Canon PowerShot SX160 IS assessment: Sensible choice for rookies on a price range


However, this is why I prefer it. For about $150 ($80 lower than its authentic worth), you get a reliable point-and-shoot digital camera that does extra than simply computerized snapshots. That makes it a pleasant match for individuals who need to study extra about controlling shutter pace and aperture and not using a huge funding. Its 16x zoom lens with picture stabilization offers you some good framing flexibility. And though some may desire a high-power rechargeable battery, the SX160 IS’ two AA batteries make it very handy when touring or for rare photographers.

The costlier Canon PowerShot SX260 HS is a more sensible choice should you can afford it, getting you improved photograph and video high quality and quicker efficiency. In any other case, it is a good choice for rookies or informal photographers or simply anybody seeking to take nicer images than a smartphone can ship.

Image high quality:
Although you most likely will not need to use its images at full dimension, the SX160 IS total produces very good images, particularly for its worth and options. Pixel peepers will see noise even at ISO 100, but it surely’s not noticeable at diminished sizes. Up at ISO 400 is the place it begins to be extra seen.

Going above that you’re going to begin to see extra shade noise, artifacts, and lack of element. The digital camera stops at ISO 1600, which is de facto positive since I am unable to think about a better sensitivity getting usable outcomes. The digital camera positively favors dropping shutter pace over elevating ISO when left in auto. That is good usually, however should you’re not paying consideration it may end in blurry images.

Video high quality is excellent, too, however as with its images, you will see extra noise the much less gentle you’ve got. The lens does zoom whereas recording and when it is zooming in you’ll hear some motor sound picked up by the stereo mics in entrance in quieter scenes. General, although, should you simply must seize the occasional clip for Internet sharing, it does a positive job.

Capturing efficiency:
Editors’ be aware: We not too long ago up to date our testing methodology to offer barely extra real-world efficiency data, so the outcomes aren’t essentially comparable with earlier testing. Till we’re completed refining our procedures, we is not going to be posting comparative efficiency charts.

One of many huge drawbacks of the SX160’s predecessors was capturing efficiency; all of them have been fairly gradual on all accounts. This mannequin will get a much-needed new autofocus (AF) system. Canon says algorithm enhancements, lighter lens components, a stronger lens motor, and reductions in processing and AF scan occasions all end in quicker focusing and fewer shutter lag. Being quicker would not essentially imply it is quick, however it’s improved from the SX150 IS in some methods.

Sarah Tew/CNET

From off to first shot nonetheless takes about 2 seconds, which given the larger lens is sweet. The shot-to-shot occasions averaged 1.4 seconds with out the flash, although utilizing the flash drove that wait time as much as 7 seconds. Shutter lag — the time from when the shutter launch is pressed to when the picture is captured with out prefocusing — was a minimal of 0.3 second in good lighting, and jumped to 0.7 second in low gentle.

There are two essential steady capturing choices: one with autofocus on each shot and one which units focus and publicity with the primary shot. The latter is quicker, capturing at about 0.8 body per second. The continual choice with AF slows all the way down to about 0.6fps. Add within the shutter lag for the primary shot and you will have to be fairly good at anticipating motion to get the shot you need. Principally, do not buy this should you’re often going to be capturing fast-moving topics except you are a good choose of timing.

Design and options:
The downsides to having a protracted zoom lens and AA batteries for energy are dimension and weight. A digital camera wants room to carry a much bigger lens and batteries (greater than a lithium ion pack at the least), they usually make it heavier. That mentioned, its greater dimension does make it simpler to deal with regardless of the slight grip on the entrance, and the load helps hold the digital camera a bit of steadier when capturing.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Plus, the larger physique additionally means room for bigger, easier-to-press buttons. You get a one-touch film document button along with show, menu, and publicity compensation buttons above and beneath the navigational scroll wheel to the suitable of the 3-inch LCD. The display will get adequately vibrant, although some should discover it tough to see in direct daylight and it inverts when it is above eyeline.

The navigational wheel surrounds a Func./Set button and has high, backside, left, and proper strain factors for ISO sensitivity, focus (guide, regular, and macro), flash, and timer. The wheel is responsive with tactile stops to it, so you’ll not simply overshoot what you are attempting to pick. Its operation is total straightforward to choose up, however even seasoned Canon customers will need to study the complete guide included on the software program disc bundled with the digital camera.