Canon Powershot S100 and WP-DC43 Waterproof Case – The New Must-Have Underwater Compact Camera?

Canon’s S100 Powershot camera is the new replacement for the much-loved Powershot S95, a tiny compact camera with very powerful features which made it a favourite of underwater photographers everywhere. Will the S100 match up to its predecessor?

Canon Powershot S100 Camera

Just announced by Canon is their newest update to the Powershot range – the Canon Powershot S100. (See it on or It’s been quite a while since there was a major update to this line, and with good reason – the slim but powerful Canon Powershot S95 is a tough act to follow. Where the S100 is meant to be an improvement on the previous model is the fact it’s even smaller and yet has dramatically improved the video shooting capability and also upped the quality of the zoom lens.

The Canon Powershot S100 is now available, although demand is currently high so stocks are currently running out quickly before the next shipment from Canon arrives. The Canon Powershot S100 has h its own dedicated waterproof casing for underwater photography, the WP-DC43 underwater camera housing. (See the WP-DC43 on or

(If you look on Amazon now, be sure not to confuse it with the old Canon Powershot S100, released back in 2000 and packing a whopping 2 megapixels – yours for $25)

Here’s some pertinent first takes on how the Canon Powershot S100 shapes up:

The S95 is almost universially loved for its impressive low light ability and great f2.0 lens. However, battery life is poor and the video capture is limited to 720p. The S100 should solve both of those issues.

A CMOS sensor rests behind a f2.0 lens that’s slightly wider and longer than used in the S95. Gone is the CCD chip used in the previous model, but this new sensor allows for 1080p video capture and an ISO of 6400, twice that of the S95. The camera also features the new DiGiC 5 processor that among the aforementioned abilities allows for an impressive burst mode dubbed Highspeed Burst HQ that captures 8 frames at full resolution at a rate of 9.6 photos per second. This burst mode, also featured on the SX40 below, is Canon’s first full resolution mode as previous incarnations dropped the resolution down to 2MP.

– from Techcrunch’s initial review

And there’s more about the zoom from ZDNet’s first look:

The biggest difference between the S95 and S100 is a whole new imaging system: In addition to the faster new processor and a completely new sensor, the S100 sports a wider and longer 5x zoom lens — a 24-120mm equivalent, f/2.0-5.9 beauty (vs. the S95’s 28-105mm, f/2.0-4.9 3.8x lens). It’s still nice and bright on the wide angle, but as with the S95, the telephoto is limited to fairly narrow maximum aperture because of the camera’s compact size. Canon has upped the resolution to 12-megapixels while maintaining a 1/1.7-inch sensor size, but also opted for a high-sensitivity (read backside illuminated) CMOS sensor rather than a CCD, which may mitigate a resulting drop in low-light image quality.

The other major addition to the S100 is a built-in GPS receiver to enable automatic geotagging and location logging for photos and videos. The bundled Map Utility software lets you map a route of your photo locations using Google Maps and create customized maps that you can share.

Canon PowerShot S100 – key features:

  • High-sensitivity 12.1 Megapixel Canon CMOS (1/1.7 type)
  • HS System with powerful DIGIC 5
  • Ultra-wide 24mm, f/2.0, 5x zoom lens. Intelligent IS
  • Lens Control Ring, NR Control & RAW
  • GPS
  • Full HD, HDMI
  • Large 7.5 cm (3.0?) LCD
  • High-speed Burst HQ
  • Smart Auto, Multi-area WB

I’d be very interested in hearing from anyone who tries out a Canon Powershot S100 and the WP-DC43 waterproof casing with their thoughts on they perform.

Make Sure You Have Diving And Travel Insurance

World Nomads is one of the leading travel insurance providers and their coverage also includes scuba diving to 40 metres too if you select the relevant options. Make sure you're covered insurance-wise both above and below water.


  1. I have just returned from a work trip to the Maldives where I had the opportunity to use the Canon Powershot S100 with its case for the first time and I was very satisfied with it.
    I have used the S95 in the past but this is definitely a step up.
    I particularly liked the wider angle of the lense. It really makes the difference when trying to capture the underwater world. The video recording is very stable and it is possible to apply the custom white balance to the video too which is great.
    The quality of the picture is superior and all the controls of the camera are easily accessible and respond well through the underwater case (I have used an ikelite UW casing with the S90 and it is a nightmare when the buttons get stuck!).
    The one thing that I do not like is the built in flash.
    OK it is never a great option to use the built in flash for UW photography but in this case I went to the Maldives for some conservation work and did not want to bring the strobe with me for practicality. Because of the shape of the UW casing the built-in flash is basically useless as it creates an obvious and dark shadow in the photo. You definitely need an external strobe if you want to take pictures with artificial light
    I was really pleased with everything else.

  2. Thanks Ros – my girlfriend is currently pondering about getting the S100 so it’s very helpful to get some real world feedback.