Canon PowerShot SX50 HS-An Ultrazoom Camera Review.

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Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS | Source

I'd like to share my experience using Canon Powershot SX50 HS through this review. My old camera has come to its operation limit (read: broken) for a long time I was in a situation when I had to change it with a new generation one. A camera plays important roles in my life, not merely for a lifestyle, but it helps a lot in doing my activities ranging from hobbies to writing, including in enriching various contents of my hubs with my original pictures.

After long considerations, doing several comparisons, and gathering information from people who have used different kinds and brands of digicam, I finally landed on a bridge camera which meets my budget and criteria : A digital camera with powerful zoom, Canon Powershot SX50 HS.

Just for additional info that a bridge camera has some features which a DSLR camera does, like manual control on the exposure, RAW file format, electronic view finder, etc. What makes a bridge camera different from DSLR that it has a fixed lens, equipped with ultra zoom capacity, smaller in size and more lightweight. in short, a bridge camera has benefits that other point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras don't have but on the other sides also lacks of features you can find in other types of cameras, specially of those more superior ones like DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

Besides the excellent pictures it produces, I love the way Powershot SX50 HS shoots with its super 50x zoom since it meets my need to be able to capture animals in their nature. SX50 HS really helps in fulfilling that purpose without having to sweat carrying heavy camera and bulk lenses if I do it using a DSLR camera.

Sample picture 1. The ultra zoom makes far subjects no longer a hindrance.
Sample picture 1. The ultra zoom makes far subjects no longer a hindrance.

Canon Powershot SX50 HS as the model implies, has a 50x optical zoom and has become one of bridge cameras with the most powerful optical zoom in the world. This optical zoom capacity also makes it bear another name as a super zoom camera.

What comes with the package.

Here are what you'll get when you buy this camera:

  1. A Digital camera Canon Powershot SX50 HS
  2. A rechargeable battery
  3. A battery charger
  4. A Manual instruction .
  5. Guarantee certificate
  6. A CD-ROM for User Guide
  7. A shoulder strap.

The features SX50 HS has.

50x optical zoom, wide angle lens :

50X Optical Zoom (24-1200 mm) lens and 24mm wide angle lens plus image stabilizer . With this optical zoom capacity, boasted as the world's first 50x zoom, a distant subject photo is no longer a barrier in capturing it. Subjects and activities which are impossible to be closed to, like the players in soccer ball matches or wild animals in a safari tour can be taken perfectly using this camera in both wide angles and telephoto.

A camera with big optical zoom is very sensitive to shake which causes blurred images but with Image Stabilization System in SX 50HS, shake sensitivity can be eliminated and the clarity of the images being captured can be maintained.

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12.1 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor. High sensitivity CMOS sensor will enable a photographer to take pictures in low light condition with minimum noise. The sensitive sensor is high speed and rapidly captures and transfers image data to the processor. This capability is needed to take faster continuous shooting and faster autofocus.

Source
  • Canon DIGIC 5 Image processor. Work together with CMOS image sensor, Canon DIGIC 5 processor gives the camera more processing speed, power, and gives more details in the image. Faster processing speed is important in faster continuous shooting with image quality is still maintained. With Digic 5 image processor, Powershot SX50 HS can achieve higher ISO sensitivity and perform other functions like lens corrections and special scene modes.

  • Canon HS System. Canon High Sensitivity (HS) System is the result of combined work between 12.1 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor with Canon DIGIC 5 Image Processor. With Canon HS system, the camera can give excellent performance in any condition of lights, even in low light . Canon HS System gives much of practicality in taking photos by minimizing dependency on tripod uses.

  • 1080p Full HD movie in stereo sound. A special button is dedicated for movie shooting with zoom and playback video on an HDTV.
  • High speed AF which allows for continuous capture at maximum 10 frames per second.
  • Intelligent IS optimizes image stabilization for clear, steady shootings with one of six different modes based on camera position and movement. The camera also applies shake correction for shooting at low light condition without the use of tripod.


  • Zoom Framing Assist. Using the Zoom Framing Assist Seek function will help you to locate and track your subjects in a long distance away. This function remembers your previous zoom position, zooms out to let you locate your subject, and zooms right back into the saved position when you release the button. After the subjects being framed, with the Zoom Framing Assist Lock, the camera will lock their position and intelligently keeping them in the center of the frame until you're ready to press the shutter to capture the perfect close-up shot.

