Canon SX170 Review

Camera Reviews / Canon Cameras / Canon PowerShot i Preview
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Canon PowerShot SX170 IS
Resolution: 16.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.3 inch
Lens: 16.00x zoom
(28-448mm eq.)
Viewfinder: LCD
ISO: 100-1600
Shutter: 15-1/3200
Max Aperture: 3.5
Dimensions: 4.3 x 2.8 x 1.7 in.
(108 x 71 x 44 mm)
Weight: 8.9 oz (251 g)
includes batteries
MSRP: $180
Availability: 09/2013
Manufacturer: Canon
Full specs: Canon SX170 specifications

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Canon SX170
16.00x zoom
1/2.3 inch
size sensor
image of Canon PowerShot SX170 IS
Front side of Canon PowerShot SX170 IS digital camera Back side of Canon PowerShot SX170 IS digital camera Top side of Canon PowerShot SX170 IS digital camera Left side of Canon PowerShot SX170 IS digital camera Right side of Canon PowerShot SX170 IS digital camera

Canon SX170 Preview

by Roger Slavens
Posted 08/22/2013

Canon SX170 Review -- Red body with flash deployed

Canon's latest entry-level model in its PowerShot SX-line of compact digital cameras is the 16-megapixel, 16x optical zoom Canon SX170 IS. At least on paper, the biggest difference compared to its predecessor appears to be the price. The SX170 comes in at US$180, some $50 cheaper than the SX160 IS was at launch almost exactly a year ago. Additionally, the new model boasts a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery rather than relying on AA batteries for power.

The styling on the Canon SX170 also has been updated, though it still bears a close resemblance to its forbearer. It's just a smidge smaller than SX160, measuring 0.12 inches narrower, 0.01 inches thinner and 0.06 inches shorter. A few more lines and edges add definition to the new model, and the hand grip appears to be more pronounced so that photographers can ostensibly hang onto it a little bit easier.

Canon SX170 Review -- Front view in black

The physical controls otherwise appear to be near-identical, with a Mode dial, Shutter button and zoom ring up top, and six control buttons and a four-way wheel on the back of the camera. Both the new model and the old share a basic 3-inch, TFT, 230K-dot color LCD monitor. The only thing that's missing from the SX170 is a button that deploys the pop-up flash (a feature it seems that lasted only one generation as it was added to the SX160 from its predecessor, the SX150, then summarily dropped).

Canon SX170 Review -- Rear view in black

As far as imaging technology goes, the SX170 is built upon the same 16-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor and DIGIC 4 image processor as the SX160. The new model also borrows the 16x optical zoom lens, which features a 35mm equivalent range of 28-448mm and aperture range of f/3.5 at wide angle to f/5.9 at tele. Movie capabilities remain intact from its predecessor, offering basic 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels) HD video recording at 25 frames per second, but is obviously limited by its CCD sensor. The entry-level compact still hasn't received a CMOS sensor like those used in other cameras in Canon's SX-line. And its DIGIC 4 processor is also a bit long in the tooth, though appropriately paired with a CCD.

Canon also incorporated its High-Speed AF and Intelligent IS system in the SX170 to provide smooth and sharp images -- both still and moving -- via six stabilization modes. The company claims the new model's AF speed has been improved, but we're not exactly sure how this is achieved given that the sensor and processor are the same as the previous model.

The camera also employs Smart AUTO technology, which helps photographers capture images by automatically selecting the right camera settings from among 32 predefined shooting situations. What's impressive for a camera at this price range is that it offers full PASM exposure controls. It also offers an assortment of creative filters.

The Canon PowerShot SX170 IS digital camera, available in both black and red, is scheduled to be shipped in the U.S. market September 2013 for an estimated retail price of US$180.

Place your pre-order with Imaging Resource affiliate Adorama now:

Canon SX170 Review -- Red kit

Follow on Twitter!


Similar to the SX170 but smaller lighter larger sensor cheaper But ...
No cameras match your search criteria(s)


16 MP

Also lacks viewfinder

5% larger

16x zoom

SX170 vs SX160


16.1 MP

Also lacks viewfinder

25% smaller

14x zoom (12% less)

SX170 vs L610


18.1 MP (13% more)

Also lacks viewfinder

25% smaller

14x zoom (12% less)

SX170 vs L620


16.1 MP

Also lacks viewfinder

36% smaller

20x zoom (25% more)

SX170 vs ZS35


16 MP

Also lacks viewfinder

29% smaller

20x zoom (25% more)

SX170 vs F850EXR

Suggestion for improvement? Head over here.

Canon SX170

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Canon SX170
Print the overview page for the Canon PowerShot SX170 IS digital camera reviewPrint this Page

Follow Imaging Resource

Enter this month to win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

2 $200 Adorama Gift Certificate

3 $100 Adorama Gift Certificate