It’s easy to dismiss Canon’s S100 as just another small little compact amid a vast ocean of choice. You would be seriously mistaken though.
Although there are a number of high-end compacts available, none quite match the amount of cool features crammed into the S100. Apart from its diminutive frame, which even after using for a while still impressed us, while at the front of the camera, encircling the lens, you’ll find the control ring. This is programmable, allowing you to, for example, quickly adjust focal length, ISO, white balance, exposure and speed, or to help with manual focusing. It is certainly the speediest way to adjust your settings, and is tremendously helpful for amateurs and seasoned photographers alike.
But what’s new pussycat?
New on the S100 is a built-in GPS, which not only pinpoints your pics, but also has logging functionality, keeping track of your movements. This is especially handy on trips overseas where a lot of sightseeing is done, but keep in mind that it mercilessly chows through battery.
This is not the only step up on the S100, since there are actually a number of solid improvements from the previous S95. We enjoyed the increase in zoom (5x vs 3.8x), while its wider angle makes landscape more accessible (24 mm vs 28 mm). Also important is the better video quality, now capable of full HD 1080p movies, while you’ll definitely see a power-up on the performance side thanks to the inclusion of Canon’s latest DIGIC 5 processor. As in the past, the Auto scene mode is extremely intelligent and can barely be faulted for making a wrong choice.
With a whole heap of new features, the Canon S100 is worth the upgrade.
Is the upgrade worth it?
With the heap of improvements the S100 brings to the table, owners of the S95 and S90 have good reason to upgrade, while it’s very difficult not to recommend the S100 to anyone looking for a super compact.
So along with Canon’s PowerShot G1 X (and G12), the PowerShot S100 is on top of the compact food chain. But which one to get? The G1 X offers DSLR functionality and control in a compact body, but it is still considerably larger than the S100. The S100, on the other hand, squeezes in a whole heap of cool into a tiny frame, and now with GPS onboard makes for an almost perfect holiday camera. At R4300 it’s not the cheapest though. Our next request? Better battery life and Wi-Fi connectivity please.