Canon SX170 IS

 
Canon PowerShot SX170 IS front
 
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 1600
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 28-448mm (F3.5-5.9) lens
  • 251g - 108 x 71 x 44mm
  • Revealed August 2013
  • Earlier Model is Canon SX160 IS
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
Portability
88
Imaging
41
Features
41
Overall
41

Canon SX170 IS summary

Canon SX170 IS is Canon's Small Sensor Superzoom digital camera first released on August of 2013. It features a 16 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" size sensor with a max resolution of 4608 x 3456.

Canon launched this model as a way to update the earlier Canon SX160 IS (Read Full Comparison)

The SX170 IS is ranked #122 out of 243 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and overall #651 out of 1428 for digital cameras in our list. You should use our Smart camera search to find camera listings based on your personal requirements.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Here is a diagram of different factors used in the rating system.

Canon SX170 IS history

The Canon SX170 IS is part of a family of products. You can see the full list below.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Canon-PowerShot-SX70-HS front thumbnailCanon SX70 HS
SX170 IS vs SX70 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2018
Canon-PowerShot-SX740-HS front thumbnailCanon SX740 HS
SX170 IS vs SX740 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
21MP1/2.3"2018
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Canon-PowerShot-SX730-HS front thumbnailCanon SX730 HS
SX170 IS vs SX730 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2017
Canon-PowerShot-SX620-HS front thumbnailCanon SX620 HS
SX170 IS vs SX620 HS
25-625mm
F3.2-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX720-HS front thumbnailCanon SX720 HS
SX170 IS vs SX720 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX420-IS front thumbnailCanon SX420 IS
SX170 IS vs SX420 IS
24-1008mm
F3.5-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
Canon-PowerShot-SX540-HS front thumbnailCanon SX540 HS
SX170 IS vs SX540 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX410-IS front thumbnailCanon SX410 IS
SX170 IS vs SX410 IS
24-960mm
F3.5-5.6
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX610-HS front thumbnailCanon SX610 HS
SX170 IS vs SX610 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX530-HS front thumbnailCanon SX530 HS
SX170 IS vs SX530 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX710-HS front thumbnailCanon SX710 HS
SX170 IS vs SX710 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
Canon-PowerShot-SX60-HS front thumbnailCanon SX60 HS
SX170 IS vs SX60 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX400-IS front thumbnailCanon SX400 IS
SX170 IS vs SX400 IS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX520-HS front thumbnailCanon SX520 HS
SX170 IS vs SX520 HS
24-1008mm
F3.4-6.0
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX700-HS front thumbnailCanon SX700 HS
SX170 IS vs SX700 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX600-HS front thumbnailCanon SX600 HS
SX170 IS vs SX600 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX510-HS front thumbnailCanon SX510 HS
SX170 IS vs SX510 HS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX170-IS front thumbnailCanon SX170 IS28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX160-IS front thumbnailCanon SX160 IS
SX170 IS vs SX160 IS
28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
Canon-PowerShot-SX280-HS front thumbnailCanon SX280 HS
SX170 IS vs SX280 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX270-HS front thumbnailCanon SX270 HS
SX170 IS vs SX270 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX50-HS front thumbnailCanon SX50 HS
SX170 IS vs SX50 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX500-IS front thumbnailCanon SX500 IS
SX170 IS vs SX500 IS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX260-HS front thumbnailCanon SX260 HS
SX170 IS vs SX260 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX150-IS front thumbnailCanon SX150 IS
SX170 IS vs SX150 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
14MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX240-HS front thumbnailCanon SX240 HS
SX170 IS vs SX240 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX40-HS front thumbnailCanon SX40 HS
SX170 IS vs SX40 HS
24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SX230-HS front thumbnailCanon SX230 HS
SX170 IS vs SX230 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SD4500-IS front thumbnailCanon SD4500 IS
SX170 IS vs SD4500 IS
36-360mm
F3.4-5.6
10MP1/2.3"2011
Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
Canon-SX220-HS front thumbnailCanon SX220 HS
SX170 IS vs SX220 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SX30-IS front thumbnailCanon SX30 IS
SX170 IS vs SX30 IS
24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX130-IS front thumbnailCanon SX130 IS
SX170 IS vs SX130 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD4000-IS front thumbnailCanon SD4000 IS
SX170 IS vs SD4000 IS
28-105mm
F2.0-5.3
10MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX20-IS front thumbnailCanon SX20 IS
SX170 IS vs SX20 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX210-IS front thumbnailCanon SX210 IS
SX170 IS vs SX210 IS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD3500-IS front thumbnailCanon SD3500 IS
SX170 IS vs SD3500 IS
24-120mm
F2.8-5.9
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD1300-IS front thumbnailCanon SD1300 IS
SX170 IS vs SD1300 IS
28-112mm
F2.8-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD980-IS front thumbnailCanon SD980 IS
SX170 IS vs SD980 IS
24-120mm
F2.8-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX200-IS front thumbnailCanon SX200 IS
SX170 IS vs SX200 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.3
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX1-IS front thumbnailCanon SX1 IS
SX170 IS vs SX1 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD970-IS front thumbnailCanon SD970 IS
SX170 IS vs SD970 IS
37-185mm
F3.2-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD960-IS front thumbnailCanon SD960 IS
SX170 IS vs SD960 IS
28-112mm
F2.8-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD1200-IS front thumbnailCanon SD1200 IS
SX170 IS vs SD1200 IS
35-105mm
F2.8-4.9
10MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX10-IS front thumbnailCanon SX10 IS
SX170 IS vs SX10 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009

