Canon PowerShot SX160 IS evaluation: Sensible choice for inexperienced persons on a funds

However, here is why I prefer it. For about $150 ($80 lower than its authentic worth), you get a reliable point-and-shoot digicam that does extra than simply automated snapshots. That makes it a pleasant match for many who wish to be taught extra about controlling shutter pace and aperture with no huge funding. Its 16x zoom lens with picture stabilization provides you some good framing flexibility. And though some would possibly choose a high-power rechargeable battery, the SX160 IS’ two AA batteries make it very handy when touring or for rare photographers.

The costlier Canon PowerShot SX260 HS is a better option should you can afford it, getting you improved picture and video high quality and sooner efficiency. In any other case, this can be a good possibility for inexperienced persons or informal photographers or simply anybody seeking to take nicer pictures than a smartphone can ship.

Image high quality:
Although you in all probability will not wish to use its pictures at full dimension, the SX160 IS general produces very good pictures, particularly for its worth and options. Pixel peepers will see noise even at ISO 100, however it’s not noticeable at diminished sizes. Up at ISO 400 is the place it begins to be extra seen.

Going above that you will begin to see extra colour noise, artifacts, and lack of element. The digicam stops at ISO 1600, which is actually high-quality since I am unable to think about the next sensitivity getting usable outcomes. The digicam positively favors dropping shutter pace over elevating ISO when left in auto. That is good typically, however should you’re not paying consideration it may end in blurry pictures.

Video high quality is superb, too, however as with its pictures, you will see extra noise the much less mild you’ve got. The lens does zoom whereas recording and when it is zooming in you’ll hear some motor sound picked up by the stereo mics in entrance in quieter scenes. Total, although, should you simply must seize the occasional clip for Net sharing, it does a high-quality job.

Taking pictures efficiency:
Editors’ observe: We not too long ago up to date our testing methodology to supply barely extra real-world efficiency data, so the outcomes aren’t essentially comparable with earlier testing. Till we’re completed refining our procedures, we is not going to be posting comparative efficiency charts.

One of many huge drawbacks of the SX160’s predecessors was taking pictures efficiency; all of them have been fairly sluggish on all accounts. This mannequin will get a much-needed new autofocus (AF) system. Canon says algorithm enhancements, lighter lens parts, a stronger lens motor, and reductions in processing and AF scan occasions all end in sooner focusing and fewer shutter lag. Being sooner does not essentially imply it is quick, however it’s improved from the SX150 IS in some methods.

Sarah Tew/CNET

From off to first shot nonetheless takes about 2 seconds, which given the larger lens is nice. The shot-to-shot occasions averaged 1.4 seconds with out the flash, although utilizing the flash drove that wait time as much as 7 seconds. Shutter lag — the time from when the shutter launch is pressed to when the picture is captured with out prefocusing — was a minimal of 0.3 second in good lighting, and jumped to 0.7 second in low mild.

There are two fundamental steady taking pictures choices: one with autofocus on each shot and one which units focus and publicity with the primary shot. The latter is quicker, capturing at about 0.8 body per second. The continual possibility with AF slows right down to about 0.6fps. Add within the shutter lag for the primary shot and you will have to be fairly good at anticipating motion to get the shot you need. Mainly, do not buy this should you’re often going to be taking pictures fast-moving topics except you are a good decide of timing.

Design and options:
The downsides to having an extended zoom lens and AA batteries for energy are dimension and weight. A digicam wants room to carry an even bigger lens and batteries (greater than a lithium ion pack a minimum of), they usually make it heavier. That mentioned, its greater dimension does make it simpler to deal with regardless of the slight grip on the entrance, and the load helps maintain the digicam a bit steadier when taking pictures.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Plus, the larger physique additionally means room for bigger, easier-to-press buttons. You get a one-touch film document button along with show, menu, and publicity compensation buttons above and beneath the navigational scroll wheel to the proper of the 3-inch LCD. The display will get adequately vivid, although some should still discover it troublesome to see in direct daylight and it inverts when it is above eyeline.

The navigational wheel surrounds a Func./Set button and has prime, backside, left, and proper strain factors for ISO sensitivity, focus (guide, regular, and macro), flash, and timer. The wheel is responsive with tactile stops to it, so you’ll not simply overshoot what you are attempting to pick out. Its operation is general straightforward to choose up, however even seasoned Canon customers will wish to study the total guide included on the software program disc bundled with the digicam.