Canon S100

Canon PowerShot S100 front
  • 12MP - 1/1.7" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 24-120mm (F2.0-5.9) lens
  • 198g - 99 x 60 x 28mm
  • Released December 2011
  • Replaced the Canon S95
  • Successor is Canon S110
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Canon S100 summary

Canon S100 is Canon's Small Sensor Compact camera initially introduced on December of 2011. The camera features a 12MP, CMOS 1/1.7" sized sensor and has a full resolution of 4000 x 3000.

Canon introduced this camera in an effort to replace the previous Canon S95 (Read Full Comparison) and subsequently brought out the newer Canon S110 (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to update this model.

The S100 is placed #28 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras and overall #669 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. Please check out our Advanced camera finder to see camera ratings based on your customized factors.

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Below is a chart of different factors used in the rating system.

Canon S100 family

The Canon S100 is part of a family of digital cameras. You can view the full range underneath.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Canon-PowerShot-S200 front thumbnailCanon S200
S100 vs S200
Canon-PowerShot-S120 front thumbnailCanon S120
S100 vs S120
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Canon-PowerShot-S110 front thumbnailCanon S110
S100 vs S110
Canon-PowerShot-S100 front thumbnailCanon S10024-120mm
Canon-PowerShot-S95 front thumbnailCanon S95
S100 vs S95
Canon-PowerShot-S90 front thumbnailCanon S90
S100 vs S90
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Canon S100 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of upsides and downsides of the Canon S100 based on factors which are oftentimes regarded as crucial in a camera.

above average flash sync speed (1/2,000 seconds)
above average minimum ISO (80)
built-in flash
built in image stabilization (Optical)
built in lens has zoom (24-120mm 5.0 x zoom)
comes with face detect autofocus
comes with tracking focus
delivers RAW files
fast max aperture (f2.0)
has manual focus
high res video (1920 x 1080 resolution)
includes HDMI socket
pretty good screen size (3 inch)
relatively wide (24mm)
continuous shooting slow (2.0 fps)
display isn't selfie friendly
doesn't have headphone socket
doesn't have mic socket
doesn't have Time Lapse recording
external flash not possible
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
max zoom aperture not good (f5.9)
no moving screen
no phase detect autofocus
not so great battery life (200 shots)
pixelated screen (461 thousand dots)
sensor is tiny (1/1.7")
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Canon S100 Sensor info

The Canon S100 is run by the Digic 5 processor chip. The sensor specification in the Canon S100 is 7.44mm x 5.58mm (1/1.7"). The 42 mm² sensor can capture 4000 x 3000 pixels and aspect ratios of 1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Optical). In body stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization as the latter may cause cropping.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 12 megapixels and includes a native ISO range of 80 - 6400. RAW files are saved so the user has wider margin for error.

The picture underneath displays the S100's sensor dimensions when compared to other common sizes. The S100 sensor comes with a crop factor of 4.8 and is outlined in green.

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To get a sense of various aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon S100 dimensions

Canon S100 weighs about 0.44 lbs (198 grams / 6.98 oz) and the volume of the camera is 99mm x 60mm x 28mm (3.9" x 2.4" x 1.1"). The weight of average Small Sensor Compact camera is 174 grams so the Canon S100 is weightier in comparison with various rivals.

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Underneath is a shot of the Canon S100 next to a soda to help you to have a sense of its scale.

Canon PowerShot S100 dimensions scale

The top view under will show you the button layout on the S100.

Canon PowerShot S100 topview buttons dials

Canon S100 Lens info

The S100 has got an inbuilt lens and it has a focal range of 24-120mm making it a 5.0 x zoom which may not be perfect but it can be invaluable in a few scenarios.

At the widest 24mm, the lens will have an aperture of f2.0 making it great in low light conditions and getting a shallow depth of field. It would also allow you to go with a lower ISO to have more clean photographs. On the tele end, 120mm comes to f5.9 which is pretty slow and you will need to go with slow shutter speeds.

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Canon S100 Connectivity

The S100 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Digital cameras with NFC and / or Bluetooth support can easily be controlled wirelessly with smartphones. You can copy pictures and usually adjust settings without the hassle of connecting physically to the camera.

Some applications even enable a Liveview and release the shutter in case you are not near the camera. If the camera features a HDMI out, it could be hooked up to an external display. Most cameras enable you to recharge the battery pack using the USB socket.

Photography Glossary

Canon S100 Video info

The highest possible video quality in the Canon S100 is 1920 x 1080 and it can shoot in H.264 and Motion JPEG format. 1080p quality offers a decent balance for quality and file sizes but 1080p is not going to give you much room to crop. The camera does not offer a mic and / or headphone jack so you have little control over your audio. It is perhaps a better idea to have a look at a different model if you need good audio in your video clips.

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Canon S100 Weather Sealing

Canon S100 does not include environment sealing so wet conditions can easily ruin the camera.

