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For the past 2 years I looked at the Canon SX-series cameras, but being a person who can only be happy with a lithium-battery camera, I shied away from these. So I finally went for it after reading the AA battery life is getting better. If you buy some rechargeables, preferably Eneloops, you will be happy enough.

* Takes EXCELLENT CRISP, SHARP photos with TRUE COLORS, and also GREAT MACRO (close-up) shots. (I have taken some grainy photos while playing around with it, but they were my fault due to low light without the flash being up).
* Larger than an ultra-compact camera, easy to grip, yet not so large where it's a drag to carry with you - this camera feels comfortable - if you have larger hands or fingers, you won't accidentally push the wrong buttons, plenty of room - I have short, stubby fingers and short nails as I do a lot of typing, those ultra-compact cameras were wrong for me!
* Very pleased with battery life; I've taken over 250 shots and a couple of videos with the Eneloops, they're still going strong (the alkaline AA batteries included w/camera did not last long) - for Eneloops - see my link below.
* The Image Stabilization turns off automatically when you attach the camera to a tripod, something I always forget to do with other cameras (AUTO mode).
* When you have this zoomed out to 16X, the stabilization seems to work better than other cameras I've used (the more you zoom out, the shakier it is); normally on other cameras I'd have to use a tripod.
* You can optically zoom during a video, audio does not cut out during the zooming function. Zoom motor is VERY quiet once you press the video/movie button, it becomes almost silent - the way it does this amazes me.
* Easy for anyone to use in AUTO; and this also has full P/A/S/M manual controls, so this is a camera you can grow into if you are a novice.
* Has a Mode Dial - some cameras, including Canon's cheaper models, are removing the dial on top of the camera and changing to a menu-only format.

* Shutter response time is a little slow, probably due to the AA batteries (I'm using a Class 10 SD card, so it isn't that). Not sure if you would be happy with this camera if you are trying to capture fast moving kids or pets; if you can get them to hold still for a few seconds, it's fine.
* Build-quality: It's plastic, but if you are careful with your cameras you should be OK. The battery compartment door seems a little more robust than cheaper Canon models I looked at, it has a spring, unlocks and slides out to the side. Plastic tripod mount (ugh!, why couldn't they use metal?)
* This camera can't be put into your pocket, it needs a case. Also, a camera this size needs a neck strap, not a flimsy little hand strap like the one in the box.
* The 230,000 pixel LCD screen doesn't impress me, I've purchased cheaper cameras that have 460,000 pixels. You may be unhappy with photo quality when viewing it on the LCD, and pleasantly surprised after you upload the photo to your PC.

1. My camera was made in JAPAN! Not to say yours will be; I know with Panasonic cameras sometimes the same model will come from different countries. I don't know about Canon.

2. I've yet to find a P&S digital camera that is perfect. This one isn't perfect either, so it got 4 stars. You have to weigh the pros & cons for YOUR specific needs in a camera. I've tried other cheaper, basic Canon's, and I either returned them or re-gifted to friends.

3. There are strap openings on both sides of this camera, but they are so small they will only accommodate those small loops like wrist straps have. I think I found a neck strap that will work, see my link below. I've got one on order now.

4. I uploaded a short video to YouTube, I am Yarii41 on YT; if you do a search for "Canon SX160 Video Test" you should find it. I can't put the link here, since links to other sites aren't allowed in our reviews.

ENELOOP BATTERIES: Sanyo XX Battery Powered by eneloop, 2500mAh typical / 2400 mAh minimum High Capacity, 4 Pack AA Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries
CANON CASE: Canon PSC-3300 Deluxe Soft Case for Canon SX130IS Digital Cameras
CLASS 10 SD CARD: Transcend 16 GB SDHC Class 10 Flash Memory Card TS16GSDHC10E
NECK STRAP: OP/TECH USA 2201021 Bin/Op Strap-QD- for Compact Cameras and Binoculars -Neoprene (Black)
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on September 5, 2012

URGENT UPDATE, September, 2013:

If you prefer using 2-AA batteries in a digital camera - as I do very much - then you seriously need to consider buying a Canon SX160, now, while the supplies still last. The new model SX170 runs on a Canon NB-6LH proprietary battery which costs $38 on Amazon for each spare battery, and it will only take about half as many shots per charge. The Canon SX160 is now the last remaining 2-AA battery, full-featured, full-function, compact, travel & field camera left on the entire worldwide market. When the remaining ones are gone, they are gone forever.

