Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

Now 2 Mega Pixel more, RAW  and finally a 720p HD video mode.

So I guess there will be no SX2 then?

For all of you who think 2 more megapixel might not be a good idea with a 20x lens and a tiny sensor, here a lossless crop from a original foto of the Canon SX20 which I downloaded from the Canon Japan website. 
After seeing that, I am quite happy for my decision to move to the SONY HX1.

For more info and a brochure, go to Canon England

Friday, July 31, 2009

hasta la vista - baby

on Tuesday, March 3, 2009 I posted

Is the Sony HX1 really the SX1 Killer?

Yesterday I found this info: 
Kleiner Vergleich: Nikon D60 * Panasonic LX3 * Sony DSC-HX1 
and that took care of the "the HX1 fotos are not so good" 
I read a lot about the video and multishot modes from people who did some experimenting with it, something no review is able to tell you.

I think I can sum up my decision to get me a Sony HX1 and to test her out in one sentence.
This might be the most advanced, most easy to use and most fun camera from all the superzooms in 2009.
This blog has come to an end for now, you can find me exploring the SONY HX1 if she can live up to my expectations. 

Monday, July 27, 2009

greetings from Hong Kong

SX1 to your doorstep €417

same old same old

I had some hopes in the new Panasonic but what a disappointment.

But the FZ38 has still the tiny crappy viewfinder and the substandard 2.7" screen with the extremely limited viewing angle. (try to shoot something below the line of sight the display turns dark! It is just optimized for over head shooting.)
and try to manual focus and see if it is sharp on the displays.

And more megapixel and now stereo wow what a impressive upgrade.
Combine that with the buy only Panasonic batteries or the camera explodes and you loose all warranty and you got a total winner.
Canon had perfect stereo with wind filter already in the S2 since 2005 and big viewfinders (sadly no big resolutions) and swivel screens.

Compared to all other super zooms in 2008/09 this is the most half assed as cheap as possible "upgrade"

Monday, June 29, 2009

You need a bad camera to learn what is important

Last Friday I found an offer of a 10 mpix camera with HD video for 199 €. It sounded too good to be true.

Her name: Fujifilm Finepix S2000HD
A model from last year with 28mm wide and a 15x zoom and 1280x720 HD video with a 2.7" screen. The screen and viewfinder were similar  to the Panasonic FZ28 I tired a while ago.

For that amount of money I could have an inexpensive in between camera and wait another year until the next generation HD hybrids come out with the features and the quality I wanted (hopefully).

Now  I am a fan of the big screen and when I say big screen I mean big as in room hight size. One of my dreams was to have a beach scene in HD on the screen so real looking that you have the feeling you are there. The VGA quality of the Canon S2 is great but the resolution is too low to make it look real. I hoped the S2000HD would be able to satisfy me there. 

Next to the Media Markt here on our little island between the Sahara and the Caribbean is a beach where I just took the camera out of the box and mounted her on a tripod and started my video experience. 
At home on the 42" full HD screen it looked terrible, on the laptop screen it was not better. I experienced big fluctuations in brightness and out of focus periods in the 5 min video. Also the stills I took were terrible compared to the Canon S2 or even my trusty pocket Ricoh R6.

So, what was happening? The wave action has some areas where the water turns from blue to white. This makes the picture brighter and the camera makes the picture darker to compensate. That is normal but the way the S2000HD did the adjustments are plain terrible. You can see for yourself on vimeo. The next day I went to the beach with the S2000HD and the S2 to compare this problem. At home I noticed that the Canon adjusts the picture too to compensate but it is so subtle that it is barely noticeable. I also noticed that the S2 had some out of focus parts in the video and then I understood that the only way to solve this problem was a camera what allowed me to lock the focus and the exposure during the video.

The S2000HD states that if you switch from optical zoom to digital zoom the focus stays locked. I tried it but still got out of focus errors in the video.
I also noticed that the S2000HD needed 8 second to zoom into a picture in preview while the S2 makes this in 1 second.

Well the Finepix S2000HD is a very crappy camera from the bad quality stills to the jumpy exposure video and is topped with a terrible menu system and handling. If you try to manual focus there is no magnification and the only way you see that it is sharp is when the color of the focus frame changes.

You can watch a 20 sec clip form the S2000HD on vimeo, just watch the skyline .

Fujifilm Finepix S2000HD.

