Gear Review: Canon PowerShot s100 compact camera

The canon s100 - a perfect compact camera for landscape photography


There are lots of review sites out there for various gear going into vast detail on products, and it's all useful information - but they can at first appear a bit over whelming. Because of this, and to cater for the time poor internet user - I want to keep my reviews brief and as too the point as possible so you can quickly weigh up the pro's and con's and go on to make your decision.

Canon PowerShot s100 review 

When I'm out hiking in all weathers, it's important for me to carry a good compact camera as well as a DSLR, which I can easily whip out the pocket to document my walks. Infant you might be suprised to know that a lot my photos that I publish on my blog are taken with a compact camera and sometimes if I'm travelling very light I don't take a DSLR with me, relying solely on a compact.
So with a good compact being an essential part of my photographic kit, this brings me onto this brief review of the Canon Powershot s100.

Canon s100 - Pros:

  • One of the best factors for me about this camera (coming from a landscape photographer background) is the wider and longer, 24-120mm equivalent 5x zoom lens. For the layperson this means that this has a wider angle lens compared to typical compacts that have a 36mm equivalent lens - essentially, for beginners, it means you can fit more of the landscape scene in your images (If you analyse most landscape photos - most are taken with a wide angle lens below 36mm - often 16-24mm)
  • The canon s100 has good build quality & is quite compact and light, so it can easily fit in a pocket ready to whip out at a moments notice.
  • It has superb image quality for a compact - 12MegaPixel using a CMOS sensor, and the images are full of colour and detail. It even handles images at a low ISO fairly well for a compact.
  • It can shoot in RAW file format (perfect for post processing in photoshop and the likes) 
  • The canon s100 has good manual control over settings, such as aperture & shutterspeed (necessity for shooting waterfalls). Although I tend to stay away from manual focussing when using compacts.
  • It also has a lot of good automatic settings - so you are pretty much guaranteed a good image whatever your skill level, and it has an inbuilt HDR setting if you have a tripod to hand.
  • The bright LCD screen is quite large too, a good thing since most prefer to point and shoot these days.
  • Another bonus is that it has inbuilt HD video capability, as well as inbuilt flash (which you'd expect)

Cons:

  • Whilst this camera will be ideal for most amateur enthusiasts, the image quality does deteriorate in very low level light, as expected really - this is not a high-end DSLR
  • Because some of my photos are turning out quite well - I'm wanting to enlarge them for prints above a3 size but the images from the canon s100 are not really capable of going above that size (which wouldn't be a problem for most).
  • I personally prefer to shoot in wide-angle lenses, and whilst the 24mm equivalent lens of the s100 is great for a compact - that's the widest it can go, so would limit me a little in that respect - hence my need for a complimentary DSLR too.

Verdict:

In terms of the features, image quality & price, for me, at the time of this blog post, this is one of the best compact cameras on the market for landscape photography and I would highly recommend it, either as your main camera, or for amateur photographers as a supplement to your DSLR which you can save for the really spectacular compositions.

Infact I rate this compact camera so that highly that it is now my compact camera of choice on my outdoor walks & adventures, and a lot of the photos you see on this blog will be taken with this camera.


Sample images:

Below are some of the images I have taken so far on the canon s100. [Click image to enlarge]


Housestead's Roman Fort - one of the best bits on the Hadrian's wall walk, Best Hadrians Wall View, Sycamore Gap, Robin Hood prince of thieves, best view, Best Hadrian's Wall Walk, Roman wall, where is it
Hadrians Wall - Looking towards Housesteads Roman Fort. The in-built Natural Density Filter of the canon s100 really helps bring out the blue skies.



Crib Goch ridge, Snowdon walk, Mount Snowdon Horsehoe walk, via crib Goch Route, Pyg Track

The compact nature of the canon s100 means it is perfect to whip out the pocket and capture fleeting moments like the above walker on Crib Goch en route to Mount Snowdon.



Blog Update December 2015




In December 2015 I was chuffed to bits to be voted Go Outdoors Best Independent Blog of the Year 2015. With the extra exposure and positive feedback my blog is now getting because of this award win, my plan is to dedicate even more time to my blog and also expand a section dedicated to reviewing & testing more gear/kit (whether related to photography, hiking, clothing or camping).

If you are interested in me reviewing any products - please get in touch by emailing me, Stuart at hello@stuart-hodgson.com. Thanks