Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My First Canon


Exactly 2 years and 5 months ago, I received my first Nikon - the Nikon Coolpix L20. & after overcoming my initial disappointment, the L20 proved to be a camera that largely exceeded my expectations.


The cheap camera turned out to be an extremely reliable companion throughout the various adventures I've had - mountain climbing, treks and road trips. It managed to survive some of the worst possible torture in the harshest environment known to man - my pocket.
I loved its portability and its ease of use, while the limited settings forced me to think out of the box.

After 2 years, I eventually realised that to quench my thirst for more creative control, I needed something better than the L20. The time was ripe to move to the next level.



Which is why I bought this. My first Canon camera - the Canon Powershot S100. The best compact camera... in the world. After the Sony RX-100.*
*The Sony RX-100 is widely regarded as the best compact camera, even though its starting price of $650 makes it a premium product.

& no, it's not a DSLR! But it’s the closest thing to a compact DSLR you can buy. ;)



Now, before moving further in this review, I must point out that it took me nearly a week to retrieve the camera from the Parcel Post Office.

Why? Because the camera was worth more than Rs 10k, I had to go through a customs broker to get a customs declaration before it could be cleared. Which meant paying broker fees in addition to the VAT on the camera. & it’s yesterday that I finally received the camera.

Conclusion: I'm never ever buying anything worth more than Rs 10k again….




So here’s the unboxing. Package contents – CD, manual, charger, battery, strap, USB cable and camera.

Canon recently issued a product advisory on the S100, whereby some of the cameras with serials 29XXX to 41XXX have lens errors. Fortunately, I got a camera with serial number greater than 41XXX… :)



First impression - the amount of camera settings is simply mind-boggling. I honestly don’t know half of the settings that are on the S100. This is the point where I’ll have to grab the camera’s manual and update my knowledge of photography.



Well, I guess I’ll have to learn the language…


Specs-wise, the S100 is better in every way than the L20.

  • Higher resolution of 12MP.
  • 24mm wide-angle lens.
  • Better LCD.
  • Shoots RAW.
  • Better low-light performance (f/2.0)
  • GPS tagging.
  • In-camera HDR.
  • Records 1080p.
  • Built-in ND filter.

The full specs can be compared on snapsort.



There are however a few drawbacks, starting with the shutter button placement. With the L20 having only a shutter button at the top, I kept hitting the dial on the S100.



The pop-up flash is placed where I usually grip with my left hand.

The S100 also locks the ISO to 80 for shutter speeds longer than 1 sec. Luckily, there’s the Canon Hack Development Kit to circumvent that. :)



Here are a few photo samples:


Canon S100 – f/4, 1/160s, ISO-80.



Canon S100 – HDR



Canon S100 – f/5.9, 1/160s, ISO-80.



Canon S100 – f/4, 1/100s, ISO-80.



I still have a great deal to learn about the S100 before I can do any comparisons with the Nikon L20. But so far, what I’ve noticed is that the jump in the performance was well worth the upgrade. & despite the huge amount of DSLR-like controls, the best feature of the S100 is that it remains very much portable. ;)




Zarah Joseph

I want to buy a camera before December. Still thinking which one to get...Yours does look pretty cool.  Have fun with it!

Yashvin Awootar

Congrats for the new camera. Photographers changing brands, we do not see it often.

btw, how much you paid for the customs broker?
And have you checked the price of the camera (or similar one) in local stores?


 Thanks. Keep a lookout on There'll be some new releases in a few months. :)


Paid the broker around Rs 2000.

I haven't checked the price of S100, but the S95 was being sold at around the same price here.

Mauritius Blog List

A bit disturbing to read only Chinese in the manual. Is the camera a regional variant of the S100?

BTW I learned something quite disturbing about Li-Ion batteries: they just get worse with time, even if you do not use them, and you can't do anything about it. This is a bit of a put off, cause no camera with Li-Ion would truly last 10 years (battery would be dead well within 5 years or so, and wont find replacement for EoL product).


The camera was bought from Taiwan, hence the Chinese manual. But I do have the English pdf.

Li-Ion batteries are not a problem if they are replaceable, you can always find some aftermarket batteries. It's only when they are are non-replaceable (e.g. iPhone) that this can be an issue.


That thing about having to get a broker is really annoying. Why can't customs just forward you a letter, saying you've got goods awaiting you? You just go there, pay on a counter, and get the goods out? Can someone explain that to me? Seems really backwards to me, and does not help online shopping in Mru.

Also you have a Darth Vador mini fig! Why use the white one when you got Darth Vador?! :s


These Customs laws are utterly stupid. Seriously, it's easier to smuggle drugs here than to retrieve a parcel from Post Office. It has been designed as if to discourage you from buying anything elsewhere. Utterly stupid.
See here -

What white one? o.O


 Well, not white. Blue. This one:

These customs laws need to be revisited. You can't call Mauritius a Cyber Island, and when you do cyber shopping (lol), you have to jump through so many hoops. Private importer? Duh!


 Oh that one... He's dead. :)

Siganus Sutor

Now you just need to order your first Can(n)onball and watch how things go on with our dear custom officers.

Siganus Sutor

Now you just need to order your first Can(n)onball and watch how things go on with our dear custom officers.

Muzzammil Nabybaccus

i bought my camera 9000 MRU
customs? guess? :P
225 RS
said i bought it for 3K
the package was like 73 USD
they wont notice it sometimes

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