Sunday, July 7, 2013

Canon Powershot SX50 HS - Equipment Review

Powershot SX50 HS
Powershot SX50 HS

I had a chance to use Don's Canon Powershot SX50 HS, it proved to be a very good little camera for the money. He purchased it a few weeks ago for a trip to Europe. He took about 1000 pictures over ten days, so roughly 100 photos a day and was happy with the performance and battery life. Looking through his photos I noticed a number of images taken on auto with the shutter at

1/15 and the ISO at 1600. These images showed very minimal noise and minimal camera shake.

Using the camera on my own I shot several low light high ISO images and was pleasantly surprised with how well it performs up to 1600 ISO, ISO 3200 and 6400 did contain a lot of noise, but at 1600 the noise was very minimal. The camera uses the standard Powershot menus, so if you are familiar with the Powershot line it will be a very easy transition for you. Apart from full auto and manual modes the camera also has Av, Tv, P and two custom modes as well as the full compliment of sports, portrait, fireworks, et all in the scenes allowing for a lot of flexibility for shooters who are not comfortable in full manual mode.

The camera's built in flash performs adequately and switches on and off mechanically based on whether the flash is open or closed. This means that for the novice shooter, even in full automatic mode they can turn the flash on and off simply by popping it open or closed. In manual mode flash power can be adjusted from full to 2/3rds to 1/3rd power. The camera also sports a hot shoe allowing for the use of Canon or third party flashes. This camera does support TTL metering with evaluative, center weighted, and spot metering options. With the attached 430EX II, flash power can be adjusted from the back of the camera from full to 1/64th power in 1/3rd stop intervals. Second curtain sync is supported with both the built in flash and attached flash units. The only disappointing aspect of the flash system for this camera is that it does not support the wireless functions either through the menus or using the on camera flash as a master controller for the system.

The camera's built in lens features a 50x optical zoom giving you a wide angle of 24mm and a telephoto length of 1200mm. The one disappointment is the minimal range of aperture which goes from f4-f8 so the photographers choice of DoF is limited, and more so by the full range of aperture not being available for the full range of zoom. 

Powershot SX50 HS
Powershot SX50 HS
A few closing thoughts. The movable LCD make shooting at odd angles much more convenient, however the cameras size is too large to easily tuck in a pocket but the frame is compact enough it can be a little tricky keeping your fingers off of the buttons when you don't wish to use them. The main control on the back also packs a lot of controls in a small space, something people with larger hands and fingers may find challenging. All in all it is a very good camera for the price point, it has a ton of flexibility something the hobbyist will enjoy, but particularly since it supports RAW, it has enough power, speed, and flexibility that in a pinch it could easily serve as a back up camera for a pro.

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