To quote South Park: "You know, I learned something today"

On the must have list from my next Hybrid will be now focus and exposure lock in video mode and after reading through the Sony HX1 manual it seems Sony does not have these features. The Canon SX10 and SX1 both have focus and exposure lock.

Update, I just re read a review on my Canon S2 and looked into the manual to see if she has the same features as the SX1/10 and found out she has even more...
Talking about evolution. - Oh and she has 20 MP/cm² while the SX1/10 has 35 MP/cm² pixel density.

Friday, May 22, 2009

over 10% price hike in the UK and 55€ cashback

When you click on the prices on the right, you will notice that the prices are much higher than I posted a few months ago. I guess that reflects the weak Pound. But on the bright side Canon has in May a 50 Pound - 55€ cashback promotion for the SX1 SX10 cameras.

Monday, May 18, 2009

CHDK on SX1 and SX10

It seems the the development of the chdk to add new features to the SX series is well under way.
I just saw the nice timelapse video rexburke did:
Taken with a Canon SX1IS, running CHDK (still Beta) and the Ultra Interval script.

Shot 300 frames at 5 second intervals in Av mode with video compiled using PhotoLapse (freeware) at 15fps

I tried it at 30 fps for smoother viewing but the clouds wizz by too fast. Maybe better to have shot it at 2~3 second intervals.

Friday, March 27, 2009

oh crappy day

I just went through the SX1 review from dpreview and with remarks like:

- Image quality, while not terrible is actually slightly worse then the much cheaper SX10 IS, and high ISO noise performance is firmly in compact territory. And for a 600$ camera this is a joke.
- Below the thumb rest is the newly designed muti-controller, with the one major design flaw on the SX1 IS (the scroll wheel). The problem with this new controller is the scroll wheel which is so soft and unresponsive it is almost unusable. I agree 100%
- Viewfinder's not as nice as the 0.44 inch, 235,000 pixel, 4:3 one from the SX10 IS (which is cheaper). The EVF in the SX1 IS is certainly usable, but the one in the SX10 IS is noticeably better. And the SX10 viewfinder would work so much better with the SX1 too. It is just plain stupid to make both dispalys 16:9 and the sensor 3:4. A nicer 3:4 viewinder for fotos and a nice 16:9 display for video would be the perfect solution.
- As it stands the SX1 - whilst interesting - offers too little to justify its high price. The first review where I could read it so plain.

And in the forum I found the question
What I could not understand is:
" What it comes down to is that the price difference between the SX1 IS and SX10 IS could buy you a nice HD video camera that would give you as good - if not better - video quality."

So, there is a full HD camera out with a 20x zoom an image stabilisation for 200$ and no one told me about that? I buy in an instant when somebody can tell me where.

So I will sit this round out and will see what panasonic does with the replacement of the fz28, but to be honest, I don´t have high hopes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Crappy Viewfinders

What is it with the modern HD Superzooms and the crappy viewfinders?
The SX1 is very bad and now Sony with her new HX1 (copycats) has a tiny crappy viewfinder also.
"like the LCD screen, the viewfinder is a 4:3 aspect ratio screen, so you get big black bars along the top and bottom when shooting high definition video. This isn't helped by the fact that the viewfinder is rather small; it looks like a small TV viewed from a distance."

Is the viewfinder just there to show "we have one"? It looks like a DSLR but with a nearly unusable viewfinder. I tried nearly all modern superzooms and the best on so far was the big one from the SX10 with a usable resolution.

Sorry Sony HX1 and Canon SX1 I am not willing to pay top money for a crappy product.
If Canon would install the SX10 viewfinder on the SX1 than the viewfinder would be perfect for fotos and the swivel display for video.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sony HX1 the SX1 Killer?

3 March 2009 1:0 
High-zoom Cyber-shot HX1 debuts ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor

Extraordinary image quality plus high-speed shooting 

• 9.1 effective megapixel ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor for high-speed shooting and reduced image noise 

• High speed continuous shooting up to 10 frames per second 

• Premium quality G Lens with 20x optical zoom and 28mm wide angle 

• Record 1080/30p HD movie clips 

• ‘Sweep Panorama’ mode captures extra-wide landscapes 

• 3.0” tilt-angle Clear Photo LCD Plus screen 

The Cyber-shot HX1 by Sony, teams stunning picture quality, lightning-fast shooting and powerful creative features in a stylish, supremely easy to use camera. 

The new flagship of the Cyber-shot range showcases a range of sophisticated image sensing, optical and processing technologies that offer unrivalled creative possibilities. 

