 has a 16X zoom and takes a 16 megapixel image. Most people will certainly like that better.

LIVE PREVIEW: (This is not new, but it is an important reminder): Canon cameras have something called an a "Live Preview" on the LCD.* Other brands only have "Live View," but that's not the same thing.

Other Cameras: "Live View" means you see on the LCD only what the camera sees - not what the final photo will look like. If you are in a dark room and you adjust the dial to try to brighten the image on the LCD, it won't work. The screen will remain dark.

CANON Cameras: "Live Preview" means you see a simulated-preview on the LCD of what the final photo will look like BEFORE you actually take the shot. The LCD lightens and darkens as you adjust the exposure dial. If you are in that same dark room mentioned above, you can adjust the camera settings to where the room looks almost like daylight on the LCD.

For more dramatic shoots, if you want high definition in the shadows you simply raise the exposure. If you want high definition in clouds, then you lower the exposure. Combine the two images in Photoshop and you can create your own HDR photo (High Dynamic Range) with well-defined clouds together with bright colors even in the shadows. The "Live Preview" feature on Canon LCDs make this judgement call completely intuitive.

Example Q. - "How much exposure should I use?" A. - "You can see exactly how much exposure you should use, simply by looking at the image shown on the Canon LCD. It shows you EXACTLY what the final image will look like, before you take the actual shot."

* Technically called "exposure simulation live preview" or "exposure priority display," it is most comely called "Live Preview."

IT IS MUCH, MUCH EASIER to learn how to use the Advanced Manual Modes on a Canon camera than on any other camera, because you can see the effect of each one of the adjustments - Shutter Speed, Aperture Size and ISO (film speed) - right on the LCD as you make the changes. On all other cameras without this "Live Preview" feature on the LCD, all individual adjustments are done completely blind to the user. You just have to "know" from experience how to make those adjustments. That can be a long, slow, frustrating learning process for many people. With a Canon camera, it's quick and simple, because you can already see the answer right on the LCD before you take the shot.

To the best of my knowledge ONLY CANON CAMERAS have this "Live Preview" feature on them, at least at present. (Present means "2012" - I believe this feature was first introduced in the year 2000, on the Canon PowerShot G1.) Nikon, Panasonic and Fujifilm, cameras do not have this feature, except perhaps for some of their high-end models. I'm not certain about that, but this has been true at least up until recently - even with higher-end DSLR cameras. Only Canon cameras offer this "Live Preview" feature.

Think about the utility value of this "Live Preview" feature VERY carefully. It is one of the biggest differences in deciding whether to buy a Canon camera, or to buy any other brand of camera.

SUPERFINE JPEG COMPRESSION Option: This outstanding feature was dropped after the SX110, but has now been restored on the new SX160. JPEG compression always results in some loss of data. The 16 megapixel image taken by the SX160 would normally compress down to about a 3.8MB JPEG file image using a "Fine" compression, as on previous models. The restored "Superfine" option on the SX160 will compress that same camera image down to about a 7MB JPEG file image instead, much larger and retaining much more of the original data in the final image. (These figures are approximate and I have found in practice they can vary considerably with image complexity.) This is an important feature for getting a good quality JPEG file, so please keep it in mind.

LESS SHUTTER LAG: Shutter lag has always been a problem with this line of cameras. Canon says the shutter lag has been reduced by 46% on the new SX160, and, yes, it is noticeably faster. This is really appreciated after having lost quite a few good shots over the years to this shutter lag problem myself. I am glad they improved it, but just remember that this has been a long-standing problem with this line of cameras.

IMPROVED PROCESSING SPEED. This has also been a traditional problem with this line of cameras, and given the structure of the internal electronics, it is likely to persist. They are slow to process the image and load it onto the memory card. (Use at least a Class 6 card with the SX160.) Canon claims to have improved on this by about 20% and any improvement certainly will help. But fast-processing is simply not this camera's strong point, so just remember that, too.

