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Showing 1-10 of 458 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 580 reviews
on December 12, 2010
I'll start by saying that I'm a Canon fan. Three out of four of my current digital cameras, including both my DSLR's, are Canon. When I was looking to upgrade my compact zoom, this unit caught my eye for both its price point and its feature set. For a sub-$200 compact zoom, this camera definitely leads the pack.

Pros:
* 12 megapixel image capture
* Very good image quality
* Full 720P HD video capture
* Excellent low light performance for its class
* Excellent image stabilization capability
* Full manual control, including Av, Tv and full manual modes
* Great zoom range, especially at the wide end
* Excellent, fast and intuitive performance
* Reasonable battery performance with rechargables (a MUST!)
* Works with convenient AA batteries
* Excellent flash for its class
* Excellent color fidelity with no detectable image artifacts
* Fast continuous shooting for a compact camera
* Perfect size for a compact zoom, fits in a large pocket
* Fantastic price/performance ratio

Cons:
* No CCD cleaner that I've found
* No flash shoe for an external flash
* No external audio inputs for video capture
* 10 minute video capture limit
* No RAW image support
* Terrible support for HD video codec
* No optical/digital viewfinder / LCD display only
* My unit got a speck of dust inside the lens, creating a spot on images/video for awhile

It's been a couple years since I've purchased a camera and I was a bit surprised to see how far the feature sets have come, especially on the lower-end compacts. I've now put this camera through the paces in many different situations and overall, I'm very pleased with everything about it so far.

My criteria for this camera purchase was fairly simple. I wanted a compact zoom with decent optical range, AA battery support, excellent color fidelity, reasonable low light performance and a unit that provided full manual control. I'm an amateur/semi-pro photographer and I expect a lot from my cameras. After reviewing the options out there, this one was a clear winner.

First, I'll speak to the image quality and zoom. I've been very impressed with both its color fidelity and the overall image quality. Images are sharp and its ability to provide vivid color and great dynamic range within images is fantastic. With the unit's lack of RAW support, this was very important to me. At the low end of the zoom, there is a bit of the wide-angle effect...but I really appreciate how wide this camera is able to go. At the far end of the zoom, the optical quality is still great and I haven't detected any weak spots within the optical range. I've never been impressed with digital zoom, and I nearly always avoid it...but as is typical with digital zoom, you'll get artifacts at the furthest end of the spectrum. For a compact, the macro mode is also quite functional, allowing a very short focus range of less than 1/2" - and the 2" focus minimum for normal mode is also quite impressive.

Aperture performance was up to my expectations for a camera lens of this quality, if not even a little better than I expected. The range is from f/3.4 to f/8.0 in aperture priority mode, and I typically would want more on the far end, but as far as I'm concerned, this camera produces f/22 and above quality in landscapes. You're not going to get beautiful bokeh effects at the low end (f/3.4) but this is typical of compact cameras with inexpensive lenses. With that said, though, I was surprised to see any bokeh whatsoever...and it is possible to get a little.

Low light performance is important to me as this is one of my strongest interests in photography. Up to ISO800, there is very little noise in the captured images and I've found that my noise filters will clean up what little there is quite well. ISO1600 starts to introduce a fairly strong noise characteristic, but I expected as much. There is no ISO3200 support, but personally, I feel like this is a waste in a camera at this price point as there's no way you're going to get good performance at such extremes. The image stabilization works well, especially when you're right on the edge of needing a tripod. The camera features an auto focus assist beam, which is a welcome addition within a camera at this price point. Low-light video performance was quite good, although it does take a performance hit in the noise department...but I was still very impressed that it performs as well as it does by producing very watchable low-light video results.

