Canon PowerShot SX160 IS Assessment


The Canon PowerShot SX160 is a transportable high-zoom digital compact digicam. It incorporates a 16 megapixel sensor, 16x optical zoom which is picture stabilised, guide modes for controlling shutter-speed and aperture, digital results and it takes AA batteries. Priced at round £140 / $229.99, the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS is on the market in Purple, Black and White.

Ease of Use

It is simple to dismiss the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS with out nearer inspection however doing so is certainly price it. The big lens on the entrance and raised central space of the highest plate give it a bridge digicam look. The lens is a 16x optical zoom with picture stabiliser inbuilt. The value will dictate a normal lens with no particular components for low dispersion or chromatic aberration correction. Hardly a pocketable digicam, the lens stands out by an excellent centimetre from the primary physique. It makes the Canon PowerShot SX160 troublesome to hold round discreetly. Probably the most snug approach is by hanging it spherical your neck with an extra neck strap that is not included within the field.

On the highest plate, the Canon PowerShot SX160 homes a pop-up flash within the raised space in direction of the center. It is activated by urgent the black button simply above the display screen. A big command dial sits simply to the proper of the flash and it may not be the primary time {that a} command dial has been included on a digicam of this worth however we nonetheless assume it is fairly swell of Canon to incorporate it. There are 10 choices starting from full guide mode to totally automated the place the digicam stops shy of taking the image for you.

In addition to Handbook (M) mode, there’s additionally Aperture-priority (Av – Aperture Worth), Shutter-priority (Television – Time Worth) and Program (P) modes. These permit you to take extra management over your images. It is a “Kodak” philosophy about bringing images inside attain of everybody which is nice. It means you do not have to lay our a fortune on a digicam to be taught extra about images. The aperture vary is restricted from f/3.5 – f/8 whereas the shutter pace vary is 15sec to 1/3200sec.

Canon PowerShot SX160 IS Canon PowerShot SX160 IS
Entrance Rear

There are just a few cool options on the Command dial that may do the whole lot for you too. The Stay button is a neater approach of controlling the publicity options of the Canon PowerShot SX160. Urgent the Set button brings up three sliders which have totally different values: Mild/Darkish, Vivid/Impartial and Heat/Cool. By adjusting the sliders, you’ll be able to alter the look of the image. That is nice for if you recognize what you need to do however you are not fairly positive how to realize it but. The icon that appears just like the Loss of life Star orbiting Yavin to discover the Insurgent base offers entry to the digital filters. These filters embody Miniature, Toy digicam, Monochrome, Tremendous vivid, Poster impact and Fish-eye. There’s nothing new in these results, which is a disgrace however Canon aren’t going to make use of a low spec digicam to check new tech.

The big 3 inch display screen dominates the rear of the Canon PowerShot SX160 with 1 / 4 of the again left for buttons and dials. Nonetheless, Canon have managed to make the buttons larger and simpler to seek out. The navigation pad acts as a wheel for speedier navigation by means of the menus. There is a direct video button and surprisingly, a direct ISO button.

Canon PowerShot SX160 IS Canon PowerShot SX160 IS

Pop-up Flash

The skin of the Canon PowerShot SX160 feels a bit plasticky and regardless of its measurement, it’s totally gentle suggesting plastic insides too.  For these of you with bigger arms, the digicam is a perfect measurement to carry and shoot with. Due to the bigger space of house accessible, there’s extra room to place larger buttons on with out making all of it look cramped. Actually, there’s nonetheless house for a good sized thumb relaxation.

The quilt for the HDMI and USB ports is made from plastic as a substitute of rubber – which is nice. It solely clips in although with no locking system. The battery door does have a lock on it which is nice for 2 causes: First, the Canon PowerShot SX160 takes AA batteries they usually function by being compelled in towards springs to maintain them in place; Secondly, due to this stress the door can and can pop open at the slightest knock. A lock on it prevents this from taking place so is a smart choice.

There are two foremost menus to make use of when taking photos. Arguably, the one you will use most is the Operate menu. It is accessed by urgent the button in the course of the wheel on the again of the digicam. Apparently, it modifications relying on the mode it is in. In guide modes equivalent to P, Av, Television or M the menu is wider with options equivalent to white-balance, colors, flash compensation, metering and compression. Auto is extra easy with solely three choices for facet ratio, file measurement and video high quality. Stay mode additionally solely has three modes which we talked about earlier.

