PowerShot SX160 IS

PowerShot SX160 IS

Record Screens & Menus


Please excuse the quality of these screen captures, the SX160 camera kit does not include AV cables, so we photographed the LCD.

CanonSX160IS_rec-Auto.jpg Shooting in Auto mode, which you select via the mode dial on top of the camera, the default view shows minimal camera settings information. Only three settings are adjustable in Auto mode: aspect ratio, still image file size and movie resolution.

Pressing the display button reveals more camera information, as pictured below, although the continuous shooting icon at left would not appear in Auto mode because it is not available. Raising the flash in Auto mode will cause the Auto Flash mode icon to appear on the right side of the screen below the Auto icon, though you can't adjust the flash power.

You can, however, turn tracking AF on and use the self-timer. If you turn on tracking autofocus by pressing upward on the four-way control, you are given a small AF box in the center of the screen. You press half-way on the shutter button to lock onto your subject; thereafter (as long as you keep the shutter button pressed half-way down) the camera will track your moving subject, or your stationary subject if you move the camera to reframe your shot.

You access the self-timer settings by pressing downward on the four-way control.

Self-Timer Settings:
  • 10 seconds
  • 2 seconds
  • Custom (up to 10 shots at 1-30-second intervals)

CanonSX160IS_rec-Pmode.jpg Selecting Program mode on the mode dial gives the shooter additional adjustable parameters compared to Auto mode. Via the function/set button, you can select the white balance, color effects, burst shooting mode, flash power setting, and metering mode. Using the four-way control, you can change the ISO, flash mode, and select macro mode.


CanonSX160IS_rec-AFboxes.jpg The PowerShot SX160 IS offers three autofocus modes, and a number of focus settings to help you get a sharp shot. Pictured above is how the screen looks when focus locks using Face AiAF (even though there's no face in the shot). It shows multiple AF boxes, which turn green to indicate focus has locked.

Autofocus Frame Modes:
  • FaceAiAF
  • Tracking AF
  • Center

Five additional focus settings can be turned on and off:

AF Point Zoom: shows a magnified view of focal area
Servo AF: Continues to focus on subject while holding down shutter button half-way Continuous AF: Autofocus operates continuously until you press the shutter button half-way
MF Point Zoom: Magnifies the focal area when using manual focus
Safety MF: When pressing the shutter button half-way, the camera fine-tunes the focus you've adjusted manually

You select manual focus by pressing leftward on the four-way control, which is the same way you select Macro Mode. Just as the inclusion of a full manual mode in addition to shutter- and aperture-priority modes is a welcome addition for those of us who like to access manual camera controls, the manual focus offering isn't ideal.

You adjust the focus manually using the four-way control dial, which can be accidentally pressed at one of the button positions. Also, the low resolution of the LCD (230k dots) doesn't inspire much confidence that a sharp focus has indeed been achieved. Although the camera offers Safety MF, which aims to fine-tune whatever mistake you've made in your manual focusing, it's still a far cry from having a focus ring on the lens and a better visual aid via an optical viewfinder (which this camera lacks).

CanonSX160IS_rec-Live.jpg Live mode is an interesting animal, maybe only because of its name. It has nothing to do with using live view on the LCD, but rather refers to the quick access to three basic adjustments you make in this mode via the function/set button:

  • Dark to Light
  • Neutral to Vivid
  • Cool to Warm

These three parameters appear as slide bars that you adjust using the four-way dial and buttons. In Live mode you can use the four-way control to access all but one of the settings available in Program mode: flash mode, self-timer, and macro mode (as well as manual focus). You can't, however, change the ISO.

CanonSX160IS_rec-custom color.jpg Perhaps the most extensive example of how this camera puts you in control of your shots is the My Colors setting. In Program, Shutter-Priority, Aperture-Priority, and Manual modes, there are 11 photo effects that you can adjust to tweak the look of your photos.

Photo Effects Menu:

  • My Colors Off
  • Vivid
  • Neutral
  • Sepia
  • Black & White
  • Positive Film
  • Lighter Skin Tone
  • Darker Skin Tone
  • Vivid Blue
  • Vivid Green
  • Vivid Red
  • Custom Color (you can adjust contrast, sharpness, saturation, red, green, blue and skin tone)

CanonSX160IS_rec-custom color2.jpg Pictured here is the Custom Color selection, while adjusting the level of red. As indicated by the up/down arrows, you use the four-way buttons to navigate through the individual settings, then use either left/right buttons or the dial to adjust the intensity of the setting.

