• Megapixels: 12.1-megapixels
  • Display: 2.8 inch LCD
  • Processor: DIGIC 5
  • Video Recording: 720p
  • Storage: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Connectivity: HDMI, A/V, USB
  • Pros:
  • 50x zoom
  • Great outdoor images
  • Robust features and scenes
  • Cons:
  • Poor low-light images
  • Pictures get blurry easily at tail end of zoom

Zoom Power!

You may forgive Canon for being a little camera-crazy over the past couple of months or so, with the launch of a variety of cameras ranging from ones for amateurs, pros and even videographers. This time around, we’re looking at another of their point and shooters, the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS.

Camera technology has come a long way ever since digital point and shoot cameras first made the scene many years ago. The SX50 HS now features a more streamlined design, reminiscent to that of a smaller DSLR. Most of the dials and buttons are situated on top of the camera, which makes adjusting settings on the camera easy. It’s a little bulky for a point and shoot, but it grips and holds well.

The SX 50 HS is built with a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and Canon’s DIGIC 5 processor, with a whopping 50x (24-1200mm) lens on top of it. It also has a 2.8-inch rotating display, and options to shoot in RAW mode — a rarity in cameras of this range. The SX50 HS has also increased the number of scenes in its Smart Auto mode to 58, compared to 32 in its predecessor. Of course, you can also opt to shoot in manual modes.

All of which are great, of course but how does it perform? If you’re an outdoors kind of person, the SX50 HS will work great for you. The colours from the camera are vibrant and the images come out crisp. The only issue being that if you’re using the 50x lens at the other end of the zoom spectrum, come prepared with a tripod, as at 1,200mm, your pictures are going to end up being rather blurry unless your arms are as steady as stone statues.

Rather unfortunately, the SX50 HS suffers from less than stellar performance under low light conditions. There is a hotshoe for you to add an external flash with, but shooting indoors with just the ISO count and aperture boosted won’t yield really good pictures. Images come out rather noisy as well.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS is a good camera for outdoor shots during the daytime, but suffers a fair bit when things start getting darker. If you have a tripod with you, you’ll be glad to know that you can make the most of the 50x zoom length that this camera provides you, and with a wide variety of scene modes to choose from, you won’t be getting bored of this camera very soon.

(previously published in issue April 2012)