Canon’s latest bridge camera has a staggering 21-1365mm equivalent zoom range and features raw-format recording. Audley Jarvis finds out if this is all too good to be true in our Canon PowerShot SX60 HS review
At £449, though, it’s more expensive than many of its competitors, and not far off entry-level DSLRs. But, of course, there’s no practical way of coming close to matching its zoom range with interchangeable lenses. Clearly there are going to be compromises with the superzoom camera, but is it still worthy of attention as a serious photographic tool?
The SX60 HS is the successor to last-year’s SX50 HS, and aside from its aforementioned zoom, it gains notable updates in other areas. The sensor is now a 16.1-million-pixel back-illuminated CMOS unit – up from 12.1 million pixels – although it’s still the same small 1/2.3in type. The image processor is Canon’s newer DIGIC 6, but the maximum sensitivity has dropped to ISO 3200, compared to ISO 6400 on the SX50 HS. And despite the lens’s very impressive zoom range, its f/3.4-6.5 maximum aperture is disappointingly slow, especially as many of its competitors open up to f/2.8 at the widest end.
To deal with the extended telephoto range, Canon says it has beefed up the lens’s optical image-stabilisation system. This may well be true, but we’ve found that merely aiming a 1365mm-equivalent lens in the right direction is a big ask – let alone holding it steady. Canon has provided a couple of framing assist functions for telephoto work, accessed by buttons on the lens barrel; the first temporarily zooms the lens out to allow you to re-acquire your subject, and the second soups up the IS to help with framing. These do help a bit, although neither is well placed for portrait-format shooting. Overall, at such long focal lengths, it’s best to use a tripod, or at the very least brace yourself against a wall.
The SX60 HS does have a reasonably good electronic viewfinder, with 922,000-dot resolution. The 3in rear LCD is fully-articulated, which is a rare treat these days; it can be pointed downwards, upwards or even directly forwards for self-portraits, and folded in to face the back of the camera to protect the screen. It has the same resolution as the EVF, but isn’t touch sensitive. Disappointingly, though, the SX60 HS lacks eye sensor; instead you have to press the DISP button to cycle between the EVF and LCD.
Other useful features include a hotshoe for attaching more powerful flash units. Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC allows for connecting to a mobile device for image sharing and remote shooting. Full HD movie recording at 1920×1080 resolution and 60fps is also on offer.