BUILD AND DESIGN
The composite body is a bit longer and wider than something I’d consider easily shirt-pocket portable. You can get it into a shirt pocket, but you’ll also know it’s there. Body construction, fit and finish all appear in line with the camera’s price point.
Ergonomics and Controls
The rectangular body features lots of rounded edges and blended surfaces, giving the camera a somewhat sleeker look than sharper-edged designs. There is a modest ridge incorporated into the right front of the body to facilitate a better grip. Two-handed shooters will need to use care in placing fingers on the left top front corner of the body so as to not block the focus assist lamp or one of the two microphones. All in all, the handgrip/thumb rest area provide a solid feel for one-handed shooters with the index finger falling nicely onto the shutter button.
Control layout and design will be familiar to Canon compact users and fairly intuitive for everyone else. A mode dial, shutter button/zoom lever and on/off button sit atop the camera body; playback, face select, exposure compensation, Canon’s traditional directional buttons/control dial/function and set control, and menu and display buttons take up the right rear.
Menus and Modes
There are shooting and setup menus available with the camera set to any recording (shooting) mode; setting up the camera for playback provides access to playback and print menus along with the setup menu. Menu usage is pretty much intuitive.
The SX130 IS offers both automatic and manual exposure controls, which expands camera flexibility and should appeal to a wider target market. Here’s a list of the SX130’s exposure modes:
- Auto: Smart auto, camera handles virtually all settings; user can select image size.
- Easy: Another fully auto mode with even less user input.
- Portrait: Camera selects settings to establish a soft effect; minimal user input.
- Landscape: Camera chooses settings for “majestic landscapes with a real sense of depth,” minimal user input.
- Children/Pets: Camera makes settings for subjects that move around (including increasing ISO sensitivity); minimal user input.
- Scene: Offers 12 specific shooting conditions such as beach, fireworks, fisheye; minimal user input.
- Program auto: Camera sets aperture and shutter speed; user has wide variety of inputs.
- Aperture priority: User sets aperture, camera sets shutter and user has wide variety of inputs.
- Shutter priority: User sets shutter, camera sets aperture and user has wide variety of inputs.
- Manual: User sets aperture and shutter; wide variety of inputs.
- Movie: Captures video in 1280×720, 640×480 or 320×240 resolution, all at 30 frames per second (fps); 1280×720 or 640×480 “miniature effect” with playback at 6, 3 or 1.5 fps.
Here’s Alfie shot in aperture priority and again in fisheye.
The 3.0-inch monitor on the SX130 IS has a 230,000 dot composition and is adjustable for 5 levels of illumination. Coverage is not specified but appears to be about 100%. The monitor can be difficult to use in some bright outdoor conditions.