Offering cutting edge performance and a powerful 20x optical zoom range, the compact HX1 fits effortlessly into a weekend bag or small travel case. It’s an ideal companion for anyone who needs top-flight imaging performance and advanced shooting functions without the bulk of packing a digital SLR and all its accompanying lenses. 

At the heart of the HX1 is a new Sony-developed ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor with an effective resolution of 9.1 megapixels. Originally developed for the Sony Alpha digital SLR programme, ‘Exmor’ technology delivers outstanding images with reduced noise, especially when shooting in high ISO settings. 

In tandem with the powerful BIONZ image processor, the ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor supports full-resolution shooting at an incredible 10 frames per second (max) using a mechanical shutter. Outpacing many pro-spec digital SLR cameras, this super-fast shooting rate is ideal for capturing high-speed action or spontaneous events like parties, where anything can happen in a moment. 

The ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor supports two new shooting modes that reduce image noise when you’re shooting in low light. If you’re capturing static subjects, new Handheld Twilight mode grabs a high-speed burst of six frames, combining them to create a single optimised image with dramatically reduced noise levels. If your subject is moving, Anti Motion Blur mode also superimposes six frames to produce one crisp, composite image with less subject blur. 

Also powered by the ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor and BIONZ processor, ‘Sweep Panorama’ is a brand-new shooting mode that captures breathtaking landscapes, city scenes and more. Just hold down the shutter button and swing the camera horizontally (or vertically). The Cyber-shot HX1 seamlessly stitches together a high-speed burst of frames to create an extra-wide, high resolution image. Panoramas can be viewed as a scrolling preview on the three-inch LCD screen or new S-Frame digital photo frames or previewed on a PLAYSTATION®3. 

Making its Cyber-shot debut is a new G Lens that has been designed to complement the extraordinary imaging possibilities of the ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor and BIONZ processor. 

Developed originally for the Sony Alpha Digital SLR family, the G Lens in the HX1 teams aspherical lens elements and ED (extra-low dispersion) lens for uncompromising optical precision. You’ll experience superb resolution and minimal chromatic aberration at all settings, from 28mm wide-angle right up to 560mm super telephoto. This generous 20x optical zoom range accommodates a huge range of shooting possibilities, from landscapes and fun-filled family moments to action-packed sports events. 

The Cyber-shot HX1 is the first compact camera from Sony that’s capable of shooting 1080/30p HD movies. It captures crisp, detail-packed HD video clips plus stereo sound at a smooth 30 frames per second. 

HD movies and still photos can be enjoyed with superb quality on your BRAVIA or any HD Ready television*. BRAVIA Sync displays the camera’s playback screen on the TV screen, allowing handy control of slideshow, zoom, image index and other functions with your BRAVIA TV’s remote. 

The Cyber-shot HX1 makes it brilliantly easy to get great results without the worry of adjusting camera settings correctly. Intelligent Scene Recognition has been enhanced with the addition of Smile Shutter. This lets you capture beautiful smiles automatically, even in tricky situations like twilight or backlighting. 

The camera’s tilt-angle 3.0” LCD gives extra flexibility for framing your shots comfortably in any position. Clear Photo LCD Plus technology delivers superb picture quality and contrast, with a resolution of 230,000 dots that’s capable of resolving fine details. 

A new jog dial simplifies ‘click and rotate’ selection and adjustment of camera settings. For extra convenience, there’s also a Digital SLR-style Custom button that can be assigned to Smile Shutter, White Balance adjust or metering mode select functions. 

The Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 digital compact camera is available from the beginning of May 2009.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The SX1

Canon brings the Powershot SX1 IS to the US market at an MSRP of $599.
There will also be a firmware update enabling RAW capture. Existing SX1 IS owners will also be able to download the Digital Photo Professional software to edit white balance, exposure compensation and sharpness of their RAW files before converting them to JPEG.

Well, Gordon finished his review today and it is the most comprehensive review on the SX1so far.

He confirmed the sub par viewfinder but if that is not a too big issue, then the SX1 is a nice camera.

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS review from Gordon Laing on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

is it focused now?

As I mentioned in November already, the viewfinder from the SX1 is crap.

After reading through all reviews from the SX10 and SX1 nearly nobody talked about the way the viewfinder effects the manual focusing. The least professional (sorry guys compared to a real camera review site) reviews from Trusted Reviews mentioned exactly this problem.

