At first glance, the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS doesn't stand out from its siblings. But upon closer inspection, the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS offers some impressive upgrades: a higher-end CMOS sensor, HD video and RAW format support. The SX1 IS offers, according to CNET's Lori Grunin, "slightly better performance and image quality." It has 10-megapixel resolution, 20x optical zoom and a 28 mm wide-angle lens that's equipped with image stabilization. It's on the bulky side and bears a 2.8-inch variable LCD display, which can be rotated to accommodate different shooting and lighting conditions. The upgraded CMOS sensor, according to DigitalCameraReview.com, provides increased immunity to noisy images and uses less power.
Reviewers say the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS has fast performance, with a more accurate autofocus than its predecessors. Grunin considers photo quality to be the best of its class, with less noise and artifacts than the now-discontinued Canon PowerShot SX10 IS. However, performance is not problem-free. Don Wan of DPReview.com and users at Amazon.com note loss of detail due to noise reduction. And in testing, Wan found the lens prone to color fringing -- that is, visible bands of color between light and dark areas of a photo. (This is a common occurrence in images of trees against a bright sky.) Less expensive alternatives include the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 (Discontinued) and the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS (Discontinued).
CNET, DigitalCameraReview.com and DPReview.com provide testing and in-depth evaluation of the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS, comparing it to its highly rated sibling, the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS. A good amount of user reviews appear at Amazon.com, where owner experiences help reveal potential problems with extended use.
Grunin takes the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS for a test run and likes what she sees, despite its drawbacks: image artifacts, bulky size and quirky interface. Nonetheless, the camera provides the versatility and performance of a digital SLR with the added benefit of a 20x zoom and HD video. Overall, she says it's "probably the best megazoom we've tested so far."
Review: Canon PowerShot SX1 IS, Lori Grunin, April 27, 2009
In his test of the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS, J. Keenan says the camera is virtually identical to its sibling -- the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS -- with the exception of a few important features: a new CMOS sensor, HD video and RAW format support. The PowerShot SX1 IS is a powerhouse that outperforms the SX10 IS, with better shutter lag, continuous shot rates and faster shot-to-shot times.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX1 IS, J. Keenan, May 4, 2009
Although the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS performs well, Don Wan says it offers "too little to justify its higher price."
Review: Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Review, Don Wan, March 2009
Nearly 50 owners post comments about the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS. While most agree that the HD video and CMOS sensor are nice upgrades, several complain of problems with noise images, wobbly video and bulkiness.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX1IS, Contributors to Amazon.com