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Canon PowerShot Pro1 - Test images and Verdict
Now even though both are L-series lenses the two following pictures do show that the Pro1’s lens exhibits some evidence of chromatic aberration around the peripheral edges of the leaf. That said, it’s not too excessive. Interestingly we can also see more noise in the shot taken with the Pro1 even though both pictures were shot at ISO 100. (focal length: 80mm equivalent, shutter 1/125, aperture f5.6)
OK so you may think I am a little mad comparing my Canon EOS 10D digital SLR with the prosumer PowerShot Pro1, but there was method in my madness. At the beginning of this review, I mentioned that I remained undecided about the true merits of a prosumer camera largely because the middle ground that they occupy is being encroached upon from both sides of the digital camera market. You just have to take a look around the web to find out how much better compact digital cameras are becoming, and how much cheaper digital SLRs are.
To illustrate what I mean, a while ago Canon released a budget digital SLR, namely the EOS 300D. Now, at the time of writing I have seen this priced at around £600 (without a lens), almost the same price as the Powershot Pro1. Ok so you’ll have to purchase the optics separately, but what you’ll end up with is a camera that on the inside is very similar to my 10D. That and the L-series label explains why I chose to test the Pro1 against my 10D.
So at the end of the day what do you go for? Personally, I'd rather opt for the 300D even though it sports a 6.3 megapixel CMOS sensor. Ok so maybe I won't be able to enlarge my images as big as those from an 8.0 megapixel prosumer camera, but I can pretty much guarantee that if I did they'd probably look much better.
As it stands the Pro1 is a well made compact digital camera offering plenty of features for both the novice and keen amateur. However, there are some slight niggles concerning ISO sensitivity, chromatic aberrations, and a degree of vignetting. I wasn’t overly keen on the sluggish electronic zoom ring either. That said, leave the Pro1 on ISO 50, and stop down the aperture a little, and it's likely you'll get some good results. As a Canon PowerShot G1 user I also liked the Pro1's familiar operation and of course the flip screen. However, if you're a keen photographer go for the Canon EOS 300D instead.
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