Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Review
Noise levels and fine detail in the real world compared to Canon SX10 IS and Canon EOS 1000D
In price terms the SX1 IS sits between the SX10 IS and Canon's entry-level digital SLR, the EOS 1000D (twin lens kit, which covers a comparable zoom range), so it seems fair to see how this translates into image quality. The huge price differential between the SX1 and the SX10 is explained by its CMOS sensor (which brings high speed shooting and HD video) - and you get RAW mode too, though on the downside it has a smaller, lower resolution viewfinder. Compared to the 1000D, the SX1 IS has a smaller sensor and is less flexible, but does have a wide range built in zoom lens (and video, of course). one other thing to consider when comparing these cameras is size. Both the SX1 IS and SX10 IS are the same size, but while they can be considered compact cameras, they are actually not that much smaller then the 1000D with its kit lens and none of these cameras will fit inside a coat pocket.
While it is possible to learn a lot from testing cameras in controlled studio conditions, this does not tell the whole story. In everyday situations, where lighting cannot be controlled, image quality produced in the studio can be hard to reproduce. We took all three of these cameras to a location to shoot a subject that many of you will instantly recognize. We shot all three cameras at base ISO on a tripod (to reduce possible camera shake) to find out how well they perform. We have made all three of these files available for download so you can make your own comparisons.
|Canon PowerShot SX1 IS (3,379 KB; 10 MP)||Canon PowerShot SX10 IS (1,447 KB; 10 MP)|
|Canon EOS 1000D (3,287 KB; 12 MP)|
ISO noise in the real world
Below you'll find crops from the same area of tower bridge, and the same patch of blue sky to compare noise and fine detail. All these comparisons are performed on the highest quality highest resolution JPEG each camera produces.
|Canon PowerShot SX1 IS ISO 80|
|Canon PowerShot SX10 IS ISO 80|
|Canon EOS 1000D ISO 100||Canon EOS 1000D ISO 100|
What is clear from these results is that the SX1's CMOS technology may well give you HD movies and high speed continuous shooting, but it doesn't help stills image quality at all; the SX10 produces visibly better fine detail in the brick work, and slightly less noise in the sky. The crops from the 1000D show how much more clean, noise-free detail a larger sensor can produce in this situation (despite the lower in-camera sharpening). To be fair you'd never see the difference between these three shots at normal viewing magnifications.
Specific image quality issues
As with every camera in this range the SX1 IS exhibits some red (and occasionally blue) fringing at the edge of the frame in very bright situations (usually over exposed areas). Thankfully it's not that common, but when it happens it is very noticeable. Overall we would say that the SX1 IS performs better then the S5 IS in terms of fringing.
|100% crop||ISO 125|
All small sensor cameras suffer from highlight clipping in scenes with a very wide dynamic range; it's one of the things you have to learn to live with. The metering on the SX1 IS has a particular fondness for over exposure in contrasty conditions, which exaggerates the problem. On any sunny day, you are going to experience blown highlights in almost every picture. This can be corrected by using a metering mode other then evaluative, or dialing in some negative exposure compensation.
|100% crop||ISO 200, -0.33EV, Evaluative metering.|
I-contrast and noise / NR
I-contrast is a new feature that is intended to boost the dynamic range of an image by using a different tone curve to push shadow detail. While this feature has worked relatively well in DSLRs, the large amount of noise produced by the SX1 IS, combined with its aggressive noise reduction, produces artefacts and reduces fine detail, even in sunny conditions. Below is an example of i-contrast at work on an image with the camera set to auto ISO of 125.
|100% crop||ISO 125, JPEG|
Vignetting caused by lens hood
The lens hood included with the SX1 IS fits very loosely, and if it is rotated even slightly (which is easy to do when you take the camera out of your bag) vignetting will become visible; in the example below, it's in the top right and bottom left corners of the image.
|100% crop||ISO 80, Evaluative metering.|
|New Forest pony by Dutch Newchurch|
from Equines in 2018
|Leader of the pack by Wu Jiaqiu|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|Czech Crown by Tobik|
from Coins - Macro only
In Part 1 of his series on photographing Greenland in winter, landscape photographer Erez Marom shares the freezing details of his arrival on the town of Uummannaq where the temperature was -25°C. Still, he went out shooting.
SmugMug has acquired struggling photography site Flickr for an undisclosed sum, with CEO Don MacAskill promising to give the neglected photo sharing service 'the resources that it deserves'.
The APO-Makro-Plasmat 105mm F2.7 is Meyer Optik's latest Kickstarter lens revival, and it promises "natural sharpness, unbelievable color reproduction, and a glowing bokeh united at every step of the aperture" ... whatever that means.