I have owned and used all of them from the SX100 to the SX160. I have long-considered the Canon SX100 line of cameras to be "The Best 2-AA-Battery All-Purpose Travel and Field Cameras Ever Made." I have posted 5-star reviews of both the SX150 and SX160 here on Amazon during the last two years, and I have made it abundantly clear why I feel so strongly favorable of them.

Both cameras - the SX160 and SX170 - have exactly the same features, the same functions, and the same specs - except for the batteries. Functionally they both work exactly the same, and they both produce identical quality pictures. No changes were made to either the sensor or to the DIGIC 4 image processor to bring any improvement to the final images produced by the SX170.

But it's your call.

If you like using 2-AA batteries in a full-featured, compact, travel & field digital camera, then you need to act now. As for myself, I just bought two of them. The Canon SX160 is still my number one favorite camera I have ever owned in my life, and I still plan to keep right on using it for many pleasant years yet to come.

Sincerely, and with best wishes to everyone, John AKA SLOphoto1

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 10 AM -- I bought the Canon SX160 IS today. (Early-Sale Source.) I've tested it out at home, and everything works great! Here are some observations and results.
Video Added, Friday, September 21, 2012 at 11 AM. Flyover of the Space Shuttle, almost over my house in Monterey, CA, shot with the Canon SX160 at 16X zoom using a tripod mount.
Oct. 17, 2012 Finally got my Red Canon SX160 locally from Green's Camera World here in the Del Monte Shopping Center in Monterey. Beautiful right out of the pristine box. I love it!
Oct. 25, 2012 Posted three images I recently took to the users' image gallery here with this camera. They show what this camera can do with the right adjustments in Manual Mode. (I give the exact adjustments for each one.) A Monterey Sunrise, A Blue Jay on a Wire at 16X zoom, and a Balcony View of Monterey Bay. Enjoy!

The Canon SX160IS is - in my personal opinion - the best 2-AA battery, all-purpose travel and field camera ever made. It is the latest and the best of a long line of highly dependable point-and-shoot megazoom cameras - the Canon SX100 series - which began five years ago in September 2007. With its combined features, its reliability, its versatility, and it's very economical price there is absolutely nothing else like it available today.

It is the only quality digital camera of its type left in the world that still runs on 2-AA batteries. In the world of digital cameras, it stands alone as completely unique. It is the last one its kind, and the very best one manufactured to date. And it's a Canon.

A WORD OF CAUTION: This camera is not ideal for everyone. There is no point buying something that you are not going to like. If you don't like AA batteries, then you won't like this camera. Its features probably don't outweigh its faults unless you really want to use AA batteries. It does not have a viewfinder, none of this line of cameras ever has, so if you want a viewfinder then this camera simply will not work for you. Also, for the record, this camera is not a fast-action camera. It is not the best camera for taking pictures of fast-moving children or sports action shots. Photos taken with it at higher ISOs (film speed) are pretty grainy even in good light. And the flash-recovery time is notoriously - there is no other word for it - slow! If any of this won't work for you in your own individual situation, then you really need to look elsewhere, seriously, because this camera simply will not meet your needs and will only frustrate you when you try to use it.

The SX160 has its own charm, but it's rather old-fashioned in style and a bit slow in operation. It's kind of like owning the latest version of a classic car. It feels like a classic, and after five years and six very successful models it is actually becoming a classic in its own right. If that idea appeals to you, then you will probably like the SX160 very much. For photographing things like landscapes, portraits, architecture, and pretty much anything without a lot of fast motion in it, it functions very well, and it has an excellent zoom. Realistically, you will need a tripod at times if you want to get the best quality shots with it, especially for lower-light shots, long-exposure night shots and for very precise full-telephoto shots.

If that still appeals to you, then this review of the SX160 is addressed to you.

I have owned and used all six of the cameras in this line over the years - SX100 (2007,) SX110 (2008,) SX120 (2009,) SX130 (2010,) SX150 (2011,) and now the SX160. I have also had an extra two of these cameras converted internally to shoot infrared photographs. Over the years I have used these cameras to photograph everything from brilliant outdoor landscapes to the wispy lights of the Aurora Borealis and out to some 12X images of the four moons of Jupiter (Now you can even do 16X images of them.) These cameras have shown themselves to be very versatile field cameras for me, very dependable, and have always worked out very well for me all the way around. After five years, I am very familiar with them, and I prefer them for general purpose, travel and field photography above all other cameras on the market today.

