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Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review

Canon's superzoom bridge packs a whopping 50x zoom

Our Verdict

For

  • 50x zoom range
  • Raw format shooting
  • Articulating screen
  • Low image noise

Against

  • Poor EVF

The bridge area of the compact camera market is one part of the market that is still doing well in what is otherwise a declining segment.

Manufacturers are packing larger and larger zooms onto these cameras which, for many, act as an alternative to a DSLR, or a step up from a standard compact camera.

Two key features distinguish the 12.1 million pixel Canon PowerShot SX50 HS from the 12.1MP Canon PowerShot SX40 HS that it replaces at the top of Canon's bridge camera or superzoom lineup.

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

The Canon PowerShot SX50, announced at Photokina 2012 alongside the Canon PowerShot G15 and Canon EOS 6D, has a 50x optical zoom that covers the equivalent of 24-1200mm, whereas the zoom range on the Canon SX40 is 35x, or 24-840mm.

This is a phenomenal zoom range that most DSLR users can only dream of, or perhaps look to achieve at huge expense. The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS is much more affordable, with a price of £448 (about AU$700) in the UK and US$479 in the US.

The 24mm point is ideal for capturing landscapes and indoor scenes, while the longest telephoto point is perfect for photographing distant wildlife or picking out details.

For those who feel that a 50x zoom still isn't enough, the camera boasts a digital zoom that expands it to 100x. Canon calls this 100x Zoom Plus.

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review

Another important improvement that the Canon SX50 HS makes over the Canon SX40 is that it can record raw format images as well as JPEG files. For enthusiast photographers, this makes the camera a much more attractive proposition, since it means that the files can be processed manually if you desire.

Probably the biggest competitor to the Canon SX50 HS in the bridge camera market is the also recently announced Panasonic FZ200. Although that camera only features a 24x optical zoom, it does boast an f/2.8 constant aperture throughout the range. By contrast, the Canon can only manage f/3.4 at the widest point, rising up to f/6.5 at the telephoto end.

Other features of the Canon SX50 include a Digic 5 processor, which is the same as those found in Canon's top-end DSLRs such as the Canon 5D Mark III. This should mean that noise is controlled well at high sensitivity settings, and it also facilitates Full HD video recording.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyPowerShot
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom50x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesSelf-timer, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Continuous Shooting Mode, Face Detection, Smile Detection, Wink Detection
Screen Size7.1 cm (2.8")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)595 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, REACH, ErP, WEEE
Minimum Focus Distance0 nm
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
Total Camera Resolution12.8 Megapixel
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedNB-10L
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height87.3 mm
Width122.5 mm
Depth105.5 mm
Autofocus Points1
Focal Length4.30 mm to 215 mm
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain Sync, Flash Exposure Compensation
Focus ModesManual, Auto
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelSX50 HS
Product NamePowerShot SX50 HS Digital Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number6352B012AA
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.canon.co.uk
Marketing Information

A powerful 50x ultra zoom for extreme telephoto shots. Intelligent IS counteracts shake and Zoom Framing Assist helps keep subjects in the frame. A premium lens, manual modes and RAW give expert results.

Battery Life315 Shot
Package Contents
  • PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery NB-10L
  • Charger
Display Resolution461000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone