Canon PowerShot HS System
The Canon PowerShot HS (High-Sensitivity) System helps to produce some of the highest-quality photographs possible with a compact point-and-shoot camera.
The HS System reduces noise at high ISO, meaning the user can shoot confidently in low-lighting conditions and still expect a high-quality photograph.
Canon PowerShot cameras equipped with the HS System will appeal to:
  • Advanced users who critically examine noise levels in their photos
  • Users that frequently shoot indoors or in other low-light situations
  • Experienced photo enthusiasts that understand the benefit of larger pixels with greater light sensitivity

In order to fit in compact cameras, sensors must be made very small. In order to fit a large amount of pixels onto a small sensor, the pixels themselves must be made smaller. All other things being equal, smaller pixels gather less light, and as a result picture quality suffers in darker lighting conditions. While the use of a flash can mitigate the problems associated with shooting in low light, this solution poses problems of its own, namely:

  • Smaller compact cameras often can’t use an external flash
  • Results with built-in flashes are often unsatisfactory due to harsh direct lighting
    and poor range
  • The use of a flash is often undesirable (for example, during solemn or
    religious ceremonies)
The Canon PowerShot HS (High Sensitivity)
System helps to overcome these problems in the following ways:

  • Larger sensors with reduced pixel resolution (meaning larger,
    more-sensitive pixels)
  • CMOS imaging sensors with “Back Illuminated” technology
  • Re-tuned DIGIC 4 processor specifically tailored for noise-reduction
Due to unique engineering requirements, the HS System is available in specific PowerShot models, and is not used in EOS SLR cameras. The HS System is currently available on the following cameras:
  • PowerShot G12
  • PowerShot S95
  • PowerShot SX230 HS
  • PowerShot SD4500 IS Digital ELPH
  • PowerShot SD4000 IS Digital ELPH
  • PowerShot ELPH 500 HS
  • PowerShot ELPH 300 HS
  • PowerShot ELPH 100 HS

New PowerShot models with the HS System technology have “HS” in their actual product name. However, the models listed above that do not have an “HS” in their name still include the HS System.

Canon camera features which are not part of the HS System (and may in fact be used in tandem with the HS System) include:
  • Low Light Scene Mode
  • Handheld Night Scene Mode
  • Best Image Select Mode