Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Canon PowerShot SX 130 IS

Just got the camera today along with some Rayovac 2100 mah NiMh rechargeable batteries. Great cam. Vivid pictures awesome 720P vids. Like all HD video clips, the file size is huge and has a max duration of 10 minutes per video clip. The camera is perfect for what I use it for. Here are some pics and a vid. I compressed the video to less than 35MB  from over 150 MB and the quality is still superb. I'm very satisfied! 

The video files are in .mov. So make sure your video editing software is capable of editing .mov files! 

If anyone has any questions just post a comment! I'll be glad to answer with my honest opinion. Also I can take requests if you want me to take pictures with certain settings. 

Pictures are shrunk to 640 by 480 in Photoshop. pic shows slight shallow Depth of Field which is nice.  

cool pic. Now I want to see how it well it takes portraits of people.

Color Accent - Set cam to SCN dial then press teh FUNC.SET button then press the scroll wheel button left or right until you see Color Accent Mode.  Instead of Color Accent Mode you can also keep scrolling and do Color Swap instead. edit:I don't smoke anymore! 
Miniature Mode - you can get to it the same way as Color Accent Mode just keep scrolling until you see it. 
Super Vivid effect.

macro mode in camera. color adjustment in photoshop.
Fish-eye effect

Night shot w/ tripod. 15s exposure and some post processing in photoshop.
Use Tv Mode to set shutter speed.

Blog on creating Depth of Field with SX130 click here!

Other vids and pix using SX130 below

Canon PowerShot SX130IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 12x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 3.0-Inch LCD


  1. Hi,
    I'm an amateur with cameras & I just bought this camera - canon powershot sx130 IS and I just tried it out. When I press the shutter halfway I only hear one beep and I'm supposed to hear two beeps (according to the manual). I've tried every possible scenario and still only one beep. Should I be worried??
    Thanks, Winnie

  2. Hi Winnie. What you are actually hearing is two beeps. For example, sometimes when the shutter is pressed halfway it still cannot focus. You can tell since the rectangle turns yellow with an exclamation point in the lower right corner. You hear only one beep. But when the AF focus rectangle changes to the normal greenish color when the shutter is pressed half way, you hear a quick two beeps which sounds different from the beep you get when the rectangle is yellow. But yeah the two beeps do sound like one beep but in fact it is two. Let me know if you have anymore questions and I hope I answered this one. I also usually check out http://photography-on-the.net/forum/index.php since they can answer almost any photography question related to any model Canon!

  3. I LOVE that video! Awesome! This is the camera I own. I bought it 2 months ago and been shooting thousands of super vivids and color accents. I was just browsing around to learn about putting it into macro mode. Do you have a quick answer to that? I'll probably figure it out.. Anyhow, again, fantastic video! If you care to check out a video I made with the simulated tilt shift (Miniature Mode) check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esDyRGnXwnM

  4. Thanks for your kind words Ray. It is a definitely fun camera and I'm also learning new things about it each day. Recently I have been playing around with the manual mode. It's a bit tricky adjusting ISO, Aperture and Shutter on the fly but I'll benefit in the long run if I ever want to mess with a DSLR in the future. Also it's great having full control on how you want to take pix.

    Macro mode is cool. If you are recording or taking pictures of things less than a foot away you can use macro mode. You can use macro mode on Av, Tv, P, M, SCN and movie mode by pressing the left button scroll wheel thing that shows a picture of a flower. Have fun playing around with that mode.

    Nice miniature mode video. Miniature mode is a great feature with our cam and it looks great with still pictures as well. I'll be using it more when I have videos to put up.

    If you don't already have the pdf version of the manual, here is the link. http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras/powershot_sx130_is#BrochuresAndManuals

    It's great seeing others post videos using the SX130. Thanks!!

