Canon SX160 IS

 
Canon PowerShot SX160 IS front
 
Portability
86
Imaging
41
Features
45
Overall
42

Canon SX160 IS overview

Canon SX160 IS is Canon's Small Sensor Superzoom digital camera initially revealed on June of 2013. It includes a 16 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a peak resolution of 4608 x 3456.

Canon brought out this model as a way to upgrade the earlier Canon SX150 IS (Read Full Comparison) and subsequently brought out the fresher Canon SX170 IS (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to upgrade this camera.

The SX160 IS is ranked #111 out of 243 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and all around #613 out of 1422 for cameras in our database. You can try our Advanced camera filter to get camera results based on your customized factors.

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Below is a diagram of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Canon SX160 IS history

The Canon SX160 IS is part of a family of digital cameras. You can view the complete range below.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Canon-PowerShot-SX70-HS front thumbnailCanon SX70 HS
SX160 IS vs SX70 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2018
Canon-PowerShot-SX740-HS front thumbnailCanon SX740 HS
SX160 IS vs SX740 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
21MP1/2.3"2018
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Canon-PowerShot-SX730-HS front thumbnailCanon SX730 HS
SX160 IS vs SX730 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2017
Canon-PowerShot-SX620-HS front thumbnailCanon SX620 HS
SX160 IS vs SX620 HS
25-625mm
F3.2-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX720-HS front thumbnailCanon SX720 HS
SX160 IS vs SX720 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX540-HS front thumbnailCanon SX540 HS
SX160 IS vs SX540 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2016
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Canon-PowerShot-SX420-IS front thumbnailCanon SX420 IS
SX160 IS vs SX420 IS
24-1008mm
F3.5-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX410-IS front thumbnailCanon SX410 IS
SX160 IS vs SX410 IS
24-960mm
F3.5-5.6
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX610-HS front thumbnailCanon SX610 HS
SX160 IS vs SX610 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX530-HS front thumbnailCanon SX530 HS
SX160 IS vs SX530 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX710-HS front thumbnailCanon SX710 HS
SX160 IS vs SX710 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
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Canon-PowerShot-SX60-HS front thumbnailCanon SX60 HS
SX160 IS vs SX60 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX520-HS front thumbnailCanon SX520 HS
SX160 IS vs SX520 HS
24-1008mm
F3.4-6.0
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX400-IS front thumbnailCanon SX400 IS
SX160 IS vs SX400 IS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX700-HS front thumbnailCanon SX700 HS
SX160 IS vs SX700 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX600-HS front thumbnailCanon SX600 HS
SX160 IS vs SX600 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX170-IS front thumbnailCanon SX170 IS
SX160 IS vs SX170 IS
28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX510-HS front thumbnailCanon SX510 HS
SX160 IS vs SX510 HS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX160-IS front thumbnailCanon SX160 IS28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
Canon-PowerShot-SX270-HS front thumbnailCanon SX270 HS
SX160 IS vs SX270 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX280-HS front thumbnailCanon SX280 HS
SX160 IS vs SX280 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX50-HS front thumbnailCanon SX50 HS
SX160 IS vs SX50 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX500-IS front thumbnailCanon SX500 IS
SX160 IS vs SX500 IS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX260-HS front thumbnailCanon SX260 HS
SX160 IS vs SX260 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX150-IS front thumbnailCanon SX150 IS
SX160 IS vs SX150 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
14MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX240-HS front thumbnailCanon SX240 HS
SX160 IS vs SX240 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX40-HS front thumbnailCanon SX40 HS
SX160 IS vs SX40 HS
24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SD4500-IS front thumbnailCanon SD4500 IS
SX160 IS vs SD4500 IS
36-360mm
F3.4-5.6
10MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SX230-HS front thumbnailCanon SX230 HS
SX160 IS vs SX230 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Canon-SX220-HS front thumbnailCanon SX220 HS
SX160 IS vs SX220 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SX30-IS front thumbnailCanon SX30 IS
SX160 IS vs SX30 IS
24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX130-IS front thumbnailCanon SX130 IS
SX160 IS vs SX130 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD4000-IS front thumbnailCanon SD4000 IS
SX160 IS vs SD4000 IS
28-105mm
F2.0-5.3
10MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX20-IS front thumbnailCanon SX20 IS
SX160 IS vs SX20 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX210-IS front thumbnailCanon SX210 IS
SX160 IS vs SX210 IS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD3500-IS front thumbnailCanon SD3500 IS
SX160 IS vs SD3500 IS
24-120mm
F2.8-5.9
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD1300-IS front thumbnailCanon SD1300 IS
SX160 IS vs SD1300 IS
28-112mm
F2.8-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD980-IS front thumbnailCanon SD980 IS
SX160 IS vs SD980 IS
24-120mm
F2.8-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX200-IS front thumbnailCanon SX200 IS
SX160 IS vs SX200 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.3
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX1-IS front thumbnailCanon SX1 IS
SX160 IS vs SX1 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD970-IS front thumbnailCanon SD970 IS
SX160 IS vs SD970 IS
37-185mm
F3.2-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD960-IS front thumbnailCanon SD960 IS
SX160 IS vs SD960 IS
28-112mm
F2.8-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD1200-IS front thumbnailCanon SD1200 IS
SX160 IS vs SD1200 IS
35-105mm
F2.8-4.9
10MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX10-IS front thumbnailCanon SX10 IS
SX160 IS vs SX10 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009

