Review: Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS

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Review: Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS

The Canon PowerShot SX160 IS is probably one of the best superzooms we have seen on the market that comes with a very attractive price tag. The SX 160 IS, which is available in red, black and white colours, comes with a 16 megapixel sensor and a 16x optical zoom which is image stabilised. It also accompanies manual modes for controlling shutter-speed and aperture, and digital effects.

Canon PowerShot SX160IS - 2

The camera uses two AA batteries for power, which some might consider as a negative aspect. But then, it could also make perfect sense for users who would want to be able to use disposable batteries, expecially when out on the road. The PowerShot SX160 IS features full manual controls, as well as an Auto mode, scene modes, and creative effects.

The camera records 720p video, with stereo sound and allows the use of the optical zoom while recording. A focus assist lamp and pop up flash help in dark conditions, and built in optical image stabilisation adds to the cameras capabilities. The 16x optical zoom lens starts at 28mm wide-angle and zooms all the way to 448mm equivalent, with the option for 32x digital zoom called “ZoomPlus”.

Canon PowerShot SX160 IS-3

The main mode dial on top of the camera allows you to switch between the auto “point-and-shoot” mode, as well as scene modes and a variety of manual options. The manual modes include manual, aperture priority, shutter priority and programme auto, which seem to offer a good footing into the concept of exposure control, and can be useful for better exposing low-light shots at night, for instance.

In addition, there are quite a few cool features on the mode dial that will do everything for you. The Live mode allows you to easily control the exposure features of the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS. Pressing the Set button brings up three sliders that have different values: Light/Dark, Vivid/Neutral and Warm/Cool. By adjusting the sliders, you can alter the look of the picture. This can come handy when you know what you want to do but are not quite sure how to achieve it yet.

Also, there are usual filter modes such as miniature, toy camera, monochrome, super vivid, poster effect and fish-eye. While the camera in itself may look bulky, it isn’t quite frankly. The body looks solid, but feels a bit plasticky. But the grip it provides is good – people with larger hands will find the camera to be of ideal size to hold and shoot with.

Canon PowerShot SX160IS - 3

When it comes to performance, the PowerShot SX 160 IS takes crisp and sharp photos with true colours. Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a warm result under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a much more neutral result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting with the preset giving a slightly warmer result. The camera also offers good macro shots.

As for ISO, there are five ISO settings available on the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS. At normal viewing distances, the noise performance of the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS looks good. However, if you magnify to 100%, there’s slight issues that can be seen in darker areas of images. At ISO 200 to ISO 400, noise starts creeping into shots, particularly in darker shades.

The camera provides a battery life of about 250 shots and a couple of videos, which is really good. Having said that however, for the price tag of AED 499, the PowerShot SX160 IS is a good bargain.

Price: AED 499

Resolution: 16 Megapixels
Image Stabilization: Yes, DIGIC 4 Image Processor, Smart AUTO and Intelligent IS
Zoom: 16x Optical Zoom with 28mm Wide-Angle lens
Display: 3-inch TFT LCD screen with image editing features
Memory: 1 SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot (memory card not included)
Battery: 2 x AA batteries for up to 380 shots
ISO Modes: Auto/80/100/200/400/800/1600

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