The overall feature set for a relatively inexpensive compact is just staggering to me. All of the basic features are there for a person who appreciates some creative control, including full Tv, Av and manual modes. The automatic modes are great for those times when I don't want to put effort in and P-mode (full auto, except for control over ISO) was an absolute necessity for me. The time-to-live is quick and from an off-state, I can capture an image in less than 3 seconds. I've tested some of the newer, fancier features and I have to say, they're quite impressive. The smile detection blew my mind because it actually worked! The ability to auto-shoot portraits when new people enter the scene is also pretty amazing to me. Blink detection? I would have never thought of that, but it's actually worked for me in a couple of cases. The HD-video is a great addition to my camera lineup and I've started playing with it fairly extensively. I have noticed a bit of discrepancy between the image stability on the LCD screen and the actual result in the produced video, but then again, if I wanted super-stable video, I'd use a tripod. There is a 10 minute limit to video capture, which could be a deal breaker for some, but for my purposes it's just fine. It picks up audio quite well, which was surprising to me - although you're not going to get movie studio quality out of the thing.

Physically speaking, the camera is very comfortable to hold and all of the buttons are conveniently placed. Anyone who's used a Canon camera will feel quite at home with it...and even if you're not, I wouldn't anticipate much difficulty. I haven't had any notable difficulty with the button placement, but have inadvertently turned off the camera when I was trying to capture a picture in a hurried situation. It's not exactly a sub-compact, but for a compact zoom, the size is perfect and exceeds my expectations. (It fits in a large pocket quite easily, but not well in smaller ones, such as most rear pockets.) The lens retraction is very nice and the lens portion only sticks out about 3/4" from the body when fully retracted.

Battery performance met my expectations, for the most part. The use of rechargeable batteries is a must for any digital camera - it's no secret that ALL digital cameras suck up a lot of juice. (This is WHY most of cameras use proprietary NiMH batteries!) For me, I'm fairly heavily invested into NiMH AA batteries, so it was very important for this purchase to support them. I don't get the rated performance, but I never trust those values and I can certainly squeak 200+ images out of a set of 2300mAh batteries, without flash usage. Video use does suck up the juice, but I've still been surprisingly impressed with its performance as I expected a lot less. I wouldn't really consider using standard alkaline batteries in a digital camera for all but a pinch situation and if you expect good performance on alkaline batteries, you're not going to get it. I did find the camera did not like a couple of my sets of 2700mAh batteries, and wouldn't even turn on...and while that bugged me, it wasn't a deal breaker as it does work with 90% of my batteries. A quality battery charger/tester goes a long way, as you won't get good performance if your batteries aren't up to snuff and aren't properly matched according to actual capacity.

I really only have a couple of complaints. Somehow my unit got a fairly large spec of dust inside the lens, and for awhile, all my images/video had a blurry spot on them - particularly in images with fairly strong light/midrange backgrounds. I'm a little concern about the seal and its ability to prevent dust from entering into the lens. Eventually, this speck of dust went away and my images are back to normal - but it's frustrating when you can't do anything about something like this. Additionally, the HD video codec that is used by this camera (H.264/Apple Quicktime MOV) is very frustrating to work with on a computer. It's just not well supported yet and takes a LONG time to open on my computer, even within Apple's quicktime application. (My machine is a quad-core 3.2Ghz proc, 4GB RAM...fast, for all intents and purposes - perhaps I have an issue with my computer's video codecs and I am willing to concede that possibility.) With that said though, I've found it best to convert it to a different format for editing...a step that I would rather avoid. These two issues prevented me from giving the product a full five-star rating.

Overall, though, I'm impressed with this camera and it fit the bill perfectly for me. I hope you've found this review helpful!
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on November 1, 2010
I bought this camera mainly because it was reviewed as having good pic and video quality, it has HD video, and it takes AA batteries. So far it's been superb all round.

The AA batteries bit is a really big deal for me. I so nearly bit the bullet and got a camera that uses a proprietary battery pack -- as, tragically, they almost all do now -- only to discover, when trying to get 2 spare packs, that they're basically unobtainable! This makes such a camera useless for me, as on a long trip (e.g. weekend hike), once the battery is dead, you're stuffed until you find a 110v outlet to charge from.