LIVE VIEW CONTROL MODE: Canon has introduced a new and rather interesting type of mode on the main camera dial called "Live View Control." This mode is similar to Auto mode, but has three additional individual adjustments the user can control on variable slider bars using the right and left arrows or turning the control dial on the back of the camera. These control 1) Brightness as Dark --- Light, 2) Color as Neutral --- Vivid, and 3) Tone as Cool --- Warm. They are easy to use, and adjust in a series of distinct steps as you rotate the control dial. This is an excellent feature for the novice who wants to try some different adjustments without having to go to full Manual mode, and it makes these image adjustments right in the camera which would normally require a Photoshop-type program to adjust afterwards. Again this will be easy for the novice to use, because the Canon LCD display on the SX160 shows an image of the actual exposure adjustments being made before the shot is finally taken.

DESIGNATED VIDEO BUTTON was moved: The model SX150 introduced a designated video button, but placed it so close to the spin control dial on the back that is was pretty easy to start a movie by accident. The button has now been moved further away, and has also been recessed with a small, raised, plastic lip around it making it much less accident prone. This was a very good idea.

NO ISO LIMIT on the camera: Some of the lower-end Canon cameras have recently been subject to an unfortunate ISO 100 (film speed) limitation when shutter speeds drop below about 1 second in length, even in full Manual Mode. This can be a severe hinderance to doing things like long-exposure nighttime photography. Fortunately, Canon did not put that loathsome ISO limit on the new SX160. ....*** THANK YOU, CANON! ***

Also, many of the professional reviews, and even some conflicting data on Canon's own website indicated that the ISO 1600 (very fast film speed for shooting things like fast-moving cars and also for doing long-exposure star shots) had been eliminated. This is false. The ISO 1600 is still there on the SX160, and though it is pretty grainy it does still work well when needed, and most of the excess noise can be cleared up in Photoshop. On the lower end, the ISO 80 was eliminated on the SX160, but is was close enough to the ISO 100 that it should not matter too much except maybe in photos taken in very bright sunlight.

In closing, I hope that this review may have been helpful to you in gathering information to make your own decisions about which camera to buy for yourself. You should read as much as you can before you decide which one to buy. Whatever decision you make, it should be YOUR decision, not what I or anyone else tells you that you "ought" to prefer. Each of us has our own reasons for preferring one camera over another. May you choose the camera that best suits your own individual needs and preferences, and may you enjoy it to the fullest extent.

Best Wishes, John AKA SLOphoto1
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128128 comments| 460 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
For the past 2 years I looked at the Canon SX-series cameras, but being a person who can only be happy with a lithium-battery camera, I shied away from these. So I finally went for it after reading the AA battery life is getting better. If you buy some rechargeables, preferably Eneloops, you will be happy enough.

* Takes EXCELLENT CRISP, SHARP photos with TRUE COLORS, and also GREAT MACRO (close-up) shots. (I have taken some grainy photos while playing around with it, but they were my fault due to low light without the flash being up).
* Larger than an ultra-compact camera, easy to grip, yet not so large where it's a drag to carry with you - this camera feels comfortable - if you have larger hands or fingers, you won't accidentally push the wrong buttons, plenty of room - I have short, stubby fingers and short nails as I do a lot of typing, those ultra-compact cameras were wrong for me!
* Very pleased with battery life; I've taken over 250 shots and a couple of videos with the Eneloops, they're still going strong (the alkaline AA batteries included w/camera did not last long) - for Eneloops - see my link below.
* The Image Stabilization turns off automatically when you attach the camera to a tripod, something I always forget to do with other cameras (AUTO mode).
* When you have this zoomed out to 16X, the stabilization seems to work better than other cameras I've used (the more you zoom out, the shakier it is); normally on other cameras I'd have to use a tripod.
* You can optically zoom during a video, audio does not cut out during the zooming function. Zoom motor is VERY quiet once you press the video/movie button, it becomes almost silent - the way it does this amazes me.
* Easy for anyone to use in AUTO; and this also has full P/A/S/M manual controls, so this is a camera you can grow into if you are a novice.
* Has a Mode Dial - some cameras, including Canon's cheaper models, are removing the dial on top of the camera and changing to a menu-only format.

* Shutter response time is a little slow, probably due to the AA batteries (I'm using a Class 10 SD card, so it isn't that). Not sure if you would be happy with this camera if you are trying to capture fast moving kids or pets; if you can get them to hold still for a few seconds, it's fine.
* Build-quality: It's plastic, but if you are careful with your cameras you should be OK. The battery compartment door seems a little more robust than cheaper Canon models I looked at, it has a spring, unlocks and slides out to the side. Plastic tripod mount (ugh!, why couldn't they use metal?)
* This camera can't be put into your pocket, it needs a case. Also, a camera this size needs a neck strap, not a flimsy little hand strap like the one in the box.
* The 230,000 pixel LCD screen doesn't impress me, I've purchased cheaper cameras that have 460,000 pixels. You may be unhappy with photo quality when viewing it on the LCD, and pleasantly surprised after you upload the photo to your PC.