I always carry my current model of this camera with me wherever I go, and if I am on a vacation or field trip, I also carry last year's model with me as a backup camera. They produce an excellent quality image (for a small sensor) and they have all the features I personally want to do a wide range of photography. And in countless situations - particularly while traveling - I have been very, very glad that I had with me a camera that still ran on AA batteries. I always carry at least one or two extra pairs of eneloop rechargeable AAs with me, and the few times when even those ran out on me I was always able to find a pack of standard AA alkaline batteries nearby - anywhere in the world - to keep on shooting.

I shoot mostly in Manual mode, but Auto Mode also does an excellent job in selecting the proper settings for you. If I am unsure of the lighting in any one situation, I always make sure to take at least a few shots in Auto Mode myself, just in case.

The SX160 is very much like the previous model, the SX150 (which I also reviewed here at 5-stars.) I'm not going to list all the basic features about the SX160, since they are easy to find in any professional review, or from Canon's own website. But I will point out in particular what is new with the SX160, and there are some nice new features. So moving right along then...

PART 2 -- HERE'S WHAT IS NEW with the Canon SX160IS.

16 MEGAPIXEL IMAGE and 16X ZOOM: Last year's model SX150 had a 12X zoom and took a 14 megapixel image. This year's model SX160 has a 16X zoom and takes a 16 megapixel image. Most people will certainly like that better.

EXPOSURE LIVE VIEW (This is not new, but it is an important reminder): Canon cameras have something called an "Exposure Live View" on the LCD.* Other brands only have "Live View," but that's not the same thing. "Live view" simply means you see on the LCD exactly what the camera sees. "Exposure" Live View means you see on the LCD what the final photo will look like (how light or dark it will be) before you actually take the shot. The LCD lightens and darkens as you adjust the dial. If you want high definition in the shadows you simply raise the exposure. If you want high definition in clouds, then you lower the exposure. Combine the two images in Photoshop and you get an HDR photo (High Dynamic Range) with well-defined clouds together with bright colors even in the shadows. Canon LCDs make this judgement call (how much exposure?) much easier, because it is more intuitive. You can actually see a simulation of the image on the LCD before you take the actual shot.

* Technically called "exposure simulation live preview" or "exposure priority display."

IT IS MUCH, MUCH EASIER to learn how to use the Advanced Modes on a Canon camera than on any other camera, because you can see the effect of each one of the adjustments - Shutter Speed, Aperture Size and ISO (film speed) - right on the LCD as you make the changes. On other cameras without this Exposure Live View LCD feature, all individual adjustments are done completely blind to the user. You just have to "know" from experience how to make the adjustments. And that can be a long, slow, frustrating learning process for many people. With a Canon camera, it's easy.

To the best of my knowledge ONLY CANON CAMERAS have "Exposure Live View" as a standard feature (The first one on the market was the Canon PowerShot G1, I think Canon has a patent on it.) Nikon, Panasonic and Fujifilm, cameras do not, except maybe for some of their high-end models, where they probably have to pay a license fee to Canon to use it. Think about this "Exposure live view" feature on your LCD display VERY carefully. It is one of the biggest differences in deciding between buying a Canon camera, and buying anything else.

SUPERFINE JPEG COMPRESSION Option: This outstanding feature was dropped after the SX110, but has now been restored on the new SX160. JPEG compression always results in some loss of data. The 16 megapixel image taken by the SX160 would normally compress down to about a 3.8MB JPEG file image using a "Fine" compression, as on previous models. The restored "Superfine" option on the SX160 will compress that same camera image down to about a 7MB JPEG file image instead, much larger and retaining much more of the original data in the final image. (These figures are approximate and I have found in practice they can vary considerably with image complexity.) This is an important feature for getting a good quality JPEG file, so please keep it in mind.

LESS SHUTTER LAG: Shutter lag has always been a problem with this line of cameras. Canon says the shutter lag has been reduced by 46% on the new SX160, and, yes, it is noticeably faster. This is really appreciated after having lost quite a few good shots over the years to this shutter lag problem myself. I am glad they improved it, but just remember that this has been a long-standing problem with this line of cameras.

IMPROVED PROCESSING SPEED. This has also been a traditional problem with this line of cameras, and given the structure of the internal electronics, it is likely to persist. They are slow to process the image and load it onto the memory card. (Use at least a Class 6 card with the SX160.) Canon claims to have improved on this by about 20% and any improvement certainly will help. But fast-processing is simply not this camera's strong point, so just remember that, too.

