Canon PowerShot SX130

Canon PowerShot SX130

Product Review

Canon Power Shot Sx130
Canon Power Shot Sx130

I bought our Canon PowerShot SX130 a few months before our Western Trip (Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Bryce), as I really wanted a camera that could vividly capture our experiences.

Most of the pictures on this site were taken with this camera. I have been thrilled with the purchase!

The criteria for our new camera purchase was:

  • Under $200
  • Over 10 mega-pixel
  • Over 10x optical zoom
  • Small / Easy to Carry
  • Easy to use (point & shoot)

After reading what seemed to be hundreds of product reviews, I had narrowed down our decision to a Panasonic model and this one. The Powershot SX130 edged it out in product reviews and photography features.

In the past, I would get frustrated when other people with similar cameras seemed to get much better pictures than me, and I set out to self-educate on the use and functions of the Canon PowerShot SX130. It wasn’t that hard.

First thing I did was print out the pdf user manual, took it to an office supply store and had it spiral-bound. Next – I READ it -imagine that!. It was not that complicated.

Here are the functions that I use and when I use them – it’s made a big difference:

  • Portrait Mode:

Great for people shots; The camera recognizes the faces and focus on multiple targets for crisp pictures or one person or groups.

  • Scenery Mode:

This mode came in handy for the mountain range, canyon, and other nature pictures.The settings really captured the landscape well and didn’t wash out any of the details.

  • Kids & Pets Mode:

This is the mode for action shots. This will get the motion pictures without the blur!

  • Low Light Mode:

I use this setting often indoors (under “SCN” on dial). This helps for pictures that are too far away for flash, but times when you can’t hold the camera steady enough for an extended aperture opening.

  • Auto Mode:

When in doubt, let the camera figure it out!A while back, I was getting very frustrated trying to take pictures of our boys kayaking…they were blurry on a combination of the low evening lighting and the fast motion (kids & pet setting wasn’t doing it). I switched to “AUTO” and the next few pictures came up with crisp, vivid, detail!

Tips for use:

  • Get long-life rechargeable batteries!  The Canon PowerShot SX130 uses 2 AAs and it will chew threw standard alkaline batteries very quickly. I ended up buying a Sanyo Eneloop charger and batteries and it has worked out superbly. The batteries have a very long life and I’ve been able to get several hundred pictures and even a few video clips on 4 batteries – then charge them overnight to be ready for the next day!


  • Experiment with the camera. Use it before your vacation, trying it indoors and out; sporting events and portraits. You’ll quickly get the hang of it.


  • Don’t underestimate the value of optical zoom. The zoom on the Canon Powershot SX130 is phenomenal! I am so pleased with the 12x optical zoom on it has made for some excellent sporting event and wildlife pictures. Going into the purchase, this was a feature that I may have done without…now, it’s my favorite part of this camera!


  • Get a transportable tripod. I got a “Gorilla Pod” (flexible armed little tripod) before our vacation. And while we didn’t use it all the time, it came in very handy when we wanted a family picture and there was no one to ask but a bunch of bison! They’re very small and fold up into a backpack pouch – worth having.


  • Buy a small case for extra SD card, batteries and a longer lanyard. For less than $15, I bought a nice little “Case Logic” pouch and neck-lanyard. It fits everything a bit snug (too snug for my wife’s liking), but I wanted something small and easy to carry.

Overall, I’m very happy with our Canon Powershot SX130 purchase. It’s a step-up in picture quality over the slim pocket-transportable point & shots, yet has the many of the features and settings of high-end professional cameras. The testimonials are in the pictures – check ‘em out!

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