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HolidayBuyer's Guide

ISO comparison

Macro

Color

Lens distortion

Fringe

Zoom range

Remote Viewfinder

Object Highlight mode

Vignetting mode

Photo Filter

Magic Frame mode

Photo quality from the SH100 is good up to and including ISO 400. Like most sub-$200 point-and-shoots, it's not a camera you'd want to use in low-light conditions or indoors without a flash. The photos get spectacularly worse above ISO 400, picking up a lot color noise and losing detail. Actually, noise is a bit of a problem even at its lowest ISO sensitivities when photos are viewed at full size; if you need to enlarge and heavily crop your photos, I would skip the SH100. However, if you're considering this for its online-sharing capabilities and don't typically make large prints above 8x10s or view them at large sizes on screen, the SH100 is a safe choice for the money.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
Most point-and-shoots perform best in macro, and that's the case with the SH100. It can focus as close as 2 inches from a subject and produces good fine detail. However, photos still tend to look a little overprocessed, and the lens on my review camera was somewhat inconsistent off center.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Colors produced by the SH100 were very good at and below ISO 400: bright, vivid, and pleasing. The auto white balance is good, which is important since this camera really is all about automatic shooting. If you do want more say in the end result, using the Program mode you have access to manual white balance and custom RGB sliders as well as sharpness, saturation, and contrast sliders.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
There's a slight amount barrel distortion at the wide end of the lens and barely perceptible pincushioning with the lens extended (bottom). More importantly, the lens on my review camera was inconsistent with some softness off the sides, particularly the left side. Center sharpness was OK, though.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Like many lower-end compact cameras, the SH100 produces a fair amount of fringing in high-contrast areas, such as along the edges of the flower petal and down the sides of the buildings in the background. For the most part, though, it's only visible if you view photos at full screen size. Fringing is just one of several reasons you wouldn't want to do that with the camera's photos.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The SH100's lens starts out at a wide 26mm and extends to 130mm (35mm equivalent), or 5x. It's enough to get you a little closer to your subject, but mostly it's just to help with framing.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
One of the coolest features (though its usefulness is debatable) of the SH100 is its Remote Viewfinder mode. This lets you connect your Android smartphone wirelessly to the camera to use as a secondary viewfinder. You can set up your camera, connect to it, and use your phone to control the zoom, flash, timer, and shutter release. It currently only works with Samsung Galaxy devices, but Samsung says it will eventually work with other Android devices.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Ever wished you could get a shallow depth of field with your point-and-shoot? That's what the Object Highlight mode attempts to give you. It takes two shots in a row and then combines them, keeping your subject in focus and softening the background. It works pretty well, but you do need a still subject.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
If you're into the toy camera look, the SH100 has a Vignetting mode, where you can control brightness, contrast, and the amount of vignette. And it works for photos and movies.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
If you want more than Vignetting, the camera has a bunch of photo filters: Miniature, Old Film 1, Old Film 2, Half-Tone Dot, Sketch, Fish-eye, Defog, Classic, Retro, Negative, and Soft-Focus, which is what was used for this shot. They're available for auto shots as well as in Program mode if you want to control more aspects of the photos such as ISO, white balance, or focus area.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Magic Frame mode gives you 12 frame effects to add to your photos. Pick the style you want--this one's called Ripple--and frame up your subject in the opening. It'll capture a 2-megapixel wide-screen photo ready to upload to Facebook or shoot off in an e-mail.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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