Home > Main > Canon HF10 vs. Canon PowerShot SX1 IS

Canon HF10 vs. Canon PowerShot SX1 IS

After my trusty Kodak Z812 IS died I decided to purchase a Canon PowerShot SX1 IS in large part because of its ability to shoot 1080p30 video.  Today I decided to compare my Canon HF10 to my new PowerShot SX1 IS shooting video – here are the results.  Click on the image to view @ full size.

In general the SX1 looks significantly better than the HF10, providing much richer color and slightly better detail.  The biggest difference I noticed was in the wide-angle shots of the trees in the background – the HF10 just didn’t handle those well at all while the SX1 did better.

(These are stills taken from ProRes422 transcodes and compressed into JPEG) so there’s some distortion but you’ll get the basic idea.)

Zoomed In (Both cameras at max zoom)

PowerShot SX1

SX1-Zoomed

HF10

HF10-Zoomed InZoomed Out

PowerShot SX1 IS

SX1-Near

HF10

HF10-Near

Pan Shot (In the middle of a left to right Pan)

PowerShot SX1

SX1-Pan Shot

HF10

HF10-Pan Shot

Technical Details

HF10: FXP Mode (17 Mbps), PF30 Mode – Auto white balance, no image filters

SX1: Video Mode, Auto white balance, no image filters

Transcoded both files from AVCHD (HF10) and Quick

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Categories: Main
  1. David
    October 13, 2009 at 11:18 am

    What is your personal opinion, is SX1 close enough to HF10 regarding video quality?

  2. October 14, 2009 at 8:25 am

    It is superior in most cases – the only area where I suspect the HF10 is better is in low light, but I haven’t done any tests in this area.

    The HF10 is clearly superior for traditional video applications – recording long clips, etc. It also offers better options with regards to frame rates and using AVCHD for it’s format. But in terms of raw image quality, the SX1 IS is better.

  3. David
    October 14, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Thanks. I was in local store yesterday, shot few clip in low light, results are really bad (noisy). But I believe in sun light SX1 should do better job.

  4. October 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    The one thing I’ve learned is that because the aperture is variable on the SX1 – it’s important to not use Zoom in low light – that makes it even more difficult. Keeping the zoom all the way out so you have an aperture of 2.8 improves the low light performance considerably.

  5. David
    October 15, 2009 at 11:40 am

    You’re right. It’s better walking few steps to the object. Even IS is more reliable this way.

  6. David
    October 24, 2009 at 8:51 am

    WEll, after a week long SX1 testing, I have to disagree with you about SX1 being able to compare with HF10. In bright daylight video is really beyond expectation, very close to HF10. In not so optimal light (fo example after sunset outside) video quality drops fast way under hf10. So if yomebody needs exceptable video in low light conditions, SX 1 could be a big dissapointment.

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