14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2013
This is a great camera with the most amazing zoom lens. It is light-weight and easy to handle with very fast response. Pictures quality is excellent - even when allowing for the usual trade-off of not-so-good low light performance compared to an SLR with dedicated (and hugely expensive) lenses. A fantastic all-round piece of kit with the ability to capture great close-ups at a distance you'd find hard to believe.
494 of 518 people found the following review helpful
I was given this camera to test and then own via the amazon Vine programme.
I used to be a photography buff in the age of the SLR's, buying ISO film and exchanging filters and lenses to ensure the correct photo was produced. One would then take the roll of film to the shop and a week later you would see if what you took turned out OK. With today's digital cameras all these issues have been taken out of the equation with the compact digital cameras. There are still constraints with most compacts I have used, which is compromise between picture quality, the ability to manually set the camera for creativity purposes and the ability to change lenses to allow great macro or zoom shots. I have had 3 very good quality Panasonic Lumix cameras, the last being a TZ30. Whilst these compacts were good, they did not serve all the purposes I wanted in a camera.
The Canon SX50 is not a compact camera and it is not a DSLR, but it is something in between. It is small and compact compared to a DSLR but has so many features included in it, you would think you are using a DSLR. The biggest difference is that this camera does not have inter changeable lenses, it comes with a magnificent 50X zoom, 4.3-215.0mm 1:3.4-6.5 USM canon wide angle lens. Having chosen Panasonic cameras in the past because they use a leica lens, all I can say is this lens is every bit as good in terms of picture quality as anything Panasonic can produce. The zoom is breathtaking in its clarity at 50X zoom. The zoom itself is very quiet and fast. The camera also has a 100X digital zoom which does not compromise the picture quality too much. In essence the lens is stunning with what it can do, allowing for maximum creativity in such a small camera.
I experimented with this camera and its zoom lens. What blew me away was a shot I took in a totally dark room, focusing on a balloon with print on at 50X zoom. The result was a flawless picture whilst using the Auto mode. The picture had a minute amount of grain and the printing on the balloon was perfectly reproduced. The Panasonic cameras I have been used to, could not take such a perfect photo, as they are very poor at taking night shots. All I can say is every night shot I have taken with this camera has been virtually perfect.
If the more experienced photographer wants greater freedom than that offered by the AUTO mode, there is a myriad of different settings which allow everything from fully automatic, semi automatic, differing shutter and apeture priorities, scene modes, JPEG and RAW modes which allow virtually every function of the camera to be set by the user. I have never used a digital camera which allows for so much control by the user.
I must say I am an AUTO setting fan and on this mode picture quality is outstanding and with a little bit of adjustment to the menu, it eliminates red eye problems, has face recognition technology and even gives a warning if someone in a photo has their eyes shut. I have found whilst set in auto mode it has chosen the apeture and shutter speed perfectly virtually every time. It is almost impossible to take a bad photo in AUTO mode. I cannot express how impressed I am with this camera whilst using this mode.
The Video function records in HD and again offers superb quality pictures and allows for the zoom function whilst filming. The sound quality is also very good and is HD.
The LCD screen is large and very clear. Once set up it can display a multitude of information which helps the photographer who wants to use the RAW mode. There is a small viewfinder but I prefer the multi angle, flipable LCD screen.
The quality of the camera appears to be top notch. Although it is made from plastic it appears to be quality plastic and is nicely balanced in how it feels to hold. The grip could do with being rubberised, but this is a minor problem.
The battery needs charging for 2 hours and lasts for about 350 shots. It comes with a strap and lens cover. You will need to buy an SD card and I would suggest nothing less than a class 10 card from a good manufacturer, so that it can cope with all the features of this amazing camera.
There is one downside and for the life of me I cannot understand why Canon did this, the internal flash needs to be manually raised and does not pop out automatically when needed. There is a traditional horseshoe flash point on top of the camera and maybe the non auto pop of the flash may have something to do with the ability to use a more powerful flash gun. Non auto pop up may be there so avoiding damage to the internal flash if it flipped up whilst a flash gun was being used.
