Canon SX150 IS 'Great quality starter camera'

Dec 18, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:- Durability
- Efficiency
- Quality of photos and video
- Ease of use

Cons:- Portability
- Battery life can be shortlived

The Bottom Line:

Great starter camera for young adults and adults alike. You
won't be disappointed.


A number of months ago I received the Canon SX150 IS as a gift from my father. I just got stationed in Italy with the
United States Army and let's face it, time spent in Italy requires one to own a camera. And to use it at that!
Let's start off with the basics, to point out that this is your point-and-shoot camera meant for a combination of purposes.
Portability, ease of use, durability, battery life, quality of photos, and efficency are all major parts of what the typical buyer
is looking for when purchasing a camera of this nature. There's simply a lot more to every camera, whether it be a point-
and-shoot or a DSLR, however I find most people purchases a point-and-shoot are aiming to find these main attributes in
their purchase, so I will address them.

Portability:
The Canon SX150 IS to quite simply state is not the slimmest camera you're going to find for it's intended use. It's simply
slightly bulky. Measuring well over 1" to 1.5" in depth (or width if you prefer) makes it slightly unsuitable for carry in your
jeans pocket--or any pants pocket for that matter. This is one thing I find very important, and also, slightly upsetting about
Canon's product. As a man I don't typically carry a purse around, and pulling a camera out of a bag or backpack everytime
I want to take a photo is simply annoying. Now however, if you are used to carrying around a purse or backpack and don't
mind taking a second to pull out your camera, then continue reading, it definitely makes up for it's size in certain aspects.
- To give you an idea of the size that many can relate to, stack approximately three (3) iPhones on top of each other; and
imagine it in your pocket. I'd say it's roughly over 4" wide, 3" tall, and 1.5" deep.

Ease of Use:
This is definitely what you are looking for if you just want something to take pictures with. The camera is very user friendly
and frankly quite easy to use. I regret to say I've never looked into specifics about changing certain settings on this camera
such as ISOs, Manual Focus, etc... However, if you're looking to make such fine adjustments to your photos and customize
exposures and light settings, I'd recommend you look into purchasing a DSLR camera. As the quality of photos with the
amount of customization you can put into them far exceeds that of any point-and-shoot camera. However, if you're looking
for easy self-timer settings, quick recording for movies, flash, photo type, and of course, zoom, than look no further as
these settings are all easily accessible and don't take any familiarity with the product whatsoever.

Durability:
I'm young and in the Army. I've had my fair share of drunken nights that needed documentation and pictures of, because
well, why not? I have to say the camera has stood the test of durability several times. Whether it was dropped, had liquids
spilled on it, hit, sat on, etc..., it always continued to turn on and take pictures. It just kept going. My SX150 IS finally took
what many would consider a "lethal blow" one day when it was thrown at my friends head. He managed to dodge the
camera which ended with it smashing into the wall behind him. The lens frame was bent and rendered the camera useless.
When I turned it on, the lens could not extend and therefore couldn't take any photos. Luckily a different friend of mine is
fairly tech savvy and was able to take the camera apart and bend the lens frame back to it's original form. The process
took him about 40 minutes and once I received it back, everything worked fine once again. The only thing that was
damaged at all was the frame, the components inside, as well as the lens itself remained perfectly operational. Now, just
because mine survived these poor incidents, it does not mean I suggest you try it to your own! But, feel safe to expect a
durable camera that won't just break the first time someone drops it--or the twentieth.

Battery Life:
This aspect, much like portability is one of the downsides of the camera. I've found regular batteries don't last long in it,
especially in night shooting where the flash is required. Regular Energizers and Duracells I'd find lasting me around 75 shots
in the daylight. Compared to maybe 30 - 40 at night time (of course depending on the use from that day). Be prepared to
shell out a decent amount of cash on powering this thing up and keeping the photos snapping. An alternative however are
the Energizer Recharge batteries. They're more expensive and you need to buy a charger for them, however, the power
output is much more withstanding. Doubling my shots during the day, and adding 20 or so with flash. They come in different
levels, the ones I use are 2300 mAh. I highly recommend these batteries as they don't take long to charge, last longer than
regular batteries, and will save you a chunk of change in the long haul.

Quality of Photos:
The quality of photos is downright excellent for a point-and-shoot camera during the daytime. Landscapes, cities, buildings,
and friends and people turn out excellent in the shots and the Auto Focus is always spot on. However at night I haven't had
the best of luck with the Auto Focus--even with flash. Sometimes the photos come out a little blurry or the Image
Stabilization feature isn't working at it's peak. The quality of video is quite impressive however and stands up to the HD
claims the camera makes. Of course, storage of video skyrockets but that is to be expected with any recording device,
especially an HD one. The microphone comes in crisp and clear as well for the audio in the recorded video.

Efficiency:
One of my favorite aspects of the Canon SX150 IS is the efficiency of the camera itself. I can pull it out of my pocket
(although bulky and annoying) turn it on and take a photo within seconds. I never see something happening that I need a
picture of that this camera can't beat to the punch. It's remarkable in that aspect. The video as well, just press the record
button and it starts right up. This camera is definitely great for capturing in the moment picture memories as well as video
memories and is probably my favorite and highest rated aspect of this camera.

One thing to note that peeves me about this camera however is it's 'Review' feature. Not immediately after the photo is
taken--in that respect it works fine. But rather, if you plug your SD card into the computer and rotate the photos for
viewing. Once you put the SD card back into the camera, when you review those rotated photos you get an error about
previewing the file as it is not longer readable by the camera. However, in all fairness to Canon, I should note my laptop
has an SD card reader, and that is how I upload the files to my computer. I do not use the software provided with the
camera. But I do the same with other cameras and they can still read the image after rotated.

That's the end of my review, to conclude this camera takes great quality photos and video and is efficient and speedy at
doing so. The battery life can be quite acceptable with the proper batteries and will last a while. With the proper care and
caution exercised this camera will last a lifetime and will not break--even if you drop it a few times. The only downside is
the portability of the camera. Again if you don't mind carrying a bag of some sort or purse, then don't let the size bother
you. However if you want to walk around in a t-shirt and jeans, you may find yourself with some very bulky looking pockets
and a tight feel around your thigh.

Again, bearing portability in mind I would recommend this product to a friend and definitely to someone who worries about
destroying their first, second, third, or next camera in general. Great starter camera for young adults and adults alike. You
won't be disappointed.


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