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Canon PowerShot SX260 HS review

A talented travel camera packing a far-reaching 25-500mm zoom

Our Verdict


  • Great image quality
  • Excellent zoom range
  • Good handling
  • Full manual control
  • Full HD video with stereo sound


  • Pictures can appear soft
  • Battery life reduced with GPS
  • Pop-up flash position
  • Basic panorama mode
  • No raw shooting
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Manually select a white balance setting to match the conditions and the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS gives a typically rich but realistic Canon colour scheme.

That's not to say the auto white balance puts in a poor performance, but it was thrown by large proportions of red or blue in the frame during our tests. Tungsten images were on the warm side, but switching to the Tungsten preset brought the colour balance closer to neutral.

The Canon PowerShot SX260 HS offers six ISO settings, from ISO 100 through to 3200. At the top end of the ISO sensitivity range, noise reduction is obvious. Details and texture are smeared and shadows look coarse.

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS review

However, pictures hold up well even at ISO 800. Yes, there's some loss of low contrast detail and a slight drop in colour saturation, but overall picture quality is still good.

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS review

That said, exposures can veer towards the bright side, meaning that highlights are prone to blowing easily. The Canon PowerShot SX260 HS is not alone in this respect, and at least it gives you quick control over exposure compensation via the four-way controller.

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS review

The Canon camera's i-Contrast control can also pull back detail in lighter areas that might otherwise be clipped, although it has a more noticeable effect in opening up shadows in high-contrast situations.

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS review

Pictures taken using fill-flash in daylight are well balanced (although you do need to be close to the subject), and images made at night or in low light conditions are of good quality, too. Canon's HS System and backlit sensor really do prove their worth when shooting indoors.

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS review

That said, there's a hint of purple fringing around backlit subjects and bright spots. Vignetting wasn't evident during out tests, although there was some softening in the corners at wide-angle zoom settings. But, for the most part, it's not too intrusive.

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS review

Video quality is in line with the camera's still image capturing performance, too. Movies can be shot in Full HD at 24fps, complete with stereo sound.

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS review

The lens can be zoomed reasonably quickly throughout its full range during shooting, and it's quiet when it does so. High speed video modes are also available, capturing action at 240 or 120 frames per second.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyPowerShot SX
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom20x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesLive View, Self-timer, Wink Detection, Face Detection, Smile Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)231 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE, REACH, ENERGY STAR
Minimum Focus Distance50 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Maximum Frame Rate240 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedNB-6L
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height61 mm
Width106.3 mm
Depth32.7 mm
Autofocus Points1
Product SeriesSX
Focal Length4.50 mm to 90 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash ON, Flash OFF, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain Sync, Red-eye Reduction, Flash Exposure Compensation
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelSX260 HS
Product NamePowerShot SX260 HS Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number5900B012AA
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

With 20x optical zoom to get you closer, Full HD movies and GPS to track locations, the compact PowerShot SX260 HS is the ideal travel companion. HS System and Intelligent IS ensure superb results.

Battery Life230 Shot
Package Contents
  • PowerShot SX260 HS Compact Camera
  • NB-6L Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Charger
Display Resolution461000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker