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Canon PowerShot SX1 IS

alaTest has collected and analyzed 810 reviews from magazines and websites. Reviewers are impressed by the responsiveness and lens. The image quality and portability also get good feedback, whereas the shutter and value for money get mixed comments. Some have doubts about the features and viewfinder.

performance, portability, image quality, lens, responsiveness

low-light, viewfinder, features

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 88/100 = Very good quality.

See all Canon Digital Compact Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 810 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 153 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 153 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (350)

Expert review by:



It looks like an innocent compact SLR, but the Canon SX1 IS is actually a paparazzi-pleasing ultrazoom in sheep's clothing, with a 20x zoom plus high-def 1080p video. For the same $600, though, you could buy a highly rated interchangeable-lens SLR.

The Canon SX1, at $599.99, is the most expensive ultrazoom in our test group by a substantial margin, with a $200 gap between the 10-megapixel 20x Canon and the 12.1-megapixel 24x Nikon P90. Of course, two of the ultrazooms reviewed are limited to...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS


Hybrids aren't just on the highway – they're moving to the camera aisle in a big way. One of the newest is Canon's PowerShot SX1 IS, an expensive 10-megapixel digicam with the ability to record full 1080P video clips – a cut above 720P. Until the...

20x wide-angle zoom; good 1080P video at 30 fps; fine photos with enough available light; very effective OIS

DSLR price ; no DSLR response; steep learning curve vis-a-vis other point-and-shoots; high noise at ISO 800; no auto pop-up flash; disappointing LCD screen; no Smart Auto

It's an excellent mega-zoom for the photographer willing to learn its idiosyncrasies and spend $600.

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS


Would you pay as much for a megazoom as you would for a dSLR? That's the question you need to answer before plunking down the same amount of cash for the Canon PowerShot SX1 as you would for the EOS Rebel XS or the Nikon D60 with their 18-55mm lenses....

Relatively fast; good HD video; raw file support

Big; quirky interface; some image artifacts

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.


Expert review by:

Canon Powershot SX1 IS Review


LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 17, 2009 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today introduced 10 new PowerShot cameras that offer an array of photographic options for the entry-level consumer right up to the photo enthusiast. Whether on a...


Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS


Canon's popular superzoom range of cameras began with the release of the PowerShot S1 IS back in 2004, and has been incrementally upgraded each year with more features and more pixels, with the last update being the PowerShot S5 IS announced in May of...

Good resolution, Good color; Generally accurate focus gives a high 'hit rate' even in auto mode; Huge photographic versatility with 28-560mm lens and super macro mode; Image stabilization works very well (and can be used in movie mode); Fast continuous...

Noise and noise reduction effects visible at anything over ISO 80; Noise reduction starts to destroy fine detail at anything over ISO 100; ISO 800 and 1600 very noisy and of limited use; Lens is prone to chromatic aberration and purple fringing; Movie...

Lets start with the good.

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS First Impressions Digital Camera Review


The Canon SX1 IS is an ultrazoom camera in the purest sense of the term; it packs a whopping 20x zoom lens that can go from a 28mm wide angle to a 580mm zoom. It's also a hybrid device, capturing 10-megapixel images and full HD video at a 1920 x 1080...

The SX1 IS is a powerhouse of a camera, with a long zoom and a good range of features. The high definition video it captures looks very promising, and the camera handles well. But there are a few things about it that are less than optimal; the zoom...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS


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...

CMOS sensorFull HD Video RecordingRAW mode image captureHDMI output

Selection dial somewhat troublesome

The major benefit of the Canon Powershot SX1 IS is that it can shoot...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Review


Well, like Canon's EOS DSLR range, the PowerShot SX1 IS features a CMOS sensor as opposed to regular CCD at its heart, which is a first for any of its compacts, enabling, along with a Digic 4 processor, the camera to shoot full resolution JPEGS at up...

We're loathe to suggest that you pay the full manufacturer's asking price on this occasion though, due to the question mark hanging over value for money. And happily a quick Internet search revealed the SX1 IS could be had for just under 400 from a...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS


No price data available. Check back soon

The big story of the Canon SX1 is its movie capability - significantly improved over the SX10 thanks to the higher-speed CMOS sensor. The SX10 is limited to VGA (640 x 480) movies at 30 frames per second, but the SX1 can capture 1080p (1,920 x 1080...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Review


This digital camera review is for the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS. Find out if this compact digital camera will fit your photography needs. We'll look at how the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS performs, what features it has to offer, how user-friendly the camera...

As a bridge between the advanced compact digital cameras and beginner’s dSLRs, the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS occupies a unique spot. It's as close to an SLR as possible without actually being one. So for a person who needs a fantastic camera with high...

Product Specifications

With a 10 megapixels Canon CMOS sensor and 20x wide-angle zoom for incredible reach, the PowerShot SX1 IS offers continuous shooting up to 4fps and can supplement photos with Full HD videos. The PowerShot SX1 IS is the first Canon compact camera to incorporate a Canon CMOS sensor, which allows high resolution shooting in exceptionally rapid bursts. The sensor boasts 10 megapixels for capturing the finest detail, allowing creative cropping and superb large-scale prints. The PowerShot SX1 IS combats potential blur with High ISO Auto and Motion Detection technology, which ascertains movement of both camera and subject to set the optimum ISO, whatever the shooting situation. Servo AF tracks moving subjects to ensure they remain in focus.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
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

Digital Camera Type:Compact
Supported Flash Memory:MultiMediaCard / MultiMediaCardplus / SD Memory Card / SDHC Memory Card/SD Memory Card / MultiMediaCard / SDHC Memory Card / MultiMediaCardplus

Digital Storage Media

Type: None

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.8in
Diagonal Size (metric):7.1cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Aquarium / Beach / Color accent / Color swap / Fireworks / Foliage / High sensitivity / Indoor / Landscape / Macro / Night scene / Night snapshot / Portrait mode / Slow shutter / Snow / Sports mode / Stitch assist / Sunset/High sensitivity / Snow / Night snapshot / Beach / Foliage / Indoor / Sunset / Sports mode / Night scene / Fireworks / Stitch assist / Macro / Slow shutter / Portrait mode / Landscape / Color swap / Color accent / Aquarium


Model:SX1 IS
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Canon PowerShot

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.8-5.7
Max Focal Length:100mm
Min Focal Length:5mm
Optical Zoom:20
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:1/2.3 / 1/2.3"/1/2.3"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):11 mm ( 1/2.3 ) / 11 mm ( 1/2.3" )
Optical Sensor Type:CMOS
Sensor Resolution:10Megapixel

Optical System

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

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:H.264
Digital Zoom:4
Face Detection: Yes
ISO (Max):3200
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100 / ISO 1600 / ISO 200 / ISO 3200 (2Mpix) / ISO 400 / ISO 80 / ISO 800 / ISO auto/ISO auto / ISO 1600 / ISO 80 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 800 / ISO 100 / ISO 3200 (2Mpix)
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Custom Effect / Darker Skin Tone / Lighter Skin Tone / Neutral / Positive Film / Sepia / Vivid / Vivid Blue / Vivid Green / Vivid Red/Vivid Red / Vivid Blue / Vivid Green / Darker Skin Tone / Lighter Skin Tone / Custom Effect / Neutral / Sepia / Black & White / Positive Film
Still Image Format:JPEG/JPEG / RAW
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:LCD