The first Ixus with a 10x optical zoom lens and Full HD video (1080p) recording.The Ixus 1000 HS follows hard on the heels of the Ixus 300 HS, which was announced in May. The 10-megapixel sensor appears to be the same in both models but the 1000 HS boasts a 10x optical zoom lens (36-360mm in 35mm format) and is the first Ixus camera to support Full HD video (1080p) recording. The new model will be offered in pink and silver. . . [more]
The Ixus 1000 HS follows hard on the heels of the Ixus 300 HS, which was announced in May. The 10-megapixel sensor appears to be the same in both models but the 1000 HS boasts a 10x optical zoom lens (36-360mm in 35mm format) and is the first Ixus camera to support Full HD video (1080p) recording. The new model will be offered in pink and silver.
Canon claims the Ixus 1000 HS as ‘the world's slimmest camera to feature a 10x Optical Zoom' and it's impressive how neatly the lens has been packed into the 22.3 mm thick body. Of course, compromises have been made to keep its dimensions small; the maximum aperture is a relatively small f/3.4 at the wide position, reducing to f/5.6 at full tele zoom. On the plus side, such small apertures provide plenty of depth-of-field with the tiny sensor and make fast autofocusing easier.
Build and Ergonomics
Superficially, the new model is styled like the 300 HS, with smoothed-off shoulders and no protrusions to prevent it from slipping easily into a pocket or purse. Made from aluminium alloy, it's solidly-built and easy on the eye.
The front panel of the camera has the traditional Ixus styling, with a recessed lens surrounded by a shiny chrome ring, located just off the centre of the panel. When the camera is switched off, the lens lies almost flush with the rest of the front panel; powered-up it protrudes approximately 20 mm, extending about 6 mm more at full optical zoom.
Front view of the Ixus 300 HS in pink with the lens set at 6.3mm. (Source: Canon.)
Just above the lens is a tiny LED that doubles as an AF-Assist lamp and self-timer indicator. Beside it is a narrow flash tube. Two tiny microphone holes are located below the flash, one on the lens surround. An eyelet for the wrist strap is located on the side panel, left of the Canon logo.
No viewfinder is provided but most of the rear panel is covered by the widescreen LCD monitor, which is the same as the monitor on the 300 HS. Resolution is relatively low, at 230,000 dots. . Right of the monitor is the control dial, which doubles as an arrow pad. The FUNC./SET button sits at its centre.
Back view of the Ixus 1000 HS. (Source: Canon.)
The button controls on the 1000 HS are different from the previous model. Although the Menu button is still located below the control dial, it is joined by the Play button. Above the control dial is the Movie button, which is used to start and end movie recording. The camera will beep to indicate recording is about to begin and twice when it ends.
Pressing the left side of the control dial opens the focus sub-menu, which has three settings: Macro, Normal and Infinity. The right side accesses the flash settings while the top and bottom sides control exposure compensation and display settings respectively.
A slider switch on the top panel enables users to move between the Movie, Shooting and Auto modes. Beside this switch is a shiny on/off button that lies flush with the top panel. To its right is the shutter button, which sits slightly proud of the top panel. Surrounding it is a small zoom lever.
The battery compartment is tucked into the left hand end of the base plate. It accepts a NB-9L rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which is roughly the size of an AA cell. The memory card has its own slot at the opposite end of the base plate, which is opened by pushing the cover forward. The covers to both are made from plastic and, although securely attached to the camera body, could easily be damaged if the camera was knocked or dropped when they were open.
A plastic-lined tripod socket is located just in from the battery compartment and quite a distance off-centre from the optical axis of the lens. Both interface ports (A/V out/USB and HDMI) sit beneath a lift-up cover on the right hand side panel, just above the loop for the wrist strap. Although it lies flush when closed, we have some reservations about the security of its single tether point.
The Ixus 1000 HS with bundled accessories. (Source: Canon.)
The camera is supplied with NB-9L rechargeable lithium-ion battery and charger, wrist strap, USB and video cables and the latest verison of Canon's standard digicam software disk.
Despite their different locations, most controls on the IXUS 1000 HS are standard for the latest Ixus cameras. Users who opt for the Auto mode will find they can only adjust the image size and resolution and the self-timer. Everything else is handled by Canon's Smart Auto with Scene Detection Technology.
Setting the top panel slider to the camera icon accesses the limited manual controls. The FUNC./SET button handles adjustments to the metering (evaluative, centre weighted or spot), 'My Colors', white balance, ISO, Scene presets, exposure compensation, drive mode (single shot or continuous shooting), and image size and quality.
The arrow pad covers the self-timer, flash, focus and display modes, while pressing the Menu button opens two banks of settings, covering shooting/playback and camera settings. The former contains the AF frame and mode settings, digital and AF zooms, red-eye reduction (for flash shots), iContrast (dynamic range expansion) blink detection and grid overlay. The setup bank covers card formatting, date/time settings and LCD brightness adjustment.