Canon SX170 IS Pros and Cons

Here is a checklist of pros and cons of the Canon SX170 IS based on criterias that are typically considered essential in a digital camera.

built in image stabilization (Optical)
comes with face detect focus
comes with tracking focus
flash built-in
good minimum ISO (100)
great zoom range (28-448mm 16.0 x zoom)
has manual focus
lighter than others (251g)
megapixel count decent (16MP)
rather wide (28mm)
screen is a decent size (3 inches)
very long reach (448mm)
can't use external flash
lack of HDMI support
lack of headphone jack
lack of microphone jack
lack of phase detect auto focus
lack of RAW support
lack of Timelapse function
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
low frames per second (1.0 fps)
low quality video (1280 x 720 pxls)
no articulating screen
screen has low resolution (230 thousand dot)
screen is not selfie friendly
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
slow max aperture (f3.5)
sluggish at full zoom (f5.9)
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Canon SX170 IS Sensor specs

The Canon SX170 IS features the Digic 4 chip. The spec of the sensor on the Canon SX170 IS is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the ability to capture 4608 x 3456 pixels with aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has got Image Stabilization (Optical). In body stabilization is superior than digital stabilization since the latter can easily cause cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 16MP and includes a standard ISO range of 100 to 1600. Unfortunately, RAW format is not saved which means that you have less room to maneuver in post.

The graphic below illustrates the SX170 IS's sensor size when compared to other popular sizes. The SX170 IS sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is displayed in green.

Canon PowerShot SX170 IS sensor size Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

To get an understanding of various aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon SX170 IS dimensions

Canon SX170 IS weighs 0.55 pounds (251g / 8.85 ounces) and features external size of 108mm x 71mm x 44mm (4.3" x 2.8" x 1.7"). The weight of typical Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387g and the Canon SX170 IS is less heavy than various competitors.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

Listed below is a pic of the Canon SX170 IS besides a soft drink to help you have a feel for its size.

Canon PowerShot SX170 IS dimensions scale

The top view below will highlight the button design on the SX170 IS.

Canon PowerShot SX170 IS topview buttons dials

Canon SX170 IS Lens details

The SX170 IS provides a fixed lens with a focal range of 28-448mm giving it a 16.0 x zoom which is exceptional and could let you zoom right in.

At it's widest 28mm, it provides an aperture of f3.5 which is kind of sluggish and not great in low light events and you may find it hard to capture good bokeh. You will likely also need to up your ISO resulting in noisy shots. For the long end, 448mm is great zoom and comes with f5.9 making it quite sluggish and you may have to apply slower shutter speeds.

Instagram's $20 billion Ad success

Canon SX170 IS Connectivity

The SX170 IS has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes

Digital cameras that have NFC and Bluetooth compatibility are able to be used wirelessly via smartphones. You are able to copy images and at times adjust settings without connecting directly with the camera.

Several apps also enable a Liveview and hit the shutter when you are not close to the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI out, it can easily be attached to an external monitor. A good number of cameras will allow you to charge the battery pack with the USB port.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Canon SX170 IS Video details

The max video resolution on the Canon SX170 IS is 1280 x 720 and it can save in MPEG-4 and H.264 file format. 720p is terrible by today's requirements. You should shoot for at least FUll HD resolution for good video. The body does not have a mic and headphone socket which means you get zero control over your sound. It is probably best to take a look at an alternative camera if you want better sound in your videos.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Canon SX170 IS Weather Sealing

There is no environment proofing for the Canon SX170 IS so you have to be careful in rainy and dusty situations.

Canon SX170 IS Screen and Viewfinder

The Canon SX170 IS features a 3 inch fixed display screen with a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Please be aware that the display offers no touch support.

Canon PowerShot SX170 IS screen and viewfinder Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

The View Finder details regarding Canon SX170 IS are the following:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders can be really beneficial in bright outdoor situations which can make the camera screen washed out and very difficult to view.

Canon SX170 IS Shutter details

Canon SX170 IS has the ability to shoot continuously at 1.0 fps. The maximum shutter speed is 1/3200 seconds.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

Canon SX170 IS Flash and Hot shoe details

Canon SX170 IS has got just integrated flash with missing external flash support.

