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Old Mar 26, 2010, 4:43 PM   #1
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Default Canon powershot sx1 or sx20

Hi all this is my first post on this site and I have looked over everything and figured it would be the best place to ask my question.

First off, this will be my first digital camera after coming from a 35mm Canon Rebel SLR. I would love to get a Rebel T1i but the extra $$$ seems to make me think twice.

Right now I'm looking at either the Canon Powershot SX1 or SX20. I've looked at both and compared both, personally I like that the SX1 has video in 1080p and RAW (not sure how ofter I would use this) and also the CMOS sensor. But I am having issues justifying paying an extra $300 for the SX1 over the SX20 which still has some great features.

I'm just wondering what some of your thoughts or opinions are? The reason I'm not looking at the T1i right now is I only ever had one lens for my old rebel and would like the ability to zoom without having to change lenses.

Thanks in advance for your advice guys and girls.
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 5:38 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to Steve's.

I have an SX1 as my walk around camera which I use for convenience when not taking one of my dSLRs with me. There is no comparison in quality with a dSLR and a superzoom like the two options you are looking at. In good light they will get close but the dSLR will still win and as the light gets worse then the gap widens considerably.

However, as you rightly say, having one lens it a great bonus and the range of the SX1/SX20 is great. My father has the SX20 btw so I've played with both quite a lot. For shooting video, I like his better as you don't have the rolling shutter issue when panning quickly or having moving objects go across the screen, but the res is a bit lower. I really like the remote control that is included with the SX1 and use it a lot.

When it comes to results of stills, they are both really similar. I do like the 4fps shooting on the SX1 but that's just me and honestly I don't use it much, more messing around than anything.

I'm sure there might be a few other things, but as a photographic tool there is not much to choose. If I was buying now, I would get the SX20, I got the SX1 because at the time (Jan 09) there were no other good option for shooting video and stills.... the Panasonic FZ28 couldn't do video nearly as well so that was out of the question.

I hope that helps get you started, but feel free to ask more questions.
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 9:21 PM   #3
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Has anyone heard if there is the possibility of the Rebel T1i possibly having a price drop now that the T2i is out?
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 3:23 AM   #4
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Cameras will always get cheaper with time but can't tell when the next drop will be.
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 3:33 AM   #5
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My issue right now is that I would really love to get the T1i, but with my wife using the camera as well, she's wanting something that she can zoom in with, where as I have already had an SLR previously and never ran into a time where I needed the zoom but it would be nice without having to shell out $300 to $400 for a separate lens.
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 3:38 AM   #6
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It's always a tough decision and it's the reason that many of us have both dSLRs and compact/superzoom/bridge cameras etc.

It boils down to the following and which aspects are more important.

dSLR advantages: Quality, creativity, speed, low light capability, expandability.
Superzoom advantages: Size, weight, convenience, range, price, simplicity.
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 3:40 AM   #7
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What's your opinion on the Rebel XSI compared to the T1i?
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 3:49 AM   #8
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If you don't need video or the higher ISO speeds of the T1i (which you wouldn't get with the SX1/20 anyway) then the XSi is a great performing camera. I've used one a couple of times when I've been out shooting with friends (I like to play with everything as it helps when discussing things on here, and they like even more to play with my toys). The main thing that is going to affect quality with a dSLR is the lenses you use, I've sold work from cameras that are 6mp up to 21mp now, so resolution isn't a big differentiator for most shooters.

What sort of things do you want to shoot as that might make a difference?
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 3:57 AM   #9
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Yeah video would be nice lol. For the two of us, this will be our main camera. More than likely we'll use it for everything, myself it would mostly be used for wildlife, landscapes and special events. The wife "everything" lol. Sorry if that doesn't really help. By the way, thanks Mark for all your advice so far.
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 4:23 AM   #10
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For wildlife you will need a longer lens on the dSLR, depending on the wildlife 300mm is usually a minimum. The best 'cheap' option is the tamron 70-300mm, the next step is the big jump to the Canon 70-300mm IS USM.

With the SX1/20 you get the reach with the lens, but you lose the fast focus and short shoot times which can be the difference between getting and not getting the shot.

Video on the T1i is good, but you are basically going to be doing manual focus. I should have mentioned I have a T1i in my lineup which I got to play with video and at the time couldn't justify the 5DmkII (which I now have). The video quality is good but be aware that it isn't as convenient by a long way as the SX options. here is the first video I shot with the T1i, I really messed up on exposure, I was playing around with it lots to see if I could force a wider aperture and also trying to compensate for the very back lit subjects. http://vimeo.com/4817779 There are also a few SX1 videos on there as well that I've shot.
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