Canon S100 Display and Viewfinder

The Canon S100 features a 3 inch fixed display supporting a resolution of 461 thousand dots.

Sadly the display is not a touch screen.

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The ViewFinder specs regarding Canon S100 are the following:

  • ViewFinder None

In those sunny outdoor conditions which make the camera displays washed out and difficult to view, viewfinders are quite useful.

Canon S100 Shutter info

Canon S100 continuous shooting rate is 2.0 fps. The highest shutter speed is 1/2000 seconds.

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Canon S100 Flash and Hot shoe info

Canon S100 boasts only in-built flash without external flash support. The max flash sync is 1/2000 seconds.

Canon S100 Autofocus info

Canon S100 boasts just Contrast Detect Auto Focus and does not have Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is more faster & precise in comparison with Contrast Detect focusing. The camera features Face detect making it useful for portraits.

The AF system features 9 focus points to select from. It also includes Tracking Auto Focus for moving subjects. Canon S100 supports manual focus if required for low light scenarios or you want more precise control on focus.

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Canon S100 Battery life

The battery life (NB-5L) for the Canon S100 is built to last for 200 clicks with respect to the CIPA standards which is lower compared with its competition. The average Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 features the best (470) battery life for this range of cameras.

Underneath is a listing of Small Sensor Compact cameras that come with the best battery life:

Canon S100 for different kinds of photography

The following diagram displays a summary of the Canon S100 for different kinds of photography. To look at more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Canon S100 Portrait photography information

The Canon S100 gets a rating of 45 which is horrible, meaning that it is not acceptable for portrait photos. Taking portraits leans heavily to sensor resolution, RAW support & capability to work with external flash.

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has manual focus
above average flash sync speed (1/2,000s)
supports face detect focus
exports RAW formats
cannot use external flash
low MP (12 megapixels)
sensor size is small (1/1.7")

Street photography with Canon S100

With a above average score of 65, the Canon S100 is a respectable fit to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera features a good balance of image quality and portability.

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built in image stabilization (Optical)
delivers RAW files
no moving screen
sensor size is tiny (1/1.7")

Canon S100 as a Sports photography camera

A horrible sports photography points tally of 32 indicates the Canon S100 is not acceptable for shooting sports. A camera should have good focusing and shutter speeds for sports photography.

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built in image stabilization (Optical)
features tracking focus
low frames per second (2.0 fps)
megapixel count low (12MP)
very small sensor (1/1.7")
bad battery life (200 CIPA)
does not have phase detect autofocus

Canon S100 Travel photography information

Size is super important when picking a camera for travel. On the whole, the Canon S100 gets a very good 61 as a travel camera which is a fine option to take on your trips.

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has built in flash
relatively wide (24mm)
great max aperture (f2.0)
no Time Lapse mode
bad battery (200 shots)
low resolution (12MP)
doesn't offer selfie friendly display

Canon S100 Landscape photography details

When you are planning to choose a camera for landscape photographs, the most vital aspect will be image quality. The Canon S100 and it's modest score of 51 as a landscape camera is fairly adequate within the current market.

Photography Glossary
you can focus manually
quite wide (24mm)
great maximum aperture (f2.0)
good sized screen (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Optical)
exports RAW files
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
sensor is very small (1/1.7")
bad battery power (200 shots)
does not have Time Lapse function

Vlogging with Canon S100

A camera for vlogging should come with a moving screen, microphone port and ideally IBIS. Taking everything into account, the Canon S100 is not acceptable as a vlog camera as it comes to a horrible rating of 36.

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rather wide (24mm)
good maximum aperture (f2.0)
image stabilization (Optical)
comes with face detection focus
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
doesn't have selfie friendly screen
doesn't have external mic jack

Canon S100 Alternatives

If you want replacements to the S100, here is a selection of the highest scored cameras which fall under the category of Small Sensor Compact.

The chart here provides you a bird's eye view of the S100 versus it's top ranked rivals suggested above.

Here are a handful of other cameras you might take into account as alternative options. To check out a full comparison, simply click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Canon PowerShot S100
Small Sensor Compact
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Digic 5
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
7.44 x 5.58mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Peak resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW photos
Highest native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
Touch focus
Continuous autofocus
Autofocus single
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mount
fixed lens
Lens focal range
24-120mm (5.0x)
Max aperture
Macro focus distance
Crop factor
Display type
Fixed Type
Display diagonal
3 inch
Display resolution
461 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Minimum shutter speed
15 seconds
Fastest shutter speed
1/2000 seconds
Continuous shutter rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
7.00 m
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
External flash
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Fastest flash synchronize
1/2000 seconds
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps) 640 x 480 (120, 30 fps), 320 x 240 (240, 30 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video format
H.264, Motion JPEG
Mic port
Headphone port
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
198 gr (0.44 lb)
99 x 60 x 28mm (3.9" x 2.4" x 1.1")
Battery life
200 images
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
Card slots
Retail pricing