"The SX1 also has an electronic viewfinder, but herein lies a small mystery. The official specification of the SX10 states that it has a 235k resolution EVF, but as I mentioned in my review it appears to be very coarse, with the dots plainly visible, and far too low-res for manual focusing. The same is unfortunately true of the viewfinder on the SX1, but the published specification both on Canon’s website and in the camera manual state that the resolution is only 148k dots, which would make more sense, and makes me think that the resolution stated in the SX10’s specification is a misprint."

Well I liked the viewfinder from the SX10 and it is a huge improvement to the viewfinder from the S1 to S5. 
This is not very accurate, but should give you an idea what a double in pixel count does at shooting 10 Mp pictures.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

SX10 / SX1 best superzoom

Well it took dpreview just 2 months to finally get the SX10 on the table of the test lab but they confirmed most what I mentioned 2 months ago. They even noticed the very big and nice viewfinder and also found the wheel crappy. Since there is now a  comparison between the 
Canon Powershot SX10 IS
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
Fujifilm FinePix S8100fd
Nikon Coolpix P80
Olympus SP-565UZ
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28
Sony Cybershot DSC-H50
it should be easy to pick the right superzoom.

The last weeks I downloaded all the SX1 clips the internet could spit out, some even in real resolution. After fiddling a bit to find the right program to recompress I ended up with SUPER what does a nice job to actually use the SX1 video on a computer.

So the SX10 is the best superzoom and the SX1 adds the 4fps and the full HD video.
The new cameras from Olympus and Kodak are no match for the SX1 that leaves just 1.5 months more to wait for the  PMA 2009, March 3rd -5th , 2009 to see if Sony wants to take Canon on.
But comparing the last 5 years and the Canon S series against the Sony H series I doubt that they will be able to best the SX1.

... and for all the people who think the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 is better than the SX10, please compare side by side the:

Viewfinder tiny screen and hard eye piece against big screen and soft eye piece
Display unusable below eye level against full swivel and twist
Camera feels like a toy against feels and looks like a DSLR (subjective but I had them both in the hand and compared side by side)
The Raw and the 720p video mode with bad mono audio are nothing to me when I can not use the viewfinder to manual focus or shoot below the line of sight.
BUT your priorities might vary.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Batteries are not included

The from Canon supplied batteries are just for putting in a clock or remote or testing the camera.
Get any kind of pre charged battery what tells you they hold the charge for a long time. 
Use any charger but best is if you charge slow.
The best charger is one which can test the battery capacity.

I use the La Crosse charger since several years and it is worth the money.

Why, you ask? Because even new batteries can be already partially defect. Like my new VARTA Ready2Use.

The 2100mAh Ready2Use I got from VARTA had one dud cell. While 3 were having around 1900mAh one had only 1400mAh.
After 3 test cycles (takes about one day per cycle to test)  they read 2000mAh and 1500mAh.
So I changed one package (they come in 2) and now the batteries stay in the camera for a long time while I shoot hundreds of fotos. Works like the Lithium-ion batteries, but cheaper and more easy to replace.

But also sometimes they just lie to you with the high capacity cells.

This crap went straight away back to the dealer.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


So Kodak comes out with the Z980 with 24x zoom and Olympus announces the SP-590UZ with 26X zoom.
The Kodak with a 1280x720 video mode and the Olympus with a 640x480 video mode (are they kidding???).
But they have at least one unique invention, a BEAUTY and a BEAST mode.

Beauty Mode lets you soften shadows and smooth wrinkles or blemishes on your subject’s face – all in the camera and as you capture the image! Additionally, subtle edits can be made post-capture using the Beauty Fix mode. Choose “Clear Skin” to smooth a person’s complexion, “Dramatic Eye” to slightly emphasize the eyes, and “Sparkle Eye” to brighten and enhance the contrast of the iris and pupils. You can also apply all three edits at once. Have fun customizing your brilliant images without a PC and costly image editing software.
With the Beast mode you get crows feet, spotty skin, droopy eyes and can choose between 3 types of warts.

So the new Kodak or Olympus are no match for the SX1.

Now lets see what Sony does to replace the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50. With just 15x zoom she looks pretty dated by now. Hopefully the drop the flip display and convert to a variangle display.

