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.
PROS: * 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.
CONS: * 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.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: 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.