Canon Powershot SX1 IS Review
By Mike Flacy
Record Modes & Menus
(Note: All screens shown can be displayed on the LCD or EVF)
The Auto mode allows anyone, regardless of expertise, to use the SX1 like a simple point-n-shoot camera. The camera automatically selects the shutter speed and aperture allowing you to concentrate on framing your subject, not changing camera settings. FUNCtion options are limited to changing the image size or quality, no other settings are possible.
Note, you can also see both the Movie and Still quality icons in the lower left. Like the SX10 IS, you can easily capture video while in still image record mode by pressing the Movie mode Record button on the back. While recording video, you can also press the still image shutter release to capture a photo, without stopping the movie.
You can record video clips with stereo audio at standard resolutions of 640x480 or 320x240 with a frame rate of 30fps. Unlike past models, the SX1 IS also offers Full HD video capture at 1920x1280 (30fps). The optical zoom may be used while recording, something that it not very common on super-zoom models. The length of a movie is limited by the amount of available memory, up to a maximum clip size of 4GB. These clips are captured in QuickTime format and saved as .MOV files.
Program AE mode is like Auto in that the camera selects both the shutter speed and aperture values for correct exposure, but you now have access to a multitude of camera settings like ISO speed, White balance, metering, etc. Here, we also have the Grid lines and histogram display options enabled.
When you half-press the shutter release, you will see the center AF point (rectangle) turns Green if focus was successful or Red if it fails. Pressing the AF Point selection button on the back will allow you to move the active AF point around as well as change the size (Normal or Small). Other icons indicate the ISO, shutter speed, aperture values, and exposure compensation values.
In Tv (Shutter-speed priority) mode you select the shutter speed (from 1/3200 to 15 seconds) and the camera automatically selects the proper aperture value. Faster shutter speeds will 'freeze' fast-moving subjects, slower speeds will let you pan with a fast-moving object and blur the background, or hold the camera steady and give moving objects that 'motion blur' look.
In Av (Aperture priority AE) mode you select the aperture value (from F2.8 to F8.0) and the camera will automatically select the proper shutter speed. Selecting the aperture allows you to control depth of field (focus range), smaller numbers yield less depth of field, larger numbers yield more.
Program AE, Tv, Av and Manual mode Function options:
White Balance - Auto, Day Light, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash, and Custom one-push WB set
My Colors - Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B&W, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color
Bracketing - Off, AE bracketing, Focus bracketing
Flash intensity - Adjusts flash power �2 EV in 1/3 EV steps
Metering - Evaluative, Center Weighted Averaging, Spot
Movie Quality - 16:9 mode fixed at 1920x1080, 4:3 mode select from 640x480 or 320x240
Image Quality - Superfine, Fine or Normal JPEG compression
Image Size - 4:3 mode select from Large 3648x2736, Medium1 2816x2112,
Medium2 2272x1704,, Medium3/Date Stamp 1600x1200, Small 640x480, RAW. 16:9 mode select from LW (3840x2160) or SW (1920x1080)
In Manual mode you have complete control, selecting both the shutter speed and the aperture values. To help you 'dial in' the exposure, these is an exposure scale on the right. When changing either the shutter speed or aperture, another small scale is shown directly above the values; not in picture above. All Menu options and camera settings are the same as Program AE, Tv, Av, etc.
Program AE, Tv, Av and Manual mode MENU options:
AF-Point Zoom - On or Off
Servo AF - On or Off
AF Mode - Continuous or Single
Digital Zoom - Off, 2.3x, Standard
Flash Control - Adjust Flash Exposure comp., Shutter Sync., Slow Synchro, Red-Eye Corr./Lamp and Safety FE
i-Contrast - Off or Auto
Drive settings - Set Face Self-Timer # of shots, Self-Timer time, etc.
Spot AE Point - Center or AF point
Auto ISO Shift - Off or On
MF-Point Zoom - On = Enlarge focus point during manual focus
Safety MF - On or Off
AF Assist Beam - On or Off
Review - Off, Hold or 2 - 10 secs
Review Info - Off, Detailed or Focus Check
Record RAW+JPEG - On or Off (JPEG Large/Fine mode only)
Reverse Display - Flips the live image on the LCD when it is rotated
Auto Category - On or Off
IS Mode - Continuous, Shoot only, Panning, Off
Custom Display - Customize the camera's display (Shooting info, Grid lines, 3:2 Guide, Histogram
Set Shortcut Button - Choose the function of the Shortcut button
Save Settings - Saves current settings to Custom 1 or 2 on the mode dial
The SX1 IS offers 17 pre-programmed Scene modes. Portrait, Landscape, Night portrait, Sports, and Stitch Assist are located on the mode dial, while the rest are found under the SCN (Scene) position. Here you have access to Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Long Shutter, Aquarium, ISO 3200, Color Accent, Color Swap, Night Scene, Indoor, and Sunset. These modes are pre-programmed to give you the best possible pictures for particular shooting situations.
The My Menu sub-menu allows you to create your own customized Shooting or 'Record' menu with the settings you choose.
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