Sensor and Image Processing
The Ixus 1000 HS appears to have the same back-illuminated, high-sensitivity CMOS sensor as the Ixus 300 HS. It certainly has the same resolution and both cameras use the same DiG!C 4 image processor. Both cameras are JPEG-only models and the 1000 HS provides five image sizes and two compression ratios. Typical image sizes are shown in the table below.
3648 x 2736
2816 x 2112
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
3648 x 2048
Whereas the Ixus 300 HS only records 720p video clips, the Ixus 1000 HS supports Full HD video recording at a higher resolution and with stereo soundtracks. Four resolution settings are provided for recording video clips and the Ixus 1000 HS uses the MOV format with the H.264 video compression standard providing extended recording times for memory capacities. Typical recording capacities are shown in the table below.
Recording time on a 4GB memory card
1920 x 1080 pixels
14 minutes, 34 seconds
1280 x 720 pixels
20 minutes, 43 seconds
640 x 480 pixels
43 minutes, 43 seconds
320 x 240 pixels
1 hour 58 minutes, 19 seconds
The maximum clip length is 10 minutes for the two HD modes or one hour for VGA and QVGA resolution. SD Class 6 memory cards are recommended for video recording.
Playback and Software
Playback options are essentially unchanged from previous Ixus cameras, with added support for viewing the HD video clips recorded by the camera. The supplied stereo AV cable lets you view images and SD video clips on a standard-definition TV set. To view them on an HDTV set you need a separate HDMI cable (not supplied), which will cost you around $50.
The software disk contains Version 69.0 of the standard Canon Digital Camera Solution Disk, which includes an electronic version of the full user manual in PDF format plus the latest versions of ZoomBrowser EX (Windows) and ImageBrowser (Macintosh) for organising and editing images, movies and slideshows, or creating and printing digital photo albums. CameraWindow DC 8.3 for viewing and uploading images is also provided, along with a Personal Printing Guide, a software guide and the PhotoStitch panorama stitching application.
Still pictures straight from the camera appeared slightly soft and saturation was elevated, particularly for greens (which were a bit lurid for our taste). Both problems are easily corrected with post-capture editing.
Dynamic range reproduction was typical of a small-sensor digicam and, although the iContrast setting made some improvements to shadow detail, highlights tended to blow out in subjects with a wide brightness range unless exposures were over-ridden.
Autofocusing was patchy and we had several instances of out-of-focus shots in a sequence of two or three exposures of the same subject taken within a minute or so. When shooting video clips, the camera appeared to set focus and exposure on the first frame as we encountered many instances where the camera failed to keep track of changes in brightness and subject distances as clips were recorded. In the example shown below the differences aren't great - but they are significant.
Imatest showed resolution to be slightly below expectations for a 10-megapixel digicam and revealed slight edge softening at all focal length settings. However, because aperture settings aren't adjustable, measurements could only be made at one aperture for each focal length. The results of our tests are shown in the graph below.
Resolution remained relatively high for ISO settings up to 800 but dropped sharply at ISO 1600 and remained low at ISO 3200. The graph below shows the results of our tests.
The only way to achieve the maximum 15-second exposure with the camera was via the Long Shutter mode in the Scene presets. However, you can't adjust ISO settings in the Scene modes. In the P mode, the slowest shutter speed available is one second. Both modes tended to result in image softening, which increased as sensitivity was raised. Noise-reduction processing undoubtedly contributed to reducing image sharpness. Flash exposures retained their sharpness better than available-light shots but some softening was evident as sensitivity was increased.
Lateral chromatic aberration was moderate-to-high across all focal length settings. Coloured fringing was evident in many outdoor shots with both purple and green fringes being visible, as shown in the illustrations below.
The ful image frame.
Crop from a 100% enlargement of the above image showing coloured fringing.
The lens was also fairly flare-prone, although problems could be avoided when shooting backlit subjects by blocking bright light sources with solid, obscuring objects, such as trees.
Auto white balance performance was typical of most digital cameras. The review camera was unable to correct the orange cast of incandescent lighting but came close to neutral colour rendition with fluorescent lighting. Acceptable corrections were provided by the pre-sets, while Custom measurement removed both colour casts.
The image stabilisation system proved effective, enabling us to use shutter speeds as slow as 1/3 second with the lens at its widest position and 1/30 second at full optical zoom. The stabilisation system was also useful when shooting video clips as it visibly improved the smoothness of panning and made it easier to track subjects in low light levels.
Video quality was generally good, although not quite as good as we expected from a Full HD-capable camera. Saturation appeared to be slightly lower than in still pictures, although greens were occasionally rendered too strongly. The stereo soundtracks had better ‘presence' than we expected from the camera's tiny microphones, although wind noise was recorded with most clips we shot outdoors making many of them unusable.
