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Canon IXUS 1000 HS / PowerShot SD4500 IS Gordon Laing, March 2011
 

Canon IXUS 1000 HS / PowerShot SD4500 IS results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise
/ Handheld Night Scene

Canon IXUS 1000 HS / PowerShot SD4500 IS: Handheld Night Scene versus Program (at 1250 / 800 ISO)


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The IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS becomes the first Canon camera to feature a mode which stacks multiple images taken in a burst into a single image to reduce noise or shake.

On this page we've put the IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS's Handheld Night Scene mode to the test. This automatically selects the sensitivity so we've compared it against the closest manual ISO setting in traditional modes.

Our first example was taken in a dim bar where Handheld Night Scene automatically selected a sensitivity of 1250 ISO. Unfortunately the IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS doesn't offer manual ISO increments 1/3EV apart, so we had to choose either 800 or 1600 ISO for comparison. In this first example, we've given the standard mode a slight advantage by selecting 800 ISO.

Looking at the crops below, the shot taken in Program at 800 ISO contains much more visible noise than the one taken in Handheld Night Scene at 1250 ISO. As we've seen before, the presence of noise can give the impression of a sharper image, and this coupled with an absence of noise on the Handheld Night Scene version certainly make the latter look soft in comparison.

But look closely and you'll see there's little if any difference in terms of real-life detail captured. This means the Handheld Night Scene mode has managed to retain a similar degree of detail, but with considerably lower noise levels - and this is even more impressive given it was actually operating at a sensitivity 2/3EV higher.

A good start for the new mode, but scroll down for two more examples.

Canon IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS: Handheld Night Scene at 1250 ISO
f3.4, 1/15, 1250 ISO
f3.4, 1/15, 1250 ISO
f3.4, 1/15, 1250 ISO

Canon IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS: Program at 800 ISO
f3.4, 1/10, 800 ISO
f3.4, 1/10, 800 ISO
f3.4, 1/10, 800 ISO



Canon IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS: Handheld Night Scene versus Program mode (at 800 ISO)

 
 

In this second example we moved into the Church location used for our High ISO Noise comparison. Under these conditions, the Handheld Night Scene automatically selected 800 ISO, which made a direct comparison in Program mode easy to achieve.

In the crops below you can see a similar effect to that described above. The version taken in Program mode is visibly much noisier, which gives the Handheld Night Scene version an impression of softness. But look closely and you'll see the latter actually enjoys slightly finer detail, but again with much lower noise levels.

This is a great result for the IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS, but before you go, scroll down for one more example taken at the camera's highest sensitivity of 3200 ISO.

Canon IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS: Handheld Night Scene at 800 ISO
f4, 1/25, 800 ISO
f4, 1/25, 800 ISO
f4, 1/25, 800 ISO

Canon IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS: Program at 800 ISO
f4, 1/25, 800 ISO
f4, 1/25, 800 ISO
f4, 1/25, 800 ISO

 

Canon IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS: Handheld Night Scene versus Program mode (at 3200 ISO)

 
 

In our final example, we took the IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS out during late Twilight in very low light levels. Unsurprisingly Handheld Night Scene selected the maximum sensitivity of 3200 ISO, which again was easy to match in Program mode for direct comparison.

Starting with the shot in Program mode, the image is very noisy as you'd expect, with significant softness and lack of ultimate detail. Flat areas of colour are very patchy, while fine detail in the grasses are lost.

Moving onto the Handheld Night Scene version and you'll see much of the visible noise has again been lifted. The middle crop of the grasses is particularly impressive with surprisingly fine detail captured. It may not be as clean as the samples above, but remember this isn't at 800 or 1250 ISO, but 3200 ISO where most compacts look dire.

Overall, this is an impressive result for the Handheld Night Scene on the IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS and we look forward to seeing it deployed on new models in the range. As to how it works, Canon doesn't reveal any technicalities, but we counted four frames taken in each burst compared to six on Sony's Handheld Twilight mode.

Now for more real-life images, check out our Canon IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS Sample Images Gallery, or head straight over to our verdict!

 

Canon IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS: Handheld Night Scene at 3200 ISO
f3.4, 1/8, 3200 ISO
f3.4, 1/8, 3200 ISO
f3.4, 1/8, 3200 ISO

Canon IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS: Program at 3200 ISO
f3.4, 1/5, 3200 ISO (-2/3EV)
f3.4, 1/5, 3200 ISO (-2/3EV)
f3.4, 1/5, 3200 ISO (-2/3EV)


Canon IXUS 1000 HS / PowerShot SD4500 IS results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise
/ Handheld Night Scene


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