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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 11 December 2013
I have now received two of these cameras both of which have suffered from the same problem reported by others. When in video mode and using the zoom function the camera immediately displays the low battery warning and shuts down shortly afterwards. Both models have the higher serial number and the latest firmware so this is clearly an ongoing manufacturing or design error on canons part. The camera works brilliantly in all other areas and has excellent image quality but having a full hd video mode with a long zoom range was high up on my reasons for purchasing this model and so unfortunately the item is unfit for purpose in my particular circumstance. I feel I can only give 2 stars due to Canons poor quality control and the frustration this has caused.

I must add that Amazon's returns service has been faultless so 5 stars Amazon. I am now hoping that it will be a case of third time lucky for me otherwise I will have to consider moving on to the Lumix TZ40 my second choice after lots of research.
33 comments| 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I bought an SX280 after I dropped my beloved Canon Powershot SX260.

The Powershot HS super-zoom takes all the best of Canon camera's and puts it into a small pocketable camera. On the front is a great lens; on the back a bright screen some finger friendly buttons and a mode dial that has lots of automatic options and scene modes as well as aperture, shutter and full manual modes for those wanting to take more control of their photo's. The automatic modes include a handheld night mode, snow and fireworks as well as creative modes like Toy Camera, Fisheye and my favourite Miniature mode. In video mode you can take smooth full HD 1920 x 1080 at 60fps in the higher quality MP4 format. At lower resolutions you can take ever fast shutter rates right up to 240fps for super slow motion images - albeit at 640x480 dvd quality. Taking video is as easy as pressing the dedicated record button.

The SX280 is an evolutionary upgrade to the SX260 I previously carried. The most important feature the stabilised 20x zoom lens goes from a wide 25mm through to 500mm and remains unchanged. After the lens comes the sensor; it's still 12 megapixels but its considerably more sensitive than its predecessor allowing you to take photos with less noise in darker conditions than last years model.The processor is markedly improved from the 260; you can shoot up to 14fps (albeit for only 7 shots) in the high speed mode. The autofocus is noticeably quicker that its predecessor; a faster autofocus lets you get that picture before its too late to take it. Besides the improved sensor and processor the remaining new feature is wifi which lets you transfer pictures using a Canon app you install onto you smartphone. Its not the most useful feature in the world; and mainly just a drain on your battery.

The battery life of the 260 was generally pretty good - the 280 on its first trip out took over 120 photos with the GPS turned on (in Central London) before the battery light started flashing. With the GPS turned off its rated at 210 shots so the GPS hunting in the city centre cost me about 90 photos.

The extra sensitivity in the sensor and the general increase in speed thanks to the Digic 6 process make the 280 a great improvement over the 260; far more than the top level spec's might suggest. At the time of writing though the sx260 which is maybe 80% of the camera is considerably cheaper and remains the better choice till the price of the 280 comes down.
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on 29 December 2013
Having spent a considerable amount of time reading reviews of similarly priced models I decided to go for the Canon SX280HS. I normally use Nikon DSLR's but do like to have the option of something small and light on the occasion I don't want to travel with a camera bag full of camera, lenses and other bits and pieces. Out of just about all the reviews in this class the Canon did extremely well and for image quality which is what I put at the top of my list it was about the best. I had read the battery doesn't last too long especially when going into video mode and indeed it doesnt last as long as a Fujifilm F660 camera which I already have...however I wanted the Canon for still images first and foremost and I've found the battery performance in still mode more than acceptable. While I'm on the subject of video it is interesting to observe that video made on my Fuji F660 will not transfer to my Samsung Galaxy Tab2 10.1 while the video taken on the Canon transfers without a problem and the quality is very high indeed. Being able to transfer both video and still images using the Canon's wi-fi is also straight forward and I found it a doddle to set up.
The quality of the images I find are excellent for any camera let alone a small advanced compact and its low light performance is also to a high calibre with little noise as the ISO goes up.
It amazes me just how good small cameras can be me the DSLR is still the top of the tree but when you don't want a camera bag full of equipment but do want a camera that will produce excellent images then the Canon SX280HS can certainly help you acheive pictures to bring back great and wonderful memories and indeed inspire with its range of effects. Highly recommended.
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on 17 August 2013
There is a major problem with this camera which has been highlighted by another buyer. The camera shuts down on video mode as it thinks the battery is low even when it has nearly a full charge. With a half charged battery the camera shuts down if the zoom is used on still shots.

A firmware update was released to fix this. Unfortunately this does not work. I had a number of emails conversations with Canon but they seem happy to continue to sell the item even though they are aware of this problem.