We used a SanDisk Ultra 4GB SDHC memory card to test the review camera's response times, which were about average for recent Ixus models. The test camera powered up ready for shooting in approximately one second and we measured an average capture lag of 0.45 seconds, which was reduced to a consistent 0.1 second lag when shots were pre-focused. Shot-to-shot times averaged 3.2 seconds. High-resolution images took an average of 2.8 seconds to process.
The continuous shooting mode recorded nine shots at full resolution in 3.3 seconds, which is close to specifications. Image processing appeared to be on-the-fly as it took 3.7 seconds to process this burst. With the AF Burst mode, capture rates were very much slower, with five shots being recorded in 4.7 seconds. It took 2.6 seconds to process this burst, suggesting processing is on-the-fly.
Buy this camera if:
- You're looking for a pocketable digicam with a long zoom lens and wide screen monitor.
- You'd like a digicam that can record Full HD widescreen high-definition video clips with stereo soundtracks.
- You want effective image stabilisation.
Don't buy this camera if:
- You want P, A, S and M shooting modes plus the ability to capture raw files.
- You require an optical viewfinder.
Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.
Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.
6.3mm focal length, ISO 320, 1/1002 second at f/3.4.
63mm focal length, ISO 500, 1/251 second at f/5.6.
Digital zoom; 63mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/807 second at f/5.6.
Close-up; 6.3mm focal length, ISO 125, 1/2004 second at f/4.
Long shutter mode; 15 seconds at f/3.8; ISO 125, 8.6mm focal length.
P mode; 1 second at f/3.8; ISO 400, 8.6mm focal length.
P mode; 1 second at f/3.8; ISO 800, 8.6mm focal length.
P mode; 1 second at f/3.8; ISO 3200, 8.6mm focal length.
Flash at ISO 400, 34mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/5.
Flash at ISO 800, 34mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/5.
Flash at ISO 3200, 34mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/5.
Lens flare; 6.3mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/807 second at f/3.4.
Backlighting; 6.3mm focal length, ISO 250, 1/403 second at f/3.4.
Stabilisation test; 6.3mm focal length, ISO 1600, 1/3 second at f/3.4.
Stabilisation test; 62mm focal length, ISO 800, 1/30 second at f/5.6.
Portrait; 12.6mm focal length, ISO 250, 1/60 second at f/4.5.
11mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/318 second at f/4.5.
Still frame from HD video clip.
Still frame from VGA video clip.
Image sensor: 6.16 x 4.62 mm High Sensitivity CMOS sensor with 10.6 million photosites (10 megapixels effective)
Lens: 6.3-63.0mm f/3.4-5.6 zoom lens (36-360mm in 35mm format)
Zoom ratio: 10x optical, 4x digital
Image formats: Stills - JPEG (Exif 2.3); Movies - MOV (Image Data: H.264; Audio Data: Linear PCM Stereo)
Image Sizes: Stills - 3648 x 2736, 2816 x 2112, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480, Widescreen 3648 x 2048; Movies - 1920 x 1080 at 24 fps, 1280 x 720, 640 x 480, 320 x 240 (all at 30 fps), Super Slow Motion 320 x 240 at 240 fps
Shutter speed range: 15 seconds to 1/4000 second
Self-timer: Approx. 10 sec or 2 sec delay, Custom, Face Self-Timer, Wink Self-Timer
Image Stabilisation: Optical (Lens Shift Type), approx. 4 stops
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3EV steps
Focus system/range: Contrast-based TTL autofocus with Face Detect AiAF and Centre modes; range 1 cm to infinity; macro 1-50 cm
Exposure metering/control: TTL metering with Evaluative, Centre-weighted average, Spot modes; Program AE, AE Lock, Intelligent Contrast Correction
Shooting modes: Intelligent Auto (with Scene Detection), P, Portrait, Kids & Pets, Smart Shutter, High-speed Burst, Best Image Selection, Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Super vivid, Poster Effect, Colour Accent, Colour Swap, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter, Stitch Assist; Movie (Standard, Super Slow Motion, Colour Accent, Colour Swap)
ISO range: Auto, ISO 125, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Auto, on, off, Auto Red Eye Correction, Red Eye Reduction, Face Detect, Slow Synchro, FE Lock; range - 50 cm to 3.5 m
Sequence shooting: Normal - 3.7 frames/second; High-speed burst - approx. 8.4 fps
Storage Media: SD/SDHC/SDXC and MMC cards
LCD monitor: 3.0-inch Wide LCD screen with 230,000 dots; 16:9 aspect ratio
Power supply: NB-9L rechargeable lithium-ion battery; CIPA rated for approx. 150 shots/charge
Dimensions (wxhxd): 101.3 x 58.5 x 22.3 mm
Weight: Approx. 167 grams (without battery and card)
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Rating (out of 10):
- Build: 8.5
- Ease of use: 8.5
- Autofocusing: 8.0
- Image quality: 7.5
- OVERALL: 8.0