I understand that AAs are more bulky for a given charge, and presumably that's why the SX130 only takes two. I'd personally take a larger handgrip to make room for two more batteries, but the bottom line is, it doesn't really matter. Just take along spares, and change them out as needed. Use NiMH batteries for best life (conventional batteries like Duracells simply can't handle the loads of a digital camera), but in a pinch, you know that more charge is almost always going to be easily available. And when rechargables wear out, getting new ones is a snap.

So anyhow... I basically love the camera. It's compact and light, and easily fits in a jacket pocket, so it's always handy for a snapshot. It takes great pictures, and superb clear 720p movies. The stereo sound is good, but with built-in mics, wind noise will always be a problem if there is much wind at all. You can zoom while filming, but the noise is quite audible on the soundtrack (though subtle enough not to be really annoying, mostly). I've started using a separate sound recorder for projects where I care about the live sound.

The reason for dinging one star is the one niggly point I've found to date: video capture is limited to 9 mins 59 seconds per clip. This is a hard and consistent limit; I guess it's to avoid the 2GB file size limit. It's never been a problem for me so far, but I could see where it could become an issue for some types of filming.

Battery life isn't great, but like I said, just carry two or three (or ten!) sets of spares, easy. For the record, here's what I got on a single set of Eneloops, taking continuous 10-minute video clips until it died: battery warning came on at 80 minutes; batteries died at 110 minutes. One 16GB memory card stored 85 minutes of video, averaging 186 MB per minute. I'm using a 32GB card now (class 10), and it works great.

In case you're wondering what it records in the .MOV files it captures, ffmpeg tells me that the video format is:

Video: h264, yuv420p, 1280x720, 22301 kb/s, 29.97 fps
Audio: pcm, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, s16, 1536 kb/s

So overall, great. I do wish there was more choice of cameras taking standard batteries; but this one fits the bill nicely.
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on August 31, 2010
I first heard about the SX130is on August 19th- the same day I had decided that my final purchase decision would be the SX120is. After reading a few reviews, it had me convinced that this would be worth waiting for. I received my SX130is late this morning- and have to say, right from the box it was just amazing. Every time in the past when purchasing a new camera, it takes some adjusting and "breaking in" before fully great-quality pictures come, but with this one, literally from the first shot it has been wonderful. The HD video also records wonderfuly, and the sound is great as well- even with using all of the 48x digital zoom! The one "downside" to the video mode is that the image doesn't auto-focus as you zoom in, at times you have to re-focus using the shutter just as you normally would when taking a picture, but I personally didn't find that too annoying once I figured it out. The miniature and fisheye modes are a blast to use, and the smart-shutter mode (takes the photo when a smile is detected, without using the shutter) is neat too. The LCD is a nice big size, and has an auto-rotate for images in the playback mode, as well as an option to scroll through them when selecting. A fun fact which I also noticed is that it has a "screensaver," which displays the time to save the screen (as a computer would). Although some might consider it a bit "bulky" compared to most compact point and shoots, the size is perfect for someone like me who has bigger hands, allowing for a decent grip and non-clumsy hold. Overall, I just absolutely LOVE this camera (which I why I already give it 5 stars, hands down). Definitely recomend this to anyone; is well worth the money!

