However, this camera is designed to deliver the ultimate in compact quality – something which always suffers in any super-zoom configuration. At the wide-angle end, the lens opens up to a wide f2 aperture, allowing for some great low-light opportunities. This is assisted further by a maximum ISO speed of 6400 – up from 3200 in previous models. Unfortunately, things aren’t quite so impressive at the telephoto end of the zoom where the widest aperture has been reduced from f4.9 to f5.9.
A good low light performer with its own flash and compatible with the HF-DC2 wireless external flashgun
Armed with an all-new CMOS sensor the S100 promises better low-light performance and a reduction in image noise. Indeed, I was generally pleased with the night-time test shots: Pull out a normal compact camera at night without flash and you’re asking for trouble, but the S100 delivers impressive performance.
Yes, at ISO 6400 images are rather ‘dreamy’, but they’re still usable pictures, proving that the new increased ISO range is a worthy addition to the specification, rather than a mere gimmick. A ‘Handheld NightScene’ mode aims to help by combining multiple shots into a single image, but the camera’s low-light performance was generally good enough to allow better results by simply keeping the camera as steady as possible and configuring the settings manually.
Appearances can be deceptive
Conversely, the lens’s smallest aperture size of only f8.0 can sometimes be a limiting factor if you want to capture a sense of motion with a long exposure. Here the S100’s new neutral density filter can be enabled, darkening the exposure by three stops. This also gives you the ability to use wider apertures in bright sunlight.
Impressive as it is, the PowerShot S100 is not a replacement for a DSLR, despite its excellent handling. Although it’s one of the best I’ve seen, a sensor this small is never going to match the quality of APS-C sized version. Despite the new DIGIC 5 image processor, the S100 does at times feel a little slow.
Next page: Candid camera
I disagree that the GPS is a gimmick
Especially after a trip, I find that being able to tie down where a shot was taken really makes reviewing them more pleasurable.
Especially when visiting destinations that change substantially with the seasons, being able to locate and view other people's photos taken at the same place and a different time of year adds an interesting extra dimension to the place you've visited.
Sounds such a good review that it should be rated at 90% which bring it down from 100% with some minor issues like the min aperature and speed in raw mode.
How often does a RegHard review go below 60% and above 90%. The scores on the doors are not good enough to give a realistic view of the review. At the moment you have to take 60% as crap and 90% as effing brilliant. It should be more like 10% for crap and 100% as effing brilliant.
Re: I disagree that the GPS is a gimmick
If you're serious about photography you often go out on a walkabout and shoot a series of recce shots to scout a location, you'll often do this without your full bag of kit. Having a camera with GPS means you know to within a few feet exactly where you took the viewpoint you really favoured. Nothing worse than scouting a location then coming back a week or two later and wandering about in the dark trying to find the exact spot you wanted to shoot from again.