I can only find minor flaws with this camera, which are far outweighed by the beautiful pictures it produces, myriad of functions it has and ease of use in AUTO mode. Whilst I have used a DSLR and not liked it because of the lens constraints, I have used this little beauty and loved every minute of it. The zoom is outstanding and the lens produces almost perfect results. I could go on and on about how much I adore this camera, but I guess the reader gets how I feel about it. It is not cheap, but you get what you pay for and with this beauty it is well justified.
149 of 157 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2012
If you're looking at this camera, you probably want more out of your compact camera but aren't ready to go all the way to SLR. In that case, look no further! I spent quite some time pondering between this and an SLR. In the end, I decided I could not be bothered with carrying separate lenses and pay premium for that hassle.
This camera's main selling point is its ludicrous zoom capability, one that exceeds the magnification capacity of standard SLR telephoto lenses. And the image stabilization is up to the task. I was able to shoot a full-frame close-up of the moon, simply hand-held by bracing myself againt a wall. Its macro capability is equally ludicrous, as you can focus even on stuff that practically touches the lens.
I like to shoot at night, and that's where a camera's sensor and processor make a big difference, so I've taken the camera out on a few walks. On auto mode, it tends to bump up the ISO, so it can get quite grainy. But its dedicated night mode is brilliant! Fully handheld night shots have come out without grain and minimal motion blur and the colours are vivid. I think it takes 3 rapid shots and somehow combines them.
The camera sports the same DIGIC5 processor as Canon's current SLR range (all the way to the top), so in terms of that, you get the best Canon has to offer.
It has more controls than a compact, but fewer than an SLR. The buttons are big and spaced out, and using them with a double layer of gloves is not a problem. It's lightweight (for its size) and well-balanced and though it's plactic it doesn't feel flimsy. The variable angle screen is one of those things you don't know you need until you've had it (immediately I found myself shooting without lifting the camera to my head, or at weird angles), so it's very handy. The viewfinder is small and the colours are not faithful, so you probably won't ever use it. Finally, a feauture I really appreciated was the level indicator. Even with the grid on display, my photos are often crooked, so this is an extremely useful feature for me.
You probably want to buy a cheap lens-hood to protect this beast of a lens from impacts that might scratch it.
Now that I've had it for a year, I thought I'd add some more info:
At some point the shutter got stuck. Canon took care of it as it was within warranty. Although I sent the camera to Canon UK, it came back from Germany (as tracking info indicated), something I was not informed at all about. So service took overall somewhat longer than I'd have liked.
So far no other issues.
If you're an avid fan of shooting sunsets, you should know that discoloured lens flares are often an issue with very bright light sources. Canon's post-editing software has some tool for chromatic aberrations, but don't expect miracles.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I've waited several months before reviewing this camera because I know very little about photography and I didn't know what to expect, let alone what I should look out for and what would make the camera worth buying. It was recommended to me by a couple of friends who used it for taking photos at music concerts; they had recommended it primarily for the excellent zoom function.
I 'christened' this camera at a music show and despite the poor lighting conditions, I was able to take some pretty decent photos. The zoom is very, very good and will capture a lot more than your naked eye can (I had a strong temptation to watch the entire show via the camera's LCD screen!). The lens is not particularly fast and in poor light you will need to really crank up the ISO to get a decent result; I'm fairly satisfied with the results from most gigs I've been to recently. It's a good compromise, especially when most venues won't let you take an SLR camera without a photographer's pass anyway.
I also used the camera a lot for taking photos of birds, and this is where the zoom really comes in handy because even a seagull sitting on top of a roof will look really close and without the slightest blur.
In terms of general use, I'm still learning, but once I downloaded the full manual, it wasn't too hard to learn how to find the various settings. I don't bother with the various gimmicky features like face detection, and I'm pretty much always using the camera on Manual mode. Having said that, if you put this camera on Auto, it will figure out what kind of 'scene' you need and do everything for you.
After a few months of use, I can say that, overall, this is a very good camera for people who want to take good photos without the commitment (financial and also technical) of buying an SLR. Of course, it's still not the camera for 'serious' photographers, but it's not aimed at the professional crowd. What this camera definitely is, is a very good compromise between the more basic point and click cameras and an SLR.
PS - You will need to buy a case, as one isn't provided. Get one designed for this model so that it fits properly.
247 of 263 people found the following review helpful
If you are prepared to make some minor compromises, this might prove to be the only camera you will ever need!