***Updated on 9/24***
After finally getting some Rayovac recharcable NiMH batteries, I can finally say that this camera is well worth the money. If you use regular AA (nonrechargeable) batteries, it will blow through them like crazy, so I learned the hard way. But the NiMH last much, much longer, plus are rechargeable. If you plan on purchasing this camera, I would highly recommend also getting the batteries- it is well worth the extra money.
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on September 3, 2010
I was looking for a new camera to replace my 4 year old canon a630, 8mp, 4x zoom before our vacation next month. I was going to go with the sx120is, but it did not have HD video like all the other cameras had on them. Will I use that much, maybe, maybe not, but I at least wanted that option since all the other new cameras have it. Then I found out why the sx120is was going down in price, to make way for the sx130is. I looked everywhere and no one had it in stock yet. Then amazon got it a couple days later and I ordered it. Right away I thought it looked great. Very nice, something to hold onto, unlike the new small size cameras-I just don't like that they are so tiny. Love the big screen on the back. I thought I would miss not having a viewfinder and only using the rear display, but then i thought about it-I only use the display anyways on my camera and never the viewfinder! Sometimes the display looks grainy when not enough light, but after seeing the shot I just took, the pic was perfect. I like that it uses 2 AA batteries since I use rechargables-my other one used 4, so I have 2 extra for a backup now. I love how it zooms in on the face and the smile shutter is a neat trick. Have not played with the hd video yet, but I would have liked a mini-hdmi out of the camera. Also would like the flash to pop up on its own instead of saying on the screen to put the flash up. Other than that, there are so many controls, I'll probably never use them all and mainly use it on auto, which is great! The 12 MP and 12x optical zoom is great. Just note the 4x digital zoom does not work in widescreen mode, but it never did on my other camera either. A great camera to get without paying the extra money for the D-SLR cameras.
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on September 23, 2010
I have the SX110is and love it for the same reasons that I love this one, the SX130is. My father is a professional photographer, so I know a thing or two about cameras.

Actually, of course, every year they make the cameras better and entice buyers like me. This one has the HD video, and the 12x zoom, and 12.1 megapixels. Both features sold me. The SX110is now goes to my wife who has a fine collection of fairly new electronics that I discard annually.

The quality of photos is spectacular. The color is far superior to any camera in a comparable price range, especially a simple point and shoot. My 3 week old daughters skin tones show up amazingly realistic.

HD video is a plus. I am not sure how much I will use since I have an HD camcorder, but still, in a pinch it is nice. My only issue with the camera is the placement of the 'video' mode, so far from the 'auto' mode on the dial selector. This makes it inconvenient to switch back and forth, which is the main reason why I will probably not use the video mode as much, and the reason why I proclaim that this camera is 'very close to perfect', and not just perfct.

Canon has never let me down. The AA batteries make me happy. I hate running out of power on a camping trip with no options. The screen size is magnificent and bright.

This is a great purchase, until next year when they add a feature that I MUST HAVE!!
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on January 24, 2012
I used to keep an old HP camera in my purse that pretty much met my needs for candid shots, especially since it used a couple of AA batteries. However, with age, the old hands aren't as steady as they used to be so it was time to get a new camera with image stabilization.

The four most important criteria for a replacement camera was it needed to fit in my purse (not too difficult since the old HP was a bit bulky), it needed to have image stabilization, it needed to use SD cards, and it needed to use AA batteries. The SX130 IS appeared to meet those needs. It is only a bit larger than the old HP, not enough to be a problem, uses SD cards, and uses AAs like I wanted (I already carry spare AAs in my purse). I also was fairly confident that, being a Canon, it would be a high quality camera like my SX10 IS has proven to be. Favorable reviews also reinforced my decision.

This camera makes my old HP look sick (and it was a nice little camera; I gave it to a friend's son). Even when using one of the auto modes, pictures came out sharp and bright in good lighting conditions. When using the semiautomatic and manual modes, I can get surprisingly good pictures for a small point and shoot. Indoors, the flash is better than the old HPs flash. It also does better in low light without flash than the old HP or even my SX10 IS (and it's no slouch!). The 12x optical zoom was a bonus over the HPs 3x. Battery life is excellent. I use Sanyo Eneloops and it seems like I never have to replace them (of course, I do but I can go a long time between battery changes). It fires up quickly so I'm less likely to miss a shot. I've never had a problem with dust on the inside of the lens that some have reported. There is no limit on the size SD card I can use. The 8GB cards I use are actually overkill.

One thing this camera is much better at doing than my old HP (or even my SX10IS) is using it as a portable scanner. As long as the light is fairly decent, I can copy documents, magazine articles, etc. without too much trouble. The "scans" aren't as good as a real scanner but they are quite usable and they sure beat a lot of note taking.

