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Little Elph. Big Deal
Oct 25, 2000
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Small size, nice lens, nice accessories
Cons:Underfeatured, non-standard batteries
The Canon PowerShot S100 Digital Elph is a nice digital snapshot camera. Photographers looking for more bang for their buck, though, may be disappointed by the meager feature set.
Recommend this product?
First, the basics. The Digital Elph measures just 3.4-by-2.2-by-1.1 inches and weighs 6.7 ounces (without CF card or battery). That’s virtually identical to the original Canon Elph, which was 3.6-by-2.4-by-1.1 inches and weighed 6.3 ounces (without battery). The digital version also other similarities to its predecessor, like the side-mounted strap holder. This placement encourages the use of the Elph as a fashion accessory, not just a picture-taking device.
For such a small camera, the LCD and the viewfinder are surprisingly generous. The LCD is a 1.5-inch TFT LCD that’s easy to see, even in sunlight. The optical viewfinder has a nice round shape and bright image. The placement is a logical: A little left of center, as opposed to the dead-center placement of most cameras.
The Digital Elph is pretty much “auto-everything.” Exposure and focus are all handled automatically, although shooting is a little slow. Overall, I found the camera to be a little sluggish. Pressing the “on” button doesn’t necessarily mean the Elph springs to life. I missed a few shots on my first day using it, waiting for the camera to turn on.
The camera is pretty easy to use, primarily because the picture-taking options are so limited. There’s one metering method (center), one focus method (three-point AF) and one exposure method (TTL program). There’s also only one file format, JPEG, which means shutterbugs who like to wrestle with uncompressed TIFFs for maximum quality will be disappointed.
Like the original Elph, the camera’s flash is very close to the lens, which increases the chance for red-eye. The user does have choice of several flash modes – auto, on, off, red-eye reduction and slow synchro – so if you think about it, you can probably overcome the red-eye issue.
The Canon S100 uses a non-standard lithium ion battery, which measures 1.3-by-1.9-by-0.4 inches, so you can forget about popping in a pair of AAs in a pinch.
The lens is a pretty capable f/2.8 5.4 – f/4 10.8mm. That’s equivalent to 35-70mm in 35mm film format, which is pretty much standard. You won’t be able to capture sports or action shots but it’s pretty sharp.
PowerShot S100 Digital Elph is supplied with these accessories: lithium battery pack NB-1L, battery charger CB-2L, an 8MB CompactFlash card, USB interface cable, video cable, wrist strap, PowerShot Solutions Software CD-ROM, and Adobe PhotoDeluxe CD-ROM.
Optional accessories include AC adapter kit ACK300 (which contains compact power adapter CA-PS300, DC coupler DR-300, and an AC Power Cord) and soft compact case PSC 100 (with space for and extra battery and CF card) as well as spare batteries, CF cards and interface cables.
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