Canon unveiled it's latest "prosumer" digital camera ahead of the PMA trade show next month, and it includes the ability to shoot full high-definition 1080p video. That's a feature only recently introduced in the higher-end Canon 5D Mark ii and the Nikon D90, which retail for between $1,000 and $3,000 before lenses. The SX1 is expected to sell for $600. But there's one catch.
The SX1 is a chunky compact unit, with a 10-megapixel CMOS sensor, a 20x zoom, an optical image-stabilization system, stereo microphones, and a 2.8-inch LCD screen that swivels. The camera also copies many other features from Canon's EOS DSLRs, including a direct print over pictbridge, scene mode selection, a proper flash shoe and it shoots in both RAW and JPEG image formats.
Although it's too large to slip into a pocket, the SX1 is almost a new class of camera, offering many of the benefits of DSLR units and the convenience of a fairly compact size. Here's the catch: it's not a proper SLR--you can't change the lens.
Canon has clearly been careful with the design so that it doesn't cannibalize sales of its extremely popular entry-level Digital Rebel series. While the Rebel doesn't offer video recording, it is a "proper" SLR with interchangeable lenses.