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.
|Hot Air Balloons Over Bagan by User9320321874|
|Blue mood by darub|
from Fixed lens shootout.
|Yellow Warbler by LeeS|
from A Big Year - birds
|Waiting for the Parade by tcoker1103|
from - La Vida Loca - (Black and White Street Photography+ A Border)
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not known as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you know where to look. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.