The 1000 HS is packed with advanced high-tech features, but still manages to have a nice simple control interface which is quick and intuitive to operate. There is a three-position slider switch on the top that selects between the video recording mode, the normal program auto mode, or an extra-easy Full Auto mode, in which most user options are disabled. The zoom control is a rotary bezel around the shutter button, and has a smooth two-speed action depending on how far you move the control. The rear panel controls are very simple, with large well-labelled buttons that blend artfully into the overall design of the camera body. The round D-pad has a rotary bezel, and is also integrated into the body design, giving the whole camera a stylish modern look that is both functional and fashionable. It also handles well; the shape is easy to grip and the controls fall neatly under the thumb and forefinger.
There is one unusual aspect to the design of the 1000 HS. It's the first compact camera I've seen in a long while that has separate hatches for the memory card and battery. It uses a new smaller type of Lithium-ion battery that I've not seen before, which is round and narrow and fits neatly into one end of the camera body. It's lower capacity (870mAh) than the one in the 300 HS, and as a result only has a duration of approximately 150 shots, which is rather fewer than the 250 shot capacity of the 300 HS.
The 1000 HS has a wide range of advanced face and scene recognition features, such as a blink detection warning and an amusing wink-activated self-timer feature. You can set the camera up for group portrait, join the group yourself, and then start a three-second timer by winking at the camera. In practice it required a grimace like a bad Popeye impression to activate it, and then only on the third try, but it's a great ice-breaker for parties. Other features such as the night hand-held setting work much better, and the optical image stabilisation, available in both still and video modes, is especially good, providing an impressive four stops of extra stability.
Other cool features include a range of filter effects, such as a fish-eye lens, the “miniature effect” for making photos taken from higher angles look like pictures of tiny models, and a selection of other more common options such as vivid colour, poster effect, a few scene modes and panorama stitching. As with most Canon cameras the 1000 HS has a comprehensive array of colour and tone custom options.
The stand-out feature is of course the full HD video recording, which shoots at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 24fps, with stereo audio recorded via a pair of microphones to the left of the lens, the stereo separation isn't brilliant, but the sound and video quality is very good, and full optical zoom is available during recording.