4.1
24 reviews
82

Canon SX1 IS


$600.00 Released April, 2009

Product Shot 1 The Pros:20x optical zoom. Manual control option for the aperture and shutter. 1080p video recording.

The Cons:Grainy in low light. Lens cap falls off easily, no tether. No 720p video mode.

The Canon PowerShot SX1 IS is a successor to 2007’s PowerShot S5IS. This mid-level compact digital camera differs from its predecessor by improving several of the core features relating to image quality and performance.

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Product Shot 2 The SX1 IS is the first PowerShot to feature a 10 megapixel Canon CMOS sensor, which allows the camera to offer full resolution continuous shooting at 4fps, as well as 1080p HDTV video capture at 30fps. This camera also features a near-silent 20x wide-angle optical zoom. The SX1 IS also features Canon’s new DIGIC 4 image processor, which improves the camera’s motion detection capabilities by constantly adjusting the ISO and focus to prevent image blur. This camera comes with full manual controls, allowing for more advanced users to precisely tweak their photos. This camera is suitable for users who want the simplicity of a point and shoot, yet the flexibility of a more advanced manual camera in one package.

Features

  • 20x wide-angle optical zoom
  • sensor: 10 megapixel Canon CMOS (4fps continuous shooting)
  • image processor: DIGIC IV
  • 1080p HD video (1920 x 1080)
  • focus: auto and manual
  • flash: auto with red eye reduction
  • 2.8" TFT LCD screen (230,000 pixels)
  • connectivity: HDMI Mini, USB 2.0, AV out
  • file formats: JPEG (Exif 2.2), DPOF 1.1, AVI video (Motion JPEG compression)
  • storage: SD/SDHC/MMC/MMC Plus/HC MMC Plus
  • power: AC power adapter and Ni-MH battery charger kit
  • dimensions and weight: 128 x 88 x 88 mm, 585 g

User Reviews (26)

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82
ProScore
Pros
  • 17

    20x optical zoom

  • 14

    manual control option for the aperture and shutter

  • 12

    1080p video recording

  • 12

    includes a wireless remote control for shooting and playback

  • 11

    compatible with a variety of easy to find/affordable storage memory (SD/SDHC/MMC/MMC Plus/HC MMC Plus)

  • 11

    RAW support has been added

  • 10

    high speed continuous shooting

  • 9

    uses AA batteries, rather than proprietary batteries.

  • 7

    2.8" screen

  • 7

    Good size/weight for larger hands

  • 7

    Stereo audio

  • 6

    affordable

  • 6

    super macro is outstanding

  • 5

    compatible with a range of professional accessories

  • 5

    Outstanding photographs under right conditions

  • 5

    Wide ranging articulating LCD screen

  • 5

    RAW + JPEG support

  • 5

    full manual controls rivaling DSLRs

  • 5

    LCD can be flipped against the camera to protect from scratches

  • 5

    HDMI out for HDTV hookup

  • 5

    remote can control camera when connected to HDTV

  • 4

    Digital zoom all the way to 80x

  • 4

    macros all the way down to 0cm (touching the lens)

  • 4

    starts up and ready to take picture really fast - shuts down really fast too

  • 4

    multiple face detection is great

  • 4

    face detect timer allows photographer to casually enter picture - no rush to beat the timer

  • 4

    shutter timers can be set to 2 or 10 seconds with 1 to 10 shots in sequence

  • 4

    red-eye reduction using either strobe flash or within camera software automatically (goodbye to the strobe flash!)

  • 4

    hotshoe compatible with E-TTL II flash attachments and 3rd party equivalents

  • 4

    memory cards are easy to swap out

  • 4

    first non-DSLR camera from Canon that utilizes their CMOS sensor which allows fast burst modes, 1080p and other pluses

  • 4

    Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) +/-2 for HDR images

  • 3

    zoom is really fast and quiet

  • 3

    Easy to use custom color modes allow for more artistic expression

  • 3

    zoom works quietly while filming in 1080p

  • 2

    can be hacked for more features using chdk

  • 2

    canon digital photo professional

  • 2

    dedicated video button and functionality. enables instant video shooting without going through menus or dials first.

Cons
  • 9

    grainy in low light

  • 7

    Lens cap falls off easily, no tether

  • 7

    no 720p video mode

  • 4

    no external microphone input

  • 4

    dial doesn't give feedback (too smooth, no clicks)

  • 2

    need special filter adapter to add 3rd party filters

  • 1

    AF works too hard in low light

  • 1

    Tripod hole not centered to lens, making panorama shots a little difficult in certain situations

  • 1

    LCD viewer screen scratches easily with normal use.

  • 1

    Can only use up to 16 gig SDHC chips

  • 1

    Too few 3rd party replacement parts, gizmos and apps.

  • 0

    file format for movies is less preferred quicktime mov. Avi would have been preferred.

