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The Best Digital Camera I Have Used
on 24 October 2012
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.