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Old Mar 7, 2011, 11:49 PM   #1
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Default Bought a Canon SX130is (Disappointed)

Hi - My Wife and I had been shopping for a point-and-shoot camera and have had an excellent experience with Canon in the past with the Digital ELPH line and a Digital Rebel XTI. On recommendation and comparison shopping, we chose the SX130is since it offered the DIGIC-4 processor and 12x optical zoom. The purpose is to replace a PowerShot SD800is to improve image quality, faster write speed / improved overall latency, size convenience, and to keep up with our toddler and not miss shots/memories because of waiting for the device.

Using a 4GB, Class-4 Sandisk Ultra SDHC card and the stock alkalines, it was soon apparent that the flash charge latency was unexpectedly (and disappointingly) long. In side-by-side testing, it was roughly the same speed as the old PowerShot when using the flash. Next, having to use AA batteries and manually lift the flash proved to be a bummer and a really just a downgrade from what we already have.

At this point, we are thinking about returning the unit and shopping for something better, but the question becomes "what now"? I did read that using a Class-10 card and Nickel-Zinc batts can help increase speed, but at an added cost. The price point goal is around $200 USD.

We like image stabilization and quick point-and-shoot ease for this camera's task. One Canon we tested (cannot recall the model) was too small to hold, for example. The old PowerShot still works well, but the latency is the reason for upgrade, plus an upcoming vacation puts pressure on timing. At 7.1mp, the image quality is acceptable, but is limited by the 3.8x optical zoom.

Thanks in advance for any advice and for reviewing my first post!

RH77
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Old Mar 8, 2011, 9:16 AM   #2
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RH-

I own and happily use a Canon SX130. For batteries I use Sanyo Enloop rechargeable batteries and my shot to shot times when taking flash photos is 5 to 6 seconds, which is OK by me. I got my SX130 on sale for $159.95 and that is the performance I would expect in that price range.

A suggested replacement camera would be the Panasonic FZ35 now selling at $200 at Amazon. It uses a Lithium-Ion proprietary battery and has flash recycle times of 3 to 5 seconds. We have a large, active, and very helpful group of posters in our Panasonic P+S folder that could be a nice place to hang out for you.

I have also attached a FZ35 sample photo.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Mar 8, 2011, 2:48 PM   #3
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The Class 10 card won't do anything to improve the operational speed of the SX130 as the SX130 isn't even capable of writing at those speeds. Unfortunately, a lot of people provide this "advice" to shoppers who then run out and buy Class 10 cards. Save your money.
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Old Mar 8, 2011, 4:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
RH-

I own and happily use a Canon SX130. For batteries I use Sanyo Enloop rechargeable batteries and my shot to shot times when taking flash photos is 5 to 6 seconds, which is OK by me. I got my SX130 on sale for $159.95 and that is the performance I would expect in that price range.

A suggested replacement camera would be the Panasonic FZ35 now selling at $200 at Amazon. It uses a NiMh proprietary battery and has flash recycle times of 3 to 5 seconds. We have a large, active, and very helpful group of posters in our Panasonic P+S folder that could be a nice place to hang out for you.

I have also attached a FZ35 sample photo.

Sarah Joyce

NiMh batt on FZ35, really? Why didn't they go LiIon?? I'll have to check Amazon later.
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Old Mar 8, 2011, 5:29 PM   #5
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Flash recycle time is always a problem on cameras with 2 AA cells. I would suggest using PowerGenix NiZn cells. They're 1.65 volts so that's 3.3 volts instead of 2.4. That will cut your flash recycle time by a third. They work well in my Canon A710 IS, and the flash recycle time is much faster.

I felt okay using the NiZn cells because the power adapter for my Canon put out 3.2 volts to the camera. So I figured 3.3 volts from two cells can't hurt the camera...and it hasn't.

The biggest problem with NiZn cells is that the cameras aren't yet made for them. When the "battery low" indicator comes on, the battery is basically dead, so there's little warning. And durability seems to be an issue, likely because it's still such a new product. Still, I have found that the performance benefit is worth the extra trouble (faster recycles and also lower operating temperature...good for the winter.)
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Old Mar 8, 2011, 7:41 PM   #6
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cfrock-

Thanks for catching my battery error. I have corrected it. That happens when I am moving too quickly.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 8, 2011, 8:17 PM   #7
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I own the SX130 and love it. You may consider purchasing the new Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS. It's more compact than the SX130, better low light with the new HS System, Full 1080P w/ stereo sound with optical zooming while recording, 5x Optical and prolly faster flash recycle times. It's suppose to come out this month.
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 6:52 AM   #8
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I have a Nikon s8100 and like it a lot. Very fast pic to pic time with flash 2 seconds, 2 second start time for first pic when turning camera on. Great low light pics, rechargeable battery. 10X zoom
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 1:36 PM   #9
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Great low light pics
You have said this on many occasions, though the specs indicate that it should be impossible. Would you mind posting a couple pictures to support this? (handheld, low light, no flash, no stacking trick modes)
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