Canon Powershot S100

S100 image

The S100 was my first digital camera, and it’s still in heavy use. (Editor’s note – since replaced in 2003 by a Canon SD110 and in 2007 by a SD1000…) I bought my S100 in 2000 while on contract to a client in San Diego. I was looking for a camera to take pictures of my travels and looking for something to kill time in my hotel room. The Powershot S100 (or Digital Elph, as it was known) has spawned cameras with higher resolution, cameras that take Secure Digital cards, longer zooms, and more sensitive CCDs. The S100 still has a place in my heart, though. It’s easy to use, small enough to take everywhere, and the controls fall easily to hand.

The S100 has an all-metal body, 2x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom and somewhat limited exposure controls – white balance and exposure compensation only. The camera produces jpeg images in 1600×1200 fine and superfine resolution and 640×480. The camera uses a small, proprietary Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries, which is almost a requirement in a camera this small. Fortunately, Canon has used the same battery in other cameras and batteries are available reasonably from Canon and third-party manufacturers.

I’ve been happy with the resolution of prints made from my S100 at 1600×1200. Since most of my photos end up on the web, I use the the 640×480 mode for street shooting. I can fit an ungodly number of shots on a 128 megabyte compact flash card.

S100 Specifications (From the Canon web site)


Image Capture Device

Type 1/2.7 inch Charge-Coupled Device(CCD)
Total Pixels Approx. 2.11 million-pixel
Effective Pixels Approx. 2.02 million


Focal Length 5.4 (Wide-angle) – 10.8 (Telephoto) mm
(35 mm film equivalent: 35 – 70 mm)
Maximum Aperture F2.8 (Wide-angle) – F4.0 (Telephoto)
Focusing Range (measured from front lens) Standard: 57 cm – infinity (22 in. – infinity)
Macro: 10 cm – 57 cm (4 – 22 in.) (Wide-angle) / 27 cm – 57 cm (11 – 22 in.) (Telephoto)
Focusing Control System TTL 3 point AiAF


Optical Viewfinder 5.4 (Wide angle) – 10.8 (Telephoto) mm
LCD Viewfinder 1.5 inch low-temperture polycrystalline silicon TFT LCD
LCD Pixels 117,600 ( 490[H] x 240[V] )
LCD Coverage 100%

Aperture and Shutter

Aperture Range Maximum: f/2.8 to f/4 (Wide-angle)
Minimum : f/4 to f/5.6 (Telephoto)
Shutter Type Mechanical shutter and Electronic shutter
Shutter Speed 1 – 1/1500 sec.
(1-sec. for Slow-Synchro mode and manual mode with flash set to Off)

Exposure Control

Sensitivity Equivalent to ISO 100
Light Metering Method Center weighted metering
Exposure Control Method TTL program AE

White Balance

White Balance Control TTL auto/ manual


Flash Built-in (Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow-Synchro)
Flash Range wide angle : 27 cm – 3 m (11 in. – 10 ft.)
telephoto : 27 cm – 2 m (11 in. – 7 ft.)
Recycling Time Approx. 10 sec.

Shooting Specifications

Camera Modes Shooting/ Replay
Continuous Shooting Speed Approx. 2 images/sec. (when the LCD monitor is off.)
Digital Teleconverter 2X, 4X (Maximum 8X digital zoom is available combined with optical zoom)
Self-timer 10 seconds

Image Storage

Storage Media CompactFlashTM card (Type I)
Image Format Design rule for Camera Format (DCF **)
(Images/ Thumbnails: JPEG)
Print Order Format Digital Print Order Format (DPOF)
Image Quality
Super-Fine/ Large :
Fine/ Large :
Fine/ Small :

Image Storage Capacity * (with 8MB CF card)

Super-Fine/ Large Approx. 4 images
Fine/ Large Approx. 12 images
Fine/ Small Approx. 46 images


Computer Interface Universal Serial Bus (USB)
Video Out Video out
Other CF Card Slot (Type I)

Power Supply

Power Sources 1. Battery Pack NB-1L
2. Compact Power Adapter CA-PS300 (with DC Coupler DR-300)
Click here for important safety information.

Physical Specifications

Operating Temperature 32 – 104 degrees F (0 – 40 degrees C)
Operating Humidity 10 – 90 %
Dimensions (W x H x D) 3.4 x 2.2 x 1.1 in. (87.0 x 57.0 x 26.9 mm ) (excluding protrusion)
Weight Approx. 6.7 oz. (190 g) (excluding batteries and CF card)

Computer System Requirements

Mac Requirements Please install the software on a Macintosh computer that meets the following system requirements.
Hardware Power Macintosh, PowerBook, iMac or iBook
OS Mac OS 8.1 through 9.0.4, Quicktime 3.0 or higher
(QuickTime 4.1 is in the CD-ROM “DIGITAL CAMERA Solution Disk” included with the PowerShot G1 standard kit) (Please see our Mac OS X Compatibility Statement.)
CPU Power PC
Interface USB: Cable connection via camera’s USB port is limited to genuine Apple Computer brand models with a built-in USB interface (Power Macintosh NEW G3/G4, PowerBook G3, iMac, iBook). iMac computers running OS 8.1 require installation of “iMac Update 1.0” and “iMac Firmware Update 1.0” or higher.
RAM 20MB or more of application memory
PC Requirements Please install the software on a PC computer that meets the following system requirements.
Hardware IBM PC/AT compatible
OS Windows 95/98 (including the Second Edition)
Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 3 or higher required)
Windows 2000
Windows ME
(Please see our Windows XP Compatibility Statement.)
CPU Pentium 133 MHz or better
Interface USB: Cable connection via camera’s USB port is limited to pre-installed Windows 98, Windows 2000 and pre-installed or upgraded Windows ME systems.
RAM 32MB or more (Windows 95/98)
64MB or more (Windows NT 4.0/Windows 2000/Windows ME)

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  1. Pingback: Photos, for a change. | poindexter, WHO?

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