Sample picture 3.
Sample picture 3. | Source
  • 2.8-inch Vari-angle LCD with 461,000 dots for shooting at a variety of angles, plus an Electronic Viewfinder.
  • Shooting and recording modes in RAW and JPEG with several aspect ratios in 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 1:1, and 4:5.
  • Built-in hot shoe for additional lighting options.

  • 2.8-inch Vari-angle LCD with 461,000 dots for shooting at a variety of angles, plus an Electronic Viewfinder.
  • Shooting and recording modes in RAW and JPEG with several aspect ratios in 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 1:1, and 4:5.
  • Built-in hot shoe for additional lighting options.

Sample picture. The moon in 1 x optical zoom.
Sample picture. The moon in 1 x optical zoom. | Source
Sample picture.The moon in 50 x optical zoom.
Sample picture.The moon in 50 x optical zoom.

The Video.

Push the red button on top right of the camera and you can record video in high-definition 1920x1080p with stereo sound at 24fps. Besides that you can also use it for HD 1280x720p at 30fps, including in iFrame movie format and Movie Digest modes.

In Miniature Effect the shooting is possible in 1280x720 video or VGA 640x480 video at 6, 3 or 1.5fps. Additionally, you can record 640x480 video at 30fps. Super Slow Motion Movie lets you capture video at 640x480 at 120fps or 320x240 at 240fps.

Playback can be viewed on an HDTV via the camera's HDMI output using HDMI cable which is sold separately.

The camera handling.

Besides some new features like RAW support, a larger and sharper LCD, faster AF and continuous shooting speeds, more available scenes in Smart Auto compared to its predecessor SX40 HS, the camera also looks better in style, following the trends of today's cameras in similar lines (i.e. Panasonic Lumix FZ200) like changing the curves around the hotshoe with angular shapes, relocating movie, display , and framing assist buttons in order to make it more ergonomics in its handling.

One thing that I found rather clumsy when I had to fumble for the framing assist buttons on the front left side. I had to make some hand adjustments to reach those buttons while viewing the subject I was trying to frame. That little clumsiness is something very normal since we all always need sometime to get used to nitty-gritty of a new gadget.

 A Sample picture in low light. ISO1600, f3.4, 1/8
A Sample picture in low light. ISO1600, f3.4, 1/8 | Source

What do you think about Canon Powershot SX50 HS ?

  • It is a camera with attractive features.
  • Nothing special. Just like other digital cameras I know.
  • I'm not sure about this camera
See results without voting

The camera performance.

The camera performance in term of speed, SX50 HS is a pretty fast although it can't compete other point and shoot cameras with more simple lenses. It is fast enough to shoot moving subject like birds perching at mango tree in front of my house. I also tested it with another moving flies, you can see the bird's image in the picture looks clear with good details, although for the fly image it doesn't show the same clear result.

So, in term of picture quality, I'm quite satisfied with what Sx50 HS can give although for bright red looks soft but for yellow, blue, and green colors are excellent. Another result which I like best is the camera's telephoto. Its ultra zoom supported with image stabilization system can minimize the effects of shakes and taking pictures using super zoom becomes much easier with the help of camera's framing assists. We can get the distant subject on the view and "lock" it there before you push the shutter. Just look at the moon picture as one of sample pictures shot using the camera's maximum optical zoom (50x).

All pictures are taken without tripod, including those low-light images. Not only keeping the hands to be steady like a concrete wall during the shooting is important, but also thanks to image stabilization system which enable me to keep the images enjoyable without annoying blur.

The camera's pluses and minuses.

The Pros :

50x optical zoom.

Smart AUTO mode with 58 scene modes which chooses the best camera settings for the specific shooting situation.

Advanced image stabilization system.

excellent image quality

Good battery life

Good low-light performance


Cast your vote on this camera.

4 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

The cons :

Small electronic viewfinder.

LCD should have been brighter.

No manual book in the box, only available in DVD.

Doesn't include cable data for transferring pictures to PC.

No internal memory with the camera package. Don't hope to use the camera right away after you take it out of the box unless we put a memory card which is sold separately.

Conclusion.

There is no accounting for taste and Canon Powershot SX50 HS is surely not a camera which will satisfy all photographers' needs and criteria. There are other bridge cameras of the same class from other brands, just do some apple-to-apple comparisons to find a camera which meets most of your needs and budget.

