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Canon PowerShot SX280 HS review

20x zoom compact debuts Canon's Digic 6 processor

Our Verdict

Canon's SX280 is a good choice for anybody looking for a travel compact camera with lots of control over settings and a high zoom ratio. Its pictures have good colour and plenty of detail, and low light performance is admirable.

For

  • 20x optical zoom
  • Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Full manual control

Against

  • No raw shooting
  • Can't set AF point
  • No touchscreen

We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.

Here we compare the Canon PowerShot SX280 HS with the Samsung WB850, Canon PowerShot SX260 HS and Panasonic TZ40.

JPEG signal to noise ratio

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS review

As we can see from this graph, the Canon SX280's JPEG files show a relatively strong signal to noise ratio, with a greater signal to noise ratio than JPEGs from the Panasonic TZ40 at every sensitivity, and greater than the Canon SX260's images at every sensitivity but ISO 800 and ISO 3200. The Canon SX280's JPEGs show a stronger signal to noise ratio than the Samsung WB850's at ISO 100, but at ISO 200 and above the Samsung's images take the lead.

JPEG dynamic range

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS review

JPEG results for dynamic range are more impressive than those for signal to noise ratio, with the Canon SX280's images showing greater dynamic range than the Canon SX260 and Panasonic TZ40's at every sensitivity. They also contain greater dynamic range than the Samsung WB850's JPEGs at every sensitivity but ISO 100 and ISO 400, where the two produce very similar scores.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
GPSYes
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyPowerShot
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourRed
Optical Zoom20x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Face Detection, Live View, Scene Detection, Smile Detection, Wink Detection, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4 AVC, MP4, MPEG-2
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)233 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityErP, REACH, RoHS, WEEE
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
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedNB-6L
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Height62.8 mm
Width106.4 mm
Depth32.6 mm
Autofocus Points1
Focal Length4.50 mm to 90 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Audio FormatsAAC-LC
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash ON, Flash OFF, Slow Sync, Red-eye Reduction, Flash Exposure Compensation
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelSX280 HS
Product NamePowerShot SX280 HS Digital Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number8225B011AA
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.canon.co.uk
Marketing Information

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
Connect with the complete travel compact

The compact PowerShot SX280 HS packs all you need to capture and share your travels: 20x optical zoom, smooth Full HD 60fps movies, GPS tagging and Wi-Fi. HS System ensures superb results in low light.

Battery Life260 Shot
Package Contents
  • PowerShot SX280 HS Digital Compact Camera
  • Battery Pack NB-6L
  • AC Cable
  • User Manual Kit
  • Wrist Strap WS-DC11
  • Battery Charger CB-2LYE
  • Interface Cable IFC-400PCU
Display Resolution461000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone