Canon PowerShot SX1 IS

Last updated (25 October’09):
– Review & Sample Photos @ ImagingResource

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS is a 10.0 MP ultrazoom digital camera features 20x wide-angle zoom (35mm equivalent: 28-560mm)with optical IS, 10.0 MP Canon CMOS sensor, Full HD movies, DIGIC 4, Extra fast continuous shooting at full resolution (4fps), Face Detection and anti-blur technology, Supports EX Speedlite flash, i-Contrast, and a 2.8” wide vari-angle LCD.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Reviews

ImagingResource reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
“Canon SX1 performs well enough to produce a 13×19-inch print at its lower ISO settings, and though it doesn’t quite rise to all we expected from this special CMOS sensor, it does capture images well enough that those not printing larger than 11×14 or 8×10 should be very happy with it. If you need a stereo long-zoom HD camcorder, of course, the Canon SX1 is easier to recommend. “
Rating: N/A

DCI reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
” If video quality is a key factor for you, there’s really no comparison. And even if you’re concentrating on stills alone, both the Nikon and Olympus delivered notably lower image quality scores, “
Rating: ★★★½☆

DigitalTrends reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
“The color in macro photos of summer flowers was spot on, with excellent detail. It was so good, we even spotted a small bee in a flower when we enlarged it on the monitor. The OIS did a fine job keeping things steady. Another pleasant surprise was the lack of purple fringing on extreme telephoto images, such as the tips of evergreen branches. It just wasn’t there, and this is typically a problem with competing mega-zooms. “
Rating: ★★★½☆

InfoSync reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
“Pros: Great design and interface. 20x optical zoom, swivel LCD and OIS are big bonuses. Great HD video quality in bright light. Cons: Inconsistent still image quality. Terrible HD video low light performance. No shutter speed past one second unless you use a Scene mode. “
Rating: ★★★½☆

PCMag reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
“you shouldn’t expect D-SLR performance from the SX1, especially when it comes to image noise. When shooting at ISO 1600, which is used for capturing images in low light, the SX1 performed well for a point-and-shooter, but the Canon EOS Rebel XSi delivers only 47 percent of the noise the SX1 does. “

Rating: ★★★★☆

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS video review by TigerDirect;

DCRP reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
“overall the PowerShot SX1 took good quality photos. Exposure was consistently accurate, though the SX1 clips highlights, perhaps a little more than its cheaper sibling. Color and sharpness are both satisfying… If you’re looking for a camera that can take high definition videos, then the PowerShot SX1 is absolutely worth checking out. “
Rating: N/A

DCR reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
“The SX1 IS powers up quickly and is ready to acquire focus in about 1.2 seconds. I was able to power up, acquire focus at wide angle and capture an image in 2 seconds. Shutter lag comes in at .02 seconds, about as good as it gets in the compact digital class, and we also recorded a .51 second press to capture time with no pre-focus. “
Rating: N/A

CNET reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
“A top megazoom option, the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS offers a 20x zoom lens and HD video, which you can’t get in a similarly priced dSLR, and delivers more features and slightly better performance and photo quality than the cheaper SX10 IS. “
Rating: ★★★½☆

Hands-on video by PCMag;

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
“This model offers outstanding performance in both single and continuous capture modes as well as awesome image quality… we have no problem giving this camera our highest recommendation to anyone who is torn between a consumer or dSLR unit. “
Rating: N/A

DPInterface reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
“PowerShot SX1 IS is an excellent ultra-zoom camera (one of the best out there) which is very capable in both still shooting and movie recording.… and it definitely deserves a Highly Recommended here.”
Rating: N/A

ITReviews reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
“The quality throughout is excellent for both stills (at the lower ISO settings; noise creeps in further up the scale) and movies, and may make you think twice about buying a separate camcorder when you can record half an hour of HD video like this.”
Rating: N/A