The table below might help you find out where Canon Powershot SX 50's position among its peers.

SX50 HS among its rivals.

Features
Canon Powershot SX50 HS
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Fuji FinePix HS50EXR
Sony CyberShot DSC-HX300
Nikon Coopix P520
 
Resolutions
12.1 mega pixels
12.1 mega pixels
16 mega pixels
20.4 mega pixels
18.1 mega pixels
 
LCD size
2.8 in
3 in
3 in
3 in
3.2 in
 
Optical Zoom
50 X
24 X
42 X
50 X
42 X
 
Digital Zoom
4 X
4 X
4 X
4 X
2 X
 
Sensor type
BSI-CMOS
MOS
EXR CMOS II
XMOR R CMOS
BSI-CMOS
 
Dimention
4.8 in x 4.2 in x 3.4 in
4.9 in x 4.3 in x 3.4 in
134.9 x 101.3 x 145.9mm
5.1 in x 4.1 in x 3.7 in
4.9 in x 4 in x 3.3 in
 
Weight
19.4 oz
1.2 lbs
28.5 oz
22 oz
19.4 oz
 
Lens
4.3 mm - 215 mm - F/3.4-6.5
4.5 mm - 108 mm - F/2.8
24 - 1000mm
4.3 mm - 215 mm - F/2.8-6.3
4.3 mm - 180 mm - F/3.0-5.9
 
Video
H.264 - 1920 x 1080 - H.264 - 1280 x 720 - H.264 - 640 x 480 - iFrame - 1280 x 720 - H.264 - 640 x 480 - H.264 - 320 x 240 - H.264 - 640 x 480 - Miniature Effect H.264 - 640 x 480 - Miniature Effect H.264 - 640 x 480 - Miniature Effect H.264 - 1280 x 720 - Miniature Effect H.264 - 1280 x 720 - Miniature Effect H.264 - 1280 x 720 - Miniature Effect
AVCHD - 1920 x 1080 - AVCHD - 1920 x 1080 - MPEG-4 - 1920 x 1080 - AVCHD - 1280 x 720 - MPEG-4 - 1280 x 720 - MPEG-4 - 640 x 480 - MPEG-4 - 1280 x 720 - MPEG-4 - 640 x 480
1920 x 1080 pixels @ 60fps
AVCHD - 1920 x 1080 - AVCHD - 1920 x 1080 - AVCHD - 1920 x 1080 - AVCHD - 1440 x 1080 - H.264 - 1440 x 1080 - H.264 - 1280 x 720 - H.264 - 640 x 480
H.264 - 1920 x 1080 - H.264 - 1920 x 1080 - H.264 - 1280 x 720 - H.264 - 640 x 480 - H.264 - 1920 x 1080 - H.264 - 1280 x 720 - H.264 - 640 x 480 - iFrame - 960 x 540
 
Light sensitivity.
ISO 5000 ISO 2000 ISO 3200 ISO 125 ISO 1600 ISO 4000 ISO 2500 ISO 250 ISO 800 ISO 1250 ISO 100 ISO 200 ISO 80 ISO 6400 ISO 1000 ISO 160 ISO 640 ISO 320 ISO 400 ISO 500
ISO auto (1600-6400) ISO 3200 ISO 1600 ISO 800 ISO 100 ISO 200 ISO 6400 ISO 400 ISO auto
ISO100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 (up to 12800 in reduced resolution)
ISO 5000 ISO 2000 ISO 3200 ISO 125 ISO 1600 ISO 4000 ISO 2500 ISO 250 ISO 800 ISO 1250 ISO 100 ISO 200 ISO 80 ISO 6400 ISO 12800 ISO 1000 ISO 160 ISO 640 ISO 320 ISO 400 ISO 500 ISO 10000 ISO 8000 ISO auto
ISO auto (80-400) ISO 6400 ISO auto (80-800) ISO 12800 ISO 80-3200
 
Estimation Prices at Amazon.com (in US$)
449
489.95
458.62
449.99
426.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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2 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Very, very helpful. I need a new camera and I will definitely check this one out. Thank you!


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 3 years ago from Indonesia Author

@billybuc

Thank you for giving the first comment on this hub. I'm glad you find it useful and hope it'll also give you inputs in getting the best camera of your choice.

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