Canon SX160 IS Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of benefits and drawbacks of the Canon SX160 IS based on features that are typically seen as necessary in a digital camera.

above average min ISO (100)
decent MP (16 megapixels)
flash built-in
flash sync speed is above average (1/2,000s)
good battery power (380 CIPA)
great zoom range (28-448mm 16.0 x zoom)
image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competition (291 grams)
manual focus
nice screen size (3")
rather wide (28mm)
supports face detect focus
supports tracking focus
very long reach (448mm)
can't switch lenses (fixed lens mount)
can't use external flash
has no phase detect auto focus
has no RAW support
low res video (1280 x 720 pixels)
max zoom aperture not good (f5.9)
missing HDMI socket
missing headphone socket
missing microphone socket
missing Timelapse function
painfully slow continuous shooting (1.0 fps)
pixelated screen (230 k dots)
screen does not articulate
screen is not selfie friendly
sluggish max aperture (f3.5)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
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Canon SX160 IS Sensor specifications

The Canon SX160 IS houses the Digic 4 processor chip. The size of the sensor on the Canon SX160 IS is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4608 x 3456 pixels and aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Optical). In body stabilization is more effective than digital stabilization since the latter may cause cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 16 megapixels and features a standard ISO range of 100 to 1600. Sadly, RAW photos are not saved so the user has less room to maneuver in post.

The picture below displays the SX160 IS's sensor dimensions compared to other popular sizes. The SX160 IS sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is showcased in green.

Canon PowerShot SX160 IS sensor size 400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

To get an idea of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon SX160 IS dimensions

Canon SX160 IS weighs 0.64 lbs (291g or 10.26 ounces) and the measurement of the camera is 111mm x 73mm x 44mm (4.4" x 2.9" x 1.7"). The weight of general Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387g and the Canon SX160 IS is lighter when compared to its rivals.

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Below is a visual of the Canon SX160 IS alongside a soda to help you have a sense of its scale.

Canon PowerShot SX160 IS dimensions scale

The top view below will show the button arrangement on the SX160 IS.

Canon PowerShot SX160 IS topview buttons dials

Canon SX160 IS Lens specifications

The SX160 IS houses a fixed lens featuring a focal range of 28-448mm giving it a 16.0 x zoom which is outstanding and is going to allow you to zoom right in.

At the widest 28mm, it will have an aperture of f3.5 which is rather slow and not great in low light conditions and you might find it difficult to capture good bokeh. You will also have to boost the ISO setting causing noisy shots. At the tele end, 448mm is excellent zoom and comes to f5.9 which is very slow and you will need to go with slower shutter speeds.

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Canon SX160 IS Connectivity

The SX160 IS has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes

Cameras that have NFC and Bluetooth compatibility are able to be used wirelessly by smartphones. You can send images and in some cases adjust settings without the hassle of connecting directly to the camera.

Several applications even enable a Liveview and press the shutter when you aren't near the camera. If the camera boasts a HDMI out, it can easily be hooked up to an external display. The majority of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery using the USB port.

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Canon SX160 IS Video specifications

The highest video resolution on the Canon SX160 IS is 1280 x 720 and it can shoot in H.264 file format. 720p is awful by today's standards. You really should go for at least FUll HD resolution for video. The camera doesn't include a mic and headphone socket so you get little control over your sound. It is perhaps a better idea to buy a different camera should you want better sound in your videos.

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Canon SX160 IS Weather Sealing

Canon SX160 IS doesn't include weather sealing so rainy conditions might affect the camera.

Canon SX160 IS Screen and Viewfinder

The Canon SX160 IS includes a 3" fixed display screen supporting a resolution of 230k dots.

Please note that the display offers no touch support.

Canon PowerShot SX160 IS screen and viewfinder Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

The View Finder specs regarding Canon SX160 IS are the following:

  • ViewFinder None

In those bright outdoor situations which make the camera screens washed out and hard to view, viewfinders will be very useful.

Canon SX160 IS Shutter specifications

Canon SX160 IS continuous shooting speed is 1.0 fps. The max shutter speed is 1/3200 seconds.

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Canon SX160 IS Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Canon SX160 IS boasts only built in flash without external flash ability. The max flash sync speed is 1/2000 seconds.

Canon SX160 IS Autofocus specifications

Canon SX160 IS boasts just Contrast Based Auto Focus and lacks Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot faster and accurate when compared to Contrast Based focusing. The camera includes Face detection which is valuable for people photography.