I do have a few minor complaints. Not surprisingly, pictures are saved as JPEGS. While normally not a problem for a point and shoot, the compression is higher than it was for my old HP. That can limit the amount of editing that can be done. Fortunately, pictures come out so well, little to no editing is needed other than some cropping so the pictures will fill my computer monitor and 32" TV screens where I normally view them (I rarely print my pictures).

The zoom can be a bit slow to react at times but not as bad as some people have reported. It hasn't been enough of a problem for me to worry about.

The location of the tripod mount is a bit awkward. My tripod uses quick change shoes. I was able to trim a shoe slightly to allow it to fit permanently on my SX10 IS and still open the battery door but there was no way to do so on the SX130 IS. I rarely use the camera with the tripod so I just keep a shoe in my purse so I'll have it if I need it.

The controls and settings of the SX130 IS are similar to my SX10 IS but there are some differences that are annoying since some settings on one does something slightly different or even opposite of the other. It's a pity Canon couldn't have standardized their settings between cameras. It wasn't too big of a problem once I got used to it but for a short while, it drove me nuts.

The LCD screen on the SX130 IS is actually a bit bigger than on my SX10 IS. There is no view finder on the SX130 IS so the larger screen is nice (it's twice as big as the one on my old HP). The LCD screen sets flush on the camera body (actually, almost proud), unlike the slightly recessed screen on my old HP) which makes it more susceptable to damage when taking it out of my purse and shoving it back in (the fit is a bit snug). Since there isn't room in my purse to allow me to use a camera case (which would be a nuisance anyway), I had to use a screen protector to protect the screen. I'm on the third screen protector now and, so far, the screen still looks brand new. I've seen complaints about the lack of a viewfinder but I haven't found it to be a problem. I find viewfinders awkward because I wear glasses so I rarely used them anyway. The camera is small enough I can use my left hand to shield the screen and still maintain a good grip on the camera.

None of these complaints are enough to dock any stars, especially since this camera does so exceptionally well otherwise for a small point and shoot that will fit in a purse or even a pocket. Many of the complaints I've seen for this camera appear to be because people expect too much from it. It's not a DSLR and it would be unreasonable to expect it to perform like one. It doesn't have an external flash so it isn't going to be as bright as one and recovery time is going to be slower. It's a small, easy to use camera for taking snapshots that are better quality than any camera phone is likely to ever take, especially if one uses the more advanced settings in adverse conditions (and how many camera phones have 12x zoom)? If I need better quality pictures or I have to take them in really tough conditions, I'll use my SX10 IS, the one that is too big to fit in my purse or pocket, even when I don't have the external flash attached to it.
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on April 5, 2011
My old camera (a high-end, for the time, Olympus digital that we bought on clearance)is about 8 years old, so I figured I needed a new one, as the tax refund came in and we were preparing for a rare family vacation with my inlaws (including my niece and nephew, the two most adorable toddlers in the universe).

I originally was looking at the SX30IS... which has more heft and overall is certainly a higher level camera... but as much I drooled over that one, when I compared the 30 to the 130, I decided it just wasn't quite worth the ~$200 price difference for my needs.

The good:
Batteries: it uses double-A batteries instead of a proprietary battery pack (so for $20 for a set of Eneloop rechargeables, I've got all the battery power I need, easily carried anywhere, instead of having to purchase an extra proprietary pack). With only two batteries at a time, I got around 300 shots on one set of batteries, and easily stuffed two additional pairs in my camera bag or purse at any given time.

Photo quality: after a week in the caribbean, I've been able to compare the photos produced by my SX130IS, My sister-in-laws SX20IS (the prior modes of the SX30IS), and my husband's uber-DSL (Nikon D90).... and I am very pleasantly surprised to tell you that my photos definitely show nicely in this comparison.

Portability: While larger than the little rectangle pocket cameras, the size of the 130S is still a nice small portable size--much easier to tote around than the larger SX20/30IS.

Features/Settings/software: While my previous camera had an auto mode, I used it only rarely, usually preferring to select the modes myself. But the "auto-detect" mode on this camera takes the auto setting to a new level, auto-detecting which mode it should be, and giving good information about what that is, for making photo-taking as quick as possible when I just didn't have time to futz with it. As I was often trailing 2 toddlers, this was a really nice feature, that came in very handy, and worked surprisingly well.

