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Canon PowerShot S1 IS

alaTest has collected and analyzed 1237 reviews from magazines and websites. Reviews about the performance and screen are generally positive. The usability and portability also get good feedback. There are some mixed views about the low light performance. The sensor and features get less positive comments.

value for money, portability, usability, screen, performance

focus, viewfinder, reliability, features, sensor

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Canon PowerShot S1 IS is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 83/100 = Very good quality.

See all Canon Digital Compact Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 1237 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 307 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 307 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (419)

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S1 IS Digital Camera Review


The Canon PowerShot S1 retails for US $399. Although this low price seems great when evaluating the 10x optical/3.2x digital zoom, a positive judgment of the camera is somewhat diminished when the 1/2.7 inch 3.2 effective MP CCD and imaging performance ar

Movie button/Still Image Shutter button are separate, emphasizing a design style reminiscent of camcorders,Image stabilization feature a necessary inclusion for ultra zoom lens,Electronic Color Viewfinder makes it so that image viewing with this...

Poor automatic focusing: offsets effectiveness of image stabilization feature,Cumbersome metering features make using them overwhelming and aggravating,Although solid feeling, the substantial weight of this camera makes transporting this camera a bit...

With a low price of US$399, I was immediately attracted to this camera, hoping for strong manual controls, design layout and overall features.

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S1 IS


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Very small, handles really well ; Packed with features ; Image stabilization works really well (and can be used in movie mode) ; Very quiet ; Fast and responsive ; Stunning movie mode with high quality sound ; Impressive continuous (burst) shooting ;...

Some focus errors - especially at the telephoto end of the zoom ; Slow AF at longer focal lengths, can struggle in low light ; No AF illuminator ; Noisy above ISO200 ; No rechargeable batteries ; Small screen, viewfinder difficult to see in very bright...

Despite one or two minor annoyances - specifically the focus performance at the long end of the zoom and the rather puny screen - the Canon S1 IS is a camera it is hard not to like. Sure, there are a few high end features missing (no live histogram, no...

Expert review by:

Two reviews of the new Canon Powershot S1 IS


A couple of review of the (almost palindromic) S1 IS, a camera that's a decidedly bizarre blend of many things-a sub-prosumer 3.1 megapixel digital still with loads of camcorder features in a digital SLR style case without a hot shoe or interchangeable...


Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S1 IS


Ergonomic. Comfortable to handle. Packed with features. LCD Screen.

Expensive. Soft exposures. Doesn't support uncompressed JPEG formats.

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S1 IS


Optically stabilized 10X zoom; high-quality video; solid image quality; strong enthusiast-oriented feature set; fast continuous shooting; variety of optional accessories.

Complicated control layout; color fringing at long focal lengths; 3-megapixel resolution and lack of non-JPEG format limit appeal for enthusiasts.

The PowerShot S1 IS's stabilized 10X zoom is a deal maker for enthusiasts who like to handhold distance shots but don't want to make large prints.

Expert review by:

Canon USA Powershot S1 IS Digital Camera Camera


Designed to resemble a scaled-down SLR camera, the Canon PowerShot S1 IS brings together a lot of advanced features--including the ability to captures video at up to 640-by-480 pixels and 30 frames-per-second with 22-KHz 16-bit sound--for its $499...

The S1 IS depleted its four AA batteries quickly. In our tests, we had to change them after only 144 shots. If you plan to shoot a lot of video, constantly zoom the lens, frame potential shots while holding the shutter button halfway down, or run the...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S1 IS Digital Camera


Photograph: Rick Rizner

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S1 IS


This point-and-shoot looks and feels like an advanced model.

Producing fine photos for a 3.2-megapixel camera and offering plenty of advanced features for a very reasonable price, the S1 IS makes a good choice for hobbyist photographers on a fairly tight budget.

Expert review by:

Canon Powershot S1 IS


Renowned for the high quality of its "glass," Canon designed the PowerShot S1 IS digital camera's lens with 11 elements including one aspherical element to reduce size and weight and ensure image sharpness, particularly at wide-angle settings. Thanks...

