Canon PowerShot S1 IS Review
Timing & Performance
Canon has made much of the performance enhancements offered by its DIGIC processor, and the S1 IS is proof perfect that these are no hollow claims. Overall performance is excellent - even when compared to considerably more expensive cameras. And the S1 IS feels fast and responsive in use; aside from the slow AF at longer focal lengths you never feel you are waiting for the camera to catch up. It is a pity that the AF slows down so much when you zoom in (the lag can sometimes stretch to two seconds, and there is a tendancy to 'hunt'), as this means the S1 IS simply can't keep up with the action, despite the speedy processing and low shutter lag.
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2048 x 1536 Super-Fine JPEG image (approx. 1,350 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I Compact Flash card.
|Power: Off to Record||3.7|
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||3.6|
|Power: Record to Off||Lens retracted and all activity ceased||3.4|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty||0.0|
|Record Review||Image displayed||0.8|
|Mode: Record to Play||1.3|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens already extended||~0.7|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens not extended||2.3|
|Play: Magnify||To full magnification (10x)||0.9|
|Play: Image to Image||Time to display each saved image||0.5|
|Play: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||1.1|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||38 to 380 mm (10 x) full speed||1.0|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||38 to 380 mm (10 x) low speed||6.0|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Wide angle||~0.6|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Telephoto||~1.4|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||LCD live view||0.2|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||Electronic Viewfinder||0.25|
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||LCD live view, wide angle||~0.9|
|Off to Shot Taken||LCD live view||4.1|
|Shot to Shot||Flash off||1.6|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on||2.7|
Lag Timing Definitions
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)
Many digital camera users prime the AF and AE systems on their camera by half-pressing the shutter release. This is the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot).
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (assuming you have already primed the camera with a half-press) to the image being taken.
(Take shot, AF/AE primed)
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (without performing a half-press of the shutter release beforehand) to the image being taken. This is more representative of the use of the camera in a spur of the moment 'point and shoot' situation.
(Take shot, AF/AE not primed)
The tables below show the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take another shot. Media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.
Continuous drive mode
In burst mode the S1 IS shows a brief review image for each frame taken.
Frames in a burst *2
|2048 x 1536 JEPG Super-Fine||Burst||1.7 fps||10||slows to 1.1 fps|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine||Burst||1.7 fps||50+||n/a|
|1600 x 1200 JPEG Super Fine||Burst||1.7 fps||50+||n/a|
|1024 x 768 JPEG Fine||Burst||1.7 fps||50+||n/a|
|*1||In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).|
|*2||With the shutter release held down. With a fast card it is virutally impossible to fill the buffer|
The S1 IS has very impressive continuous shooting capabilies, though the focus system struggles to keep up with the processor's ability to capture and save JPEGs. With a fast enough card shooting at anything other than the top (Super Fine) setting, the only limit to the number of pictures in a single sequence is the amount of space you have left. Even shooting 3MP Super Fine JPEGs the performance is impressive, only slowing slightly after 9 or 10 shots. Again it is impossible to actually fill the buffer completely (in other words you can keep shooting until you run out of space, albeit at a slower rate).
File Write / Display and Sizes
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed and stopped when activity indicator went out. This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". The media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I Compact Flash card.
Time to store
File size *1
Images on a *2
1 GB Card
|2048 x 1536 JEPG Super-Fine||1.6||~0.8||1,628 KB||611|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine||1.6||~0.8||949 KB||1095|
|1600 x 1200 JPEG Super Fine||1.4||~0.8||975 KB||975|
|1024 x 768 JPEG Fine||~0.9||~0.8||276 KB||2974|
|*2||All file sizes are an average of three files. As is the case with JPEG it's difficult to predict the size of an image because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (detail and noise).|
With write times averaging around 1.6 seconds for a Super Fine JPEG the S1 IS is very fast for a compact camera, though at around 1MB/s it is hardly pushing the capabilities of the Sandisk card.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.