Canon Powershot SD100 Review

Steve's Digicams

Canon Powershot SD100

Review posted 7/15/03

Click to take a QTVR tour of the SD100

The PowerShot SD100 is the world's smallest and lightest digital ELPH camera. The new PowerShot SD100, with its ultra-compact size and new white-platinum finish crafted in stainless steel, represents the ultimate in portability, durability and elegance. Now, more than ever, consumers can easily and securely carry their ELPH digital camera everywhere they go, and with 3.2 megapixels they are assured the highest quality images for making prints as large as 8.5x11-inches.

The size of the PowerShot SD100 was made possible through the process of miniaturization, beginning with its new optical lens design so small it can literally hide under a U.S. dime, to the extremely small built-in flash unit and new condensed battery. In addition, the PowerShot SD100 is the first Canon digital camera to exclusively record all images to a Secure Digital (SD) Memory card, allowing even further miniaturization of the camera for greater portability. And a new waterproof housing for the PowerShot SD100 even allows photographs to be taken up to 130 feet underwater.

The PowerShot SD100 Digital ELPH is approximately 15% smaller in volume and 8% lighter than the current PowerShot S230 model. The new SD100 offers the same high quality features and functions as the S230 including Canon's exclusive DIGIC Image Processor which helps achieve higher picture quality and improves existing camera features, most notably its ability to capture up to 3 minutes of video at resolutions up to 320 x 240, 30 seconds for 640 x 480 pixels. In addition, the new camera uses Canon's exclusive iSAPS technology to enhance the speed and performance of the camera's autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance functions while a 9-point AiAF autofocus system makes focusing quick and easy, even with off-center subjects.

Canon Powershot SD100 Digital ELPH

Canon is also bringing out two new dye-sublimation printers which are approximately 40 percent smaller and 13 percent lighter than current models in the line. The Canon Card Photo Printer CP-200 / CP-300 dye-sub printers allow users to create extremely high quality color prints directly from any current model PowerShot camera with the use of a USB cable.

Three different sized prints from miniature stickers to wallets to 4x6-inch are possible with the new printers. The CP-300, with its optional battery pack and compact size, makes creating beautiful color prints fast and simple from wherever the photographs themselves are created. The combination of PowerShot SD100 and CP-300 takes the entire photographic process and puts it in your suitcase, or briefcase.

Powershot SD100 Features

  • 3.2 Megapixel CCD imager for up to 2048x1536 pixel images
  • 2x optical 35-70mm f/2.8-3.9 zoom
  • 1.5" color LCD with up to 10x playback zoom
  • Ultra-compact and durable stainless steel body (3.3 x 2.2 x 0.94 in.)
  • Advanced TTL AiAF nine-point autofocus system
  • Program AE automatic and Manual exposure modes
  • Movie mode w/sound 640x480 30 secs/320x240 3 minutes
  • 2.5fps Continuous exposure mode
  • Evaluative metering on focus point or Spot
  • Stitch Assist mode for perfect panoramas
  • Exposure compensation: +/-2EV in 1/3-step increments
  • White Balance: Auto, 5 presets or Custom
  • Photo Effects: Low Sharpening, Vivid Color, Neutral, Sepia and B&W
  • Low-light focus assist illuminator
  • Shutter speeds of 15 seconds to 1/2000 second
  • Auto noise reduction with 1.3 sec or longer shutter speeds
  • Selectable ISO settings from 50 to 400
  • Voice memo (up to 60 secs) can be attached to images
  • Intelligent Orientation sensor
  • Builtin microphone and speaker
  • Lithium rechargeable battery and charger included
  • Direct print to CP-100/200/300 and other Canon printers
  • USB connectivity for PC and Mac
  • Secure Digital (SD) card storage
  • Optional Waterproof Case

Physical Views

Canon Powershot SD100 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD100 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD100 Digital ELPHCanon Powershot SD100 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD100 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD100 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD100 Digital ELPH

The SD100 compared to a standard CD disc.

