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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Canon PowerShot Pro1

Canon Digital Cameras


Canon PowerShot Pro1 Review

Review Date: May 4, 2004

Category: Advanced Amateur - Prosumer

Canon PowerShot Pro1


Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - Here's what I receive in the box:

  • PowerShot Pro1
  • Lens Hood
  • Filter Adapter
  • Neck Strap
  • Wireless Remote Controller
  • Li-Ion Battery & Battery Charger
  • 64MB CompactFlash (CF) Memory Card
  • Interface Cables: A/V; USB
  • English & French Instruction Manuals: User Guide; Software Starter Guide; Quick Start Guide [very convenient]; System Map; Direct Print User Guide
  • Software CDs: Digital Camera 17.1; ArcSoft Camera Suite 2.1

The Canon PowerShot Pro1 comes with a 64MB CompactFlash memory card, rechargeable Li-Ion battery and battery recharger. A wireless remote controller is a nice addition.

The battery charger plugs directly into a power outlet. It takes about 90 mins to fully charge a depleted Li-Ion battery. You can safely recharge the battery at any time and do not have to wait for it to be depleted first. The battery life is approximately 300 charge cycles. If you have ever wished you could know approximately how much juice is left in your battery and whether you can risk it by not recharging it, now you can. The charge indicator on the CG-580 battery charger blinks once (0%-49%), twice (50%-74%) or three times (75%-99%) to give an approximate indication of the percentage of the battery that is recharged. A steady light indicates the battery is fully (100%) recharged.

The supplied 64MB CF card will hold about 17 Superfine Large, or 6 RAW, images. I recommend you purchase at least a 512MB CF card, or as large a memory card as you can afford. For example, a 256MB CF card will allow you to record about 71 Superfine Large images (3264x2448 pixels) or 26 RAW images, which is not a lot. A 8MP image takes a lot of space (though compressed) so unless you fancy changing CF card in the middle of a shooting session, check out the larger capacity CF cards. The Pro1 accepts both CF Type I and II.

With Windows XP, you don't need to install any software to transfer images from camera to PC. Just plug the USB cable into your camera and PC USB socket, and ZoomBrowser EX automatically runs. You do not even need to turn on the camera. You can specify the default directory for file transfer and even set transfer to automatic, as I did. When the transfer is completed (takes about 7-9 sec. to transfer each image, depending on the power state of your battery), just unplug the cable, no need to turn off camera. Very convenient.

There are two CDs included: ArcSoft Camera Suite 2.1 (PhotoImpression 5, VideoImpression 2) and Digital Camera Solution Disk 17.1 (ZoomBrowser EX 4.6, PhotoRecord 2.0, PhotoStitch 3.1, Camera Twain Driver 6.4, Camera WIA Driver 6.2)

The User Guide is well illustrated and written, though the print is on the small side. A Quick Start Guide is all you need to get started with the basics of using the camera.

Khoi Fish: 1/60 sec., F3.2, and ISO 50 with Flash
Khoi Fish
20.9mm, Program AE, Evaluative, 1/60 sec., F3.2, and ISO 50 with Flash

Here are some of my MENU and FUNC options, with descriptions:

Rec. Menu

Red-eye = Off Set this only when taking portraits. Because the red-eye reduction lamp fires first, there is a slight delay before the shutter fires.
Flash Pop-up = Off I like to decide whether the flash fires or not.
Self-timer = 2 sec. Great way to prevent camera shake.
Spot AE Point = AF Point Great for macro shots to permit precise focus of off-centre subjects.
MF-Point Zoom = On Magnifies the AF frame area for a clearer view.
AF Mode = Single In Continuous AF Mode, the motor, though very quiet, constantly whirs.
Digital Zoom = Off  
Review = 5 sec. Set to any length of time you find comfortable since a tap on the shutter release returns the camera immediately to Shooting Mode.
Reverse Disp. = On Flips the image right side up when the LCD monitor is turned to face the subject.


Set up

Mute = On Silence is golden (you do hear a slight muted click).
LCD Brightness = Bright Would have preferred a slightly brighter option.
Auto Rotate = Off Drives me nuts trying to compose when the image keeps flipping.

ISO = 50

Other Settings:
AWB = Auto
Histogram is available on playback. In Playback mode, press the INFO button a couple of times until the histogram appears. Set this way, it will display as soon as you finish taking the picture for however long you set the Review time to in the Rec. Menu. It is a good idea to learn to read the histogram if it is available on your digital camera. It is not difficult and we explain it clearly in this tutorial. You can rely on a histogram display to tell you whether your shot is underexposed or overexposed -- no matter how it looks on the LCD screen.

The Canon PowerShot Pro1 is a full-featured prosumer digital camera, and as such does require some adjustement time to master all its features. After three full weeks of use, I am quite comfortable with all its buttons and dials, though I would still have preferred some slight moving of the buttons around to suit my personal preferences (see Handling & Feel page).

I am very partial to compact digital cameras and the Canon PowerShot Pro1, with its compact size, superb build and handling, excellent image quality, and professional features, comes close to as perfect as a digital camera can be for me. Now, if only Canon would put its APS-sized CMOS image sensor into it....

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