1. My camera was made in JAPAN! Not to say yours will be; I know with Panasonic cameras sometimes the same model will come from different countries. I don't know about Canon.

2. I've yet to find a P&S digital camera that is perfect. This one isn't perfect either, so it got 4 stars. You have to weigh the pros & cons for YOUR specific needs in a camera. I've tried other cheaper, basic Canon's, and I either returned them or re-gifted to friends.

3. There are strap openings on both sides of this camera, but they are so small they will only accommodate those small loops like wrist straps have. I think I found a neck strap that will work, see my link below. I've got one on order now.

4. I uploaded a short video to YouTube, I am Yarii41 on YT; if you do a search for "Canon SX160 Video Test" you should find it. I can't put the link here, since links to other sites aren't allowed in our reviews.

ENELOOP BATTERIES: Sanyo XX Battery Powered by eneloop, 2500mAh typical / 2400 mAh minimum High Capacity, 4 Pack AA Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries
CANON CASE: Canon PSC-3300 Deluxe Soft Case for Canon SX130IS Digital Cameras
CLASS 10 SD CARD: Transcend 16 GB SDHC Class 10 Flash Memory Card TS16GSDHC10E
NECK STRAP: OP/TECH USA 2201021 Bin/Op Strap-QD- for Compact Cameras and Binoculars -Neoprene (Black)
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4747 comments| 485 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 26, 2013
First, let me tell you I like this camera and but I'm sending it back to Amazon. I was looking for a light, simple automatic p&s that I could stick in my pocket and take with me into the field where I record evidence of animal activity. The camera I need has to have AA batteries for power (there are no rechargers in the field and a $35 spare battery is no fun for me) and it's easier to pack a couple of spare AAs in my pocket. The SX-160 seemed to be the one!

Comparing it to other small point and shoot cameras the problem is that it's just a little too bulky. It weighs in at 11 ounces (the A1100 is 7 ounces) and the lens barrel/back gives it a depth of about 1.75 inches. This is not a pocket camera. It is sort of intermediate to a digital SLR and a pocket point & shoot. All that being said, here what's good about this camera:

The pictures are very good. When testing, I never failed to take at least an acceptable photo.
The camera can be set to do ISO tracking, making it easier pick a detail to focus on.
You can see what the final photo will actually look like with `exposure live view'
There is a host of settings and special effects
Lag time between shots is very short (except when using the flash)
32x optical zoom and 64x(!) digital zoom

Here's what what the problems are:

The flash is not wholly automatic. If you need a flash, a message pops up on the screen telling you to pop up the flash.
The flash has a long recharge time.
It eats batteries quicker than other cameras in this class.
It's not a pocket camera. It won't fit in a shirt pocket and is too bulky for a jacket pocket.

It really is a pretty good camera but I will settle for the newer Canon A1400.
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This camera takes great pictures. Are they as good as my Canon 70D? No. But at about 1/10 the price in many situations they can look just as good.

This camera can also double as a "camcorder" -- a High Definition camcorder (720p). To give a rough idea about the quality, I'll compare it to a camcorder I bought circa 2002 for about $1100. This camera "camcorder?" is FAR superior in virtually all categories. One area it where it does fall short is battery life. Stock up on those rechargeables.
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on December 15, 2012
EDIT: I originally gave a 5 star rating, and demoted to 4 stars after field testing because of its lack of panorama feature. However, I have discovered that there is a panorama function in the included software disc so you can stitch on your computer later. That's better than nothing, but my previous comparable cameras had internal panorama stitching with a guide so you line up the images yourself in the process of taking them or even sweep the camera for auto stitch. I have installed the software for this camera but not used it yet. But how can you be sure you have the proper overlap matching when taking the photos separately? What about when you get back home & realize they don't match up well? You'd be able to retake the shot with an internal stitching camera but with this one, you're just out of luck with a bad photo. The fact that it is not very obvious that the panorama stitching capability even exists and that it is not in a user friendly format keeps the rating at 4 stars instead of 5, although I'm hopeful that I'll gain a knack for it over time. Overall I am still quite pleased with this cameras features for my backpacking, camping, & hiking purposes.

