The Canon PowerShot SX150 IS garners consistent ratings from reviewers, who say it's an affordable ultrazoom but that other cameras offer better features and performance. As the update to the Canon PowerShot SX130 IS (*Est. $150) , the SX150 IS has two slight upgrades: a nudge up to a 14.1-megapixel sensor and Canon's new Intelligent image stabilization, which supports six types of shooting (tripod, panning, etc.). The chunky SX150 IS (about 10 ounces) comes equipped with a large 3-inch LCD display and a respectable 12x zoom lens that works in video mode. Testers are enthusiastic about the easy-to-use layout and high-end manual controls, which let you expand your creative flair beyond the robust automatic settings and creative filters.
However, nearly all experts say the camera's sharp photos are plagued by noise, and the SX150 IS musters "middling" shot-to-shot speeds in tests at PCMag.com. In addition, the video format is a notch below full HD (1080p), the standard LCD resolution (230,000 dots) pales next to other cameras and users at Amazon.com say the SX150 IS "burns through" AA batteries. Reviewers say the pricier Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 is smaller yet packs a longer 16x zoom lens, while the cheaper GE X500 (*Est. $140) offers a 15x zoom lens and better low-light photos. In the same price bracket, the highly rated Canon PowerShot Elph 310 HS has a shorter 8x zoom but wields a 3-inch LCD, superior low-light images, faster shooting speeds and full HD video (1080p).
PCMag.com has the most thorough test-based review of the Canon PowerShot SX150 IS, which shows how the camera fares next to nearly half a dozen market rivals. ConsumerReports.org also conducts rigorous lab tests paired with much briefer summaries, although their product comparison chart is extensive. PhotographyBlog.com, Steves-Digicams.com and CameraLabs.com also offer plenty of useful information, while user comments at Amazon.com show how the SX150 IS fares outside the expert test labs.
"The Canon PowerShot SX150 IS is a bit of a conundrum," says Jim Fisher, after comparing it to nearly half a dozen class rivals. While the SX150 IS is one of the most affordable ultrazoom cameras out there and offers a respectable feature set, sharp images and a nice control layout, it's "hindered" by noisy images, slow shooting speeds and a plump design.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX150 IS, Jim Fisher, Oct. 26, 2011
ConsumerReports.org tests more than 160 point-and-shoot digital cameras. Each receives a ratings report card, and the newly expanded detailed test results summarize key features and performance. The extensive comparison chart shows how the Canon PowerShot SX150 IS stacks up next to many competitors.
Review: Point and Shoot Digital Camera Ratings and Reliability, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of Jan. 2012
The Canon PowerShot SX150 IS "is a solid travel-zoom camera that certainly won't break the bank," says Mark Goldstein. Even though the SX150 IS suffers from a chunky outdated design and noisy images -- and tends to eat up AA batteries -- it nevertheless earns a Recommended award for its proven ease of use and dependable features.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Review, Mark Goldstein, Dec. 7, 2011
4. Camera Labs.com
The budget-friendly Canon PowerShot SX150 IS "is a hard camera not to like," says Ken McMahon. While the SX150 IS is bigger and slower than other Canon models, the 12x zoom lens and manual controls make it "engaging" to use. However, the low-end HD video mode (720p), noisy images and "embarrassing" continuous shooting speeds are a letdown.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Review, Ken McMahon, Nov. 2011
The Canon PowerShot SX150 IS offers specs that are "quite appealing" given its affordable price. Editors like the full manual control, convenient AA battery source and upgraded optical image stabilization. On the downside, image quality suffers from unacceptable noise at higher ISO levels and shooting speeds lag compared to the Canon PowerShot SX230 and Canon PowerShot Elph 310 HS.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Review, Editors of Steves-Digicams.com, Oct. 20, 2011
More than two-thirds of users give the Canon PowerShot SX150 IS a 4- or 5-star rating for delivering easy-to-use features and great image quality at an unbeatable price. However, complaints about poor battery life flood reviews, and many users recommend buying rechargeable batteries.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX150 IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Feb. 2012