LIVE VIEW CONTROL MODE: Canon has introduced a new and rather interesting type of mode on the main camera dial called "Live View Control." This mode is similar to Auto mode, but has three additional individual adjustments the user can control on variable slider bars using the right and left arrows or turning the control dial on the back of the camera. These control 1) Brightness as Dark --- Light, 2) Color as Neutral --- Vivid, and 3) Tone as Cool --- Warm. They are easy to use, and adjust in a series of distinct steps as you rotate the control dial. This is an excellent feature for the novice who wants to try some different adjustments without having to go to full Manual mode, and it makes these image adjustments right in the camera which would normally require a Photoshop-type program to adjust afterwards. Again this will be easy for the novice to use, because the Canon LCD display on the SX160 shows an image of the actual exposure adjustments being made before the shot is finally taken.

DESIGNATED VIDEO BUTTON was moved: The model SX150 introduced a designated video button, but placed it so close to the spin control dial on the back that is was pretty easy to start a movie by accident. The button has now been moved further away, and has also been recessed with a small, raised, plastic lip around it making it much less accident prone. This was a very good idea.

NO ISO LIMIT on the camera: Some of the lower-end Canon cameras have recently been subject to an unfortunate ISO 100 (film speed) limitation when shutter speeds drop below about 1 second in length, even in full Manual Mode. This can be a severe hinderance to doing things like long-exposure nighttime photography. Fortunately, Canon did not put that loathsome ISO limit on the new SX160. ....*** THANK YOU, CANON! ***

Also, many of the professional reviews, and even some conflicting data on Canon's own website indicated that the ISO 1600 (very fast film speed for shooting things like fast-moving cars and also for doing long-exposure star shots) had been eliminated. This is false. The ISO 1600 is still there on the SX160, and though it is pretty grainy it does still work well when needed, and most of the excess noise can be cleared up in Photoshop. On the lower end, the ISO 80 was eliminated on the SX160, but is was close enough to the ISO 100 that it should not matter too much except maybe in photos taken in very bright sunlight.

In closing, I hope that this review may have been helpful to you in gathering information to make your own decisions about which camera to buy for yourself. You should read as much as you can before you decide which one to buy. Whatever decision you make, it should be YOUR decision, not what I or anyone else tells you that you "ought" to prefer. Each of us has our own reasons for preferring one camera over another. May you choose the camera that best suits your own individual needs and preferences, and may you enjoy it to the fullest extent.

Best Wishes, John AKA SLOphoto1
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on November 15, 2012
I primarily purchased the SX160 to take videos and photos of my kids performing in an orchestra. For my purpose the camera worked very well, sitting in the back row I had a clear view of the entire stage and was easily able to zoom up to my children's faces as they were playing their instruments.

While taking videos the zoom is very silent and smooth and from 16x it will magnify digitally up to 64x which was surprisingly sharp and clear as the image stabilization was very effective. Considering the theater type stage lighting the exposures looked great although the auto focus did have trouble at one point but was reliable most of the time. The camera also picks up the sound in stereo so the music from the performances sounded amazingly good.

My results with still photos were also very good considering the extended zoom and low lighting conditions, I also appreciated the silent mode which muted all sounds from the camera. I own a Canon Rebel XS and am so conditioned to this electronic age of cameras that I was trying to figure out how to mute it also until it dawned on me that it is an SLR with an actual mirror and shutter making the noise.

Since this camera uses AA batteries I am never in short supply of power with many spare Ni-MH batteries at my disposal. The downside is that the SX160 only uses two batteries resulting in agonizingly slow recharge times for the manually activated flash. The upside is that this camera takes decently good photos in low-light without the flash if set up properly.

I'm familiar with the old 35mm manual SLR cameras of the past so I appreciate the ability to control shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings with this camera. There are also several unique shooting modes such as toy camera, miniature, and fish eye. My kids have a fun time with the fish eye setting and take some hilarious photos in that mode.

For the price this is a great camera for the powerful stabilized zoom and video capture with stereo recording. Having manual controls one can take terrific natural light photos with the SX160.