The update also comes with "post-scan cloud processing," which allows you to render 3D models with 4K resolution textures for better detail and realism.
Chinese accessories brand Meike has announced it will introduce an 85mm F1.8 lens for Canon and Nikon full frame DSLRs that will feature autofocus. This will be the company’s first AF lens.
The World Photo Organization has finally revealed the overall winners for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, including the coveted Photographer of the Year, Open Photographer of the Year, Youth Photographer of the Year, and Student Photographer of the Year winners.
Venus Optics has unveiled four new lenses that will ship later this year: a wide-angle zoom for Sony FE, a circular fisheye for Micro Four Thirds, a wide-angle lens for the medium format Fujifilm GFX, and a 2x Ultra Macro for multiple full-frame mounts.
The One Backpack is a 5-in-1 modular backpack that can be used as a camera bag, work & gym pack, suit carry backpack, travel pack or tech-backpack.
This highly-specialized lens is perfect for sports, action and wildlife photography. Check out these first sample images for a taste of what it's capable of.
For KFC Hong Kong’s latest ad campaign, New York City-based advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather used Photoshop to magically morph pieces of flaky fried chicken into fire and smoke in various scenes.
The Android and iOS app from Surpuba AR lets you place animated 3D models in real-world environment using augmented reality technology. You can alter poses and location, insert lighting equipment, and more... right from your phone or tablet.
Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to develop Oppo's smartphone camera roadmap, covering optical zoom, depth mapping and other innovative imaging features that dual cameras allow.
Canon is jumping into the portable printing game with the new IVY Mini Photo Printer: a rechargeable battery-powered printer for creating 2x3 prints and stickers of your smartphone snaps on-the-go.
The program first launched last year, but only as a temporary promotion limited to previous-generation GoPro cameras exchanged for discounts on current-generation models. This time around, GoPro is accepting nearly any digital camera in any condition.
One of the most usable 360° cameras on the market is getting even better. With its latest update, Rylo adds a 180° mode, bluetooth remote capture, and a cinematic motion blur effect for your timelapse shots.
Phase One has released the first major update to its Capture One Pro 11 photo editing program. The update adds support for 8 new cameras and 16 new lenses, and includes several new features and functional improvements that speed up workflow.
We recently got our hands on Samsung's latest and greatest smartphone, the dual camera, variable aperture Galaxy S9+, and took it to mostly sunny Southern California for a long weekend.
It's spring, and that means wedding season is upon us! If you're one of the many photographers planning wedding shoots this year, this is a great time to think about including aerial photography in your plans.
The first firmware update for the Sony a7 III addresses an issue in video mode wherein "blinking pixels" would show up along the base of footage recorded with certain settings.
Researchers with Switzerland's EPFL have developed a soft exoskeleton that enables its wearer to control a drone using their upper body. The human-robot interface is said to offer "natural and intuitive control of drones."
Photokina has released an official list of confirmed exhibitors for the 2018 expo, quieting rumors that major brands like Canon and Profoto might follow in Elinchrom's lead and skip this year's show.
For owners of Sony's a7R III, a9 and the new a7 III, there's now an easy fix for the rare but dreaded 'striping' in backlit shots with lots of flare. Click through to learn more.
The team behind the ubiquitous JPEG format has unveiled an all new image format designed to quickly and efficiently stream content across wired and wireless networks alike. Surprisingly, it actually uses less compression than traditional JPEG.
Canon USA has released a promotional video showcasing its latest CMOS sensor technology. Albeit over daraticized, it’s an interesting overlook at the work it’s continually putting into its camera systems.
The large-format digital LargeSense LS911 is the "world's first 8x10 digital single shot camera for sale." The camera features a 12-megapixel 9x11-inch monochrome CMOS sensor, which translates into massive 75 micron pixels.
Pricing and availability have been announced for Tokina's high-end Fírin 20mm F2 FE AF autofocus lens for Sony E-Mount. If you're curious about this lens, you'll be able to pick up your own starting in June for $950 USD.
It's the copyright lawsuit that refuses to die. In September 2017, PETA finally settled its monkey selfie lawsuit with photographer David Slater, but the request to dismiss the case has since been rejected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
As part of his ongoing ‘Good Light’ YouTube series, London-based photographer Sean Tucker has created a simple tutorial on how to find good natural light for portraits.
The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday, with the photography awards going to photojournalist Ryan Kelly for image of a car plowing into protesters in Virginia, and the entire Reuters photo staff for a series on Rohinga refugees fleeing persecution.
When it was announced in 2016, the Rokinon AF 14mm F2.8 FE was among the first full-frame autofocus lenses for Sony's a7-series mirrorless cameras. We wanted to see how this affordable wideangle prime performs on Sony's latest a7R III.