Canon SX170 IS Autofocus details

Canon SX170 IS has got only Contrast Based Autofocus and doesn't have Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is more faster & accurate than Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera features Face detection which can be handy for portraits.

It also features Tracking Autofocus for moving things. Canon SX170 IS features manual focusing if needed in low light conditions or you want more exact focusing control.

Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

Canon SX170 IS Battery life

The battery pack (NB-6LH) for the Canon SX170 IS is fashioned to last for 300 photographs based on the CIPA standards which is similar to its competitors. The usual Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR offers the maximum (600) battery life in this class of cameras.

Underneath is a collection of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras which have the best battery life:

Canon SX170 IS for different kinds of photography

The following chart indicates a summary of the Canon SX170 IS for different kinds of photography. To see more, check out the specific section below.

Portrait photography with Canon SX170 IS

The Canon SX170 IS has a points total of 44 which is bad, and means the camera is not really acceptable to use for portraits. Photographing portraits favors greatly towards sensor dimensions, support for RAW files plus the capability to use external lighting.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
you can focus manually
decent MP (16MP)
provides face detect focusing
can't use external flash
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
lacks RAW format

Canon SX170 IS as a Street photography camera

Having a reasonable rating of 60, the Canon SX170 IS is fairly acceptable to buy for street photography. A very good street photography camera features a fine balance of picture quality and portability.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than average (251 grams)
no moving screen
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
no RAW support

Sports photography with Canon SX170 IS

A moderate sports photography rating of 49 indicates the Canon SX170 IS is reasonably suited for taking pictures of sports. A camera must have very good autofocus plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
excellent zoom range (28-448mm 16.0 x zoom)
has image stabilization (Optical)
resolution is good (16 megapixels)
offers tracking autofocus
low fps (1.0 frames per second)
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
lack of phase detect autofocus

Canon SX170 IS Travel photography highlights

Weight is really critical in picking a camera for travel. Overall, the Canon SX170 IS gets a above average 68 for a travelling camera which makes it a fine choice for your holidays.

Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
lighter than competitors in class (251g)
MP count decent (16MP)
built-in flash
reasonably wide (28mm)
long zoom (448mm)
doesn't have Timelapse mode
does not contain selfie friendly screen
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.5)

Canon SX170 IS Landscape photography advice

For those who are looking to pick a camera for landscape pictures, the most important aspect is going to be image quality. The Canon SX170 IS and it's decent grade of 50 as a landscape camera is relatively adequate within the current market.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
focusing manually
decently wide (28mm)
pretty good screen size (3 inches)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
good resolution (16 megapixels)
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
slow max aperture (f3.5)
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
does not have RAW files
missing Time Lapse mode

Vlogging with Canon SX170 IS

A vlogging camera really should have a articulating display, microphone port and if possible IBIS. Taking all things into account, the Canon SX170 IS is not really acceptable for vlogging as it receives a bad score of 31.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
relatively wide (28mm)
image stabilization (Optical)
includes face detection focusing
lighter than competition (251 grams)
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.5)
display isn't selfie friendly
low quality video (1280 x 720 pxls)
does not have external microphone port

Canon SX170 IS Alternatives

If you need alternatives to the SX170 IS, here is a selection of the top scored cameras which fall into the class of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The diagram below offers you an overview of the SX170 IS versus it's top scored rivals shown earlier.

There are more cameras you might take a look at as alternate options. To go through a extensive comparison, simply click the "compare" link.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Specifications

General Information
Brand
Canon
Model type
Canon PowerShot SX170 IS
Category
Small Sensor Superzoom
Revealed
2013-08-22
Body design
Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
CCD
Processor
Digic 4
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
16MP
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest Possible resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW support
Maximum native ISO
1600
Minimum native ISO
100
Autofocusing
Manual focusing
AF touch
Continuous AF
Single AF
AF tracking
Selective AF
AF center weighted
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Cross type focus points
0
Lens
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
28-448mm (16.0x)
Max aperture
f/3.5-5.9
Macro focusing range
1cm
Focal length multiplier
5.8
Screen
Range of screen
Fixed Type
Screen size
3 inches
Screen resolution
230 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch screen
Screen tech
TFT Color LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder
None
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Features
Min shutter speed
15s
Max shutter speed
1/3200s
Continuous shutter speed
1.0fps
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Yes
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance
3.00 m
Flash settings
Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Flash Off
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Exposure
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30, 25 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
1280x720
Video file format
MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone input
Headphone input
Connectivity
Wireless
Eye-Fi Connected
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
None
Physical
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight
251g (0.55 lb)
Physical dimensions
108 x 71 x 44mm (4.3" x 2.8" x 1.7")
Other
Battery life
300 photographs
Form of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
NB-6LH
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Time lapse feature
Storage media
SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage slots
Single
Launch cost
$0