It also boasts Tracking Auto Focus for moving things. Canon SX160 IS features manual focusing in case it is needed during low light scenarios or you want more precise control on focusing.

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Canon SX160 IS Battery life

The battery power (2 x AA) for the Canon SX160 IS is made to last for 380 photographs with respect to the CIPA standards which is above standard in comparison to its category. The typical Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR comes with the highest (600) battery life within this type of cameras.

Listed below is a listing of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras that come with the strongest battery life:

Canon SX160 IS for specific categories of photography

The following chart provides a analysis of the Canon SX160 IS for specific categories of photography. To learn more, have a look at the specific section below.

Canon SX160 IS as a Portrait photography camera

The Canon SX160 IS has a rating of 47 which is modest, and means the camera is relatively suitable to use for portrait photography. Shooting portraits leans greatly towards sensor specs, support for RAW photos plus the flexibility to use external lighting.

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has manual focus
great flash sync speed (1/2,000s)
megapixel count good (16MP)
supports face detect focusing
cannot use external flash
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
lacks RAW support

Canon SX160 IS Street photography details

Having a reasonable points total of 59, the Canon SX160 IS is somewhat appropriate for street photography. A decent street photography camera comes with a perfect balance of image quality and portability.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than average (291 grams)
fixed screen
small sensor (1/2.3")
does not have RAW support

Canon SX160 IS as a Sports photography camera

A moderate sports photography score of 51 indicates the Canon SX160 IS is fairly appropriate for shooting sports. A camera should have great autofocus plus fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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long zoom range (28-448mm 16.0 x zoom)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
megapixel count good (16MP)
includes tracking autofocus
good battery pack (380 shots)
very slow continuous shooting (1.0 fps)
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
lacks phase detect autofocus

Canon SX160 IS Travel photography highlights

Size is really critical in choosing a travel camera. Over-all, the Canon SX160 IS gets a very good 69 for a travel camera which makes it a respectable option to take with you on your trips.

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good battery power (380 CIPA)
lighter than others (291g)
resolution is good (16MP)
has built in flash
quite wide (28mm)
long zoom (448mm)
no Time Lapse recording
display isn't selfie friendly
slow max aperture (f3.5)

Landscape photography with Canon SX160 IS

If you find yourself planning to purchase a digital camera for landscape photos, the most essential factor will no doubt be image quality. The Canon SX160 IS at it's modest rating of 52 as a landscape camera is relatively acceptable within the current marketplace.

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has manual focus
really wide (28mm)
screen size is decent (3")
has image stabilization (Optical)
decent MP (16MP)
better than average battery (380 per charge)
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
lacks RAW format
lack of Timelapse recording

Canon SX160 IS Vlogging features

A vlogging camera should posses a moving display screen, mic input and preferably image stabilization. Considering every thing, the Canon SX160 IS is not suitable as a vlog camera as it delivers a bad rating of 31.

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really wide (28mm)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
offers face detect focusing
lighter than competitors in class (291 grams)
slow max aperture (f3.5)
does not have a selfie friendly screen
low res video (1280 x 720 pxls)
no microphone support

Canon SX160 IS Alternatives

If you need replacements to the SX160 IS, below is a selection of the top placed cameras that fall within the category of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The diagram just below offers you a bird's eye view of the SX160 IS versus it's highest rated competitors mentioned earlier.

Following are several cameras you may take a look at as alternative options. To read a thorough comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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Specifications

General Information
Company
Canon
Model type
Canon PowerShot SX160 IS
Category
Small Sensor Superzoom
Revealed
2013-06-21
Physical type
Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
CCD
Processor Chip
Digic 4
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
16 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW pictures
Maximum native ISO
1600
Min native ISO
100
Autofocusing
Manual focusing
Touch focus
AF continuous
Single AF
Tracking AF
AF selectice
AF center weighted
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Cross type focus points
0
Lens
Lens support
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
28-448mm (16.0x)
Largest aperture
f/3.5-5.9
Macro focusing distance
1cm
Crop factor
5.8
Screen
Type of screen
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
3"
Screen resolution
230k dots
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch screen
Screen tech
TFT Color LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder
None
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Features
Lowest shutter speed
15s
Highest shutter speed
1/3200s
Continuous shooting rate
1.0fps
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Yes
Set WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance
3.00 m
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
Hot shoe
AEB
WB bracketing
Highest flash synchronize
1/2000s
Exposure
Multisegment
Average
Spot
Partial
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30, 25 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
1280x720
Video file format
H.264
Microphone port
Headphone port
Connectivity
Wireless
Eye-Fi Connected
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
None
Physical
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight
291g (0.64 lb)
Dimensions
111 x 73 x 44mm (4.4" x 2.9" x 1.7")
Other
Battery life
380 images
Style of battery
AA
Battery ID
2 x AA
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Time lapse feature
Storage type
SD/SDHC/SDXC
Card slots
1
Price at launch
$199