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A Digital Camera Review: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS
There are probably more cameras available now than ever before. Digital cameras have taken over and they range from simple point and shoot to very expensive SLR. While I would love to have a very expensive SLR I am more in the price range of a point and shoot with some extras. I need to tell you up front I am not a professional photographer and don't know as much as I probably should about digital cameras, however, I love to take pictures and I like simple to use cameras. I've picked the Cannon PowerShot SX260 HS as my newest camera.
Every point and shoot digital camera offers the ease of operation of being able to just pick up the camera and shoot. However, there's more to the point and shoot than that. (I'm going to switch to using the word 'camera' in place of point and shoot camera for brevity's sake.)
I didn't just stumble upon my camera, I was looking for a megazoom. Sometimes referred to as travel zooms, mega zooms have a 20x optical zoom. That means your zoom is magnified by 20x. Optical zoom is the one that zooms in your subject when you are taking pictures. Digital zoom is used inside the camera and doesn't affect your picture taking. So, I knew I wanted a lot of zoom power and 20x was the highest I could get in a reasonably priced camera. Together with its size, it's a really great camera in the $350 price range.
In August of 2012, digitalcamerainfo.com gave this camera a 9.2 rating.
Introduction to The Cannon SX260
I think this is a great little camera for the price. One of my favorite features is that its small and easy to carry around. The lens pops out when shooting and when the camera is turned off it retracts. You can also look at your pictures without turning the camera on, just by clicking on the view button. Did I mention it comes in black, green, red, or blue? I love that because its the first blue camera I've ever had!
I must confess I don't know much about the "angle" part of the lens but in researching I found the Canon SX260 has a newer 20x 25mm ultrawide-angle one.
It's burst feature (allowing you to shoot a quick series of pictures) is now the new Digic 5 image processor, which helps it shoot in bursts up to 10 frames per second. This is an excellent feature when your littlel one is playing soccer and you want to keep shooting, hoping to catch the action.
Photos using macro
The little 'job wheel' located on the back of the camera is the selection dial for picture mode. It goes from Automatic to fish eye, to video with some good selections in between. The Function button takes you to a myriad of options from controlling the white balance to setting the ISO or GPS. Yes, I said GPS. This function allows your camera to mark where the picture was taken for later reference.
If you'd prefer to try your hand at manual selections, the Canon offers lots of choices. The Canon offers semimanual and full manual control in such functions as shutter speed and apertures. It also offers manual focus with a safety for fine-tuning. Other manual options include setting for color saturation, sharpness, and contrast. Another option is flash strength adjustment.
Canon's new Face ID System is not only interesting but useful. You can set your camera to recognize up to 12 faces in one sitting. You probably won't change this setting but I've noticed when taking pictures it automatically adjusts to at least four faces per picture. I can tell becaue the little yellow square shows around the faces I'm point at.
The 'macro focus' that allows you to get those nice close ups, works quite well. It blurrs out the background really nicely. It's easy to select and easier to use. I love this feature for taking pictures of flowers and butterflies. The zoom function on this camera works very well and fairly quickly.
The LCD on this camera is 3 inch which makes it easier to see for those of us who need our glasses tuned up now and again. The built in image stabilization is also helpful when you're really trying to hold the camera still and just don't make it 100%. The image stabilization will certainly help you out.
The flash can be set to automatic, leaving the camera to decide when to use it, or it can be turned off. There is also a control that allows you to turn off the flash and sound of the camera so it won't be intrusive in certain settings, like a play or other performance.
Cons I've Found
It is a bit slow but not so much that you would notice. There is a bit of shutter lag, between the time you press the button and the shutter actually works. Another drawback for the average user is the battery life. It doesn't use AA batteries, but a rechargable battery that has a somewhat shorter life between charges. I remedied that by buying a back up and always having it charged so I'm never without a battery. One is always charged and ready to go when I'm using the other.
My last complaint is the location of the flash on the top left side of the camera. It seems that's where I want to put my fingers which then interferes with the flash. I've learned not to put my fingers there but others do when they take pictures and the flash cannot operate.
My rating for this great little camera
All in all this is really a great little camera that is easy to use. I have used some of the 'semimanual' settings with ease but usually stick to the automatic. When researching on the Internet every site reviewing it gave it a thumbs up, some with a few reservations, some with almost no reservations. I love it and use it very frequently. I think its a great camera for the average photographer.
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