My previous review:

Certainly not the most amazing camera available, but here is what I like about it. It is the best compromise I could find on the many features that are important to me as a backpacker, and I did a lot of looking to find it. There are not many cameras made with this combination anymore so this one gets 4 stars from me (would get 5 if it could do panorama like most of its competitors).

1) I do extended wilderness backcountry camping and I like to take many photos meaning batteries run out. Without electricity outlets in the wilderness, those rechargeable battery packs that most cameras are powered by nowadays are useless once it dies so I must have a camera powered by easily replaceable AA batteries I can carry spares of. A bunch of rechargeable AA sets is best so I can recharge them for my next adventure after I get home and save money on replacements, but I still carry some regular AAs along with them as a backup. There are many small cameras powered by rechargeable battery packs that will do what I want, but long-term backpacking photography makes AA power a deal breaker for me.

2) Many times I want a good zoom shot. Most AA cameras nowadays that have a decent zoom require 4 AAs! I tried this out with the Kodak Z990 which has 30X optical zoom. The photos were good (in fact, my last 2 cameras were Kodak Easy Shares requiring 2 AAs and I was happy with them), but a camera that takes 4 AAs is just to bulky to practically pack around so I gave that away as a nice gift. A 2 AA camera like this is designed with a much slimmer profile. This is compact enough that I can keep it in a small camera bag and still fit that bag in my large pocket for extra protection from getting knocked around or to keep it warmer in freezing temperatures or extra safe from rain. Not to mention that the weight of spare batteries you need to carry for a 4 AA camera is twice as much as a 2 AA camera like this which still has a great 16X optical zoom (much more than most 2 AA cameras you'll see today), and a further digital zoom if desired.

3) Sometimes you happen upon wildlife action and/or a scenic area where a short video is nice to get and this is capable of video with audio.

I can't comment on long term durability yet. I'm taking it out on a trip in a few weeks & will update on how it holds up in the field. Seems solid enough if treated with reasonable care. It has a lot of extra features that an amateur like me probably doesn't know how to use or really need, but that's nice for people who would use them. I use the automatic setting and my test photos seem to turn out nice. I can't wait to take it out in the backcountry & see what it does out there. Obviously I would have liked to pay even less (who isn't cheap at heart?) but at $150 on sale this will be a good investment as long as it lasts a long time.

As a con, I've noticed it doesn't seem to save pictures without a memory card. I do bring ample memory card storage with, but it seems like every other camera I've had did have at least a little internal memory aside from the insertable card memory. Not a big deal because I use the cards anyway, but be aware you'll need to get one if you don't already have it. And as others have noted, the right hand grip is a little tricky until you get used to it because you don't get the large gripping bump like more bulky models have. Again, not a big deal to me personally and I got used to 1 handed operation after a little practice but maybe if you have arthritis or something it could be difficult to manage single handed. But no problem with both hands.

All in all I was happy to find the combination of features this camera offers. Seems like no other cameras are made this way anymore which sucks for backpackers. One thing is I wish it were waterproof/submersible to a shallow depth as some cameras are, but I can live without that because of all the great things it does have going for it. It's water resistant enough for photos in light rain/misty conditions, just keep it in a protective bag/pocket when not actually taking the photos so it doesn't get soaked. Like I said, use reasonable care and it seems durable enough (construction-wise) to stand up to backpacking use.

