Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review

January 19, 2013

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Canon’s PowerShot SX50 HS bridge camera offers a whopping 1,200mm stabilised zoom lens, but is it a bridge too far? Read the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review...


Build and handling

The PowerShot SX50 HS is the larger of two bridge cameras from Canon. It weighs just under 600g with a memory card and battery loaded, and measures 122.5×87.3×105.5mm. This is a very similar size and weight to a body-only entry-level DSLR. However, the advantage of a bridge camera such as the SX50 HS is that its fixed lens is designed to cover all shooting situations, while a DSLR needs more than one lens to do the same job.

The camera body is made from plastic, which feels like a low-cost model, but after a few weeks of general use it proved to be rugged, resisting markings and damage. I suspect that for everyday use the camera will stand a much longer test of time.

Each button on the body is large and easily operated, even with gloved hands. Shutter response is rapid, with 15-1/2000sec shutter speeds available. The lens zoom is both quick and quiet, with focal lengths marked on the lens barrel. The zoom operates via the rocker, and with a delicate hand minor adjustments can be made. On the side of the lens barrel are the framing assist lock and seek button controls, both of which are very useful when shooting using the telephoto end of the lens. With practice, it is possible to use these controls without needing to look at them, which is vital to handling the telephoto settings effectively. I found I could use the camera handheld at any focal length and achieve sharp results down to 1/100sec.

A pop-up flash is included, and it is manually lifted to its position rather than via a button-catch release. Flash output can be manually controlled to one of three power settings. External flash units can also be used with the camera via its hotshoe.

All in all, the SX50 HS handles well, and is tough despite its rather modest build quality.

  • Metering System: Evaluative (linked to face detection AF), centreweighted, spot
  • Dimensions: 122.5 x 87.3 x 105.5mm
  • Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, tracking AF, manual
  • ISO: 80-6400
  • RRP: £449
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1/3 steps
  • Connectivity / Interface: Mini HDMI, digital/video out, remote
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Drive Mode: Single, self-timer 2secs, 10secs or custom, continuous up to 2.2fps or High Speed Burst HQ at 10fps
  • Shutter Speeds: Up to 15-1/2000sec
  • AF array: Flexizone AF (multi), individually selectable single-point, AF tracking, face detection
  • File Format: JPEG, raw, JPEG+raw
  • Lens: Canon 4.3-215mm (24-1,200mm equivalent) f/3.4-6.5
  • Power: NB-10L rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Weight: 595g (including battery and card)
  • Exposure Modes: Auto, PASM, custom 1 and 2, sports, video, 9 scenes and 10 creative filters
  • Focal Length Mag: 4.92x
  • Sensor: 12.1-million-effective-pixel, 1/2.3in, back-illuminated CMOS (6.17 x 4.55mm)
  • AF Points: Flexizone AF (multi), individually selectable single-point, AF tracking, face detection
  • LCD: 2.8in, 461,000-dot, articulated
  • Output Size: 4000 x 3000 pixels
  • Viewfinder Type: 202,000-dot EVF
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Built-in Flash: Yes
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets and two custom
  • External mic: No
  • Video: Full 1080p HD (24fps), 720p (30fps), slow motion, H.264 MOV video with stereo sound
  • Tested as: Bridge camera

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