The next big Photography Show is PMA 2009, March 3rd -5th , 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Make the SX1 video work for you

My goal was to find an easy to use free software what converts the Canon SX1 monster files into a good quality format what works with low power hardware.
That is a 1,6 MHz notebook with a Centrino Duo 2 GB and a Nvidia GO 7300 XP SP2 and a 1,6 MHz notebook with an AMD Turion X2 1 GB with an ATI XPress 1100  XP SP2
I liked best so far SUPER it is free, simple and powerful.
Get it here.

Drag the video file into the program, choose:
AVI - MPEG-4 - MP3
video setting: No change, 16:9, 30pfs, bitrate 4000
audio setting 44100, 2, 128
CTRL+T to set the path where you want to have your file
hit encode
now you have an AVI file 8% of the original size in full HD with mostly acceptable compression artifacts.
Want to have it in better quality, try 5000-6000 or 8000 if you want it really good.

I put a couple sample pictures below so you can see for yourself how the compression/quality ratio is.

Test results
The Centrino Duo 2 GB and a Nvidia GO 7300 XP SP2 had no problem after the conversion with any file to play.
The AMD Turion X2 1 GB with an ATI XPress 1100  XP SP2 had problems with even the 4000 kbps files and required a down sampling to 1280x720 to play the video files smoothly.

Look at the concentric rings in the left circle, you will notice the compression artifacts here the most. As usual click on the pictures for full size. The pictures show only 1280 from the 1920 pixel since they are done via screen capture from my 1280x800 screen.

encoding 4000 kbps

encoding 6000 kbps

encoding 8000 kbps

want to know more? look here

Monday, January 5, 2009

some new SX1 Reviews

Added some new reviews and interesting pricing in the UK.
Since the British Pound is now nearly equal with the Euro the price for the Canon SX1 is now under 400€ in the UK.

Monday, December 22, 2008

you got mail . . . from Bavaria

Hi Joe,
thanks for your reply. I evidently was not too precise putting in my question only in terms of the outcome I´m aiming at:
“Get high-resolution photos which allow enlargements up to about 60 cm x 100 cm“

In terms of “technical” prerequisites I´m looking for answers to questions like:
* “what are the adequate requirements with respect to resolution of the sensor [without getting lost in
“pixel- peeper-nonsense”]
* “to what extent can post-processing help to minimize deficiencies concerning the resolution of large
print-outs ; what brand of [preferably free-/lowcost-] software is recommendable ?

Up to now I used PP mainly for:
* overlaying photos + radiographs [ pictures of which were taken using a light-box]
* editing of “just-for-fun-greeting-cards” and other “nonsense-collages”

In contrast to this kind of PP I´m a complete new-bee in the field of improving the resolution of large print-outs by means of – just an example - [horizontal and vertical] stitching.
Finally it boils down to the following question:
* will the SX10 be the appropriate camera for a photographer who spends most of his time on outdoor-
tours [in the Bavarian mountains] aiming at impressive landscape-/wildlife-shots.
Due to this mission-description and my age [70] the cameras size and weight [every gram counts!]
are important criteria.

After having read sooooh many reviews [including those cited at]
I suspect, that it will be a combination of the SX10 and a software [which is not sophisticated] at last.

Klaus the SX10 will be the right camera for you.
- the swivel screen is big enough and of high enough resolution to even manual focus. Same for SX1   the Panasonic FZ28 is of no use for you because in the moment the camera is below you head the screen is not  usable any more. The screen is optimized for over head shooting and the worst screen I ever encountered for below the head shots.  
- the viewfinder is very big and of high enough resolution to even manual focus. Sadly not with the SX1   the Panasonic FZ28 has a tiny viewfinder what is not working with my glasses and its hard plastic at all.
- I made a A3 t-shirt print with a 1.3 MP camera and it turned out gorgeous. So the 10 MP will do nicely for big prints. If you plan for big prints stay with ISO 80 or 100 and the picture will be fine. If you are in high contrast situations and you want big prints, use the exposure bracketing and take 3 shots -2, 0 and +2 and put them together with a hdr software. Canons  i-Contrast makes the dark areas a bit grainy when activated.
- Canon has the panorama mode so you can stitch several photos together to greatly increase the resolution.
- The Camera is a bit heavy but a joy to hold in full telefoto because the long lens just begs for it and lies beautiful in the hand.
-the much talked about slow lens in 15x-20x is really not a big problem because Canon has a very good ImageStabilisation. See my handheld 20x moon shot.

-the pictures are a bit soft and could use a bit more color for the area I will shoot in (mostly bright sunlight) but setting the exposure compensation to -0.3 to -1 the sharpness to +2 and the color to +1 did the trick for my SX10 shots to come out pleasing.

