Timing & Performance
Like all of Canon' recent compacts the TX1's performance rarely disappoints; it feels fast and snappy in normal use and rarely keeps you waiting - nor does it 'get in the way' of getting the shot too often. In an ideal world we'd like to see the focus at the long end of the zoom improved (and focusing in low light in general speeded up), but our biggest complaint is about flash recycling, which stretches from around 3.5 to over 9 seconds (or even longer if you're shooting with flash repeatedly at long distances).
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3072 x 2304 Fine JPEG image (approx. 4,000 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 1.0 GB Sandisk Extreme III card.
|Power: Off to Record||1.8|
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||1.0|
|Power: Record to Off||All activity ceased||2.2|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty, lens retracted||~0.3|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty, lens extended||~1.8|
|Record Review||Image displayed||~0.7|
|Mode: Play to Record||2.1|
|Play: Magnify||To full magnification (10x)||1.1|
|Play: Image to Image||Time to display each saved image||0.5|
|Play: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||0.5|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||39 to 390 mm (10 x) - high speed||1.3|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||39 to 390 mm (10 x) - low speed||3.4|
|Half-press Lag (Focus time)||Wide angle, center focus *1||~0.4 - 0.7*2|
|Half-press Lag (Focus time)||Telephoto, AiAF||~0.7 - 0.9*3|
|Pre-focus Lag (S1>S2)||LCD live view||~0.06|
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||LCD live view, wide angle||~0.6|
|Off to Shot Taken||LCD live view||~2.8|
|Shot to Shot||Flash off||~ 1.6|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on ( red eye reduction off)||3.5 - 8.7|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on ( red eye reduction on)||6.5 - 9.5|
|*1||Focus speed is fractionally faster if you use center AF rather than AiAF (face detection mode).|
|*2||In good light focus is usually around 0.4 seconds, but in low light, at close distances or with difficult subjects this can stretch to 0.7 seconds or longer|
|*3||In good light focus is usually around 0.7 seconds, but in low light, at close distances or with difficult subjects this can stretch to 0.9 seconds or longer|
Continuous drive mode
The TX1 has two continuous shooting modes (Continuous and Continuous AF) - the only difference is that in Continuous-AF mode (as the name suggests) the camera refocuses between shots, which slows the rate down from around 1.7 fps to around 1.0 fps.
In both cases - provided you have reasonably fast media - you can shoot away to your heart's content until the card is full.
File writing / playback performance
The TX1 takes around 0.7 seconds to save a 3.5MB 7MP/Super Fine JPEG, which isn't bad at all - and the camera's fast buffering means you're never left waiting anyway. Playback isn't bad either, at around half a second per frame.
The TX1 is plagued by the same problem as all ultra compacts without an optical viewfinder; the small battery means that the number of shots per charge (160 using the CIPA standard test) lags far behind the best cameras in this class. You can buy a genuine Canon spare for around $45 or a generic version for well under $10 (and get slightly higher capacity to boot).