I have used the camera for a few days and the pictures are good.

I am returning though for a refund as Canon say that a replacement will probably have the same problem.
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on 19 July 2013
I bought this camera reading the previous reviews. I had it for a week and used it around the house. I personally loved everything about it.

Until i put it into video mode and within seconds a fully charged battery was showing low. This a camera fault. I had been told it will be fixed with the latest firmware. However i read the reviews on the American amazon website and i was then surprised about how many people have this issue and that the firmware had not worked completely to resolve the problem.
Therefore i decided to return the camera until they have resolved the problem. Canon says this problem is with 280 sx cameras with the sixth digit of the camera serial number 0,1 or 2. NOT THE BOX serial number but the one on the actual camera.

Therefore if you want the camera i would wait for newer models. Also there is no way to tell what number you have as the sixth digit without opening the box and then some companies may refuse to take it back.

Personally i loved the camera and it took some excellent photos for me while i had it and the zoom is great.

until canon can fix the problem properly it is not a camera worth having. Thats why i have given a one star.
11 comment| 72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 April 2013
wasnt sure whether this would be a worthwhile upgrade from the canon sx220hs as they have the same sensor and the sx220 has the better/faster lens. What the sx280 gives you is extra reach and a way faster processor (digic 6). In the real world the sx280 handles much better and is much more responsive. At the long/zoom end the sx280 is the clear winner. Wide open in good light the sx220 still has the edge. However while sx220/230 were well liked for low light small sensor performance the sx280 is clearly 2 stops cleaner, all thanks to the digic 6. So if your using this long and low light the sx280 is a worthwhile upgrade. Having said that, dont expect miracles in low light, something like the compact sony rx100 is miles ahead thanks to a larger sensor (i have this also). I was surprised however that while still a pocket camera the sx280 was as bulky as the rx100. The sx220/230 fits a pocket slightly more comfortably.
I have found the in-camera jpeg sharpening very poor producing lots of halos and jagged edges. To get the best from the camera i am having to dial the sharpening down to 0 and then sharpen after downloading the images. This isnt as time consuming as it sounds as many programs will let you batch the edits that you are applying to all images.
Video works very well. Video looks good and runs smooth thanks to the 60fps. The downside is the noisy zoom which makes a loud clicking noise, very evident in the audio.

edit: I have no also had the chance to try this alongside a fuji 900exr. The canon is superior in handling and image quality. Just a shame it doesnt have raw.

update: 19-05-2013
having originally given this 4 stars i have now downgraded that to three stars. The camera is now giving a few issues. First off is the widely reported battery issue (now fixed with the latest firmware). Switch to video for a short clip and suddenly your fully discharged battery displays as low with a flashing warning. This is a camera fault. I have now also been getting the incorrect warning in normal photo mode.
I have also now experienced lockups. That is to say, you start the camera up but the software is frozen, so no focus point and no getting into the menus. I had to do a camera reset to get it working again. I noticed this happens when i have been using the lens at full zoom.
Update: 10-06-2013
Have recieved the camera back from canon service repairs. It is now working fine. Two things of note. What i originally described as a loud clicking noise on the zoom appears to have been a fault as the camera no longer has this noise. Great. The other thing is the battery warning light issue. The note with the camera says the firmware was updated to fix the issue. I tested it with the canon original battery and an after market battery. With the canon battery all is now fine but the after market battery still has the issue.

Honestly having also tried the fuji 900exr i now consider the sx220 at £140 an absolute bargain. It has the same sensor but older processor, so more noise at higher iso. But the lens is faster than the sx280 but tops at 400mm compared to the sx280 which goes to 500mm. Also note that you can get raw (not something the average user will be bothered about) from the sx220/230 using CHDK but so far there isnt a port for the sx280.