CameraLabs reviews the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and writes;
“SX1 IS combines decent still photos with roughly the same video quality as budget HD camcorders, along with a lens that’s wider and longer, all for a similar or lower price tag – ultimately that’s a proposition many will find hard to resist”

Rating: ★★★★½

User Opinions

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS User Reviews

Great Hybrid Camera/VidCam | Rating: ★★★★½
There is a lot to love about the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS. Being able to take photographs or shoot 1080p video (get a big memory card for video!) is the main attraction for this camera, and this camera delivers. The 20x zoom lens is FANTASTIC. Zooming in and out is painless, quick, and silent. You’ll love the freedom this gives you. I love that this camera takes 4 AA batteries. These kind of batteries are available everywhere so you don’t have to worry about running out of power like you do in cameras with a proprietary battery pack. The video screen on this camera is relatively big, bright, and clear.

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Samples

Canon SX1 IS Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Canon SX1 IS Sample Photos @ DCI
– Canon SX1 IS Sample Photos: 123 @ Infosync
Canon SX1 IS Sample Photos @ DCRP
Canon SX1 IS Sample Photos @ Steve’sDigicams
Canon SX1 IS Sample Photos @ DPInterface
Canon SX1 IS Sample Photos @ CameraLabs
Canon SX1 IS Sample Photos @ DCWatch
Canon SX1 IS Sample Photos @ Canon


Canon PowerShot SX1 IS User Manual (PDF)

Click to view or right click and select Save Target As..(Firefox) or Save link as.. (IE) to download

– Download Canon PowerShot SX1 IS User Manual (PDF – 7.54 MB)

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Firmwares

– Version incorporates a RAW image recording function. [download ]


Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Press Release

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 17 September 2008: Canon today supercharges its PowerShot digital compact camera range with two powerful new models: the 10 Megapixel PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS, which jointly replace the PowerShot S5 IS.

Both raise the benchmark for compact zooms with an outstanding 20x wide-angle (28mm) optical zoom, with USM and VCM for fast, silent, zooming. The PowerShot SX1 IS offers a revolutionary series of features never seen before on a Canon compact camera – a 10 Megapixel Canon CMOS sensor, 4.0 frames per second continuous shooting, and full HD movie capture – while both cameras use Canon’s new DIGIC 4 processor for fast performance and richly detailed, clean images in a wide range of shooting situations.

Unbeatable reach
With a Canon 20x wide-angle (28mm) optical zoom lens, the PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS tackle everything from long-range telephoto shots to sweeping landscapes. Canon’s Ultrasonic Motor (USM) combines with Voice Coil Motor (VCM) technology for near-silent operation and the speed for sports or wildlife subjects. And thanks to Canon’s optical Image Stabilizer – which now offers a 4-stop advantage – camera shake blur is avoided even with the zoom fully extended.

10 Megapixel power
The PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS feature resolutions of 10 Megapixels, capturing all the necessary detail for poster-size prints or creative cropping in post processing. A Canon CMOS sensor allows the PowerShot SX1 IS to shoot full-resolution JPEGs at speeds of up to 4.0 fps – making it a powerful, pocket-sized tool ideal for capturing fast-paced action sequences.

High Definition moviemaking
For the ultimate in visual quality, the PowerShot SX1 IS delivers 1080p (30fps) High Definition video – ready for instant playback on any HDTV via a built-in HDMI connection. The PowerShot SX10 IS offers fun, spontaneous VGA movie shooting. Movies on both cameras are enhanced with CD quality stereo sound, optical zooming and Face Detection Technology; and if extra reach is required, the PowerShot SX1 IS includes Canon’s Advanced Tele-Converter for an extra 2x zoom with no loss in movie quality.

DIGIC 4: intelligent processing for better photos
The PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS both feature Canon’s new DIGIC 4 image processor. As well as ensuring ultra-fast operation and superb, low-noise images, DIGIC 4 drives several intelligent technologies that make great photos easier than ever.