  5. Hi, i'm really a newbie in cameras.. Im planning to buy one for my photography subject in school. Is this camera Canon PS SX130IS a good buy? Is it easy to operate for me as a student? Does it have aperture or shutter speed..? 'Cause our professor say it should have those two features..I have a lot of questions... it's my first time to buy a camera for myself.. Hope for your reply.. Thanks!

  6. Hi GabasMichael. The Canon PowerShot SX130 is a good buy at about 199 US Dollars and it gives you full manual controls so you can adjust the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I'm not sure of any camera at the moment under 200 dollars that gives you full manual like the SX130.

  7. Hi there, I'm really struggling to figure out how to get DEPTH OF FIELD, please help, got same camera a week ago. thanks!

  8. Hi Danica, I created a blog post to answer your question! http://apgfoo.blogspot.com/2011/01/creating-shallow-depth-of-field-canon.html

  9. Hi is there an option to take the funny phots for example making the abdomen very big like wise, if so what settings we have to set it for to take funny phots.


  10. Hi Amar(sun)

    You are in luck. There is an option on our camera to make the subject in the picture unusually larger and distorted. It's called the Fish-eye effect. When the SX130 is turned on, set it to SCN mode using the dial we have on the top. Then press the FUNC.SET button in the middle. You can now scroll through the effects like color swap or color accent, eventually you will see the Fish-eye effect and press the FUNC.SET button again to use it. While in this mode you can press the DISP. button to change the degree from low, medium or high Fish-eye. Try all to see which one you like best. Good luck!

  11. Amar

    I've included an example of the Fish-eye effect above!

  12. My wife is struggling a little with this camera. I love it, but she says it is SLOW. I think what she means is it is not what she is used to previously, but would have to agree, that between shots it tends to be slower. I can't figure out if it is the flash charging or the write speed of the card. I am ordering a new faster card currently starting to use some nice rechargeable batteries in hopes it will speed things up. Any other suggestions? She is mainly a AUTO / or easy Pic taker. No thinking, just shooting. Thanks in advance.

  13. Hi Weaky6

    The recycle time between shots is slow typically when the flash is used. A faster card and good rechargeable NiMH batteries won't effect the recycle time much. This is the only limitation I see with this camera.

    My workaround is to switch my settings between shots. For instance if I were taking a group picture, I'd adjust the flash power to be stronger or weaker depending on the previous photo. I may try switching to the slow synchro flash or have the group do a different pose or shoot at a different angle. This practice helps me switch from setting to setting 2nd nature while the flash recycles. The only other workaround is try to limit your flash shots.

    Even though the SX130 does have great image quality and full manual controls, this camera may not be for her. I suggest the smaller Canons like the SD1400 IS. My brother's gf has this camera through my recommendation and I played around with it. It has really nice image quality, quick flash recycle times and perfect for people who mostly use Auto mode. If not the Canon ELPH 300 HS is coming out to replace the SD1400 and looks very very promising with even better image quality, lower noise at each ISO, 1080P video with optical zoom and stereo sound during recording.

    Bottom line, our camera is slow to recycle flash and slow to focus but does have superb image quality. I can't argue much because of the price point. I don't have the funds to pay over double for a Canon G12 but that camera has virtually no cons.

  14. Here is a quick review of the new Canon ELPH 300 HS by infosyncvideos.

  15. It has to do to the fact that it only uses two batteries. We purchased a camera that only needed two batteries which we thought was great but found it to be slower on the return speed. We switched to a different model which required four batteries and the problem was solved. Not sure if there is a comparable camera to this one that uses four batteries or not but that would solve the problem.

  16. I bought my SX130is a couple months ago & have to say that it is the most-comfortable/best image digi-cam that I've ever owned. For the money, there's not a better camera on the market. Yes, there is some flash lag due to the (2)AAs, I try to do w/o flash whenever possible & ALWAYS set the wheel on "P" (rather than "AUTO") so I can select the ISO speed. Canons seem to always select a higher ISO than I would, otherwise I trust the auto-settings. If you want a case to fit this camera perfectly, get the Krusell medium leather. It'll hold a spare SD card, but not batteries, & has a belt clip. You will not regret purchasing this camera, best deal at Amazon.