I did a quick read of the quick-start manual before we left on the trip, and from there, I found the controls intuitive and easy to follow.

Video: I took lots of short videos of the kids being kids. I am thrilled at how well the zoom-while-filming works--past cameras has trouble keeping the focus caught up, but this camera performed brilliantly in that aspect. I posted one of the HD videos online for my in-laws, and my gadgethead/amateur videographer Father-in-law thought it came from my husband's high-end HD video camera.

The bad:
Someone else mentioned a speck of dust getting inside and settling on the lens. I'm sad to report I ran into this also. If I look closely as some of my photos, I do see a slight blur in that location--but I have to magnify and look closely for it. Like the other reviewer's experience, my speck fell back off the lens after a day or so. I'll be keeping an eye out to see if it comes back -- if it becomes a recurring problem, my opinion of the camera will drop drastically.

The lens cap: is one of the self-retracting caps. It's spring loaded, so just throwing the camera un-protected in a smaller purse is a bad idea -- the cover could get pushed to the side and allow dust or scratches on your lens. You definitely need some kind of protective camera case, even if just one of the small built-to fit ones. (I have a small shoulder-strap camera bag that easily fits this camera in the main cushioned compartment, with pockets for a couple spare memory cards, a handful of batteries, and even a couple credit cards and cash, so I can just drag it out instead of a purse.)

Viewfinder: I like having an oldschool viewfinder to save battery, and because it helps me focus my mind on the subject and framing. This camera sadly doesn't have one -- only the LCD screen. But the screen is large, vivid, and easy to use. And battery life really hasn't been a problem

Overall, I'm very pleased with this camera so far. It would be fabulous for anyone who wants to take great point-and-shoot photos out-of-the-box (instead of messing with settings), and still allows a lot of functionality for those of us who occasionally do want to choose just the right settings to create a specific composition.
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on December 5, 2010
Pros:
+ Great image quality (better than competition and SX120 predecessor per my homework [camera labs])
+ Good optical zoom
+ 720p video while optical zooming (Lumix ZS_/ZR_ may have better video per my homework though)
+ Uses regular AA rechargeable batteries (big plus for me, I don't like expensive proprietary batteries)
+ Few customer support horror stories (unlike Panasonic)
+ Better than average low light image quality
+ Good set of manual controls
+ Significant upgrades from predecessor (SX120IS)

Cons:
- Fixed LCD (very minor issue for me)
- Slow shot-to-shot time (plenty fast for me though; quality, not quantity)
- Slow flash recharge (over 3s, but not really a problem for my needs)
- Battery life not great (very minor issue for me; life is adequate with rechargeables and cheap/easy to change out being standard AA size)

Grey area:
+/- Bigger size than competition (Lumix ZS5, Lumnix ZR3, Cybershot H55). May be a plus for me (I like secure feeling from decent size), but probably small minus for most people.
+/- No optical view finder (not an issue for me, I never used it on my old camera)
+/- flash does not automatically pop up, but at least it is out far enough from the lens for decent Macro (unlike some of the competition)
+/- I've heard complaints about flash power. It seems more than adequate to me and is actually adjustable (but not in auto mode).
+/- Stereo microphones ... who cares (they are still only a couple inches apart)?
+/- playback is a button, not switch and no dedicated video record button. I have no idea why some people have such strong feelings about these things.
+/- Cheap plastic construction ... well not really. Honestly, it looks kinda cheap online, but seems pretty well-built once in-hand.

We naturally want it all ... but ultimately we have to look at the trade offs and decide what is important to us. If you want a very small camera, with fast shot-to-shot times, then this is not the camera for you. If you primarily value really great picture quality and zoom ability, then this is a great choice in the under 200 USD range.

BTW, I've heard a lot of people support a particular brand of rechargeable batteries (Sanyo Eneloop). I think they are 2000mAh though; you can get 2500mAh - 3000mAh from a number of companies. So don't just take the first recommendation, you may be able to do 50% better (capacity wise).

