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First Look: Canon PowerShot SX1 IS

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First Look: Canon PowerShot SX1 IS

2:31 /

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.

[ Music ] >> Laurie Grunin: Hi I'm Laurie Grunin Senior Editor with CNET and this is the Canon PowerShot SX1IS. The SX1 is the big brother to the SX10. It differs from its little brother in 3 ways. First is it's more expensive. Second is it uses a 10 megapixel CMOS sensor as opposed to the 10 megapixel CCD that's in the other model. That enables the third difference which is support for full HD video capture. The image quality in the SSX1 is perceptively better than the SX10. It uses the same 20x zoom lens which goes from 28mm to 560mm equivalent. But the CMOS sensor seems to give it a slightly better dynamic range and I saw less contouring especially in say reds then I saw in images with the SSX10. The video is also very good but the interface for going in and out of video mode etc is a little clunky. It has a button that you press for getting into the aspect ratio. As you can tell this has a 16x9 aspect LCD course the SS10 has a 4:3 and in order to switch into the 19 20x 10 80 capture mode you change the aspect ratio. It's clunky because you forget that you're in 1 aspect and you generally want to shoot in the higher resolution 4:3 mode for stills and you have to jump to get the 16:9 for video and I found myself making mistakes. This camera's also slightly faster than the SX10 which puts it close to the head of its class in terms of speed and mega zooms are not known for their speed. The camera design is very similar to the SSX10 as well. It's big with a very comfortable grip, but it's bulky and really doesn't fit very well in a jacket pocket. In part that's cause it runs off 4 AA batteries which some people like because you can get alkalines in a pinch and some people hate because it does make the camera big and heavy. Some of the nicer things about the design is it has a custom slot on the mode dial for safe settings. It has a hot shoe which a lot of the mega zooms don't seem to have these days. It does have a few interface quarks which were kind of annoying including the navigation dial which doesn't stop at the different settings so you can overshoot or undershoot where ever you're going. Given the high image quality and the good performance this is a very nice camera. It is more expensive so you have to decide whether it's worth it to you. I'm Laurie Grunin and this is Canon PowerShot SSX1IS.

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