A camera is a tool and with every new tool you have to familiarize yourself with it. It takes the first 1000 shots to try out the camera and fine tune the tool to your needs.
Read the manual from front to back and try out everything several times in different shooting situations.

As for post processing I work with my panorama shots with Autopano 1.3
The free software will be what works very well and is much better as the Canon provided stitcher.

hope this helped and merry x-mas to Bavaria from the sunny Canary Islands.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

the decision

My main concern with the SX1 were the screens (see postings below). I made up my mind, if I get the SX1 I will shoot mostly in wide screen so I have the full size of the displays to view. The 10 MP 4/3 mode will be used for panoramas. I view my fotos on a wide screen notebook and a full HD tv for pictures and video clips. Since the test and review of the SX1 swivel screen has a very positive outcome I will live with the crappy viewfinder. The picture quality is ok since it is similar to the SX10 I tested.

The clips from users of the SX1 in full HD mode were good and compared to my VGA clips form the S2IS a huge improvement.

One of my dreams were always to make a static video from a beach with the waves coming in for some time and then have it looped in life size on a huge screen (I am talking wall size via a projector) to have the impression that the beach is in your living room.
Viewing this in VGA resolution on a SVGA projector 2 meters high is a start but the quality was not what I wanted. So with full HD video and a big full HD TV I will at least have a window to the beach on the wall and since prices for full HD projectors starting to fall below 1000€ it is just a matter of time until my dream comes true.

But I am not sure I buy now, I might wait because from March 3-5 2009 is the PMA in Las Vegas and
Sony should bring out a replacement for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H10,
Panasonic should bring out the replacement for the Panasonic DMC-TZ5,
Olympus should bring out the replacement for the Olympus SP-570 Ultra-Zoom,
Kodak should bring out the replacement for the Kodak Z1012 IS,
Fuji should bring out the replacement for the FujiFilm Finepix S8100fd
and the FujiFilm Finepix S100FS
It will be interesting to see how the competition reacts to the SX1

If there is nothing better than the SX1 then she will be my next camera because a full HD video mode with a 20x optical zoom and IS for just 200€ on top of a good camera is a price I am willing to pay.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

confirmations and corrections

The Sensor is not a 10MP as stated on some Canon Websites but a 11.6MP
"It's a 1/2.3-inch type unit with a total photosite count of 11.60 million."
So if you shoot in wide screen you get just 8.3MP.

The viewfinder is bad as I suspected states:
"Unlike the LCD monitor, the EVF has 148,000-dot resolution and looks quite granular. It also has a greenish-blue colour cast. However, if asked to choose between the LCD and EVF for framing shots, you'd definitely choose the former for accuracy and clarity."
Chasseur d'images: "The only serious complaint concerns the poor quality of the viewfinder."

The quality of the swivel screen from my test SX10 was fine with me. Sharp and clear enough to see the details needed for manual focus and bright enough to be good visible when the sun shines direct on the display.

In 2 reviews I read so far that the swivel screen from the SX1 should be bright and crisp

"It's also one of the clearest, brightest monitors we've seen on a compact digicam to date - despite having a resolution of only 230,000 dots."

"But the similar specifications (SX10 vs SX1) and the same resolution, the truth is that the quality displayed by the LCD of the SX1 IS in the preview and review of the images is quite superior."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yes there is a filter thred

you can put 52mm add ons on the SX1/SX10
just found these on a forum.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

First Comparison SX1 vs SX10

The website did the first comparison.

Here what I could understand from the translation:
The image quality is nearly par, with the SX1 a bit worse in the purple fringing.
"Without major differences
Leaving aside certain details (the same zoom, their screens and uneven connectivity HDMI making the SX1 IS), the great hope is that the CMOS latter is able at last to address the traditional limitations of those who suffer compact models with high sensitivities
However, having these first samples before a still life with fairly low lighting, obvious that there are no major differences between the two models when it comes to noise control.

The SX1 seems to have a better auto white balance.
"Anyway, apart from the various responses in terms of color, white balance, with artificial lights is more than that of the IS-SX1 and contrast, we have to look very closely at the results of these two compact to find traits that mark a boundary between them."

The SX10 seems a bit sharper to me in the lower ISO.
"From ISO 200, noise is already visible in the images taken by both models, while not becoming a serious problem up to 800 ISO. At these levels, in fact, it IS the SX10 which suffers less from the ravages of processing and noise reduction system."