Canon Powershot SD100 Digital ELPH

The ultra-compact Powershot SD100 and the Pentax Optio S

Continue on to
Page Two

Powershot SD100 Specifications

Effective pixels: Approx. 3.2 million
Image sensor: 1/2.7 in. CCD
(Total number of pixels: approx. 3.34 million)
Lens :
5.4 - 10.8mm
35-70mm (35 mm film equivalent)
F2.8 - 3.9 maximum aperture
Digital Zoom: Maximum approx. 3.2x (Maximum approx. 6.4x with optical zoom)
Optical Viewfinder: Real-image optical zoom viewfinder
LCD monitor : 1.5 in. low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD, Approx. 118,000 pixels, 100% coverage
Autofocus : TTL 9-point AiAF / TTL 1-point center AF
Focus lock possible
Focus assist lamp for accurate low-light AF
Focusing Range :
(from tip of the lens barrel)
Normal: 47 cm (1.5 ft.) - infinity
Macro AF: 10-47 cm (4 in. - 18 in.) (W)
23-47 cm (9 in. - 18 in.) (T)
Shutter : Mechanical + electronic
Shutter Speed: 15 - 1/1500 sec. Automatic
Noise reduction is used on speeds between 1.3 - 15 sec.
Light Metering System: Evaluative metering
Center-weighted averaging
Spot metering
Exposure Control: Program AE
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
Sensitivity : ISO 50, 100, 200, 400 equivalent and Auto
White Balance: TTL auto / preset (daylight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, fluorescent H) or custom
Flash : Red-eye reduction auto/auto/on/off/slow-synchro
Flash Range:
Normal: 47 cm - 3 m (1.6 - 9.8 ft.) (W)
47 cm - 2 m (1.6 - 6.6 ft.) (T)
Macro: 27 - 47 cm (11 in.- 18 in.) (W /T)
Shooting Modes: Auto / Program / Manual / Stitch Assist / Movie
Continuous Shooting: Approx. 2.2 images/ sec. (Large/Fine mode, LCD monitor off)
Self-Timer : Approx. 10 sec. or less
PC Connected Shooting: Available (USB connection only. Exclusive software program RemoteCapture is included in the camera kit.)
Recording Media: Secure Digital (SD), 16MB supplied
File Format: Design rule for Camera File system, DPOF 1.1 compliant
Image Recording Format:
Still Images: JPEG (Exif 2.2)*
Movies :

AVI (Image data : Motion JPEG
Audio data : WAVE [monaural])

Compression: Superfine / Fine / Normal
Number of Recording Pixels:
Still Images:
Large : 2048 x 1536 pixels
Medium 1 : 1600 x 1200 pixels
Medium 2 : 1024 x 768 pixels
Small : 640 x 480 pixels
640 x 480 pixels (maximum 30 secs.)
320 x 240 pixels (maximum 3 min.)
160 x 120 pixels (maximum 3 min.)
Approx. 15 frames / sec.

Menu Selection File Size
8MB 16MB 128MB
Large / SuperFine 1,602 2,048 x 1,536 3 8 76
Large / Fine 893 2,048 x 1,536 6 15 136
Large / Normal 445 2,048 x 1,536 13 30 269
Medium 1/ SuperFine 1,002 1,600 x 1,200 5 13 121
Medium 1/ Fine 558 1,600 x 1,200 11 24 216
Medium 1/ Normal 278 1,600 x 1,200 22 46 411
Medium 2/ SuperFine 570 1,024 x 768 10 23 211
Medium 2/ Fine 320 1,024 x 768 19 41 372
Medium 2/ Normal 170 1,024 x 768 35 73 651
Small / SuperFine 249 640 x 480 24 51 460
Small / Fine 150 640 x 480 40 80 711
Small / Normal 84 640 x 480 67 126 1,117
Replay Modes: Single image view/ index view (9 thumbnails)/ zoomed view (LCD monitor zooms images 2x to 10x) / slide show / movie
Interface :
USB (mini-B, PTP [Picture Transfer Protocol]),
Audio / Video output (NTSC or PAL selectable, Monaural audio)
Direct connection to Canon Card Photo Printers and select Bubble Jet Direct Photo Printers.
Power Source:
Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery (Canon NB-3L)

Battery life:
    180 shots with LCD on
    480 shots with LCD off
    Replay time is 150 minutes

Optional AC Adapter Kit ACK900
Operating Temperatures : 0 - 40 °C (32 - 104 °F)
Operating Humidity: 10 - 90 %
(w x h x d):
85 x 56 x 23.9 mm (3.35 x 2.2 x 0.94 in.)
(excluding protrusions)
Weight: Approx. 165 g (5.82 oz.)
(camera body only)
OS Compatibility: Windows® Computer Model: IBM PC/ AT compatible OS: Microsoft Windows 98 (including Second Edition)/ Me/ 2000/ XP. CPU: Pentium 150MHz or higher processor (Windows 98/ Me/ 2000), Pentium 300MHz or higher processor (Windows XP). Interface: USB (Windows 98/ Me/ 2000/ XP pre-install model only).

Macintosh Computer Model: Power Macintosh, PowerBook, eMac, iMac or iBook OS: Mac OS 9.0 - 9.2, Mac OS X (v10.1/ 10.2). CPU: PowerPC. Interface: USB (Models with Apple genuine USB interface only).

* This digital camera supports Exif 2.2 (also called "Exif Print"). Exif Print is a standard for enhancing the communication between digital cameras and printers. By connecting to an Exif Print-compliant printer, the camera's image data at the time of shooting is used and optimized, yielding extremely high quality prints.

Package Contents (U.S./N. America)

  • Powershot SD100 Digital Camera
  • Wrist Strap WS-300
  • Battery Charger CB-2LU/2LUE
  • Battery Pack NB-3L
  • SD Card SDC-16M
  • Case for SD Card
  • AV Cable AVC-DC100
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-300PCU
  • Digital Camera Solution Disk
  • ArcSoft Camera Suite Disk
  • User Guides

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