Digital Camera Review: Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS – The affordable 16 MP superzoom model

Due to the fact that a constantly growing audience of our review-site is accessing our articles from countries outside of Germany, Austria or Switzerland and is using automated translation services we will now start to provide the most important articles in English as well here on

Our first attempt in that direction is the review of the latest budget-superzoom from Canon – the PowerShot SX 160 IS digital camera. Of course this article is also available in German!

In our review you will find the most important details about this model and we will show you advantages and disadvantages of this particular camera.

The Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS is the successor or replacement of the SX 150 IS which was introduced one year before and it is available from September 2012 on (two years after the highly successful PowerShot SX 130 IS).

Depending on your region or supplier this camera can be bought in black, red and silver. In the beginning it was sold for about 200 US-Dollars or 180 Euros and soon the prices dropped significantly. It is available from online-shops like or

New look and new specs …

Quite obvious is the new overall-design which is more modern and doesn’t look like a brick anymore. This PowerShot-series camera has become slightly smaller and lighter.

Some cosmetic changes were made on the rear: For instance the video-recording button has moved towards the top and swaped its position with the review-function so accessing video mode is much more convenient.

The camera now features a 16-Megapixel-CCD-Sensor (instead of a more expensive CMOS-type that would be needed for highspeed-photography or Full-HD-Recording – which both lacks with the SX 160 IS).

New is the (again optically image stabilzed) lens with a focal length now reaching from 28 up to 448 Millimeters, so this is a 16-times optical zoom in contrast to the 12-times it used to have in the SX 150 IS or SX 130 IS.

Reviewed: The Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS Digital Superzoom Camera

Reviewed: The Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS Digital Superzoom Camera

Canon says that this camera has an improved auto-focus, which makes it quite faster and it has a reduced shutter lag time. But this model is no highspeed-wonder, because it only shoots less than one photo per second…

It still uses two standard AA-type batteries or rechargeables which is quite handy when you are on the road or abroad where you can buy batteries in every supermarket or even at a petrol station. Of course using re-usable batteries makes more sense and is cheaper.

Nothing changed with the 230.000-dot-display and the majority of functions, including auto- or manual mode.

Our verdict: Without a doubt the Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS is one of the best digital cameras when you’re on a budget. For that price there is not much of a competition in the market. Maybe you could have a look at sale-models but mostly they are not up-to-date. The PowerShot is of course not the most beautiful (or compact camera) but the photographic results are quite good. It has a useful lens with optical image stabilization and a huge zoom-reach. You will get a lot of in-built effects, a perfectly working auto-mode or manual controls and 720p-Video as well. More sophisticated cameras offer extras like a stronger or fast lens, Full-HD-Recording or GPS – but they are much more expensive.

The new Canon budget superzoom Camera PowerShot SX 160 IS

The new Canon budget superzoom Camera PowerShot SX 160 IS

An alternative to the Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS:
We have been reviewing several digital cameras recently and found the similar priced Benq GH700 bridge-model is worth looking at. Unfortunately auto-focus is not as reliable but this “el cheapo” offers an 21X-zoom starting at 25 mm wide up to 525 mm and Full-HD-Video with stunning 60p.

Facts about the Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS:

  • 16 Megapixel 1/2,3″-CCD
  • 28-448mm (16X) optical zoom
  • AA-type power supply
  • Price less than €180/$200

Here are some test shots directly from the camera:

Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS Test Shot

Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS Test Shot

Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS Test Shots

Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS Test Shots

The Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS and other digital cameras are available at or!

Here’s a short video review of the Canon PowerShot SX 160 IS made by our staff:

And here you are able to see the 720p-video quality of the camera:


Ahmed Ramzy says:
November 16, 2012 at 1:45 am

Pretty straight forward review. The photos show the quality of the camera and the video is nice. I have one on layaway for Thanksgiving here in the US and this solidified my mind that it’s a good quality product. I do own the SX110 IS and it takes good pics, but video quality is so bad.


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  1. Pingback: Schnäppchen-Digicam im Test: Die Canon PowerShot SX160 IS im Review – Der Digitalkamera-Bestseller runderneuert

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