  17. Thanks for the comment Steve. That medium Krusell case sounds like a good idea. I agree that our camera has the best image quality in it's price range or even its class. I'm just gonna feel weird when Canon comes out with the newer model at the end of the year. If the newer model does better in low light and has full 1080P I might have to jump on it.

  18. Hello! i've been researching a new digital camera for weeks now!! i actually have this one saved in my "wish list" on Amazon. i will be focusing MAINLY on night shots....would this be the camera for me?

  19. Hi Shasha

    The Canon SX130 has long shutter speeds up to 15 seconds so it can do well for night photography. With speeds 1 second or longer, it's best to use a tripod or lay the camera on something sturdy to eliminate blur.

    If your budget allows, the Canon S95 would work better but it's priced at 399 dollars. The S95 works the best in low light and is a better all around camera.

    Tell me what specific kind of nights shots you will be taking. Will it be in a club setting or in dim light or outside or of people and will you be using flash with these night shots? Also if there are any other cameras you are looking at let me know and I can compare them to the SX130.

  20. I will do some research on the Canon S95, thanks!
    I've also been looking at the Canon Rebel (simply because I like the name! ~lol~)...but the ones I have come across are a bit pricey for me at this time. I'm looking to spend between 200 to 400 bucks.
    My specific nightshots will be all outdoors....the full moon on a cloudy night...bare trees against the black sky...the cypress trees out at the river are simply awesome with the stark white spanish moss hanging from the bare branches...and there are some gothic looking houses and/or churches downtown that would look AWESOME at night...oh, and I can't forget the cemeteries!! ~lol~
    As far as using a flash, I honestly don't know! I had to google "when to use a flash" last night! ~Lol~ The only thing I came across was that you use a flash ONLY when your subject is in shadows and when it's completely dark. So, my answer to that question, is I have no idea!! ~loL~ I guess trial and error would work best in this situation.
    Thank you soooo much, really, for your input and advice! I've been searching for my new camera for weeks now and have yet to find someone to help me. So, thank you again!!

  21. Thanks again for the reply ShaSha. You wouldn't be needing flash as much for your type of shots. So the 3 types of cameras I recommend will work for you so it just really all depends on your budget.

    The Canon S95 would be my first choice at 400 dollars and it seems out of stock though. My 2nd choice would be the new Canon SX230 HS. It will be coming out sometimes this month if you are not in a hurry. It retails at 349 but most likely be 299 very soon after it comes out. Finally the Canon SX130. The Canon SX130 is great and I love mine but the other two just mentioned uses a newer technology, the HS System for better low light which suits you better. But when it comes down to it, the SX130 can do the job. Good luck!

  22. I truly appreciate your help!!
    I did do some research on the Canon S95, only problem is...it's wayyyy too small for my taste. I actually just returned a camera to Amazon because of it's size. I understand "compact" in this day and age, but if i'm gonna spend almost 400 bucks for a camera, I want some sustenance! ~LoL~ I'll definately keep an eye out for the SX230, and again...thank you!!

  23. Hi, I really enjoy watching your review and comments. It helps a lot! Canon SX130 is also in my wish list recently. The features are just perfect for me. I really love the miniature and fisheye effect. The dial wheel button is easy to adjust shutter and aperture. Also, I like the handle quite much even though other people think it is bulky.
    But what my concerns are the battery problem, lengthly flash recycle time, manual focus when video object changes and only 10 minutes HD720 limit per video.
    So, I havent bought it yet as I am also looking at Panasonic ZS7 (which is now also $199 in Amazon; better LCD resolution). Could you give me some advice? Thanks very much.

  24. Hello Edmond

    I checked out the specs and some of the reviews for the Panasonic ZS7.

    In terms of video quality I'd say they are about even with the ZS7 doing slightly better in bright situations and the SX130 doing slightly better in low light video. Very hard to tell though since there aren't many ZS7 test videos. Either way the SX130 has a slower focus in video and has that 10 minute time limit while on 720P.