The SX10 looses more detail in high ISO due to smearing.
"It is with the lowest sensitivities when it imposed the SX1 IS slightly, proving to be capable of offering little more detail and sharpness in the images."

The display from the SX1 seems to be clearer for the testers.
"The size of the brand since the early differences between the two. Thus, the SX10 IS presents a display of 2.5 inches and 230,000 points, while the SX1 IS raises the diagonal up 2.8 inches and puts on a 16:9 widescreen format, very useful for recording videos (though not so much for catching photo).
But the similar specifications and the same resolution, the truth is that the quality displayed by the LCD of the SX1 IS in the preview and review of the images is quite superior.

 The video mode is what sets these 2 cameras apart, If you do not need the HD video, the SX10 is your camera. If you wants it the precious Full HD then the SX1 is your choice. Be aware of the limitations:
"While overall performance is pretty decent, the main problem is that it IS the SX1, to be equipped with a shutter-type "rolling shutter" in the fast movements of panoramic shots or more volatile straight lines appear visibly leaning. An effect that also suffer from the Nikon D90 or some video cameras equipped with CMOS sensor. 
In this sense, the above-mentioned Casio EX-F1 shows superior performance in the sequences in high definition, we assume that thanks to the increased speed of response and its CMOS processor.
Also if you want to watch or convert Full HD on your computer, it better be a fast one.

Here are 2 screen captures to compare actual footage

(click image for original size)

compare via picture in picture

and be aware the SX1 or SX10 are heavy

Friday, November 21, 2008

Inferior display and viewfinder on SX1 confirmed

The viewfinder is wide screen as stated by Canon Europe
Viewfinder EVF (0.40" type), aspect ratio 16:9, approx. 148,000 dots

Just got my hand on the SX1 manual and it seems I am right

If you shoot 10mp with the SX1 you have a 2.17" screen (something between the 2" from the S3IS and the 2.5" from the S5IS) with a 172.000 pixel resolution and your viewfinder will have a 0.31" with 110.000 pixel resolution and that is worse than the Canon S1IS from 2004 with EVF (0.33" type), approx. 114.000 pixels

Don´t believe me? Here is a 1:1 pixel count chart I made to believe it myself.

Since the viewfinder of the S2IS is even a bit better than the one from the SX1 in 10mp mode I made a side by side comparison so you will get an idea. Please concentrate only on the sharp parts of the image the unsharp is distortion of the picture taking camera not the actual clarity of the viewfinder.

Ok, so why am I so obsessed with the low resolution viewfinder you might ask. 
When I brought my brand spanking new Canon S2 I wanted a camera with manual focus but with that low resolution viewfinder and the low resolution display what was too small (1.8") also I was not able to use successful the manual focus. It did frustrate me so much that most of the time I did not use the S2. Now 3 and a half year later I will not make the same mistake.

bye bye

So after 6 days of testing I returned the SX10 to the store today for a full refund.
I will wait for the SX1 to come out and will verify if I am right about the viewfinder what will have less than half or the SX10 resolution when shooting 10mp. If this is the case the SX1 will be a big no no for me.
I am not sure if 320 Euros for just the slow 20x lens, the double size in megapixel and the DIGIC4 processor without any improvement in the video section is the smart thing to spend to replace my S2IS.Canon uses the same VGA video size they had on the S1IS in 2004 with the DIGIC 1 processor and just added stereo with the S2IS. Now they changed to H264 in a MOV format wrapper with a halfassed compression what safes just 25 to 30 % of the filesize from the AVI the S2IS had.

Compare the size of the frame from the display with the thick frames from the Canon S and SX series. If Canon would make the frame this slim they could easily fit a 3" on both SX models. 
Maybe Panasonic brings the FZ38 with an articulated screen like the TZ5 (resolution and size) similar the one they have on the Lumix G1 that combined with the right viewfinder and I would get that one in an instant. 

how much is that puppy in the window?

SX10 starting 312Euro 

SX1 starting 464 Euro

Cheapest one here on Gran Canaria I found was 320 Euro

Thursday, November 20, 2008

get me a screwdriver

The SX1 and SX10 lenses compared with the G10

If you want to know what´s inside

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

some troubleing thoughts about the SX1

I need to pick your brain about something I just stubled over

Normal resolution with the SX1 or SX10 3.648 x 2.736 = 10mp.Wide resolution with the SX1 3.640 x 2.160 = 7.86mp so just a crop of the 10mp

Now if you shoot normal 10mp with the SX1 widescreen, the picture will be resized for the screen and you have a black bar on either side that leaves 110k pixel for the viewfinder and 172k pixel for the display if I did my calculation right.