This delightful Digital Dude is described as a 'bridge camera' as it spans the gap between the compact point and shoot camera and the full blown DSLR, offering the best features of both and many new ones of its own. In appearance it looks not unlike a slightly smaller DSLR. The main difference is that the bridge camera comes with one fixed lens. But what a lens it is! It offers a 50 times optical zoom feature which provides smooth movement between 28mm wide angle and 1200mm telephoto. This can be further extended digitally. While you can get a number of individual lenses for a DSLR to provide the same range capability, these might cost an arm and a leg and need a couple of porters in tow to help carry and assist in changing them! Why on Earth would you need such a zoom range? Well, you might want a nice wide angle to capture a beautiful landscape, or zoom to crop a more interesting section; a lesser angled one to shoot a natural looking portrait; a telephoto setting to sneak up on wildlife without scaring them or just to snap the craters on the Moon for later inspection. Your options are endless. So are the shooting features of the camera!
The camera oozes quality and is both nice to look at and to handle. It has a sturdy, black plastic finish and is nicely balanced. I find the controls well placed ergonomically and intuitive to use. It is relatively light and can be carried all day without stress or strain. My only minor niggle is that the grasping parts are not rubberised for extra grip. I like to shoot in fine JPEG and the set up is easy, but this Bridge Baby can also capture in RAW mode for the more professional in our midst! While you can prioritise aperture or shutter settings or go fully manual, you might be like me and prefer AUTO. This lets you takes fast photos without worrying about individual settings. Simply choose your subject, the required zoom magnification, half press the shutter button to automatically focus then let the anti-shake technology smooth out another brilliant shot. If you are new to this type of camera, I would highly recommend the AUTO setting to begin with as this is what makes it so versatile and such fun to use. Should you turn out to be a camera geek, you will find all sort of tweaks offered by this little beauty to more than satisfy your geeky cravings. The camera has a neat, high resolution monitor display which can be used either to select your shot or to play it back. It takes over when you pull it away from the back and can be swivelled and angled in a variety of ways to assist you in getting good views of awkwardly placed objects. It also offers a small, fixed, viewfinder. However you choose to use this camera you will soon find that the pleasure it affords will encourage you to take more and more photos and, due to the quality of its innards, more of them will be keepers as it handles all sort of lighting situations with ease. As well as capturing brilliant stills, it also records great HD video in stereo sound. So mind your language!
It comes supplied with most things necessary to get you shooting in a very short time, but you WILL need to charge the battery as it arrives empty. A full charge takes about 2 hours. Also, you WILL NEED TO BUY a memory card; the digital equivalent of the old film spool. I chose to buy a SanDisk 16GB card from Amazon which arrived very promptly. It will store over 4,000 snaps! If this is not enough, simply buy a card with more storage.
Once you get going, you might want to consider purchasing a UV lens filter cover to protect the amazing lens and a camera bag to shelter your small wonder. The excellent accompanying digital manual identifies the relevant accessories as well as fully describing all the camera operations. Canon do not supply a printed manual. If you find that you need one in the field till you master the range of settings, they will put you in touch with printers that can do so. Total cost is circa £18.00.
To reiterate, this camera will encourage you to take more photos than you have ever done before so you might consider investing in a spare, rechargeable battery as there is nothing more frustratiing than running out of steam in the middle of a photo shoot! You should get just over 300 pics from a charge, but this could easily prove insufficient. You have been warned!
While it is not a cheap buy, it is tremendous value for money and can be guaranteed to provide endless hours of FUN!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2013
Excellent camera - does what it said on the Amazon discription. The x50 telephotos appears to be incredible (only had it a week) but I seem to be able to take photos at full digital zoom without any camera shake! Easy to use on Auto setting but with a whole host of features that were not available on my compact. It will require a bit of effort to learn the Cannon systems to get the best out of it. But so far I'm very impressed.
