Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Review
Canon's popular superzoom range of cameras began with the release of the PowerShot S1 IS back in 2004, and has been incrementally upgraded each year with more features and more pixels, with the last update being the PowerShot S5 IS announced in May of 2007. In September of 2008 Canon announced dual successors to the S5 IS. The cheaper of the two models is the Powershot SX10 IS, which features a 10 MP CCD sensor behind a 20X image stabilized lens, with the more expensive camera - the SX1 IS - adding RAW mode, a CMOS sensor, faster continuous shooting speed, and HD 1080p video recording.
Canon pioneered the use of CMOS sensors in digital SLRs (starting way back in 2000 with the EOS D30) - and they have long been used in cheap imaging devices (such as mobile phones and no brand 'keychain' digicams), but until now they haven't made their way into mainstream compact cameras. The reason has been simple; they just haven't been good enough. CMOS sensors have more circuitry built into the chip itself than CCD sensors, leaving less room for actually capturing light. This isn't a problem when you're working with a sensor with a large surface area, but at very small sizes it means lowered sensitivity - and that means noise and all the image quality problems associated with removing it.
Any problems with CMOS on large (DSLR) sensors were fixed long ago, and it is now the dominant technology in all but the cheapest models. The quest to fix them for smaller sensors has taken a lot longer, but it's one that continues because the possibilities offered by the on-chip processing capabilities of a CMOS sensor are simply too enticing for camera manufacturers to ignore (quite aside from the fact they use less power and are, in theory, a lot cheaper to mass produce). The SX1 IS, along with Sony's HX1 and the Ricoh CX1, is the first in a new wave of CMOS-sensored 'serious' compact cameras, and though few claims are being made about how the use of CMOS will affect image quality per se, they all sport unique features (high speed capture, HD movies, clever image stacking modes) which are only possible because this technology.
Like every camera in this range since the original S1 IS, the SX1 is designed to be a 'hybrid', combining stills and movie photography in a single device (the S1 IS was one of the first cameras to feature a dedicated Movie record button). But the use of a 16:9 format screen and viewfinder - plus the use of a CMOS sensor capable of full 1080p capture - means that the SX1 is unique in the range (and different to the SX10) in that it gives almost as much weight to movie capture as it does stills.
PowerShot SX1 IS vs PowerShot S5 IS - key changes
- Higher resolution sensor (10MP vs 8MP)
- New 28 - 560 mm equiv lens
- Digic 4 processor (S5 IS was Digic III)
- Larger, higher resolution LCD screen (2.8 inches vs 2.5 inches)
- HD movie recording at 1080p (1920 x 1080)
- 'My Menu' system
- Greatly increased continuous shooting (burst) speed
- RAW file format is back
Canon PowerShot SX1 IS
Canon PowerShot S5 IS
• 1/2.3 " Type CMOS
• 1/2.5 " Type CCD
|Maximum Image Size||3648 x 2736||3264 x 2448|
|Processor||Digic 4||Digic III|
|Movie clip limit||(HD) Up to 4GB or 29 min. 59 sec.
(L and M) Up to 4GB or 1 hour
|4 GB (around 30 mins VGA/30fps)|
• Hi-ISO Auto
• ISO 80-1600
• Face Detection AF
• Face Detection AF
|Scene modes||• Custom • Portrait • Landscape • Night Scene • Sports • Stitch Assist • Foliage • Snow • Beach • Fireworks • Aquarium • Indoor • Night Scene • Sunset • ISO 3200 • Long Shutter• Color Accent • Color Swap||• Custom • Portrait • Landscape • Night Scene • Sports • Stitch Assist • Foliage • Snow • Beach • Fireworks • Aquarium • Indoor • Night Snapshot • Color Accent • Color Swap|
|LCD screen||• Vari-angle 2.8" TFT
|• Vari-angle 2.5-inch Low Temp P-Si TFT
• 207,000 pixels
• Adjustable Brightness
• 100% coverage
|Continuous shooting||max 4 fps||max 1.5 fps|
|Battery life (CIPA standard with Ni-MH cells, using LCD)||450||450|
|Weight (no batteries)||585g (20.6 oz)||450g (15.9 oz)|
PowerShot SX1 IS specifications
|Price||• UK: £ 449.99
• US: $ 599.99
1/2.3” Canon CMOS
|Image sizes|| 3648 x 2736
2816 x 2112
2272 x 1704
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
3640 x 2160
1920 x 1080
|Image processor||DIGIC 4|
|Movie clips|| 1920 x 1080 (HD) @ 1080p
640 x 480 @ 30 / 15fps
320 x 240 @ 60 / 30 / 15fps
Still: JPEG (Exif 2.2)
|Lens|| 28- 560 mm equiv (aspect ratio 4:3), 29 – 580 mm (aspect ratio 16:9)
20x Optical zoom
F2.8 - F5.7 (max)
13 elements in 11 groups (1 aspherical element, 1 UD element)
|Image stabilization||Yes (Lens shift-type)|
|Digital zoom||up to 4x|
|Auto focus|| TTL
AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point)
1-point AF (Fixed center)
|Focus modes|| AF: Single, Continuous
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Focus distance||Closest 0 cm|
|Metering|| Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF)
|ISO sensitivity|| Auto
High ISO Auto
|Exposure compensation|| +/- 2EV
1/3 stop increments
|Exposure bracketing|| 1/3-2EV
1/3 stop increments
|Shutter speed||15 – 1/3200 sec|
Shutter Priority AE
Aperture Priority AE
|White balance|| Auto (including Face Detection WB)
|Self timer|| 2 or 10 secs
Custom or Face Self TImer
|Continuous shooting||Approx. 4.0 fps until card fills|
|Image parameters||My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)|
Manual Flash On / Off
Red eye reduction
Flash exposure lock
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
Manual Power adjustment
Second Curtain Synch
Range: 50 cm - 5.2 m (wide) / 90 cm - 4.0 m (tele)
|Hot-shoe|| Canon EX Speedlites (270EX, 430EXII, 580EXII and older models)
E-TTL with EX series Speedlites, Canon's High Power Flash HF-DC1
|Viewfinder|| EVF (0.40" type)
|LCD monitor|| Vari-angle 2.8" TFT
|Other features|| Playback red-eye correction
|Languages||English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Ukrainian, Romanian, Farsi|
|Connectivity|| HDMI Mini Connector
|Print compliance|| PictBridge
Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photo Print, Fixed Size Print and Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP & ES printers only)
|Storage|| SD / SDHC / MMC / MMC Plus / HC MMC Plus compatible
|Power|| Compact AC power adapter CA-PS700,
Battery Charger Kit CBK4-300
Ni-MH Batteries NB4-300
|Weight (no batt)||585g (20.6 oz)|
|Dimensions||128 x 88 x 88 mm (5 x 3.5 x 3.5")|
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