SX10 screen 2.5" 230k ca 552x416 - 4:3 10mp
viewfinder 0.44" 235k ca. ca. 560x420 - 4:3 10mp

SX1 screen 2.8" 230k ca. 639x360 - 16:9 7.8mp 
(172k ca. 478x360 in 4x3 10mp)
viewfinder 0.40" 148k ca. 513x289 -16:9 7.8mp
(110k ca. 383x289 in 4x3 10mp)
So manual focus will be almost impossible with the viewfinder and not so good with the display.
If this is right then the viewfinder from the SX1 in 10mp is even worse than the one in the Canon S2 (115k) and will be a deal breaker for me.

Should not a wide screen camera whith wide screen displays also have a wide screen sensor???

Somebody please proof me wrong

I just did some calculation and if I am not wrong, the visible screen is 2.17" if you shoot 10mp with the SX1.
Since on some Canon websites around the world the SX1 data vanished or did not even appeared (out side the USA) maybe somebody pointed that out to Canon.
If they are clever the only solution I see is an option to use the screen full size and crop the top and bottom of the image. Maybe a fast switch via the shortcut button between full image at 2.17" or full screen cropped top and bottom. I think I could live with that kind of solution for the swivel screen but this leaves the 110k viewfinder at 10mp so they need to up that resolution higher than the SX10 or they become the laughingstock of the foto comunity for biggest blunder in 2008 in the category screen.
Somebody should give out an award for that like the broken lens award...

Just noticed the difference between Canon Japan and Canon Germany

The SX1 in Japan has a 200 pixel higher horizontal resolution. Do these people actualy know what they sell?

Another thing about the 4 fps against the 1.4 fps
If you use the autofocus it drops to 1.1 fps against 0.7 fps 

the honest cameralabs review

A very comprehensive review with lots of comparisons to the Panasonic FZ28 and the astonishing results compared with the DSLR Canon EOS 450D / XSi

Wehn you read it, look at the review from the Canon Powershot G10 and you will see how much the SX10 and the G10 are siblings.

After telling the people in the forum at dpreview about this fine review, dpreview banned me for doing just that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

have it your way

For my taste the pictures from the SX10 are too soft and lack a bit the color vibrance in some pictures. But since I live where the sun does shine on a mostly clear sky for 11 months my light is different from where you might do you major shooting.

There is the thing with the my colors.
Never used it on the S2, in fact I never used the S2 much. I had one of the first ones to come out but my trusty Canon A60 with 2 mp was mostly in my pocket. And that is the thing with the cameras. When I had my SLR with all the lenses and tripod and flash and filters and the pneumatic remote control etc. I only took her out for photo shooting.

The A60 I had often in my pocket and could do much snapshots. Here a few from Benidorm, Spain.

on the floor outside of a store

The S2 was used for tele and video shots and when I went out for photo shootings. The small screen was always something what held me back using her.

My A60 was replaced in 2007 with another Ricoh camera, because she was pocket size had 7x zoom and a nice 2.7" screen what could be used above the head or below the waist and was still viewable in bright sunlight and not to forget the 28mm wide angle. I tested the Ricoh R6 in depth and she is still my main camera. More info see my Picasa Web Album.

Now lets go back to the topic, the S2 already had my colors and you could adjust sharpness, contrast and saturation also red, green, blue and skin tone. So now the SX10 is set to sharpness +2 and saturation +1, lets see if you can spot a difference.

these two you can enlarge to compare

Yes, I know they are twisted but please concentrate on the difference, not on the picture it self.

what´s the thing with i-Contrast

Lets take a look at Dinoland (tm) because we have everything from bright blue sky to dark boding shadows and flesh tones here.

the next 2 images were shot with face detect and the SX10 locked on to the face in the right lower corner.


no i-Contrast


no i-Contrast


no i-Contrast

and this is what Canon has to say about i-Contrast

lets have a look at the post processing the SX10 has to offer in PLAY mode

so if you like, you can save your picture in 4 different i-Contrast settings and decide on the computer screen later which to keep.

so now you have to make up your own mind if you like it and if and when you want to use I-Contrast or if you I-Phone or your i-Pod is enough.