Is the slimmest 10x Optical zoom camera worth its salt?
Inside the camera, you’ll find a 1/2.3″ type back-illuminated CMOS that coupled with the Digic IV gives the camera its HS badge which stands for High Sensitivity that in other words means better low light performance. However, this is hampered with the lack of exposure or focus options.
The camera takes up to 4 seconds to start up which is little on the slow side with a 2 seconds gap between shots when shooting in normal capture mode. Auto Focus is also a little slow especially coming from a Canon, but focus is precise and reliable even in low light conditions with the help of an AF assist light. Zooming in or out is a very smooth process.
You can shoot at various resolutions as follows: 3648*2736 (4:3), 3648*2048 (16:10), 2816*2112, 1600*1200, 640*480 and 320*240
Image quality is average due to the limits of cramming a long lens in a relatively small body with quite a lot chromatic abbreviation visible in corners, especially when shooting in the sunny outdoors of UAE. Sharpness is average as you always find the need to crank it up in post processing. That said, these limitations are triumphed by the impressive low light performance. Staying true to its badge, the 1000HS manages to hold its composure even at ISO1600, but limiting your size to small prints. This puts the camera ahead of most competitors.
Normal burst mode is rated at ‘up to 3.7fps’, though this varies depending on the lighting conditions (i.e. the shutter speed). You also have a ‘High Speed Burst’ mode that allows you to shoot up to 8.8 fps but at a mere 2.5 megapixels. This is fun to use, even with the resolution limitation, as you can keep on shooting till the memory runs out.
You have various auto modes that can be chosen depending on the situation while you have some ‘fun’ effects to play with as well:
• Auto: Normal Auto mode
• Program: ISO, White balance, exposure value can be controlled
• Kids & Pets
• Smart Shutter (Smile, Wink Self-Timer, Face Self-Timer): A smarter Auto mode
• High-speed Burst (2.5MP): 8.8fps burst mode used
• Best Image Selection (2.5MP): 8.8fps burst mode used
• Handheld Night Scene
• Low Light (2.5MP): lower resolution to keep noise low.
• Super Vivid: Lots of saturation.
• Poster Effect Color Accent: Add color tones.
• Color Swap
• Fish-eye Effect: Adds plenty of distortion to replicate a shot taken with a fish eye lens.
• Miniature Effect: Tilt and shift lens effect through in-camera blur.
• Long Shutter
• Stitch Assist: Take multiple images to create a Panorama.
Like every other camera you have a macro setting that you can use to get as close as 1cm to your subject allowing you to capture a lot of detail, though this is only possible when the zoom is at its widest as the minimum focusing distance increases the more you zoom in. The ability to change white balance in the program mode is nice, though some of the presets are quite extreme in color tones (too warm in some cases); changes which led me to use the custom white balance option that allows you to set the white balance depending on the scene you choose to set it on which was quite neat.