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2012
Having used a Nikon D5000 ( an excellent camera) for the last 2 years, I became aware of the need for something more versatile while out walking, which my Wife and I do a lot of. Whilst on holiday earlier this year, the opportunity for a great shot of a Seal coming ashore on a remote beach on the South West Coast Path presented itself. Unfortunately, I had only the 18-55 mm lens on the Nikon. I tried to get as close as possible without spooking the Seal. I managed to get some shots off before the Seal headed back to sea. End result was the need to crop the best photograph in order to get as much detail as possible. This situation had presented itself previously,wrong lens at the wrong time!! I did some research after the holiday, and up popped this soon to be released beauty. And what a beauty it is. The control of an SLR coupled with the versatility of this superb zoom lens. Everything you could want for spontaneous shots on the hoof. I recently visited the Transport Museum in Coventry and the quality of the photographs taken indoors without flash, was fantastic. Want a GOOD bridge camera? I can't recommend this highly enough.
67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
This Canon SX50 HS is a pretty chunky bridge camera at 122.5 x 87.3 x 105.5 mm and 595 g, but it sports a massive 50x optical lens giving a comparable 35mm SLR focal range of 24mm to 1200mm that would be otherwise very expensive and bulky for the average dSLR user. This Canon's aperture is f/3.4 at 24mm, slowing to f/6.5 at the full 1200mm - it sadly lacks the f/2.8 constant aperture found on the 24x zoom Panasonic FZ200. I have a superb Olympus e620 SLR that is actually quite similar in size and weight to this Canon SX-50 bridge camera and it takes better photos, but now that Olympus have withdrawn from the budget dSLR market that's not an option any more. Plus the loud clatter noise from the e620 SLR shutter even begins to wear me down after a few hundred shots - this Canons discrete silence is a real virtue. And there's no suitcase of SLR lenses involved to zoom from macro to 50x, plus the Canon can take hi-def 16:9 video at 24 fps that's better quality than my Sony MiniDV 4:3 video tape camera.
Although this Canon has a load of manual exposure features, I tend to use the camera in Smart Auto mode or P (Program) Mode as it's always ready to go, and with live preview in the LCD viewfinder I can simply focus lock on a dark or light area in a view to modify exposure and see the result instantly on the screen. Program P Mode allows extra control like changing ISO/White Balance/Exposure Compensation (brightness). Manual Mode M is useful for static scenes like night time or macro shots, where you have more time to compose (maximum shutter is 15 seconds and you can focus to as close as 0 cm). Plus there's loads of focus assist features and camera adjustment options, and a few art filters & preset Scene options. Like my e620, this camera is far better than older models for shooting indoors without a flash, as it has superior anti-shake lens control options - most handheld indoor shots aren't blurred unless the subject is moving (ISO runs from ISO 80 to ISO 6400). Focus seems quite reliable to me, although as expected it can hunt at high zoom. At 50x zoom on auto there's generally a lot of noise as the camera shifts to high ISO due to low light - it's very useable at full 50x zoom hand held, and although better results can be obtained in manual mode with a tripod I rarely bother. The 202,000 dots LCD viewfinder isn't quite detailed enough to check fine focus, although the bright hi-res 461,000 dots rear LCD panel is fine, in fact it's so good I rarely use the EVF viewfinder. The zoom is too jerky to use when recording video, as it's set to move fast for stills, and the camera can focus hunt when video panning, but if it's mostly fixed on people near the camera, video quality and sound seems pretty good to me for casual recording.
Initially I found the lack of a pop-up flash annoying (you have to manually lift the flash unit up) but have now got used to it and usefully it prevents accidental firing. There is some noticeable purple fringing in hi-contrast areas like light coming through trees, but it doesn't worry me. Unlike its SX40 predecessor, this camera can also capture in RAW format. The camera comes with a mini USB lead, Canon NB-10L battery, mains charger, CD manual, but no Lens Hood or SD HC card (I use a SanDisk 32GB Extreme, which holds 8,600 hi-res jpg photos). For photo editing I use Adobe Photoshop CS6, but Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 or Adobe Lightroom 5 is almost as good these days for home use. I also purchased the matching Canon Canon DCC-850 soft-case camera bag, which I find perfect for the SX50 HS and has space for two spare NB-10L batteries.