  • -1

    non-interchangeable lens

  • -1

    viel zu schwer

  • -3

    somewhat bulky

  • -3

    awkward photo deletion

  • -3

    certain flash mounts hide the remote control sensor

  • -6

    no RAW support

Comments (3)

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QuakerVille
QuakerVille: #canon_sx1_is I purchased this camera 2 1/2 years ago after using SLR, rangefinder, and large format cameras for 3+ decades. It's an extreme pleasure to be able to carry this lightweight, small footprint camera around and capture wildlife stills and videos. I used to pack 50 lbs of equipment for those shoots. I mostly carry this camera and a couple high end flashes (530/580 with light intensifiers) for exploring and wildlife photography.

To discipline myself when I fort got the camera I put away all my other equipment for 1 year so I would not fall back to my DSLR. Shooting is totally different between this and a DSLR and I needed to retrain myself to shoot with this type of camera.

The first year I shot over 50,000 pictures and videos. Since then I've averaged about 50k/year. I love the camera, Although I carry it with me sometimes, I do miss my DSLR when I'm trying to shoot something very quickly or in low light. The SX1 IS is mostly too slow if you want to capture a shot of flying or fast moving wildlife.

Overall though I love the camera and the quality of stills and videos at ISO 80 or 100 are pretty good, especially in RAW. I don't shoot anything slower than that because the pictures get too grainy for me. HDRi is also pretty good with this camera. It's light weight enough to be able to shoot 3 stills while hand holding the camera. Tripod is always better for HDRi though. RAW processed HDRi is even more spectacular.

If you shoot then dump then shoot a class 10 chip is OK to use. If you shoot, save, delete, reuse then you will want to use Class 6 chip.

My favorite long lasting battery is Powerex AA 2700mAh NiMH Rechargeable Batteries. They are AWESOME!!! Nothing else comes close.

The audio is also awesome. Most people forget about the recordable audio quality when thinking about a still camera. I've been a recording engineer for high-end orchestras and groups, I have a pretty good ear, this camera records amazing audio in stereo. I even sometimes use it as an audio recorder and toss the video.

You can also program a couple of the external buttons so you have your most used menu items at your finger tips without having to click into the menu.

Flash... WOW! I use a 580 all the time and even remote sync it with other Canon flashes for great pictures. Speaking of syncing, this camera also links to a computer with the USB cable so you can remotely set and trigger the camera using your computer. I have a camera stand to take studio type pictures and this works great in that type of setting too.

The lenses are designed and constructed to have better focus in a higher depth of field so you can not completely control the shutter/depth of field as you can a DSLR.

If I had it to do over I would purchase it again. It's a great camera with easy to use automatic and manual features. It will truly go either way. Jan 4, 12
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Brewskie
Brewskie: #canon_sx1_is

I've only been using this camera for 3 days and already I am having a ball with it. I find it to be very easy to use for the most part. The more advanced features will take some time to learn.

While the camera is the best in its class, in my opinion, it still doesn't equal a DSLR camera. But you aren't paying the price of a DSLR either.

This camera is perfect for those who feel they are ready for a more advanced camera but don't want to spend the extra cash, or can't afford a DSLR. The advanced settings in this camera are simply outstanding, but you could find yourself hunting around for that setting you saw a day ago.

 

If you are looking for an easy point and shoot then this camera isn't for you, you'd be better off buying a cheaper camera, though the Canon SX1 can handle point and shoot just fine. But spending the money for a camera like this for just pointing and shooting doesn't make sense. This camera was built with the advanced amateur in mind. To compare this camera with simple point and shoot cameras is like comparing apple to oranges. This camera is a beast when it comes to the level of adjustments you can make that has no comparison to cheaper models.

While the camera has a tendency to have a lot of noise in low light situations I find that basic controls in a digital darkroom, like PaintShopPro X2, is efficient is clearing the photos up rather nicely.

Check out the photo I added under the Gallery tab of the squirrel. It was hand held taken in full auto mode about 50 feet away from the squirrel and only resized. Click the Zoom link under the photo to see the full size.

 

Also, check out the black photo. It was taken with the lens cap on the camera. It shows the amount of noise the Canon SX1 IS produces in low light situations. Taking a photo under the lens cap is a great way to compare how different cameras handle low light situations. Again, look at the image in full size to really see the noise. "Despeckle" and a couple other filters in PaintShopPro (or PhotoShop) will get rid of this noise pretty well.

When It's all said and done Canon has pulled out the stops with this camera. It's a lot of fun to play with and I'll be using this for years to come.

Aug 26, 09
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claymadsen
claymadsen: #canon_sx1_is im a photo addict! kidding aside, i like to take photos either of my family or just myself. and the images capture by the SX1 is i can say very very good. the pictures are clear and crisp. i recommend this to everyone. Feb 21, 09
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