Canon PowerShot SX150 IS review

Reviews
Published 
10 Feb 2012
Gallery
Our Rating 
2/5
Price when reviewed 
153
inc VAT
Buy it now for 

A low-cost camera with a generous 12x zoom, but in most other respects – including image and video quality – it's nothing special and battery performance is a worry

Page 1 of 4Canon PowerShot SX150 IS review

Specifications

1/2.3in 14.0-megapixel sensor, 12.0x zoom (28-336mm equivalent), 306g

Canon had a bumper year in 2011, picking up four awards and an average of 4.2 stars across our 13 Canon camera reviews. The PowerShot SX150 IS was a late arrival of the 2011 line up, so we decided to put it through its paces while we wait for the class-of-2012 cameras to reach these shores.

Canon PowerShot SX150 IS

It's a meat-and-two-veg sort of a camera, with a useful 12x optical zoom and manual exposure controls but foregoing such niceties as a metal body or HDMI port. From the outside it's virtually identical to its predecessor, the PowerShot SX130 IS - the only significant difference being that the face detection button is now a video record button. That's a more useful function, but its position meant we regularly started recording by accident. Otherwise, the controls are excellent for a low-cost camera, with a mode dial, a rear wheel for quickly adjusting settings and dedicated buttons for exposure compensation and ISO speed. The bulbous plastic design is nothing much to look at but it's comfortable to hold.

Enthusiastic but impoverished photographers will appreciate the accessible manual controls but they won't be so impressed by this camera's performance. It took 2.7 seconds to switch on and shoot, and three seconds between shots. Continuous mode ran at 0.8fps – slow by most cameras' standards, and hindered by the lack of live view while shooting.

Canon PowerShot SX150 IS

The worst aspect of performance was flash photography, which took 13 seconds from shot to shot with the flash set to full power. This seems to be an inevitable downside of using a pair of AA batteries. It wasn't the only battery-related drawback we encountered in this camera, though.

In our review of the SX130 IS we reported that it warned of low batteries for a long time before they actually ran out. The same thing happened with the SX150 IS, regardless of whether we used alkaline or Ni-MH batteries. More annoyingly, it often ran out of juice while recording videos, even though there was power available to take dozens more photos afterwards. The camera's date and time reset itself even though the batteries hadn't run out.

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This camera was given to me as a gift by my family and it was supposed to be an upgrade from a cheaper digital camera I owned previously. Back before the "digital revolution" I was a semi-serious photographer and I was used to working with Nikon 8008 cameras ( or at least the 6006). This camera has been seriously ticking me off. It takes forever for the flash to power up. The focus is slow. It absolutely EATS the AA batteries. Worst of all right now, every time I turn the camera on, I have to reset the date and time. I'm going to quietly save up to buy a better camera so I don't offend anyone, but I absolutely do NOT recommend this camera.