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…
Image Quality & Value
Canon PowerShot SX130 IS review – Image Quality
Possibly the SX130 IS’s biggest downfall is its image quality when scrutinizing at close inspection.
The ISO range runs from ISO 80-1600 at full resolution. From ISO 400 the processing shows evidence of JPEG artifacts that can become rather obtrusive around subject edges, plus the detail begins to lack. ISO 800 is the last capable setting, though at this sensitivity images become softer and lack as much colour detail. ISO 1600 is rather disappointing – much softer, with prominent JPEG artifacts and muted colours. There is also no Raw shooting capability available. However colour noise is kept to a minimum throughout, though this is at the expense of detail.
Close inspection also reveals chromatic aberration causing green-edged shadows to appear around many objects.
Auto White Balance leans towards a slightly warm cast, though this only becomes an issue indoors under fluorescent lighting where the yellow colour of the light is very prominent.
For everyday images the Canon SX130 IS is more than capable, and for standard real-world application much of the above won’t be an issue. Using images at full size above ISO 200 may draw attention to many of these problems.
Canon PowerShot SX130 IS review – Value
There are other 12x optical zoom compacts on the market, but the SX130 IS undercuts many of these by price point. Comparable products see the Panasonic TZ10 available for around £225 or both Nikon’s S8000 or Sony’s HX5 offer 10x optical zoom for around £175 and £270 respectively. The SX130 IS doesn’t have the same build quality and is generally bulkier and less well finished, yet in terms of value the feature set is very strong.