Although as a point and shoot camera some may be disappointed since the flash does not pop-up automatically when needed which may often result in blurred photos along with the frustratingly long recharge times. Without flash the SX160 starts up fast, is very responsive, focuses quickly with decent shot to shot times capturing well exposed images.
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on December 8, 2012
At one time I was a Professional Photographer. The kind of equipment I used to use would be risky to take on trips and lots of mombo Jumbo to go with them. Filters, lighting, flashes, lenses you get the idea. I bought a Canon powershot of the smaller variety but it was ahrd to control some scenes like I wanted to. In comes the SX 160 IS It has Full Auto so you don't miss the shot and complete control in Aperature or Time Values, And a great number of other control features that would be found on much higher end camera's. you need this on a Vacation especially when your on a Motorcycle and this is what I bought this gem for. The video is fantastic. The zoom is all there and even if I eventually decide to go bust on a higher end camera, this one will be in my arsenal!

It uses AA battery's and a lot of people do not like the time they get out of them. This all depends on useage and settings. BUT This is an advantage. You can ALWAYS find AA battery's and they can easily be carried. Personally I have 2500 Milliamp (Larger capacity) rechargeable that recharge buy 120V or 12V Perfect for my Motorcycle rides. I always have 4 on hand. The high cap. Lithium Ion battery's are nice, but once you are out, your out until you recharge. I can ALWAYS find a AA.

There is also a printer for this camera, you can print as soon as you take them.
This is the camera with the control I was looking for. it can produce some fantastic 16 X 20 photos with almost no noise, and quite frankly who ever even does that?

It uses and SD and it makes use of the fast ones, so load up a large fast SD card and turn out some very good 720 HD video. And the Mic has a wind filter! Good thinking Canon!

Why risk a better camera for point and shoot photoraphy when you can have this one on hand? For this price you will only cry because you lost your great camera, not that you paid a million dollars for it!

I love this semi compact fully flexable shooting mode highly zoomable Macro closeness camera.

Some people report slow flash charge up time. This depends on your battery's quit being so cheap, buy good battery's. Some people report that it powers on too easily. buy a case. You could damage the lens if it powers on at a bad time accidently. The battey's come out quick if you need to disarm its power.

Nikon sells a similar Camera, if you try both, you will see that even two people totally unfimiliar with the Camera's can both navigate the canon more quickly and easily. Nikon made getting around their settings a Pain in the Palm! Go For this CANON!
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on October 2, 2014
SUMMARY: Great as fun camera for actual photographer to keep as backup/second camera, not the best option for taking quick snapshots of family or pets.

If you're picking up this camera to have something to take quick snaps of children at the holidays, stuff at the bar, or anywhere else where light is low and you need lightning fast response then don't bother. That's not what this camera is made for.

Too many folks don't do their research. The just see a big number like "16x zoom" and think they need that. If you're looking for a camera that is available used for even less than the SX160, is more pocketable and takes quicker snaps then go for the Canon ELPH 300HS.

Canon sorts their compact cameras into different series. The A-Series is their budget line, the S-Series is their mid-level cameras, SX-Series is superzoom and G-Series is their prosumer line. If you will be shooting in automatic all of the time and won't be taking artistic shots of birds or squirrels in trees far away then you don't need an SX series. The SX series has full manual controls, which someone who intends to practice actual photography with it needs, but for auto-shooters it's a bad choice. The smaller cameras that are designed for family snapshots are faster for that type of thing.

I own a lot of DSLR gear, and first I'll tell you that expecting a compact (point & shoot) like this one or ANY compact camera to take quick snaps is just fooling yourself. A DSLR, even an entry level one can snap off several shots a second. Most compacts are lucky to get 1-2 shots per second, even the quicker ones. Even the ones that advertise faster speeds don't tell you up front that they only take LOW RESOLUTION shots that fast, not full resolution.

Now, being that I own DSLR gear for when I really want to go out and do some photography and being that I also own an ELPH 300HS for taking snapshots around the house I was looking for something bigger and easier to grip than the ELPH that took decent photos. I don't like keeping my DSLR gear in my car all of the time (for obvious reasons) but some times I come across interesting stuff to photograph. That is where this camera shines. It has full manual controls and on top of that a lens that goes from 28mm to 448mm WITH built in image stabilizer and the ability to focus 1cm from the front glass. Just finding a lens even remotely like that for a DSLR would cost many thousands of dollars.

So that's what this camera does for me. It's not the best camera I own, or the fastest, but it has a nice long zoom with image stabilization and it's cheap enough that I feel comfortable leaving it in the car for impromptu photography. I must say that I'm also quite impressed with its performance. Sure, in low-light (i.e. indoors at night) it's not even on the same planet as my DSLRs but in daylight or decent indoor lighting it gets the job done and much better than I'd initially thought it would.

