Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
- - Huge zoom range
- - Useful vari-angle LCD
- - Generally good handling
- - Raw capture is available
- - Sluggish AF in less-than-perfect light
- - Prone to highlight clipping
- - Noise and detail loss at ISO 800 and higher
Price as Reviewed:£449.00
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
Superzoom bridge cameras tend to be overlooked by enthusiast photographers; with their SLR-like design but small-sensor image quality, they’re often seen as sheep in wolves’ clothing. But the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS has a few features that make it stand out from the crowd, most notably raw-format image recording. It also has a frankly staggering 65x zoom range, which is as notable for its 21mm-equivalent wideangle setting as it is for its 1365mm-equivalent telephoto.
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.
- Price: £449
- Sensor: 16.1-million pixel, 1/2.3in BSI CMOS
- Output size: 4608 x 3456 pixels
- Focal length mag: 5.5x
- Lens: 21-1365mm equivalent, f/3.4-6.5
- Shutter speeds: 15-1/2000sec
- ISO: 100-3200
- Metering system: Evaluative
- Exposure comepnsation: +3 to -3EV in 1/3EV steps
- Drive mode: 6.4fps max, 3.8fps with C-AF
- LCD: 3in vari-angle LCD with 922,000 dots
- Viewfinder: 922,000-dot EVF
- AF points: 15
- Video: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 60 or 30fps
- External mic: Yes (3.5mm stereo)
- Memory card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
- Power: NB-10L (approx. 340 shots)
- Dimensions: 127.6 x 92.6 x 114.3mm
- Weight: 650g (with battery and card)