The Canon PowerShot SX150 IS was released in August 2011 and has a 12x optical zoom lens. It is available in red, black and silver for £179.00, although there is currently £20 cash back available (as of 9th November 2011).
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Front
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Features
The SX150 has a 14.1 megapixel sensor, enough to produce A3 sized prints, there is also a 12x optical zoom lens which is a 35mm equivalent of 28 - 336mm. To reduce the amount of blur in images the camera has Intelligent IS which automatically adjusts the Optical Image Stabilisation.
Picture taking is made easy in Smart Auto mode, which detects the scene and selects the perfect settings from 32 variables (21 in movie). There is also Easy mode as well as full manual controls so you can set the camera's shutter speed and aperture. Other modes include Smart Shutter with Wink Self-Timer and creative filters, which include Fish-eye Effect, Super Vivid, Poster, Toy Camera, Miniature and Monochrome.
Movies are recorded in 720p HD with stereo sound and optical zoom. There is Dynamic and Powered Image Stabilisation to help keep movies sharp and blur free. Videos can also be optimized for Apple's iFrame format.
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Top
12x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28 - 336mm)
Intelligent Image Stabilisation (IS)
14.1 megapixel CCD sensor
Smart Auto and Easy modes detect 32 scenes
3.0 inch LCD screen
HD movies with stereo sound
Full Manual control
Creative Filters including Miniature Effect
Smart Shutter with Wink Self-Timer
Hints & Tips
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Screen
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Handling
The SX150 is large and bulky for a compact camera as well as being heavy when loaded with its two AA batteries. The body is made of plastic and on the rear of the camera is a 3 inch LCD screen, which is easy to see in most lighting conditions, although images don't look as colourful as when viewed on your computer. The buttons are large and easy to press, with a mode dial placed on the top of the camera. The d-pad also rotates to cycle through menu options and you can press the playback button when the camera is switched off to view your images. There is also hints and tips to help you understand the camera.
With standard alkaline AA batteries the camera is capable of around 110 shots. This isn't a lot so it's likely you're going to need at least one set of spares. Alternatively you could purchase the Canon NB-3AH rechargeable batteries which are capable of around 320 shots on one charge. The camera is ready to take photos within two to three seconds of switching on and focusing speed is good. In continuous shooting mode it is capable of shooting full sized images at 0.8fps.
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Batteries
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Performance
Images produced by the camera are generally well exposed with good colour reproduction. Detail is decent throughout the images whether shooting wide or with the full optical zoom. When shooting with the lens at its longest you can see the camera working hard to reduce image shake. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm and allows you to get really close and take very pleasing macro images.
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Lens test images
Images at ISO 80 and ISO 100 show little signs of noise, but there is some evident at ISO 200. Noise increases further at ISO 400 with images losing a touch of sharpness. Noise really starts to kick in at ISO 800 and even more so at ISO 1600. Although there is plenty of noise at these higher ISO settings, the colour reproductions is barely effected, so you can still get a good images, even though they will be best used for the web rather than large prints.
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS ISO test images
The images below are examples taken using some of the various modes available. The landscape mode really makes your scenes stand out with good blues in the sky. Portraits have good skin tones and no red-eye. The final image was taken using shutter priority mode at 1/1000 sec to capture the water droplets.
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Sample Photos
Under our incandescent studio lights the auto white-balance (AWB) preset has a strong orange cast in the image with the incandescent preset giving a much better result. Under the fluorescent lights there is very little difference to tell between the AWB and fluorescent preset images.
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS White-balance test images
Below are examples using some of the creative modes available.
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Digital filters
Below is a video shot at 720p HD. Videos can also be recorded using the optical zoom lens, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.
When picking up the SX150, the first thing that strikes you is how heavy and bulky it is for a compact camera. There are many cameras on the market that offer a similar amount of zoom in much smaller lighter bodies, but these cameras are likely to be more expensive or lack features such as manual controls. For a very reasonable price you get a good zoom range and decent image quality making it an ideal camera for travelling.
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Pros
Decent image quality
Minimum focus distance of 1cm allows for good macro shots
Video quality is good
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Cons
Requires AA batteries
Camera is heavy and bulky for a compact