Canon PowerShot SX160 IS Canon PowerShot SX160 IS
Entrance Prime

The primary menu is extra in depth and holds modes that, as soon as modified, will typically keep that approach for some time. There are two tabs  for taking pictures choices and normal set-up choices. There are numerous autofocus modes, flash settings, playback choices in addition to in-camera assist for taking pictures efficiently. For instance, the digicam can have grid traces switched on which present a noughts and crosses (Tic Tac Toe) board on the display screen. Inserting horizons, gate posts, signal posts and so forth on the traces or topics of curiosity on the intersections creates extra interesting pictures as this obeys a photographic regulation referred to as the Rule of Thirds. Together with the grid traces, there’s additionally a characteristic referred to as i-Distinction. This characteristic will increase the dynamic vary of the image to create a extra balanced publicity. That is typically named HDR (Excessive Dynamic Vary) but it surely’s not as robust as that.

Begin up time of the Canon PowerShot SX160 is a fraction slower than we have seen in cameras across the identical worth vary. It is such a tiny quantity that it would not even be observed within the actual world. We normally get a median tine of round 2.5 seconds from switching the digicam on, to focusing and taking an image. The opening sequence of getting to take a look at the Canon brand is what takes time. The opening brand will be eliminated and it does shave the time down by slightly however not sufficient to be on par with different cameras.

The Canon PowerShot SX160 has two burst drive modes; one steady taking pictures mode and one which additionally tracks a shifting topic and stays targeted on it. Each run on the identical price however we used the previous in order that it did not decelerate to realign focusing. We solely managed to get 5 photographs in a ten second interval which is sluggish. It really works out at round half a picture a second, or one each two seconds. Buffering is quick after that. The photographs had been all saved on the cardboard after 13 seconds had elapsed.

Canon PowerShot SX160 IS Canon PowerShot SX160 IS
Reminiscence Card Slot Battery Compartment

There are a number of playback choices; that’s, the way you need to view them. Urgent the Disp. Button will cycle by means of them. There are two for regular photographers who merely need to level and shoot. One exhibits no info whereas the opposite exhibits some primary taking pictures data such because the date, decision and file quantity. For extra superior customers, you’ll be able to carry up extra detailed info such because the ISO, aperture, shutter pace, file measurement and even a histogram. Urgent the button once more is for pixel peepers that need to be sure the image is sharp.

The Playback menu has been became a sharing platform on digital compact cameras these days and the SX160 is not any exception. There is a slide-show possibility, Favourites and Photobook set-up. If you wish to edit after, you’ll be able to add i-Distinction or My Colors. Extra conventional choices embody Purple-eye correction, cropping and resizing. There are additionally varied print choices in a separate tab in addition to the set-up menu seen within the taking pictures foremost menu.

Due to the AA battery utilization, there’s little within the field of the Canon PowerShot SX160. Except for the digicam, there’s two AA batteries to get you began, a wrist strap and the software program CD with related booklets such because the Fast Begin Information. On the CD is a full digicam working guide in addition to Options v.119.0, Canon’s primary modifying and tagging program.

Picture High quality

All photographs had been taken at full decision on the best high quality setting except in any other case said. File sizes vary from 4.5Mb to 9Mb in measurement in Superfine high quality.


At regular viewing distances, the noise efficiency of the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS seems good. Amplify to 100% and there is slight points that may be seen in darker areas of photographs. Edge definition would not look as sharp because it might be and whereas there isn’t any color noise exhibiting, there seems to be traces of salt and pepper noise. By ISO 200, noise is already exhibiting by means of as slight quantities of inexperienced colouring. That is seen extra detailed at full measurement magnification however slight casts of color in specific areas will be seen too. Because the levels begin to improve, the noise to sign ratio closes and noise turns into much more evident. At ISO 400 there are artefacts seen and color noise is beginning to come by means of extra forcefully.

ISO 800 and 1600 present lots of noise and the picture element begins to endure on the prime setting. Mercifully, Canon have capped the ISO at 1600 on the SX160 – presumably one other nod to the 160 designation together with the 16 megapixel decision and 16x optical zoom. At ISO 1600, edge element remains to be current however it could positively go if there was one other greater ISO 3200 possibility.

