Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SX110IS Movie mode review

Like most digital cameras the Canon SX110 IS can record movies. Unfortunately, Canon chose the MJPEG format for saving the movies, which means that a 32 minute, 640x480 movie takes a whopping 4GB. Most modern cameras record in a more efficient format, like MPEG 2, or even MPEG 4. MJEPG looks great, mind you, but it takes much more space than any of the MPEG formats. Canon probably did this to save on MPEG licensing fees, but I'd rather pay a little for more compact files (or course, you can recompress your movies after downloading them, if you want).  

Movie resolutions include 640x480, 320x240, and 160x120, with smaller movies allowing much longer recording time. All movies are recorded at 30fps, a come-down from some earlier models, where you can choose 15,30, or even 60 fps. 

Once you start recording a movie the optical zoom and focus stay fixed. Luckily, the exposure does automatically adjust, so if you start filming indoors and then rotate the camera toward a window the camera will adjust. Though the optical zoom does not function, you can use the digital zoom to smoothly increase the magnification up to 4x. This doesn't look blocky, since the camera's native resolution is much higher than 640x480.

This post is part of a series that reviews the Canon SX110IS.

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