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 SX130 IS review – Performance

In use the PowerShot SX130 has few negative points to speak of. The lens extends gracefully throughout the entirety of the focal range and focus is swift. A magnified zoom-in section on the screen assists in presenting the final focus before firing a shot too and that optical stabilisation is of significant assistance at longer zoom ranges.

Macro mode works reasonably close to subject (around 5cms from the lens when at the 28mm wideangle setting and in auto mode), though occasionally the focus will fail to pick out the subject and not provide substantial feedback to confirm this. It’s manual focus where things step up a notch however: using the rear wheel to spin through focus with an on screen meter, focusing on subjects almost touching the lens is possible.

Canon PowerShot SX130 IS sample image

The HD movie mode has the ability to zoom during recording – though will only extend at a much slower pace than when shooting still images.

The LCD on the rear is a 3:2 ratio which is great for stills shots and still provides a suitable area when capturing videos. Its 230k-dot resolution provides a reasonable resolution, though is outclassed by many higher resolution competitors.

The Canon SX130 is powered by 2xAA batteries rather than a rechargeable li-ion battery and this may be seen as a positive thing by some and a negative by others. Although the batteries last a reasonable amount of time, once they suddenly run out of juice it can be awkward to find a set of replacements. On the other hand, urban shooters won’t ever be too far from a convenience store to pick up some more and the savviest of users can buy into a rechargeable unit to keep a couple of sets on permanent recharge.

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