Canon announces Powershot S100 (update to the well regarded S95)

On Thursday, September 15, 2011 0 comments

Anyone that has spent any time with me will know I carry my Canon Powershot S95 everywhere I go. I love its pocketable size and amazing F2 aperture lens that results in some amazing photos. The announcement today of a forthcoming Powershot S100 is something I will keenly follow as the details unfold on comparisons with its predecessor.

The new camera looks quite similar on the outside except for some subtle hand grips that may or may not be a welcome addition. But the guts of this device is all new...

Also available in this brushed titanium finish
1) An all-new 12 mega-pixel imaging processor from Canon debuting on the S100 imaginatively called DIGIC 5. This new processor is 2 mega-pixels higher resolution than the S95 and is 6 times faster, allowing for more complex image processing and noise-reduction. In theory this could help but the proof will be the inevitable side-by-side comparisons.

2) A new lens that offers greater range of zoom comparing its wide-angle (24mm vs 28mm) and improved zoom up from 3.8x to 5x. It maintains its F2 aperture at wide-angle same as the original but goes up to F5.9 (not great) at full telephoto. The original stopped at F4.9 but that was because it was only a 3.8x zoom. Adding the extra zoom capability in such a small size inevitably results in this drop off. So I'll be interested to see the photos generated from full zoom in night-time and non-full daylight shots.

3) With the power of the new image processor, the camera also is afforded some pretty amazing upgrades in the video capture area. The camera now shots full resolution video 1920x1080 at 24 frames a second. Canon has also added the ability to zoom during recording...a feature lacking in the S95.

This isn't your regular inexpensive point-in-shoot camera clocking in at $430 retail pricing. But as I've written about before, the photos that come out of an S95 can easily be mistaken for photos taken with high-end prosumer camera gear.

All together, this sounds great but I'll post an update once I get time to play with one. You'll catch my write-up at Wouldn't Mind This blog.

Look for the S100 to be available in November.

You can read a brief hands-on comparison report with images at

Canon also announced the PowerShot SX40 HS which shares similar technical inners but includes an impressive 35x optical zoom (24mm - 840mm) as well as some other key features for products in this zoom camera category. This is not a product I usually look into but might follow-up with some details when it comes out in September.

PowerShot SX40 HS

Press Release if you are interested is below...

Canon U.S.A. Announces PowerShot S100 and PowerShot SX40 HS Models With New DIGIC 5 Image Processor Providing Enhanced Resolution and Faster Shooting Speeds

Featuring Full HD Video Recording, High-speed Burst HQ and Intelligent IS

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., September 15, 2011 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today announces the addition of two feature-packed digital cameras, the PowerShot S100 and PowerShot SX40 HS, to its award-winning lineup of point-and-shoot models. In addition to superb low-light performance and increased overall speed, these two cameras include a new DIGIC 5 image processor, HS SYSTEM, Full HD video capture, High-speed Burst HQ and Intelligent IS providing clearer, smoother looking images.
"Photo enthusiasts are always on the search for that next great camera to help them achieve the best results," said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. "The inclusion of the new DIGIC 5 image processor and Full HD recording capabilities on both new models will provide users with the tools needed to capture brilliant images and videos as they continue their photographic journey."
A challenging task for the photographer on assignment or appointed family photographer is working under low-light conditions. Helping improve the quality of images from those situations is Canon's HS SYSTEM, where the camera's image processor and high-sensitivity image sensor work in tandem to enhance low-light image quality. With the PowerShot S100 and PowerShot SX40 HS, Canon has introduced a new DIGIC 5 image processor, maintaining the cameras' superb low-light image quality while improving overall camera operation and color accuracy. The new image processor has improved noise reduction and advanced Multi-area White Balance optimizing color tones of both subject and background under multiple light sources.
High-speed, High-quality, High-performance
An added benefit of the DIGIC 5 image processor is the incorporation of the new High-speed Burst HQ1providing users with the ability to continuously capture a maximum of eight frames. This new feature will allow the story of a child scoring the winning goal on the soccer field or a marathon runner crossing the finish line to be told frame-by-frame through the eye of the photographer.
Intelligent IS
One of the most important innovations for a point-and-shoot camera has been Image Stabilization (IS) since it helps improve image quality by reducing camera blur for both images and videos. Canon has taken this technology one step further with the new Intelligent IS which automatically chooses from six different modes (Normal, Macro, Panning, Dynamic, Powered, Tripod) to optimize image stabilization and help achieve crisp, blur-free images for various shooting conditions.
It's an HD World
When the time comes to share one of those "can't miss" moments from a family day at the park or of a pride of lions on a safari expedition, the use of HD video is becoming more popular than ever. As a leader in HD video capture, Canon has incorporated Full HD recording (1920 x 1080) capabilities for both new models. Providing exceptional resolution for crystal clear HD video, both cameras have a dedicated movie record button in addition to having the ability to zoom while recording, further enhancing the overall user experience. An HDMI terminal output has also been included for easy sharing of videos with stereo sound on HD ready televisions
PowerShot S100 Digital Camera
When the PowerShot S95 Digital camera was announced in 2010, it received critical praise for having an impressive feature set and superb low-light capabilities. Building upon the success of this model is the PowerShot S100, featuring a host of upgrades making it a must-have for any photo enthusiast. Featuring a 12.1-megapixel CMOS image sensor -- part of the HS SYSTEM -- this versatile camera has a 24-120mm wide angle lens with 5x optical zoom, GPS functionality and is capable of achieving improved low-light performance of up to ISO 6400. Additionally, the camera utilizes an f/2.0 lens increasing the camera's low-light performance by allowing additional light to reach the sensor while creating a shallow depth-of-field for portraits with dynamic, soft backgrounds. The PowerShot S100 will also now be available in either black or silver. Other features of this camera include:
  • A large 3.0-inch wide LCD screen for easy viewing of those images and menu options.
  • GPS capabilities2 where satellites collect data of the latitude, longitude and altitude of an image's location, which is then stored to the image's EXIF data3. A map utility software is included with the camera to view the locations where images were captured. There's also an internal GPS logger to track the day's photographic route.
  • A full range of shooting and recording modes similar to those found in DSLR cameras including RAW + JPEG and a control ring on the front of the camera for quick, manual adjustment of key functions such as ISO, zoom and focus.
  • Compatibility with the HF-DC2 High-Power Flash, which is an optional flash accessory that operates wirelessly and increases the effective flash range up to approximately 30 feet.
The estimated selling price of the PowerShot S100 Digital camera is $429.99 and is scheduled to be available in early November.*
PowerShot SX40 HS
When visiting the local zoo or sitting in the stands of a youth football game, having a camera that has the flexibility to capture images at close-up and far-off distances is a necessity. Canon's PowerShot SX40 HS is just the camera one would need to ensure those images are of high-quality. Other features include:
  • An incredible 35x optical zoom range (24mm-840mm) with image stabilizer and a 12.1-megapixel CMOS image sensor -- part of the HS SYSTEM – the camera can capture low-light images of enhanced image quality up to ISO 3200.
  • A 2.7-inch wide vari-angle LCD has been included for easy viewing of images and menus from almost any angle.
  • Improved Smart AUTO settings to ensure the settings are intelligently selected based upon the cameras 32 predefined shooting situations.
  • The Zoom Framing Assist button, which helps the user steady the camera when tracking a moving subject at extreme telephoto settings keeping it in focus.
The estimated selling price of the PowerShot SX40 HS Digital camera is $429.99 and is scheduled to be available in late September.*



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