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Canon PowerShot SX1 IS: Review

Posted to Digital Cameras 2009-11-28

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS: Review
Canon PowerShot SX1 IS review:

The major benefit of the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS is that it can shoot video's in HD quality with a flick of its dial selector. This means that through the use of the two microphones positioned above the lens of the camera, you can effectively combine your digital camera and video recorder into one unit. Since March 2009 the unit also benefitted from an upgrade to the firmware by Canon to allow it to shoot images in RAW mode for the photography buffs.

Though not strictly an SLR camera, the Powershot SX1 does have some functionality that has been borrowed from its more advanced cousin, primarily the use of the internal CMOS sensor. With this installed, the image quality of the unit is drastically improved and its inclusion is relatively unseen in compact digital camera competitors. The SX1 has a 20x optical zoom and also has image stabilization for anyone struggling to take that perfect shot.

Rating:  3.8 out of 5


It should be no secret if you are in the market for a new digital camera that there are only a few serious front runners in the market. Canon produces a great range of SLR cameras that have been in the lead for a while now and the SX1 has benefitted from this. The quality components that are included, namely the ability for full HD 16:9 video recording and the CMOS sensor for image capture shows that the SX1 has been given a leg up by Canon's experience in producing leading cameras in the SLR type digital camera category.


Video capture capability helps the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS performance standout given its capability of 30 frames per second recording in full HD. It captures in standard MPEG4 format which should be easily read by any computer media player and even most new home DVD players, which is handy given the high performance HDMI output on the side of the camera. For the photographers the shutter speed also gives a good range of speed of 15 to 1/3200 of a second.


Canon has managed to squeeze in some extra functionality for the SX1 compact digital camera that helps it stand out as a worthy replacement for your existing unit. Given its HD video recording option as well as the increased ability to capture better images via the internal CMOS sensor, it's got everything needed in a non SLR camera. A more ergonomic selection dial could be added in the future to add an extra benefit.


  • CMOS sensor
  • Full HD Video Recording
  • RAW mode image capture
  • HDMI output


  • Selection dial somewhat troublesome

Related Links

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS:
10.0 mega pixel, 20x optical zoom lens, 2.5 inch vari-angle LCD screen

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS:
12.1 megapixel, HD movie mode, Smart Auto, 3.0 inch LCD screen

PowerShot SX20 IS:
12.1 megapixel, 20x optical zoom lens, ISO to 3200, 2.5 vari-angle LCD screen

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