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Canon's budget megazoom, the PowerShot SX100

I'm not sure that Canon's new 10X zoom is a better deal than its similarly-priced but last-generation 12X S3 IS.

The PowerShot SX100 will come in black or chrome.
Choose black or chrome.

The continuing popularity of its less-expensive but last-generation PowerShot S3 IS and its competitors around the $300 price mark such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 and Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS has likely driven Canon's decision to release a new megazoom option in that price class. The PowerShot SX100 IS, which Canon expects to ship in early October for $299, offers some attractions over the S3 IS, but makes some tradeoffs as well.

  S3 IS SX100 IS S5 IS
Resolution 6 megapixels 8 megapixels 8 megapixels
(35mm equivalent)
f/2.7-to-f/3.5, 36mm-to-432mm (12X) f/2.8-4.3, 36mm-360mm (10X) f/2.7-3.5, 36mm-to-432mm (12X)
LCD size 2 inches 2.5 inches 2.5 inches
Viewfinder EVF None EVF
Power 4 AA batteries 2 AA batteries 4 AA batteries
Back of the PowerShot SX100. Nary a viewfinder in sight. Canon USA

Given its specs, the SX100 has a confusing market fit. Its aforementioned competitors sport 12X zoom lenses but 7-megapixel sensors; however, you're generally better off with the longer lens and the smaller sensor. And I'm no big fan of electronic viewfinders (EVF), but I don't know that dropping it entirely is such a good idea. However, it will certainly be an interesting camera to look at when the time comes.