Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Canon PowerShot S100: Successor to popular S95 adds GPS, 5x zoom

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Summary: Canon announces the new PowerShot S100, updating its popular S95 high-end compact with a longer and wider zoom lens, GPS, and 1080p video.

Canon is making waves today with the announcement of the new PowerShot S100, a successor to its wildly popular S90 and S95 high-end compact cameras. Though the super-compact body design hasn’t changed significantly (save for the addition of a small grip and a new silver color option), the new S100 is really a complete overhaul internally — a good thing considering the competition has gotten fiercer since the S95 was released in August of last year, with the addition of cameras like the Olympus XZ-1 and the recently announced Fujifilm FinePix X10 and Nikon Coolpix P7100.

The biggest difference between the S95 and S100 is a whole new imaging system: In addition to the faster new processor and a completely new sensor, the S100 sports a wider and longer 5x zoom lens — a 24-120mm equivalent, f/2.0-5.9 beauty (vs. the S95’s 28-105mm, f/2.0-4.9 3.8x lens). It’s still nice and bright on the wide angle, but as with the S95, the telephoto is limited to fairly narrow maximum aperture because of the camera’s compact size. Canon has upped the resolution to 12-megapixels while maintaining a 1/1.7-inch sensor size, but also opted for a high-sensitivity (read backside illuminated) CMOS sensor rather than a CCD, which may mitigate a resulting drop in low-light image quality.

The other major addition to the S100 is a built-in GPS receiver to enable automatic geotagging and location logging for photos and videos. The bundled Map Utility software lets you map a route of your photo locations using Google Maps and create customized maps that you can share.

Other big changes from the S95 include:

Full 1080p HD video recording at 24fps (720p at 30fps)5x optical zoom while shooting videoDedicated video record button240fps high-speed video capture in Super Slow Motion Movie scene modeElectronic wind filter for improved sound recordingBroader sensitivity range of ISO 80-6400Faster continuous shooting at 2.3fps (or 8 frames at 9.6fps in High-Speed Burst HQ scene mode)

The other less-welcome change is a bump in list price from the S95’s $399.99 price tag to $429.99. The new model will hit store shelves in November.

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Janice got her hands on a Nikon Coolpix 900 back in 1998 and has been a digital camera enthusiast ever since.

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