EDIT: After my trial photos on a backpacking excursion I was very pleased with the image quality. Not as user-friendly as the Kodak Easy Shares I'm used to, but not too difficult and I'll get used to it with use (I saved the online manual pdf and it is thorough enough if you want to reference it for anything more technical). Overall I like my new camera and it held up well. Freezing temperatures did not prevent it from working properly (I did try to keep it warm in my pocket though and I would be careful about bringing it into conditions that are too extreme). Battery life was acceptable, not exceptional, if you keep the flash down, but using the flash often drains batteries faster and makes you wait longer between pictures to recharge the flash. One big thing I found wanting was a panoramic feature to stitch photos together into one big picture. Seems like most cameras have that feature these days and I thought this one did too. I must have confused it with another model I was comparing while shopping (my fault). It's odd that a really useful feature like panorama is not available but Canon did go to the trouble to add many silly options like fish-eye effect etc. I was in a thickly wooded area on this trip so lack of panorama wasn't a very big deal, but a couple of years ago I did a camping road trip out west and have some great panorama shots of the wide open spaces and mountain top vistas. They could be shot as either 2 or 3 photo lengths long stitched together as you desired. I would not be able to get those spectacular views all into one shot with this Canon SX160 and that is really a bummer. However, while testing it out, I did discover that you can go into the camera menu and change the "aspect ratio" from the default 4:3 to 16:9 when desired and this expands the photo view to a somewhat wider field of vision. Not as wide a view as 3 photos together but better than nothing. Still, with all the backpacker friendly features that the SX160 has in combination I will compromise on the lack of panorama capability. Overall I am satisfied with this camera for my purposes.
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on October 2, 2014
SUMMARY: Great as fun camera for actual photographer to keep as backup/second camera, not the best option for taking quick snapshots of family or pets.

If you're picking up this camera to have something to take quick snaps of children at the holidays, stuff at the bar, or anywhere else where light is low and you need lightning fast response then don't bother. That's not what this camera is made for.

Too many folks don't do their research. The just see a big number like "16x zoom" and think they need that. If you're looking for a camera that is available used for even less than the SX160, is more pocketable and takes quicker snaps then go for the Canon ELPH 300HS.

Canon sorts their compact cameras into different series. The A-Series is their budget line, the S-Series is their mid-level cameras, SX-Series is superzoom and G-Series is their prosumer line. If you will be shooting in automatic all of the time and won't be taking artistic shots of birds or squirrels in trees far away then you don't need an SX series. The SX series has full manual controls, which someone who intends to practice actual photography with it needs, but for auto-shooters it's a bad choice. The smaller cameras that are designed for family snapshots are faster for that type of thing.

I own a lot of DSLR gear, and first I'll tell you that expecting a compact (point & shoot) like this one or ANY compact camera to take quick snaps is just fooling yourself. A DSLR, even an entry level one can snap off several shots a second. Most compacts are lucky to get 1-2 shots per second, even the quicker ones. Even the ones that advertise faster speeds don't tell you up front that they only take LOW RESOLUTION shots that fast, not full resolution.

Now, being that I own DSLR gear for when I really want to go out and do some photography and being that I also own an ELPH 300HS for taking snapshots around the house I was looking for something bigger and easier to grip than the ELPH that took decent photos. I don't like keeping my DSLR gear in my car all of the time (for obvious reasons) but some times I come across interesting stuff to photograph. That is where this camera shines. It has full manual controls and on top of that a lens that goes from 28mm to 448mm WITH built in image stabilizer and the ability to focus 1cm from the front glass. Just finding a lens even remotely like that for a DSLR would cost many thousands of dollars.

So that's what this camera does for me. It's not the best camera I own, or the fastest, but it has a nice long zoom with image stabilization and it's cheap enough that I feel comfortable leaving it in the car for impromptu photography. I must say that I'm also quite impressed with its performance. Sure, in low-light (i.e. indoors at night) it's not even on the same planet as my DSLRs but in daylight or decent indoor lighting it gets the job done and much better than I'd initially thought it would.

So, from someone who has much more expensive gear at his disposal I will say that as far as image quality you will not be dissapointed so long as you actually take the time to set up your shots and learn how a camera works. This camera and others like it are often underrated by those expecting National Geographic shots out of them but who leave them in automatic mode and don't learn anything about photography.This is an intermediate/enthusiast camera for those on a budget but who want to get some decent photos. I've compared it in-depth to the top-tier compacts like the Sony RX100 and the Canon G1X and to be honest with you in broad daylight the images at 100% magnification don't look much different. Sure those cameras a little crisper and have a little more dynamic range but they're still nowhere near a DSLR.

So here's my recommendations:

- If you're a photographer looking for a nice little camera with manual controls to toss in your pocket or glove compartment then this one's a keeper, especially for the price.