So, from someone who has much more expensive gear at his disposal I will say that as far as image quality you will not be dissapointed so long as you actually take the time to set up your shots and learn how a camera works. This camera and others like it are often underrated by those expecting National Geographic shots out of them but who leave them in automatic mode and don't learn anything about photography.This is an intermediate/enthusiast camera for those on a budget but who want to get some decent photos. I've compared it in-depth to the top-tier compacts like the Sony RX100 and the Canon G1X and to be honest with you in broad daylight the images at 100% magnification don't look much different. Sure those cameras a little crisper and have a little more dynamic range but they're still nowhere near a DSLR.

So here's my recommendations:

- If you're a photographer looking for a nice little camera with manual controls to toss in your pocket or glove compartment then this one's a keeper, especially for the price.

- If you're an aspiring photographer who wants to learn about manual controls and how a camera operates this is still a very good choice. You could spend a LOT more but honestly a compact camera is a compact camera. You could spend $70 on this one or $700 on a more expensive one but the quality difference is not THAT amazing. If you're willing to spend more just pick up a used DSLR in the $200-$400 price range. Even an older one will blow any compact out of the water. Likewise, don't rule out film. You can get a nice used film SLR with lens for under $100 and film will teach you MUCH more about photography than digital will. It's a great way to start out.

- If you're just looking for something to take on vacation but have no interest in anything other than automatic mode or you are wanting to take rapid-fire shots of kids or pets and just need something portable get the ELPH 300HS. They can be had for under 50 USD and take great video as well. They zoom isn't as long as the SX160IS and it's not quite as sharp but it is an amazing little camera.
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on December 15, 2012
EDIT: I originally gave a 5 star rating, and demoted to 4 stars after field testing because of its lack of panorama feature. However, I have discovered that there is a panorama function in the included software disc so you can stitch on your computer later. That's better than nothing, but my previous comparable cameras had internal panorama stitching with a guide so you line up the images yourself in the process of taking them or even sweep the camera for auto stitch. I have installed the software for this camera but not used it yet. But how can you be sure you have the proper overlap matching when taking the photos separately? What about when you get back home & realize they don't match up well? You'd be able to retake the shot with an internal stitching camera but with this one, you're just out of luck with a bad photo. The fact that it is not very obvious that the panorama stitching capability even exists and that it is not in a user friendly format keeps the rating at 4 stars instead of 5, although I'm hopeful that I'll gain a knack for it over time. Overall I am still quite pleased with this cameras features for my backpacking, camping, & hiking purposes.

My previous review:

Certainly not the most amazing camera available, but here is what I like about it. It is the best compromise I could find on the many features that are important to me as a backpacker, and I did a lot of looking to find it. There are not many cameras made with this combination anymore so this one gets 4 stars from me (would get 5 if it could do panorama like most of its competitors).

1) I do extended wilderness backcountry camping and I like to take many photos meaning batteries run out. Without electricity outlets in the wilderness, those rechargeable battery packs that most cameras are powered by nowadays are useless once it dies so I must have a camera powered by easily replaceable AA batteries I can carry spares of. A bunch of rechargeable AA sets is best so I can recharge them for my next adventure after I get home and save money on replacements, but I still carry some regular AAs along with them as a backup. There are many small cameras powered by rechargeable battery packs that will do what I want, but long-term backpacking photography makes AA power a deal breaker for me.

2) Many times I want a good zoom shot. Most AA cameras nowadays that have a decent zoom require 4 AAs! I tried this out with the Kodak Z990 which has 30X optical zoom. The photos were good (in fact, my last 2 cameras were Kodak Easy Shares requiring 2 AAs and I was happy with them), but a camera that takes 4 AAs is just to bulky to practically pack around so I gave that away as a nice gift. A 2 AA camera like this is designed with a much slimmer profile. This is compact enough that I can keep it in a small camera bag and still fit that bag in my large pocket for extra protection from getting knocked around or to keep it warmer in freezing temperatures or extra safe from rain. Not to mention that the weight of spare batteries you need to carry for a 4 AA camera is twice as much as a 2 AA camera like this which still has a great 16X optical zoom (much more than most 2 AA cameras you'll see today), and a further digital zoom if desired.

3) Sometimes you happen upon wildlife action and/or a scenic area where a short video is nice to get and this is capable of video with audio.

I can't comment on long term durability yet. I'm taking it out on a trip in a few weeks & will update on how it holds up in the field. Seems solid enough if treated with reasonable care. It has a lot of extra features that an amateur like me probably doesn't know how to use or really need, but that's nice for people who would use them. I use the automatic setting and my test photos seem to turn out nice. I can't wait to take it out in the backcountry & see what it does out there. Obviously I would have liked to pay even less (who isn't cheap at heart?) but at $150 on sale this will be a good investment as long as it lasts a long time.