People shots benefit from improved Face Detection Technology, which even detects faces positioned at an angle to the camera, or in profile. Face Select & Track tracks a specific subject even more accurately, while a new FaceSelf-timer function – which automatically triggers the shutter shortly after a new face enters the frame – makes group shots and self-portraits easy.

Canon’s improved Motion Detection Technology delivers fantastic, sharp results by registering camera and subject movement, then automatically adjusting ISO to prevent image blur. Blur is further guarded against by new Servo AF, which continuously adjusts focus on subjects moving towards or away from the camera.

DIGIC 4 also powers Canon’s new i-Contrast feature, which brings out great, natural-looking detail in dark areas of pictures – without blowing out lighter areas.

Total Control
For the ultimate creative precision, the PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS offer full manual control over both aperture and shutter speed. A Multi Control Dial offers fingertip access to all key settings. Plus, compatibility with a range of accessories – including Canon’s professional Speedlite EX flash units – extends creative potential even further.

Also included with the PowerShot SX1 IS is Canon’s WC-DC300 controller, which allows wireless control of shooting and playback. This is ideal for tripod shots at slow shutter speeds, or any situation where keeping a distance from the camera is preferable.

“Both of these cameras offer exceptional imaging possibilities,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging, Europe. “In particular, the PowerShot SX1 IS genuinely redefines what a compact digital camera can do. This kind of power and versatility must be experienced to be believed.”
Features at a glance:

* 20x wide-angle (28mm, f/2.8) optical zoom with optical Image Stabilizer
* 10.0 Megapixels
* Canon CMOS sensor for full resolution continuous 4.0fps shooting
(PowerShot SX1 IS)
* Full HD (1080p, 30fps) movies plus HDMI output (PowerShot SX1 IS)
* DIGIC 4 for outstanding images and fast response times
* Shooting modes include full manual control
* Great people shots with Face Detection AF/AE/FE/WB plus
Face Select & Track and FaceSelf-Timer
* Targets every possible cause of blur with High ISO Auto, optical
Image Stabilizer, Motion Detection Technology and Servo AF
* Auto Red-Eye Correction in shooting and playback
* i-Contrast boosts brightness and retains detail in dark areas
* 2.5” vari-angle LCD II with wide viewing angle plus electronic viewfinder (PowerShot SX10 IS)
* 2.8” widescreen vari-angle LCD II with wide viewing angle (PowerShot SX1 IS)
* Multi Control Dial and customizable My Menu
* Smooth, 30fps VGA movies (PowerShot SX10 IS)

Additional Information – PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS

The PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS feature a dedicated Print menu for quick access to direct print options. Full PictBridge support means users can print directly to any PictBridge compatible printer without the need for a PC. A Print/Share button allows one-touch printing and easy uploads to Windows or Mac systems.

The PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS feature a user interface that supports 26 languages: English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Ukrainian and – new for Autumn 2008 – Farsi.

Memory Card Support
In addition to SD, SDHC and MMC memory cards, the PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS support MMCplus and HC MMCplus card formats. Both cameras are supplied with a 32MB memory card.

The PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS come bundled with the following Canon Software:

* ZoomBrowser EX 6.2 (Windows), ImageBrowser 6.2 (Macintosh): For organising and editing images, movies and slideshows, or creating and printing digital photo albums.
* PhotoStitch 3.1 (Windows), PhotoStitch 3.2 (Mac): For creating panoramic photos from multiple images.

The bundled software supports Windows Vista (including SP1) / XP SP2 and Macintosh OS X v10.4-10.5. Both cameras support PTP for driverless transfer to Windows XP and Macintosh OS X, along with MTP for image and movie transfers to Windows Vista.
Purchasers of the PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS are eligible for free membership of CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, 100MB of online ‘personal gallery’ space for sharing stills and video with family and friends.

