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Canon Powershot SX50 HS Digital Camera With 50x Ultra

1/22/2014 10:01:07 AM
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Superb photos and videos, but pedestrian performance holds it back.

Make no mistake: the 50x zoom in the SX50 HS is enormous. Its 24mm wide-angle setting captures sweeping vistas, while at 1200mm it can see things virtually invisible to the naked eye.

Canon has taken a more restrained approach with the sensor resolution, but 12 megapixels is an enlightened choice. It captures more than enough detail for A4 prints, and helps to keep noise at bay.

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Unfortunately, the SX50 HS is quite slow. We measured 1.8 seconds between shots in normal use - a passable result, but three times slower than the Panasonic FZ200. The rapid burst speed of 14fps is only possible with a scene preset. If you keep full control of the camera this drops to 1.9fps, or just 0.9fps with continuous autofocus. As the screen was mostly blank between shots it was nearly impossible to track moving subjects.

The controls are well laid out, with a dedicated button for moving the autofocus point and a custom button that can be assigned to one-click white balance calibration. The electronic viewfinder’s (EVF) small size and low 202,000-dot resolution meant we didn’t have much of an urge to use it.

Unfortunately, the SX50 HS is quite slow

Unfortunately, the SX50 HS is quite slow

Video capture is at 1080p at 24fps, and the high 33Mbit/s bit rate avoids compression artefacts. However, it also limits clips to around 16 minutes. Picture and sound quality are excellent, with crisp details.

The SX50 HS put in a great performance in our image quality tests, too. Focus was impressively sharp throughout the zoom range, and although it deteriorated a little at the longest focal lengths, it held up better than rival cameras with 42x and 60x zooms. Chromatic aberrations were more of a problem, though, giving discoloration around high-contrast lines that were visible even after resizing to fit a computer screen.

The SX50 HS put in a great performance in our image quality tests

The SX50 HS put in a great performance in our image quality tests

There was very little evidence of noise in brightly lit shots, and it remained low in subdued light too. ISO 1600 gave print-worthy results, and ISO 3200 shots looked fine at modest sizes. Only the Fujifilm X-S1 could compete at a given ISO speed. However, the FZ200’s wider aperture meant it came out on top in most of our low-light tests.

The Canon’s middling performance is another big incentive to go for the FZ200. The SX50 HS has lots going for it, though. If a huge zoom is a must, this is the one to go for.

If a huge zoom is a must, this is the one to go for

If a huge zoom is a must, this is the one to go for

Specifications

·         Rating: 5/6

·         Megapixels: 12 megapixels

·         Sensor size: 1/2.3in

·         Viewfinder: Electronic (202,000 dots)

·         LCD screen: 2.8in (461,000 dots)

·         Articulated: Yes

·         Touchscreen: No

·         Optical zoom: 50x (24-1200mm)

·         Optical stabilization: Optical, lens based

·         Orientation sensor: Yes

·         Maximum resolution: 4000x3000

·         File formats: JPEG, Raw; QuickTime (AVC)

·         Video resolutions: 1080p at 24fps, 720p at 30fps, VGA at 30fps

·         Slow motion video modes: VGA at 120fps (1/4x), QVGA at 240fps (x)

·         Maximum video clip length: 16m 0s

Controls

·         Exposure modes: Program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual

·         Shutter speed range: 15 to 1/2000 seconds

·         Aperture range: f/3.4-8 (wide), f/6.5-8 (Tele)

·         ISO speed range: 80to 6400

·         Exposure compensation: +/-3 EV

·         White balance: Auto, 8 presets with fine tuning, manual

·         Additional image controls: Contrast, saturation, sharpness, red, green, blue, skin tone

·         Manual focus: Yes

·         Closest macro focus (wide): 0 cm

·         Closest macro focus (Tele): Not stated

·         Auto-focus modes: Multi, flexible spot, face detect, tracking

·         Metering modes: Multi, center-weighted, center, face detect

·         Flash modes: Auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction

·         Drive modes: Single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, focus bracket

Physical

·         Card slot: SDXC

·         Memory supplied: None

·         Battery type: Li-ion

·         Battery life (CIPA): 315 shots

·         Connectivity: USB, A/V, Mini HDMI, wired remote

·         Wireless: No

·         GPS: No

·         Hotshoe: Canon E-TTL

·         Body material: Plastic

·         Accessories: USB cable, neck strap

·         Weight: 605g

·         Size (H x W x D): 90x123x112mm

Buying information

·         Price: $450

·         Supplier: www.canon.com

 

 

 
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