As a con, I've noticed it doesn't seem to save pictures without a memory card. I do bring ample memory card storage with, but it seems like every other camera I've had did have at least a little internal memory aside from the insertable card memory. Not a big deal because I use the cards anyway, but be aware you'll need to get one if you don't already have it. And as others have noted, the right hand grip is a little tricky until you get used to it because you don't get the large gripping bump like more bulky models have. Again, not a big deal to me personally and I got used to 1 handed operation after a little practice but maybe if you have arthritis or something it could be difficult to manage single handed. But no problem with both hands.

All in all I was happy to find the combination of features this camera offers. Seems like no other cameras are made this way anymore which sucks for backpackers. One thing is I wish it were waterproof/submersible to a shallow depth as some cameras are, but I can live without that because of all the great things it does have going for it. It's water resistant enough for photos in light rain/misty conditions, just keep it in a protective bag/pocket when not actually taking the photos so it doesn't get soaked. Like I said, use reasonable care and it seems durable enough (construction-wise) to stand up to backpacking use.

EDIT: After my trial photos on a backpacking excursion I was very pleased with the image quality. Not as user-friendly as the Kodak Easy Shares I'm used to, but not too difficult and I'll get used to it with use (I saved the online manual pdf and it is thorough enough if you want to reference it for anything more technical). Overall I like my new camera and it held up well. Freezing temperatures did not prevent it from working properly (I did try to keep it warm in my pocket though and I would be careful about bringing it into conditions that are too extreme). Battery life was acceptable, not exceptional, if you keep the flash down, but using the flash often drains batteries faster and makes you wait longer between pictures to recharge the flash. One big thing I found wanting was a panoramic feature to stitch photos together into one big picture. Seems like most cameras have that feature these days and I thought this one did too. I must have confused it with another model I was comparing while shopping (my fault). It's odd that a really useful feature like panorama is not available but Canon did go to the trouble to add many silly options like fish-eye effect etc. I was in a thickly wooded area on this trip so lack of panorama wasn't a very big deal, but a couple of years ago I did a camping road trip out west and have some great panorama shots of the wide open spaces and mountain top vistas. They could be shot as either 2 or 3 photo lengths long stitched together as you desired. I would not be able to get those spectacular views all into one shot with this Canon SX160 and that is really a bummer. However, while testing it out, I did discover that you can go into the camera menu and change the "aspect ratio" from the default 4:3 to 16:9 when desired and this expands the photo view to a somewhat wider field of vision. Not as wide a view as 3 photos together but better than nothing. Still, with all the backpacker friendly features that the SX160 has in combination I will compromise on the lack of panorama capability. Overall I am satisfied with this camera for my purposes.
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on July 3, 2013
I don't do fancy nor professional photos, so I can not say how this camera would work for that. But for my purpose of everyday, family, party, or keep sake pictures, this camera takes great pictures!

Due to some health problems and medications I take, I do not necessarily have a steady hand and the auto focus with the feature to counter the shake of my hand or my none steady grasp makes a world of difference. No more shot after shot of blurry pictures.

It is also easy for my arthritic hands to hold. Not too thin to try to hold, but not too big and bulky to hold comfortably.

Very easy to use camera all the way around! And good clear photos!
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on September 17, 2012
First, I am not a photographer. However, I do own the camera and thought I'd write a short review.. I bought this camera to replace a Nikon Coolpix L11, which died after many years of use. I have a Nikon D40, but I like to have a small camera I can carry with me in my purse or backpack to capture kids, pets, just whatever. I did some research comparing prices, specs, etc. and took a chance on this camera. At first I was a little skeptical, but I find the more I use it the better I like it. (I should really say, the more I LEARN about it, the better I like it!) It is great in the "stand here and let me take your picture" situations. I have also used it some on my kids sporting events. It is not on the level of the D40 for catching the action, but it does fine for a point and shoot. I have been impressed with the quality of the pictures. I've tried out the "super zoom" on pets and nature shots, I think I need a little more work on that! I am interested to see how the battery life is. So far I am happy it uses AA's. I don't know how many times we have been at a theme park or sporting event and I find my batteries are dead. AA's are easy to find, not so easy with a rechargeable battery like the D40 has. The flash is taking some getting used to. You have to press a separate button under the flash to turn it on and wait for it to charge. It's a matter of seconds to charge, but if you have fidgety kids it might as well be 5 minutes, especially if you are trying to take more than one picture. Since I use a small camera a lot in outdoor settings, this is not really a deal-breaker for me. I am still learning about the auto-focus, modes, zoom, etc. As I learn I will be happy to come back and update my review.
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on January 26, 2013
I've been using this camera for a couple of months now. Got it for Christmas 2012. So far everything i wanted plus a little more.

