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Canon Powershot A2100 IS Ken McMahon, August 2009

Canon Powershot A2100 IS Gallery

The following images were taken with a Canon Powershot A2100 IS. The Powershot A2100 IS was set to Large Fine JPEG quality, Auto White Balance and Evaluative metering. Image Stabilisation was enabled for all these handheld images.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS4 as JPEGs with the Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS4 and saved with the default High quality preset.

The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Note: you may wish to open a number of galleries for direct comparison of detail and noise: Canon IXUS 100 IS / PowerShot SD780 IS sample images, Canon IXUS 870 IS / PowerShot SD 880IS sample images, and Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 / ZS3 sample images.

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Landscape: 2.7MB, Program, 1/250, f9, 80 ISO, 6.4-38.4mm at 6.4mm (36mm equivalent)

  This first shot was taken with the Powershot A2100 IS zoomed-out and set to its lowest 80 ISO sensitivity. With a widest equivalent of 36mm, you’ll need to stand back much further than models with 28mm coverage.

The auto exposure has a made of good job of a well lit subject, managing to produce good shadow detail in the river at the bottom of the frame without overexposing the white building.

There's no evidence of fringing around the TV arial and minimal noise in the shadows with excellent detail even inside the warehouse windows.


Indoor: 4MB, Program, 1/200, f3.2, 800 ISO, 6.4-38.4mm at 6.4mm (36mm equivalent)

  This indoor shot was taken in a mix of natural and artificial light. The Powershot A2100 IS has correctly evaluated the white balance in difficult conditions.

The flash was disabled for this shot and the ISO set to 800. Exposure is good, but at 800 ISO noise is very apparent in the crops and, other than for must-have shots, this is probably further than you'd want to push it. Despite that, edge detail remains sharp and punchy.


Landscape: 2.6MB, Program, 1/250, f9, 100 ISO, 6.4-38.4mm at 6.4mm (36mm equivalent)

    This boat shot tests the A2100 IS's ability to deal with difficult lighting. The sun is to the right of the boat and we're almost shooting into it. The A2100 has underexposed the subject by around a stop losing quite a bit of important detail as a result.

You could rescue this in an image editor, and the low noise at 100 ISO will help, but a better result would have been achieved if the A2100 IS had just opened up the aperture or set a slower shutter.


Portrait: 2.1MB, Program, 1/100, f5.9, 100 ISO, 6.4-38.4mm at 38.4mm (216mm equivalent)

  For this portrait we kept the lens zoomed-in and the sensitivity at 100 ISO. The default Face Detection tracked the subject with ease. The crops are sharp and there's no visible noise appearing in flat colour or shadow areas.

The exposure is spot on for the skin tones, highlight detail has been retained in the subject's white shirt and the camera hasn't been fooled into over exposing by the large dark background area.


Macro: 2.6MB, Program, 1/25, f3.2, 100 ISO, 6.4-38.4mm at 6.4mm (36mm equivalent)

  This shot was taken at the Canon's closest focusing distance of 1cm with the lens fully zoomed-out.

The centre portion of the image is in fairly sharp focus (you can even pick out dust on the circuit board). The edges are a little softer, though this could be due to the camera not being held perfectly square on to the subject. There's also some evidence of fringing in high contrast areas.


Indoor: 3.1MB, Program, 1/60, f3.2, 100 ISO, 6.4-38.4mm at 6.4mm (36mm equivalent)

  Our second indoor shot is a portrait taken in confined space with the camera set to its widest focal length and the flash enabled.

Again, the Powershot A2100 IS has made a good job of exposure, the subject is well lit and there's no evidence of red-eye. The flash illumination drops of fairly rapidly though, which could be a problem for groups shots.


Landscape: 3.6MB, Program, 1/400, f5.9, 100 ISO, 6.4-38.4mm at 38.4mm (216mm equivalent)

    This shot was taken in late afternnoon sunlight with the camera handheld at its maximum zoom setting. Once again the exposure is spot on with good balance between the two clock faces, one in direct sunlight, the other in shade.

Details are sharp, but the crops look a little over-processed in this instance. There is also some fringing at the very edge of the frame, though it's very minor.


Indoor: 3.7MB, Program, 1/100, f3.2, 1600 ISO, 7.7-28.5mm at 7.7mm (36mm equivalent)

  Our final shot was taken with the Canon at 1600 ISO, and unsurprisingly noise levels have become noticeably worse.

Canon has opted for less aggressive NR than earlier models, avoiding smearing, with arguably preferable results. 1600 ISO is still best-reserved for email or very small prints though.

You can see a sample of other sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results page.

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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