The PowerShot S1 IS offers the flexibility of a full array of exposure control settings including Auto, Program AE, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, Manual Mode and pre-programmed Portrait, Landscape, Night scene, Fast shutter, Slow shutter and...

Expert review by:

Digital Cameras - Canon PowerShot S1 IS Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications


In response to reader requests for more subjective comments on the cameras I review, I'm starting to add "Reviewer's Notes" to my reviews of selected cameras. (Given my seeming perpetual backlog of review work and the added time this takes though, I'll...

The S1 IS uses Canon's single-point FlexiZone TTL AF system, which judges focus based on the center of the frame only by default. With a couple of button-presses, the focus point can be moved over most of the image area (with the exception of the...

Product Specifications

The PowerShot S1 IS lets you get incredibly close to your subject. Its 10x optical zoom lens with IS is ideal for detailed shots. The enhanced Movie Mode means you can really move in on the action. Because it's not always possible to get really close to your subject, the PowerShot S1 IS combines an impressive 10x optical zoom lens with an Optical Image Stabilizer (IS) and Ultrasonic Motor (USM). This not only gives you a powerful zoom (38-380mm in 35mm format) but the USM allows for quiet and super-fast zooming, so you won't miss the shot you want and, for nature photography, won't scare any wildlife away. The IS significantly reduces camera shake at full zoom and in low light conditions. The result is incredibly detailed shots whether you want close-up pictures of an exotic bird or your child's winning goal. Combine the zoom with the PowerShot S1 IS's enhanced Movie Mode and you can record detailed movies with superior, flicker-free VGA resolution. Using a frame rate of up to 30 frames per second for super smooth action, the PowerShot S1 IS automatically adjusts the exposure, focusing and white balance as you film. You can use the optical zoom to manually change your composition at the same time. The result is an impressively improved image quality and sound. And as you can record up to approximately 1GB of movie (depending on the size and speed of the memory card used), recording times are longer. As with every Canon digital camera, the PowerShot S1 IS uses Canon Visionary Technology to ensure the best performance possible. Using Canon's unique iSAPS technology to optimize shooting settings, the high-performance DIGIC processor for fast processing and Image Rendering technology for accurate reproduction of colors, the PowerShot S1 IS delivers incredible results every time. For greater creative control, the PowerShot S1 IS has 12 shooting modes - from Manual to Auto, plus 1 custom setting. A complete range of optional accessories is also available, such as wide/tele converter lenses and a waterproof case. Post-shooting, a variety of editing software is included, and you can print directly to a PictBridge or Canon Direct Print compatible photo printer without using a PC.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Mono
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Standard form factor
Supported Battery Form Factor:AA

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Pop-up flash

Digital Camera

Supported Flash Memory:CompactFlash / Microdrive/Microdrive / CompactFlash

Dimensions & Weight

Weight:0.9lbs/0.9lbs / 13oz

Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:1.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):3.8cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Landscape / Night scene / Portrait mode / Slow shutter / Stitch assist/Night scene / Stitch assist / Slow shutter / Portrait mode / Landscape

Flash Memory

Form Factor:CompactFlash Card
Storage Capacity:32MB


Model:S1 IS
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Canon PowerShot

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.8-3.1
Max Focal Length:58mm
Min Focal Length:5.8mm
Optical Zoom:10
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:1/2.7 / 1/2.7"/1/2.7"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):9.4 mm ( 1/2.7 ) / 9.4 mm ( 1/2.7" )
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Resolution:3.2Megapixel

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:AVI
Digital Zoom:3.2
ISO (Max):400
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 50 / ISO auto/ISO 100 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 50 / ISO auto/ISO 50 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 100
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Custom Effect / Low Sharpening / Neutral / Sepia / Vivid/Custom Effect / Vivid / Low Sharpening / Neutral / Sepia / Black & White
Still Image Format:JPEG
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:Electronic