What is much less extensive on this camera is the scene mode selection. This camera is not designed for the shooter who defaults to scene modes in hopes of getting the best possible shot. In fact, there are just five scene modes offered.

Scene modes:
  • Portrait
  • Face Self-Timer
  • Low Light (4M)
  • Snow
  • Fireworks

CanonSX160IS_rec-flashmode.jpg The flash options are basic, but should work in most situations, especially given that slow syncro is offered. Slow syncro is particularly helpful for nighttime portraits with city lights far off in the background because it uses a slow shutter speed so you don't end up with a completely black background.

Flash Mode Menu:
  • Auto
  • On
  • Slow syncro
CanonSX160IS_rec-chargeflash.jpg An unfortunately regular notification on this camera is "Charging the flash." If you are planning to take loads of flash-fired portraits at a bustling cocktail party, look elsewhere. This camera regularly takes several seconds to recharge its flash for the next shot. In fact, it sometimes produces this message when no flash shot has been taken recently at all. Camera specifications state the flash may take up to 15 seconds to charge. This annoyance can be attributed to the fact that the SX160 uses AA type batteries; which lack in voltage output as say a Li-ion battery pack.


CanonSX160IS_rec-menu1.jpg Via the dedicated menu button, you access a wealth of settings. Shown at top is the AF Frame selection, as discussed above. A total of 19 settings can be adjusted or inactivated to your liking.

Camera Settings Menu:

  • AF Frame: FaceAiAF, Tracking AF, Center
  • AF Frame Size: Small, Normal
  • Digital Zoom: Off, 1.6X, 2.0X, Standard
  • AF- Point Zoom: On/Off
  • Servo AF: On/Off
  • Continuous AF: On/Off
  • AF-Assist Beam: On/Off
  • MF-Point Zoom: On/Off
  • Safety MF: On/Off
  • Flash Settings: Red-Eye Lamp (on/off), Safety FE (on/off)
  • Wind Filter: On/Off
  • Review: Off, Quick, 2 - 10 seconds, Hold
  • Review Info: On/Off
  • Blink Detection: On/Off
  • Grid Lines: On/Off
  • IS Mode: Off, Continuous, Shoot Only
  • Date Stamp: Off, Date, Date & Time

CanonSX160IS_rec-menu3.jpg Safety MF aims to fine-tune your manual focus. After using the enlarged section in middle of the screen to focus the camera yourself, using the dial to adjust the distance to your subject, the camera steps in and, in theory, fine-tunes your focus. I think it's an interesting idea that if you didn't trust the camera to establish focus for your shot, you might still trust it to fine-tune what you didn't think it could accomplish in the first place.


CanonSX160IS_rec-metering.jpg The functions menu is access by pressing the function/set button in the middle of the four-way control. Below is the complete list of settings available in Program, Aperture-Priority, Shutter-Priority, and Manual modes. Only a few settings are adjustable in scene modes and in Auto mode. None are adjustable in Live mode, which has its own menu of settings.

Functions Menu:
  • White Balance: Auto, Day Light, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
  • My Colors: Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color
  • Drive Mode: Single Shot, Continuous, Continuous Shooting AF
  • Flash Exposure: +/- 2
  • Metering Mode: Evaluative, Center-Weighted Average, Spot
  • Still Image Aspect Ratio: 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 1:1
  • Still Image File Size: 16M, 8M, 2M, 0.3M
  • Compression Ratio: Fine, Super Fine
  • Movie Resolution: 1280x720, 640x480

CanonSX160IS_rec-movie.jpg The camera shoots 1280x720 HD video, and can output in NTSC or PAL format (mini-HDMI connector not included). While in movie mode (selected on the mode dial) you can still take photographs, which is why you still get the still image file size setting in the settings menu.

Movie Mode Functions Menu:
  • Mode: Standard, iFrame
  • White Balance: Auto, Day Light, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
  • My Colors: Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color
  • Still Image File Size: 16M, 8M, 2M, 0.3M
  • Movie Resolution: 1280x720, 640x480

Video recording modes:
  • HD 1280 x 720: 25 fps
  • iFrame Movie HD 1280 x 720: 30 fps / 25 fps
  • Miniature Effect HD 1280 x 720: 5 fps / 2.5 fps / 1.25 fps
  • Miniature Effect 640 x 480: 6 fps / 3 fps / 1.5 fps
  • 640 x 480: 30 fps (29.97)

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