There are 5 ISO settings accessible on the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS. Listed below are some 100% crops which present the noise ranges for every ISO setting.

Focal Vary

The focal size of the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS is 16x optical which supplies a 28-448mm equal in 35mm phrases. In case you’re undecided what meaning; for those who had a full-frame digital digicam or a movie digicam that takes customary 35mm movie, the zoom could be 28-448mm. Because the sensor is way smaller than 35mm, it really works otherwise. The precise zoom vary is 5.0-80.0mm and the 35mm equal is discovered by up-scaling.


Photos from the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS are sharp sufficient with out the necessity for extra assist from an modifying suite. Our pattern pictures sharpened in Adobe Photoshop CS4 regarded worse afterwards.

Chromatic Aberrations

We managed to discover traces of chromatic aberration in areas that had a excessive distinction and particular edge. We did see proof of it in bokeh areas too however could not verify that it wasn’t merely lens flare. It principally seems on the edges of the body as is normally the case. The most effective instance of CA is the brickwork that exhibits purple and inexperienced traces on opposing sides of the bricks.


Shut focusing of the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS is 1cm which is nice. We could not get it that shut, extra like round 1.5 – 2cm. Centre sharpness is great however fall off occurs in a short time with what seems like chromatic aberration showing nearer to the centre of the body.


The flash of the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS is sat over the centre of the digicam and is a pop-up selection. The button to activate it’s simply above the display screen. The black button makes it look like a standard viewfinder. At wide-angle there’s traces of vignetting at the corners of the body. Utilizing flash exacerbates the vignette as a substitute of eradicating it. At full zoom, the flash is a extra even unfold.

After urgent the flash choices button on the navigation wheel, you’ll be able to press menu and a separate flash menu seems with 4 choices: Flash publicity compensation, Purple-eye correction, Purple-eye lamp and Security FE. We examined portraits with flash utilizing the correction and lamp on their very own and collectively. Nevertheless, we did not get any red-eye even with them each off so we could not take a look at it is effectiveness.

Flash On (100% Crop)


There are three choices accessible on the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS to get evening pictures. The evening scene will take away all management from you to get a balanced publicity at no matter value. In our take a look at shot taken simply earlier than dawn, the digicam pushed the ISO to 1600 giving a noisy end result even with the aperture at f/3.5 and utilizing a sluggish 1/20sec shutter pace.

We switched to program to manage the ISO and acquired a extra noiseless image however the publicity was longer at slightly below a second. We additionally tried the Television possibility. We ran an publicity for 15 seconds which regarded balanced on the display screen of the digicam however is definitely over uncovered. Nonetheless, it offers an instance of precisely what you can do with the SX160.

Pattern Pictures

This can be a choice of pattern photographs from the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS digicam, which had been all taken utilizing the 16 megapixel High quality JPEG setting. The thumbnails beneath hyperlink to the full-sized variations, which haven’t been altered in any approach.

Pattern Film & Video

This can be a pattern film on the high quality setting of 1280×720 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please word that this 35 second film is 88.8Mb in measurement.

Product Pictures


In case you’re used to pocket-sized cameras you can slip away when not in use then the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS goes to be a giant shock to you. It must be held on a regular basis, hung round your neck or put in a bag. To that finish, the SX160 is uncomfortable however for those who’re comfortable with that then it isn’t. The grip is large enough to carry the digicam steadily with one hand with out being obtrusive.

The batteries we acquired for the take a look at had been unopened after we began however they ran out midway by means of the take a look at. On a day of testing, we use a digicam greater than what a median day of use could be so we count on untimely battery dumping, however we had been shocked once they ran out fairly this shortly. Therein lies the issue with AA batteries in digital cameras and it is doubtless that this might begin up a debate concerning the makes use of of AA batteries. So right here it’s: they’re extra available in a store on vacation or in a distant village when out climbing and so forth. We’d nonetheless advise to get a pack of 4 Eneloops or related.

We ponder whether the designers – figuring out that the lens needed to be caught out fairly a lot to include the zoom – designed the remainder of the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS to appear like a prosumer/compact system digicam. It really works properly by squatting the flash over the lens to appear like a viewfinder and even placing the flash pop-up button on the again to appear like an optical viewfinder from a distance.

