Canon’s SX130 IS crams a 12x optical zoom lens with image stabilisation into a portable, compact body – and all for under £180. Is this mid-range zoom compact an ultimate bargain? What Digital Camera’s Canon SX130 IS review takes a look…

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Canon PowerShot SX130 IS

Overall score:86%
Image Quality:75%


  • Capable zoom, manual focus ability, image stabilisation, 720p HD movie


  • No Raw files, JPEG artifacts from processing, build quality doesn’t outshine competitors


Canon PowerShot SX130 IS Review


Price as reviewed:


Canon PowerShot SX130IS review – Features

The Canon SX130 IS has an optically-stabilised 28mm wideangle 12x optical zoom lens – that’s the same as 28-336mm and provides a versatile range from the fairly wideangle to mid-tele zoom. The optical designation of this stabilisation system means that camera shake will be countered for not only the final captured frame but also in real-time while framing the image, which is considerably useful when using the zoom to its fuller potential.

The 12.1MP sensor provides high-resolution images and is capable of capturing with a sensitivity up to ISO 1600.

Full manual modes feature, as do a variety of scene and auto (plus Smart Auto) modes to make shooting easy whatever your level of capability. Even a 720p HD movie mode is quickly accessible from the mode dial for high definition moving image capture.


Canon PowerShot SX130IS review – Design

Canon PowerShot SX130 IS product shotAlthough the SX130 isn’t a large camera, its 12x optical zoom lens does require a little extra body space to accommodate. At full extension the lens adds a further 5cms of protrusion from the front of the camera, but when stowed away fits fairly snugly into the body. Overall it’s a very fair playoff between body size and zoom capability that will prove attractive to many.

Rather than taking a rechargeable li-ion battery as many cameras do these days the SX130 IS comes with 2xAA batteries in the box that can be easily replaced when they fully depleat. This may not be to everyone’s tastes, though buying rechargeable AA batteries may prove a good solution for many.


Canon PowerShot SX130 IS sample image


In terms of design and layout the SX130 fits well into the rest of Canon’s PowerShot range: There’s a rear d-pad that can be used as a four-way directional button (for ISO, MF/Macro, Flash and Drive mode) as well as a rotational wheel to select through other options, the latter particularly useful for quick shutter or aperture value adjustments when in more advanced modes. Display and Menu buttons feature below the d-pad wheel, with Face Detection, Exposure Compensation and Playback buttons above.

Menu modes range from simple point and shoot with limited display notifications on screen, to the Easy mode which provides plain English explanations of various icons, through to manual modes which provide full aperture, shutter, flash, ISO and exposure information. It’s a well-qualified menu system for a variety of user levels and the centre Func Set button brings up a quick menu for easy adjustment of the main options.

  1. 1. Canon PowerShot SX130IS review - Features
  2. 2. Performance
  3. 3. Image Quality & Value
  4. 4. Verdict
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