1. Nice size which helps with holding it steady at super zoom distances. But can still carry it in my pocket.
2. Very nice 16 mp shots. The bigger the better.
3. Super zoom to get close up shots from far away. (This replaced a 3x zoom camera).
4. Lots and lots of manual adjustments. Anywhere from full manual to full automatic and everything in between.
5. AA batteries for easy replacement on the go.
6. Cool flash pop up.
7. Price for what you get.

Negatives: I was aware of these prior to purchase, thus why no stars off.
1. Drains batteries fairly quickly.
2. Somewhat slow between flash shots, can be up to 7 sec while flash recharges.
3. Low def display screen.

This is by far the best digital camera I've owned. I love the larger size. It actually makes you look like a semi-pro photographer ;). DSLR is too big for me at this time. I didn't want to carry around a camera bag and be constantly worried about a $900 investment. This camera is not an investment at $150, it cost less than most smartphones, but the image quality and ability far exceeds any phone camera. I can take it out of it's small bag and just carry it in my pocket, which is soooo nice and convenient. Easy to quickly put away while needing both hands for something else.

Portraits and family shots are why I got it. It excels at those. Motion shots can get blurry, but half of a quality motion shot has to do with the photographer. That being said, I've taken very nice motion shots. If the motion is predictable and the lighting is good you can get decent shots. I actually had an easier time getting quality motion shots when the motion was side to side relative to me. Motion towards or away from me meant I needed a quick trigger to get a good shot. The auto focus could not keep up with objects changing depth. One way around this is to pre focus at the desired depth, wait for the object to get back to the predicted position then shoot. This worked for a kid on a swing and is one example of what I meant by predictable motion. It does take patience, several shots and 'living through' the camera; what I mean by that, is spending a lot of time viewing the action through the camera display instead of in the real world. But there are good shots to be had, it just takes a little work. Don't let all the negative reviews convince you that the world has to stop while you set up the shot.

Picture quality is excellent. Although some of the auto setting do need manual tweaking. For instance with a bright background some photos tend to be be washed out. Auto white balance is not compensating enough. Auto focus sometimes focuses on the wrong object at the incorrect depth. But being digital you can take as many shots as you want and ditch the bad ones. The burst shots are a little slow. More like a shot every one-half to full second.

I'm very happy with its appearance, performance, manual options and picture quality and for $150 it's really not reasonable to expect $900 performance. Even with its limitations due to being a budget camera, it is the best one I've ever owned.
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on November 7, 2012

Good quality.
Great features.
Great usability.
Uses AA batteries.
Great for beginners.


Eats batteries sometimes. I think the powerful flash is the reason. Will not do well with anything but
Nimh rechargables. You need a good charger and 8 batteries (two in camera, six backup) if you are going anywhere.
And if you travel, you will need a car charger too.

Internal Digix5 processing is horrendous. You must use this camera at ISO 100 as much as possible. ISO200 is tolerable. ISO400 and above, well, no enlargements capable, really. If you use only ISO100, decent pictures.
My seven year old Canon Point and shoots do much better than this camera. I use Nikons for SLR shooting. I have used Canon point and shoots for over a decade, and their current lineup is a great disappointment.

I returned this camera, and purchased an Olympus cheapo, which takes "better" pictures. I wanted a small pocket camera that would not be missed if I lost it or broke it. Wish I had gotten the Olympus equivilent of this camera now. Impressed with Olympus, and now VERY unimpressed with Canon point and shoots. Canon is now more dedicated to screaming "look at my big megapixels too", than providing a camera with pictures matching past cameras they have produced. If you read review everywhere, they mention the nasty artifacts with higher iso's in Canon cameras. Take the hint.


If you just want a flexible point and shoot, and shoot low ISO, you should be ok. This is a fun camera. One of my "tests" is my bird's feathers. Canon fails, again at higher ISOs. Price is a bit high for this camera, but tolerable. I really would like another high end Elph (love them), but my experience with this camera puts me off now.
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