Given the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS’s low value, the corners should be minimize someplace and we predict it is within the construct high quality. The digicam would not really feel as strong because it might though there are some nuggets in there such because the lockable battery door and higher port cowl. The buttons really feel agency and the dials aren’t too slack or flimsy.

Picture high quality is nice on the SX160. We actually loved utilizing it and – naturally – acquired some wonderful pictures with it. Photos are sharp, vibrant and (at low ISO) noise free. The 1cm macro mode is nice though the picture drop-off is not so scorching.

The Canon PowerShot SX160 is a low value, huge zoom level and shooter that may have an possibility or mode for just about something {that a} photographer can throw at it. We are saying photographer as a result of with the guide controls, that is precisely what you change into. In case you’ve ever considered stepping into images however do not have the cash or are uncertain for those who’ll take pleasure in it, a digicam like that is good as a result of it affords the likelihood to advance your information and not using a huge outlay. In case you do change into captivated with it, welcome to the membership.

Rankings (out of 5)
Design 3.5
Options 4
Ease-of-use 4.5
Picture high quality 4
Worth for cash 4.5



Kind 1/2.3 sort CCD
Efficient Pixels Approx. 16.0M
Color Filter Kind Major Color


Kind DIGIC 4 with iSAPS expertise


Focal Size 5.0 – 80.0 mm (35 mm equal: 28 – 448 mm)
Zoom Optical 16x
ZoomPlus 32x
Digital Approx. 4x (with Digital Tele-Converter Approx. 1.6x or 2.0x and Security Zoom¹). Mixed Approx. 64x
Most f/quantity f/3.5 – f/5.9
Building 11 components in 9 teams (1 UD lens, 1 double-sided aspherical lens)
Picture Stabilisation Sure (lens shift-type), 3.5-stop. Clever IS


Kind TTL
AF System/ Factors Face Detection, 1-point AF (fastened to centre)
AF Modes Steady, Servo AF/AE¹, Monitoring AF
AF Level Choice Dimension (Regular, Small)
AF Lock On/Off Selectable
AF Help Beam Sure
Handbook Focus Sure
Closest Focusing Distance 1 cm (W) from entrance of lens in macro


Metering modes Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF body), Centre-weighted common, Spot (Centre)
AE Lock On/Off Selectable
Publicity Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 cease increments.
Enhanced i-Distinction for automated dynamic vary correction
ISO sensitivity* AUTO, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600


Pace 1 – 1/3200 sec. (manufacturing facility default)
15 – 1/3200 sec. (complete vary – varies by taking pictures mode)


Kind TTL
Settings Auto (together with Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Customized


Monitor 7.5 cm (3.0”) TFT, Approx. 230,000 dots
Protection Approx. 100%
Brightness Adjustable to one among 5 ranges. Fast-bright LCD


Modes Auto, Handbook Flash On / Off, Gradual Synchro
Gradual Sync Pace Quickest pace 1/2000 sec.
Purple-Eye Discount Sure
Flash Publicity Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 cease increments. Face Detection FE. Security FE.
Flash Publicity Lock Sure
Handbook Energy Adjustment 3 ranges with inner flash
Constructed-in Flash Vary 50 cm – 3.0 m (W) / 60 cm – 2.0 m (T)
Exterior Flash Canon Excessive Energy Flash HF-DC1,
Canon Excessive Energy Flash HF-DC2


Modes Sensible Auto (32 scenes detected), Program AE, Shutter precedence AE, Aperture precedence AE, Handbook, Stay View Management, SCN (Portrait, FaceSelf-Timer, Low Mild (4.0MP), Snow, Fireworks), Artistic Filters (Fish-eye Impact, Miniature Impact, Toy Digicam Impact, Monochrome, Tremendous Vivid, Poster Impact), Discreet, Film
Modes in Film Sensible Auto (21 scenes detected), Normal, iFrame Film, Program AE, Portrait, Snow, Fireworks, Miniature Impact, Monochrome, Tremendous Vivid, Poster Impact
Photograph Results My Colours (My Colours Off, Vivid, Impartial, Sepia, Black & White, Constructive Movie, Lighter Pores and skin Tone, Darker Pores and skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Inexperienced, Vivid Purple, Customized Colour)
Drive modes Single, Steady, Steady with AF, Self-Timer
Steady Taking pictures Approx. 0.8 pictures/sec. with AF: Approx. 0.5 pictures/sec. LV: Approx. 0.6 pictures/sec.(till reminiscence card turns into full)¹²


