Canon PowerShot SX150: Video and Image Quality

by Howard Creech Reads (58)
Editor's Rating
6.75

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 6
    • Features
    • 6
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 6.75
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Video Quality
The SX150 IS’s 1280 x 720p at 30fps HD movie mode can actually compete with some dedicated video cameras, but unlike many current point-and-shoots, the 12x zoom can’t be used while in video capture mode. The video clip which accompanies this review was shot on a cold and overcast December afternoon.

The clip is sharply focused, properly exposed, movement is fluid (smooth – not jerky), and the colors are vibrant. Given the conditions, the sample video, shows the SX150 IS to be competitive (in the video department) with substantially more expensive point-and-shoots.

Image Quality
Colors (Canon’s default color interpolation) are bright and hue accurate, but visibly over-saturated. Reds are warmer than they are in real life, blues are a bit too bright, and greens/yellows are more vibrant than those seen by the naked eye. Most casual shooters won’t consider these minor color intensity variations as faults. Although there is a slight tendency toward overexposure – in bright outdoor light the SX150 IS dependably produces reliably well-exposed, sharply focused, and almost noise-free images in all outdoor lighting. Images are detailed and unexpectedly sharp – check out the sample pictures, but in bright outdoor lighting highlight detail was occasionally blown-out. Overall, the SX150 IS’s image quality is on the high side of average.

The SX150 IS provides users with an acceptable selection of White Balance options, including Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, and custom (manual). The SX150 IS’s Auto WB system does a remarkably good job, across the board.

Canon SX150 Sample Image
Auto White Balance, 5500k fluorescent light

The SX150 IS provides a reasonable range of sensitivity options, including Auto and user-set options for ISO 80 to ISO 1600. ISO 80/ISO 100 images are indistinguishable – both show bright colors, slightly flat native contrast and very low noise levels. ISO 200 images also look very good, but with a little less snap.

Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 80
Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 80, 100% crop
Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 100
Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 100, 100% crop
Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 200
Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 200, 100% crop
Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 400
Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 400, 100% crop
Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 800
Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 800, 100% crop
Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 1600
Canon SX150 Sample Image
ISO 1600, 100% crop

At the ISO 400 setting noise levels are noticeably higher and there’s a perceptible loss of minor detail. Higher sensitivity settings show flat colors, reduced contrast, lots of image noise, and fuzzy details.

Canon PowerShot SX150 Canon PowerShot SX150
Canon PowerShot SX150 Canon PowerShot SX150
Canon SX150 Sample Image Canon SX150 Sample Image


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