    Image quality is about even with both being superb but again the SX130 with slightly slower focus. For night time photography the SX130 can have shutter speeds as slow as 15s and the ZS7 up to 60 seconds. Not sure when you'd ever use 60s shutter speed but with the Z7S you have that option.

    The battery problem with the SX130 can be solved by using rechargeable NiMH batteries like the Rayovac Platinums or Eneloops but the flash recycle times are very slow regardless. The ZS7 battery life is decent and flash recycle times are a bit slow at 6.9s but still faster than the SX130.

    The only thing that the SX130 has on the ZS7 is the cooler features like the ones you mentioned(fisheye and especially miniature mode). On the other hand, the Panasonic has cool features as well like High dynamic, Pin Hole and film grain that you can get accustomed to. That and along with a sharper LCD screen and built in GPS function, it is hard to beat.

    I'd go with the Panasonic ZS7. I've played with an older model Panasonic before and was very satisfied with the images it produced.

    I hope I was helpful. If anything you can buy both and play around with them and return the one you don't want before 30 days hahah, good luck!

  25. Thank you very much. Yesterday I changed my target to Panasonic ZS7 and Canon SX210, instead of Canon SX130. As SX210 also has the miniature effect and has better flash recycle time. However, once I went to Best Buy and test on it, I am not comfortable with the handling because of no hand grip (both front and back). Therefore finally I ordered ZS7 today.

  26. I was going to suggest the SX210 but for some reason I think the image quality and video quality are slightly better with the SX130 but SX210 does have the same features, longer zoom, and slightly faster flash recycle times.

    There's a video on infoSync world's website comparing the the ZS7 and the SX210. It was pretty close head to head but with the ZS7 having the slight upperhand but I've learned that there is no perfect camera and just have to work with your camera's limitations. Either way good choice, I would have picked the same.

  27. Hi APG ...

    Hats off to those brilliant pics and superb blog .. I started getting interested in Photography recently and frm the time i was in search of a good camera ..first my nly requiremnet was to have MAX Optical zoom and HD bcz i dnt knw much .. bt when i saw some pics on the web i tried to understand more abt P&S camera's ...found that only camera' with manual settings is good for a beginner to learn photography ..so after some research i choosed Sx130 bcz of it low price and facilities compared to many Bridge camera's ...i want to knw abt taking pics with blurred bacground (some site term it as boken effect ) using Sx130 .. i dnt knw any other type of shot currently bt understood that aperture and shutter setting are the things which makes this effect ... could u plz tell abt taking those type pics using sx130 and post some of ur pics ,,,. im planning to buy this camera by the starting of next month ....

    Thanks & regards

  28. Hi NEO

    Thanks for the kind words. The Canon SX130 is a great choice for someone who wants to learn more about photography. I already have a blog post dedicated to "bokeh" or shallow depth of field and have a few examples. Here's the link: http://apgfoo.blogspot.com/2011/01/creating-shallow-depth-of-field-canon.html

    One more thing, check out http://www.youtube.com/user/adoramaTV to learn more about photography. It talks mainly of DSLR's but the concepts can be applied to any camera.

    Good luck!

  29. hi! i have the same camera and still playing with it. You have lovely photos there!

    anyway, a friend of mine asked me to practice my photography skills on her and her fiance. they want me to do a prenup photoshoot and also wants me to take photos during the wedding. they are on a tight budget and just wants to simply get married. i'm really excited with the prenup because i love love the sx130 on broad daylight. i have taken photos at 8 in the morning and i loved the results. we might also get sunset shots and i have practiced with that too. my problem is on the wedding day. with my experience using the sx130, i find it hard to take clear photos on low light. you have mentioned on the comments that low light is one of the cons this camera has. i have attended several weddings and i noticed that there isn't very much light inside a church. i find it hard to take non-blurry photos especially of people moving. i'm not a flash person either. can you suggest settings or some tips on this?