Optional Accessories
The PowerShot SX1 IS and PowerShot SX10 IS can be combined with the following accessories:

* Soft Case (DCC-800)
* Canon Speedlite flash units (220EX, 430EX II, 580EX, 580EX II)
* Speedlite transmitter (ST-E2)
* High power Flash (HF-DC1)
* Off-Camera Shoe Cord (OC-E3)
* Compact AC Power Adaptor (CA-PS700)
* Battery Charger Kit (CBK4-300)
* Ni-MH Batteries (NB4-300)

Also Consider

Casio Exilim EX-FH20

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆ | Latest Price Info

Kodak Z980

Overall Rating: N/A | Latest Price Info

Nikon Coolpix P90

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX1

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆| Latest Price Info

13 Responses to “Canon PowerShot SX1 IS”

  1. Love Sac Fan says:

    Movies on both cameras are enhanced with CD quality stereo sound, optical zooming and Face Detection Technology; and if extra reach is required, the PowerShot SX1 IS includes Canon’s Advanced Tele-Converter for an extra 2x zoom with no loss in movie quality.

  2. Jane says:

    Two lovely cameras! At first I mixed them – they are so alike.

  3. Roger says:


    There’s a petition to add 720p HD video option to the Canon SX1 IS. Please sign it here:

  4. love sac says:

    I agree with love sac fan on the cd quality.

  5. Chris says:

    I have a Canon PowerShot SX1 IS & find it does not take defined edged pictures eg: flowers. In general the pictures are OK but if you wanted to crop out an area & enlarged it or use it to make a collage it’s just not got the quality. Any suggestions? I phoned Canon & they just said ssend it back.

  6. Vaughan says:

    I am disapointed with this camera. I have been using Canon for many years. There is excessive digital noise when images are blown up. Excessive barrelling in macro shots. And chromatic aberation when in full optical zoom. I believe they have compromised quality in order to deliver a large zoom range.

  7. Melanie says:

    I agree. When you want your image to be full size the quality isn’t there. Did you send yours back?

  8. Chris says:

    Yes, I sent it back & was told I don’t use it correctly. The camera was taking pictures to the quality they expected!! I gave them a memory card & asked if they could take pictures on the different settings to show me how I should be doing it. They said they would be pleased to do that but the card came back blank!!!! My old 5mp Kodak takes better quality pictures. How are you going with yours?

  9. Vaughan says:

    Tes I did send mine back and they replaced some parts and adjusted a few things and it has definately improved. I am much happier now. I have compared results with my old a650 and the old camera still takes better pictures for enlargement although it does not have so many features.

    I was wondering whether reason for slightly poorer quality is the use of cmos rather than ccd? cmos in the past was always used for poorer quality cameras and in survelance systems. I have read some technical data and it would seem that cmos was subject to more noise artefacts than ccd, however the developers say that this has been greatly improved on.

  10. Gagan says:

    I agree… pictures are horrible. My 7 year old Fuji 2 MP camera takes better pictures (see my post at

    I have returned the camera

    BTW what camera are you going in for now? Fuji hs10 is good, but somehow I like the vivid colors of Canon – so am waiting for a good product from Canon (or maybe a cellphone with 1080p will come out soon: Docomo in Japan already has one!)


  11. Gagan says:

    … I just looked at some reviews on internet and came across links to sample pictures of Fuji HS10 on this site itself. Same problem as Canon SX1 – the pictures are not that sharp, which is surprising as Fuji uses an altogether different type of sensor.
    The sharpest images I could observe were from Nikon cameras, but, I somehow do not like the colors on pictures that Nikon takes (Canon’s colors are very vivid and with good contrast). Guess we will have to wait for a better product from Canon/Fuji…

  12. midaso says:

    I can not find a camera of this quality as was the Canon PowerShot S30.
    he was making much better photos than most of today’s cameras. DIGIC is a bad solution ……

  13. Angelica says:

    What do you mean by “power” into the camera to recharge the batteries? Does this chord usually come with this type of camera? Or is this something you need to buy separately?

    This is the camera I’ve been looking at:

    This one says it uses rechargeable nimh batteries. Is this the same as the one that is on this page?


Leave a Reply