update: September 2013. having had it repaired by canon following the bad issues above, the camera has worked without issue through the summer. It might not be the last word in quality but its so fast in use that its been actually great fun as an all round pocket cam.
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When my wife's previous camera gave up the ghost (started washing out the photos - a problem well known on the internet but not economically viable to fix), we did a lot of research before getting this one.
One thing - we all have smartphones which have adequate point-and-shoot cameras for just about everything except lots of zoom and low light conditions.
Well, the PowerShot was coming up trumps because of excellent picture quality.
It has lived up to our expectations. The picture quality is excellent, the zoom lens gives really good results, and it continues to deliver excellent pictures even when photographing my daughter performing (she's a singer with a pop band) on dark stages.photographed from the back of the room.
I switched the GPS ON (it's off by default, you have to switch it on) so that all photos have where they were photographed stamped on them, and generally use the built in wifi to transfer photos from the camera to the laptop or tablet, which is very convenient.
Switch ON the GPS to mark your photos with where they were taken. This uses a little more battery life but not much.
Switch OFF the "GPS permanently on" which tries to get a GPS location whether you are using the camera or not. For some reason, this means it takes a lot longer to shut the camera down, and may use a lot more battery life. I think this is so that it has a log of the last place where it could get a signal, for example if you go into a cave without switching the camera on until you are inside.
Don't bother with a Wifi enabled SD card. We had a Wifi enabled card for the last camera - the wifi that comes with this camera is much easier to use and uses less battery. It was worth buying a new SD card
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on 6 January 2014
Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Compact Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, 20x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCDI had this camera as a Christmas Present. After reading previous reviews some good - some not good, I had hoped that the initial problems with the camera shutting down and showing empty battery had been resolved. How wrong I was. The camera itself takes very good shots, but when on a full battery it is switched to video mode, after a few seconds of video the camera shuts down showing an empty battery. Switching back to normal camera the battery then shows fully charged. After lengthy phone calls to Canon, they e-mailed me a link to download and fix this fault. This did not work!!!! Canon informed me that this was a factory fault. My question is, why are Canon still selling this camera knowing it has this fault. I was told if the serial number of the camera
had a sixth digit below 2 then it would need download to fix the fault. Mine had a sixth digit of 3 but still had a major fault. The Canon support person I spoke to really could not help me. I said they should stop selling this camera until it had been fixed, he would not comment.
I have returned this camera for a refund.
I then thought I would try the Canon Powershot 270 - same camera but without GPS and WiFi. Exactly the same problem - so another return!!
Do not buy this camera if you might need to use the video - I had considered speaking to trading standards as I feel Canon are selling this camera knowing
that it has come out of the factory with a fault and to my mind they should have recalled the cameras and put the problem right before reselling anymore cameras.
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The Powershot SX280 HS is designed as a pocket travel camera and is comparable to the Panasonic TZ40. It is truly pocketable, sports a 20x zoom and despite a largely metal casing weighs about 230g.

This camera is an evolution of earlier models rather than a revolution in design but it incorporates the latest Canon Digic 6 image processing chip and a high sensitivity 12.1 CMOS sensor. This latter point is, in my opinion, a strength of the camera in that Canon have not succumbed to the "more pixels the better" thinking that some other manufacturers have. The 12.1 megapixel sensor does deliver very good images with less noise in low light conditions - it's not immune to noise by any means but better than many comparable cameras. You can begin to notice a bit of noise at 800 ISO but it is usable beyond that.

The images produced by this camera are very clear even at the further reaches of the zoom and the image stabilisation system works well too. Movies which can be up to 60fps in HD are very clear too and a glitch on previous cameras which meant you couldn't zoom during videoing has been fixed. I think this camera must be somewhere near the top of the tree in its class for picture quality. I say this having used lots of similar cameras from Fuji, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony.

Ergonomically, the camera fits your hand well and the 3" TrueColour LCD display is a viewable in most conditions (but there is no viewfinder), however, unlike some competitors it isn't touch screen. One slight annoyance is that the flash pops up from an area where you might rest your finger. The menu system is easy to navigate and there are a wide range of automatic, semi-automatic and manual modes . There are also a number of in-camera editing options. However, there's no support for RAW mode.

I found focusing quick but the focusing points are not very flexible. There's a choice of automatic, centre or tracking, being able to place the autofocus point, say, to one side would have made it easier to compose certain shots.

The camera also has GPS with A-GPS support, this gives you fast accurate GPS tagging on your photos and movies although at the expense of battery life. The WiFi feature also works effectively and faster than I expected. With these two features switched off battery life is good - sufficient to take 300 plus photos.

In summary, this is a very good pocket camera, nicely made and capable of delivering quality results at a reasonable price - we like it a lot. Recommended.
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on 1 July 2014
Am currently very disappointed in Canon as purchased this camera less than six months ago, and it's not worked for the past month. There seems to be a problem with the power supply from the battery.

I've used the official feedback/complaint/contact on their website, but am not getting any response.
Whilst it worked, the camera was easy to use if you want to "point and shoot" but also had some of the flexibility that I'm used to with a DSLR. The device had many menus that I've not had chance to explore. I did get some lovely shots during daylight with good depth of field.

I've not had a canon product go wrong before, so it's a shame that this should change my opinion of the normally reputable company, but I will think twice before purchasing a canon product on line again.
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