The only real competitor to this camera is the Panasonic FZ-200 that offers a great f2.8 throughout its zoom range bringing in significantly more light onto the sensor than this Canon Powershot SX50. The FZ-200 also has a more detailed viewfinder and a few more focus points in the AF, plus its battery lasts for 540 shots compared to the Canon's 315. However the Canon does produce images with noticeably lower noise than the FZ-200 for a given ISO setting. Size wise the cameras are similar, although I prefer the button layout on the FZ-200 and I still find the Canons jog wheel a little prone to accidental selection, and hate that it's needed for adjusting white balance as there's no dedicated button (although you can program the camera's function button to be the White balance). Plus there's odd Auto/Av 1 second exposure and M/Tv ISO 80 restrictions with the Canon that severely limit it's usefulness in very dark night-time conditions. The Canon controls are fairly intuitive though, and as you twiddle buttons the rear LCD flips through what is happening.
Out and about in bright or dim conditions the FZ200 has an edge over this Canon in terms of faster operating speed and slightly better image quality (below 400 ISO) thanks to it's f2.8 advantage, and it's clearly better suited to sports and starlight shots. The FZ-200's f2.8 shorter depth of field in telephoto puts the photo background more out of focus creating more startling shots. The choice between the FZ200 and Canon SX50 HS can also come down to price. I got the Canon as it was significantly cheaper and a tiny bit smaller than the FZ-200, and I'm really happy with it. Besides I have my bijou Olympus e620 dSLR kit as well, which offers significantly better performance with far superior night-time exposure capabilities - although granted even it's Olympus 70-300mm lens can't match the Canon's 1200mm for magnification. If they were the same price though, I might have opted for the 24x (25-600mm) zoom Panasonic FZ-200 as it offers more for the enthusiast with it's f2.8 advantage, 60s maximum exposure for night scenes, and higher resolution viewfinder EVF. At 24x zoom the FZ200's f2.8 advantage means that it will let in 4 times more light compared to the Canon using f5.6, allowing the FZ200 to use ISO 250 whereas the Canon is forced to ISO 800 or more, reducing detail. But only this Canon offers that massive useable 50x zoom, ISO up to 6,400 with lower noise (max 3,200 ISO in the FZ200), plus the Canon is usefully 10% smaller and in most situations it can be relied upon to take great shots. If you choose either, I doubt you'll be disappointed for general use; on-line reviews may plump for the FZ-200 or the SX50 HS on features, and although neither are perfect, they are the two heavyweight megazoom bridge camera contenders at this price level. This Canon SX50 HS is a joy to use, more compact, discrete and quieter than an dSLR, takes great pictures in RAW and jpg in bright light and relative gloom, and it has that 50x zoom, so I rate it 5*.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2013
I would like to point out that this camera had a lot to live up to. I normally use a Canon EOS 7D with 10-22mm, 17-55mm, 100-400mm and a 100mm macro lenses and 580EX flash gun, plus battery grip. I never use the automatic option on the SLR and I like overriding camera settings if I think it is necessary. I really like the 7D and the SLR style.
I chose this product, because we travelled to Florida and I was nagged not to take the big camera with me. There is no denying, the system is bulky and having to switch lenses in a crowd is not ideal. Also, my existing flash was compatible with the camera which was useful in the strong sun to fill in ugly shades under hats, etc.
First, the bad: RAW is not an option the moment you use the automatic modes and overriding some settings can be a bit complicated. The other problem I had was using the external flash. The lag between pressing the button and actually taking the picture was so great that my subject had time to fly out of the frame. Well, ergonomically the camera is well designed but I kept pressing buttons on the rear panel unintentionally. I really missed the view finder, there is an electronic one but it is not much use.
The good: The camera is compact enough but still quite comfortable in larger hands. It takes some getting used to but the screen is really good and if you are not in a hurry then many options can be overwritten to improve the quality of the picture. If the zoom range won’t make you happy than nothing will. It is second to none! If you are a JPEG only person then many of the other settings can be used creatively and the sport mode is so fast that there is no chance of missing a frame as long as you can follow your subject through the screen. Good luck with that! Video is good, although it is susceptible to hunting in low light.
Conclusion: Although, my review may sound a bit negative about this product, I was pleased with the images. They were much better than I expected. If you are looking for a light weight option with plenty of creative automatic settings and an excellent zoom with an occasional manual use then it is an excellent choice, especially if you photograph people or landscape.
If your subject is on the move or you just prefer doing the thinking instead of the camera then I’m afraid it is not going to compete or replace an SLR. It may have manual settings, but the shutter speed is still limited and the limited range of aperture made aperture and shutter priority very difficult to use.