Canon Powershot SX1 IS Review

Review Date: January 14th 2009
Author: Gavin Stoker

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Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

Conclusion


Ratings (out of 5)
Design
4
Features
4
Ease-of-Use
4
Image Quality
4
Value for Money
3

So what do you truly get for 160 more than the already competent 4/5 scoring SX10 IS? You get a CMOS rather than CCD chip, high definition movies rather than the standard definition 640x480 pixels found on most compacts, a remote control included in the box, an LCD sporting widescreen dimensions, and the ability to connect the camera up to an HDTV via High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) though the required cable is an optional extra. With this in mind, if you're not remotely (sorry) interested in HD movie clips, it's pretty clear you're better off pocket-wise with the SX10 IS. Like that nigh outwardly identical model, the SX1 IS proves to be a sturdy plastic brick of a camera, building on its S5 predecessor which, price wise fell between the SX1 IS and SX10 IS chiefly with that bigger and better lens range, though ease of use has also been improved. What's been kept is the tilt and swivel LCD and dedicated record button for instant video clips sensible, as both help this Canon stand out from the 'superzoom' crowd.

Of course, you may ask why Canon has replaced one model with two. In terms of technological improvements alone it would have been sensible to have made the SX1 IS the direct replacement for the SX5 and forgotten about the cheaper SX10 IS altogether. As it is potential purchasers have a choice of camera dependant on their budget, and Canon, so it undoubtedly hopes, has a shot at greater market share. Interestingly though, at the time of writing the SX1 IS is reportedly not being released in the US. As noted in the main body of our text the SX1 IS misses out the option to provide RAW stills shooting. If this is an issue, and you're not swayed by Canon branding alone, perhaps check out the less expensive Casio EX-FH20 which offers both RAW and HD clips. If you're not bothered about HD and would prefer RAW, the Olympus SP-570UZ is also well worth a look.

Whereas we concluded the SX10 IS felt like a lot of camera for the money, it's hard to get away from the fact that with the SX1 IS the opposite feels true. If you were originally considering the SX10 IS you could pay a little more and get a 'proper' DSLR, albeit without the extensive lens range or video clips, but the SX1 IS is more expensive than most consumer-level DSLRs already. Canon could at least have thrown in a rechargeable battery instead of the bog standard AAs the SX1 IS (and SX10 IS) is provided with. For the deep-pocketed though the Canon SX1 IS still proves to be a solid and reliable option for both the uninitiated moving up to a bridge model for the first time, and those stepping down momentarily from a DSLR who are looking for a model as a back up, or perhaps to supplement their existing lens range, but in a more portable and user friendly format.

We're loathe to suggest that you pay the full manufacturer's asking price on this occasion though, due to the question mark hanging over value for money. And happily a quick Internet search revealed the SX1 IS could be had for just under 400 from a major e-tailer at the time of writing, which seems much more like it.

Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

DIWAPhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Canon Powershot SX1 IS have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.

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