- If you're an aspiring photographer who wants to learn about manual controls and how a camera operates this is still a very good choice. You could spend a LOT more but honestly a compact camera is a compact camera. You could spend $70 on this one or $700 on a more expensive one but the quality difference is not THAT amazing. If you're willing to spend more just pick up a used DSLR in the $200-$400 price range. Even an older one will blow any compact out of the water. Likewise, don't rule out film. You can get a nice used film SLR with lens for under $100 and film will teach you MUCH more about photography than digital will. It's a great way to start out.

- If you're just looking for something to take on vacation but have no interest in anything other than automatic mode or you are wanting to take rapid-fire shots of kids or pets and just need something portable get the ELPH 300HS. They can be had for under 50 USD and take great video as well. They zoom isn't as long as the SX160IS and it's not quite as sharp but it is an amazing little camera.
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on July 3, 2013
I don't do fancy nor professional photos, so I can not say how this camera would work for that. But for my purpose of everyday, family, party, or keep sake pictures, this camera takes great pictures!

Due to some health problems and medications I take, I do not necessarily have a steady hand and the auto focus with the feature to counter the shake of my hand or my none steady grasp makes a world of difference. No more shot after shot of blurry pictures.

It is also easy for my arthritic hands to hold. Not too thin to try to hold, but not too big and bulky to hold comfortably.

Very easy to use camera all the way around! And good clear photos!
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on July 3, 2013
I have owned a Canon SX110ls for about four years and I paid approx $240.00 for it. It finally started having trouble with
a line being on every picture and it was time for an upgrade. That camera did everything I asked it to do. Thousands of
pictures taken and many videos. The SX160ls has more optical zoom, more mega pixels and HD. It is a bit thinner than the
110 and a bit longer. Its fits better in my cannon camera case than the 110 did. Did not have to buy a case. Best of all I
get all this, and it cost approx $100.00 less than the 110 did four years ago. Also, my rechargeable AA batteries and battery
charger all work with the SX160. What a deal. I give it 5 stars.
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on May 7, 2013
I feel this camera is a step in the right direction for the price range...
For 149.00 it's going to be hard to find a 16x zoom with 16mp...I tried and I can't find one.
The video is nice not amazing: HD 1280 x 720: 25 fps but a step up from the 640 x 480: 30 fps (29.97) even with less frames per sec. I have yet to try the other vedio settings:
iFrame Movie HD 1280 x 720: 30 fps / 25 fps

Miniature Effect HD 1280 x 720: 5 fps / 2.5 fps / 1.25 fps

Miniature Effect 640 x 480: 6 fps / 3 fps / 1.5 fps

The pictures are very qualty...You will be happy...some noise with ISO 400.
Sure, I like to have some more choices for Aperture f/3.5 (W) - f/5.9 (T) is limited in low light non-flash shooting but but the flash is very powefull and will be fine for low light situations.

Bottom line: for this price range it's very good camera..for under $150.00

P.S. Pick up something like Canon PowerShot SX160 IS Digital Camera Battery Charger Replacement of 4 AA...They'll hold the charge for at least 230 pics with about 50-60 with flash...Plenty in my opinion... Think about how many pics we take and how many we really are going to print or put in a slide show maybe 1/10th?
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on September 2, 2014
I needed a new camera after my last one went for a swim. I read the specs and reviews and settled for the Canon SX160 and have been very pleased with it so far. A lot of the problems I read about in the reviews were easily amended through different functions on the camera – seriously read the manual if you want to learn how to take even better pictures with this camera.

Some problems I worried about & that I had issues with on my last camera were getting clear pictures while zoomed in. This is easily resolved if you use the manual focus option – I have taken many quality shots from distances over 100 meters that looks like it was taken from 10 feet. Another issue raised was the battery life; I read many complaints about how it burned through batteries. Compared to my last camera which was smaller, simpler and used the same batteries, this one lasts much longer – I went through a 10 day camping trip using it nearly every day and didn’t have to change batteries once. I also prefer using AA batteries over a rechargeable pack which is easy to forget or if discharged you will be out of luck. One last complaint I noticed in other reviews was that it didn’t take great moving shots; I assure you this is not the case. The only drawback to taking action shots with this camera is that it doesn’t have a viewfinder. Action shots are simple if you use the shutter speed priority (TV) function – reduce the shutter speed and those once blurry shots come out crisp & clear.

The only issue I have with this camera is the size & weight. It is a little bulkier than my last camera which makes it more difficult to pack on a hiking, biking, skiing, etc. trip, but it is worth it if you value quality pictures.
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