Picture Dimension 4:3 – (L) 4608 x 3456, (M1) 3264 x 2448, (M2) 1600 x 1200, (S) 640 x 480
16:9 – (L) 4608 x 2592, (M1) 3264 x 1832, (M2) 1920 x 1080, (S) 640 x 360
3:2 – (L) 4608 x 3072, (M1) 3264 x 2176, (M2) 1600 x 1064, (S) 640 x 424
1:1 – (L) 3456 x 3456, (M1) 2448 x 2448, (M2) 1200 x 1200, (S) 480 x 480
Resize in playback (M2, S, XS)¹
Compression Superfine, High quality
Films (HD) 1280 x 720, 25 fps, (L) 640 x 480, 30 fps
Miniature Impact (HD, L) 5fps, 2.5fps, 1.25 fps
iFrame Film (HD)
Film Size (HD) As much as 4 GB or 29 min. 59 sec.¹
(L ) As much as 4 GB or 1 hour²


Nonetheless Picture Kind JPEG compression, (Exif 2.3 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Digicam File system, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Model 1.1 compliant
Films MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (stereo)]


Canon Printers Canon SELPHY Compact Photograph Printers and Canon Inkjet Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photograph Print, Fastened Dimension Print and Film Print supported on SELPHY CP & ES printers solely)
PictBridge Sure


Purple-Eye Correction Sure, throughout taking pictures and playback
My Digicam / My Menu Begin-up picture and digicam sounds customisation
My Class Picture tagging characteristic
Clever Orientation Sensor Sure
Histogram Sure
Playback zoom Approx. 2x – 10x
Self Timer Approx. 2 or 10 sec., Customized
Menu Languages English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Simplified Chinese language, Chinese language (conventional), Japanese, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Farsi, Hindi, Malay, Indonesian, Vietnamese


Pc Hello-Pace USB (MTP, PTP) devoted connector (Mini-B suitable)
Different HDMI Mini Connector (HDMI-CEC suitable) A/V output (PAL/NTSC)



PC & Macintosh Home windows 7 SP1 / Vista SP2 / XP SP3
Mac OS X v10.6 – 10.7


Shopping & Printing ImageBrowser EX
Different PhotoStitch


Batteries 2x Dimension-AA Alkaline or Ni-MH Batteries (NB-3AH) (Alkaline batteries equipped)
Battery life Approx.140 pictures (with equipped batteries)
Approx. 380 pictures (with non-compulsory Canon NB-3AH batteries)
Approx. 420 min. playback (with equipped batteries)
Approx. 600 min. playback (with non-compulsory Canon NB-3AH batteries)
A/C Energy Provide Optionally available, AC Adapter Package ACK800


Circumstances / Straps Delicate Case DCC-750
Flash Canon Excessive Energy Flash HF-DC1,
Canon Excessive Energy Flash HF-DC2
Energy Provide & Battery Chargers AC Adapter Package ACK800, Battery Charger Package CBK4-300, Ni-MH Batteries NB-3AH


Working Setting 0 – 40 °C¹, 10 – 90% humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 111.0 x 72.5 x 44.1 mm
Weight Approx. 291 g (together with battery/batteries and reminiscence card)

Zoom ¹ Relying on the picture measurement chosen.
AF Modes ¹ Some settings restrict availability.
Steady Taking pictures ¹ Underneath circumstances the place the flash doesn’t fireplace.
² Relying on reminiscence card pace / capability / compression setting.
Picture Dimension ¹ XS is half the size and width of S
Film Size ¹ The next Pace Class reminiscence playing cards are required for max report time: (HD) 1280 x 720 Pace Class 4 or above. (Full HD) 1920 x 1080 Pace Class 6 or above. (iFrame) 1280 x 720 Pace Class 6 or above.
² Relying on reminiscence card pace / capability / compression setting.
Working Setting ¹ 0 – 35 °C when NB4-300 is used.
  • *Normal Output Sensitivity / Really helpful Publicity Index.
  • In keeping with ISO 12232:2006 (twentieth April 2006) which specifies the technique for assigning and reporting ISO pace rankings for digital nonetheless cameras.
  • All knowledge is predicated on Canon customary testing strategies (in accordance with CIPA Requirements) besides the place indicated.
  • Topic to alter with out discover.

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