    i always use Av and sometimes switches to Tv. i also tried taking photos with ISO 400 and it's too noisy for me. i haven't tried noiseninja or other softwares for eliminating noise yet.

    one more thing, when i'm on Av and wants to use flash, the rectangle only turns white. it takes time for me to focus until it turns green.

    thanks in advance for reading my comment and im hoping to hear from you soon :)

  30. i also liked what you did with the gear shift (?). i'm not a photoshop person as i like photos to be as natural as possible but i want to learn how to change color tints. :)

  31. Sorry for the late response but somehow I didn't see your comments until now. As you and I have noticed, it is a challenge to take low light photos with the SX130. I just have a few suggestions for low light since there aren't too many things you can do.

    I see that you don't like using the flash. I was also the same way but some things are unavoidable. For instance, if you want to take a picture of a couple dancing at the reception, you should use the flash to freeze the motion to prevent blurryness.

    If the lighting isn't great at the church and you are still getting blurry images you can do a couple things. You can use flash on AV mode. If you press the FUNC.SET button then scroll down to the +/- option, you can control the strength of the flash so your images won't be over-exposed or underexposed.

    Another thing you can do if you don't want to use FLash is to still leave it at AV mode, then leave the ISO at 200 since they are too noisy for you at 400. I still recommend 400 since the shutter speed will speed up to reduce motion blur. So in AV Mode with ISO 400 or 200, take pictures when your subject is still or not moving very much. But if you want to take a picture when the subject is walking, then you have to use flash and to prevent over or under exposure you can do some practice shots to see how strong the flash is so you can figure out the right distance for the right exposure.

    If you can, you can use a tripod or monopod to reduce the blur that may occur from your hands.

    To summarize:
    -if the subject is moving(like walking down the aisle), you have to use flash(you can adjust flash power by pressing the FUNC.set or if not, move closer or farther from subject depending on the exposure you want)
    -if your subject is still or you can wait until they stop moving, then use AV Mode with either 200 or 400 ISO and then take pictures.

    If the rectangle is only white in AV Mode using flash, try zooming in or out a little then try to refocus by pressing shutter half way or by moving yourself closer or farther away so the focus can turn green. I hope that helps.

    With the gear shift picture that I have, I shot it using Macro mode and edited it on photoshop. It's hard for me explain what I did on photoshop but you can play around with some online editing tools. Check out: http://fotoflexer.com/. You can do a lot of different types of photo editing including color tints there and it is simple to use. Good luck and I hope on not too late and you get to read this in time!

  32. Hello. I recently purchased the SX130 and love the quality of photos/ However I have noticed a distinct noise while recording. Is this something Im going to have to get used to or can I do anything about it?

  33. Hi Sweattea

    When I shoot video, I hear gear noise in the video when I'm zooming in and out. Other than that, I don't notice any other sound. Some others have said similar to what you said. The only thing I can think of is to try to lower the volume a bit in your video editor. Sorry I couldn't be more help and good luck.


  34. Hi ApGfoo,

    great blog you have. Have you had any problem with the focus when recording movies (HD)? Sometimes when I am recording my kid indoor the sx130 keeps changing the focus, causing some frames with blur images. Is it a bug from this canon or you can do something about it?

    tks in advance

  35. Hi Ed,

    I too have had problems with the focusing while recording in 720P. The video quality is great in good lighting and decent in not so well lit areas but not matter the case, parts of the video would be out of focus if I'm catching action that has the subject moving closer or farther away from the camera. The camera is slow to focus in these situations.

    The only workaround I suggest to limit the out of focus moments is to either zoom out if you can or pan slowly so the camera can have an easier time focusing on the subject. This should reduce your blurry footage but our cam isn't the best for action video shots so blurriness would happen from time to time. I hope this helps.

    Also this video that I recently posted has some out of focus moments. Not much I could do except that I should have chosen a better location to stand to limit all the panning I did.