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ISO comparison



ASM modes

Zoom range

Lens distortion


Live View Control

Creative Filters

These are 100 percent crops from the center of our test scene. Though you probably won't want to use its photos at full size, the SX160 IS overall produces very nice photos, especially for its price and features. Pixel peepers will see noise even at ISO 100, but it's not noticeable at reduced sizes. Up at ISO 400 is where it starts to be more visible. Going above that you'll start to see more color noise, artifacts, and loss of detail. The camera definitely favors dropping shutter speed over raising ISO when left in auto. That's good in general, but if you're not paying attention it could result in blurry photos.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
For those who like to shoot close-ups, the SX160's macro option can focus as near as 0.4 inch from a subject. This is a 100 percent crop from the inset photo taken at ISO 100.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Color performance is generally very good up to ISO 400. Above that you start to end up with noise that makes colors look off.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The camera has semimanual and manual shooting modes for those who like more control over their results. This makes it a good choice for those who are just getting into photography, but perhaps aren't ready for a more advanced (or more expensive) camera. Available apertures at the wide end are f3.5, f4.0, f4.5, f5.0, f5.6, f6.3, f7.1, and f8.0; at telephoto you get f5.9, f7.1, and f8.0. Shutter speeds go from 15 seconds down to 1/3,200 second.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The SX160's zoom lens goes from a wide 28mm wide (top) to 448mm telephoto (bottom).
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
There is a slight amount of barrel distortion at the wide end (top), which is more noticeable when shooting videos. The telephoto end has a bit of pincushioning, too. Center sharpness is good (but best in macro), but the corners and sides on my review camera were a little softer.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Purple or green fringing wasn't much of an issue at the center of the frame, but high-contrast areas off to the sides did show quite a bit of it.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Live View Control mode gives you simple sliders for adjusting brightness, color, and tone. For example, the top photo was taken with everything set to the middle, while the bottom shot is with all three raised. Everything else in this mode is set for auto, but it does make it easy to experiment since you can see the changes onscreen before you shoot.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
For those who are addicted to the photo filters from a favorite smartphone app, Canon includes several of its high-quality Creative Filters: Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect (pictured), Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, and Poster Effect.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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