BTW BTW, there might be a couple useful features that some casual users missed. You can enter a continuous shot mode, but I don't think it works in "auto". You can also adjust flash power, but not in auto mode. You will want to venture out of auto mode (even if you don't know it yet), this camera has compelling reasons to. I don't know that it is the right camera for people with (D)SLRs ambitions though. If you just want to take one step up from total PNS, then this is a great choice. If your final destination is definitely (D)SLR, then you might want to look elsewhere. There is no optical viewfinder and it doesn't really feel like a (D)SLR.
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on January 5, 2014
watch and read the reviews on the 130, and then the 140, 150, 160, and you'll note: they are not as glowing as the 130... the 130 has a tremendous lens, with supreme color for the price, and has the best stabilized low-light setting of any point and shoot I've found. This low-light setting allows you to capture natural-light photos indoors and out with fair to excellent clarity, in situations where you don't want to use the flash, or can't. Fantastic camera - there's a reason that this camera still retails for nearly the original retail price, while the newer models are $20-50 cheaper. I had to order this camera THREE TIMES, because the first two orders, they shipped me the newer model, even though they said on order they had the 130 in stock. I sent them back - they are NOT equivalent. No one can believe the great quality shots I get with this. NOTE: I recommend doing test shots with the "portrait" ("head" icon), landscape, and auto settings, as i find the Portrait setting is often the best speed and clarity for most shots, better than the Auto setting in many cases, and the Landscape ("mountain" icon) setting is great not only for actual landscapes, but when you are capturing pictures out of a moving train/plane/car to get a clear distance shot and avoid having only the window in focus! The "parrot" icon - color saturation - often gives a more realistic sunset color rendering than other settings, and the low-light setting ("candle" icon) not only does a good job in low light, it's also perfect for shots where you want a quick shutter speed but don't want to go manual, even in good light. Finally, manual controls are there for when you want to really get creative, and there are fun settings like "posterize", "miniaturize", and others.

Please Canon - bring back the 130 tech specs in the newer versions... I've had 2 of them, and they're simply the best.
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on April 21, 2012
Needed a camera in a hurry and bought a SX150 at a mall store. It was the only camera in their stock that uses AA batteries. Proprietary batteries are a deal breaker for me.

A Targus TGC SC610 Case will hold this camera and four more AA batteries easily. Belt loop looks a little iffy, but a toy-quality carabiner as a back-up gives me peace of mind.

Liked the 150 so well that I ordered the slightly less featured 130 a couple of days after buying the 150. I'd have gone with the 120, but the price on 130 was better. Any of these cameras should work well.

Controls are "intuitive" if you have had a few digital cameras. Pics look great for the documentation and illustration that I do. All the features and gee-wiz may be fantastic for all I know. Do you need a self-timer that starts when you enter the picture and blink your eyes? I don't think I do, but you might.

Easy access to manual control is great when images must match in exposure for after-the-fact editing. There's also a variety of white balance possibilities. No raw output tho. Turn off the image review or you spend your time waiting in between pics.

Larger size,greater weight, and image stabilization make it easier to hand hold especially in lower light. And image stabilization really works well. This camera could better use strap lugs, rings, and a shoulder strap instead of a wrist strap. Ring type selector around the function set button beats hell out of a slew of tiny buttons and lots of tabbed sub menus. - A little too easy to bump things tho while intending to change one setting and accidentally changing another.

Experiments moving from sensitivity of 80 or 100 have been mixed. I'm not impressed. With most digitals and oh so long ago with film I have found that higher sensitivity is a trade-off with noise.

This camera uses batteries. Take a bunch of the highest capacity NiMH AA that you can get your hands on. Make sure they are in good shape and fully charged! I'm getting 100 to 150 shots out of each pair of new 2300s before getting a low battery warning. Or about two thirds the number of shots from what I got out of my previous camera. - Have to figure that features like image stabilization are not a loss-free operation.
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