Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Free Shipping on ALL Products
Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Gordon Laing, February 2009 / updated June 2009

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS intro

Canon’s PowerShot SX1 IS is a 10 Megapixel super-zoom camera with a 20x optically-stabilised lens and a 2.8in flip-out screen. Announced in September 2008 alongside the SX10 IS, both cameras jointly replace the best-selling PowerShot S5 IS. The SX1 IS was delayed to the North American market, but eventually released in March 2009 to coincide with a firmware update which equipped the camera with RAW recording facilities.

The PowerShot SX1 IS and SX10 IS share a great deal in common including the same lens, body, and sensor resolution. The main difference is the sensor technology itself, with the SX1 IS becoming Canon’s first non-DSLR to feature a CMOS sensor, which allows it to shoot full resolution images at a much faster continuous speed of 4fps while additionally offering movie recording in the Full HD 1080p format. In contrast, the SX10 IS with its conventional CCD sensor shoots at 1.4fps and records movies at a maximum VGA resolution of 640x480 pixels.

In addition, the SX1 IS swaps the 4:3 shaped screen and viewfinder of the SX10 IS for 16:9 widescreen versions, sports an HDMI port for connecting to HDTVs, and comes supplied with an IR remote for triggering the shutter or controlling playback. Models running firmware onwards also offer RAW recording facilities, and older versions can be updated.

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS

Support this site by
shopping below

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Beyond the sensor type (with its impact on continuous shooting and movies), HDMI port, RAW support, remote control, and the wider screen and viewfinder though, both cameras are essentially the same. The 36-432mm 12x range of the earlier S5 IS has now been replaced with a 28-560mm range that equips the SX1 IS and SX10 IS with both wider and longer coverage. Like S5 IS though, the new zoom employs one of Canon’s quiet USM motors which offers two speeds, the slower of which is virtually inaudible – this in turn allows Canon to enable the optical zoom while filming video.

Both new PowerShots inherit the stereo microphones of the S5 IS along with a dedicated button on the rear to start recording video regardless of the mode you’re in. The image processor has however been updated to the latest DIGIC 4, which on both new models employs the efficient H.264 codec and Quicktime Movie format.

DIGIC 4 also brings improved face detection, a self-timer option which exploits face detection to wait for the photographer to enter the frame, a new Servo AF mode, and i-Contrast which can boost shadow areas in images.

As before images can be composed using an electronic viewfinder or a fully-articulated monitor which can flip and twist to any angle. New to the SX1 IS and SX10 IS over its predecessor though is one of Canon’s thumb wheels on the rear for quick and easy adjustments and scrolling through menus or images in playback.

The earlier PowerShot S5 IS was already a very popular camera, so by almost doubling its optical range to include both wide angle and longer telephoto coverage, the new models promise even more. The SX1 IS then goes beyond what’s offered by the SX10 IS to additionally boast fast continuous shooting, HD movies, RAW recording and an HDMI port.

These are impressive enhancements over what was already a powerful counterpart, but the big questions are how well they work in practice and whether it’s worth spending the extra. The competition haven’t stood still either, and while the new PowerShots feature longer zoom ranges than the earlier S5 IS and Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FZ28, both Nikon and Olympus out-gun them with 24x and 26x ranges on the SP-590UZ and P90 respectively.

Click here for the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS video tour

Find out how the PowerShot SX1 IS measures-up, testing its features, performance and optical quality, while directly comparing its images and noise levels against the PowerShot SX10 IS, along with a DSLR for good measure.

So to find out whether it’s worth spending the extra on Canon’s SX1 IS, or if its new CMOS sensor comes with compromises, read on. As always, you can also see a demonstration of the highlights in our Canon PowerShot SX1 IS video tour.

Testing notes

Following our convention of using default factory and best quality JPEG settings to test cameras unless otherwise stated, the PowerShot SX1 IS was set Large SuperFine quality, Auto White Balance, Evaluative Metering and with 'My Colours' switched off (the default setting for contrast, saturation and sharpening).

In June 2009, we updated this review with details and results for firmware update which enables RAW recording.

Support this site by checking prices above or shopping via our affiliate stores

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs