Great carry around camera
This a great all in one carry around camera. I also own the older SX1 and SX40HS, and this camera improves on both.
The SX1 has a 35mm equivalent 24-560mm lens, has great image quality, great video, and shoots RAW files, but the downfall in my view was AA batteries which had a very short useful life (relative to a Lithium Ion battery) and always seemed to die at the wrong moment. There was no battery charge indicator other than an "idiot" light that would flash as the battery died.
Then a few versions later came the SX40HS. Great camera, battery charge indicator, Lithium Ion battery, 35mm equivalent 24-840mm lens, great image quality, great features, great video... but no RAW.
Now we have this little gem the SX50HS which in my view finally completes the picture for the perfect carry around camera with an even longer lens range, battery charge indicator, Lithium Ion battery with remarkable life, great image quality, great video, great features and shoots RAW files!
This camera boasts remarkable image quality from a very small chip. Does it compare to the image quality I get from my 1DS Mark III or 5D Mark III? No. Did I expect it to? No. But for the all the amazing features packed into this camera the bottom line for me is that there are many great images that HAVE been captured because of the portability and range of this camera which might have been missed otherwise, as I don't regularly tote around the 20 - 30 pounds of gear that would be needed to cover this lens range on my full frame DSLRs.
November 19, 2012
Good, but with some major reservations
I like this camera overall. Image quality is excellent in terms of detail, color accuracy, saturation, sharpness, consistency, and depth of field at all aperture settings. I tested 6 other competitive cameras in the super-zoom bridge camera category, and this is the camera I ultimately purchased.
So, end results are very good, and there is a lot to like here. However, the amount of text permitted in this review will not provide room for all the positives, so I am afraid I will have to “focus” on the negatives – issues that I would like to see corrected in the next iteration of this camera. (BTW, Canon – it would be nice if you told prospective reviewers the MAXIMUM number of characters allowed so we don’t have to use guesswork & trial-and-error to find out!)
The absolute MOST annoying design flaw in this camera is that the self-timer button is located on the far right-hand edge of the back of the camera. This is a terrible location for this or any other control button, since almost every time you pick up, pass, or hold the camera to shoot, the heel of your palm presses this button and activates the timer. Often this cannot be corrected with just a single button press, as the timer has a number of elapsed time options and you may have to depress the button numerous times to turn the timer off to commence shooting! One has to learn how to delicately and unnaturally hold the camera to prevent this from occurring, and even then it happens consistently despite one’s best efforts. This flaw drives me out of my mind, and if it were not for the camera’s good performance which has forced me to learn to live with this perpetual frustrating annoyance, this would be a total deal-breaker.
Second major issue: the electronic LCD viewfinder’s resolution at a mere 202k dots is junk compared with competitors, all of which at least more than quadruple this spec! I use an EVF a lot, and it is almost essential if you want to take photos in bright light or shoot extended telephoto shots without camera-shake blur. Moreover, the diopter adjustment wheel is EXTREMELY difficult to operate.
Related to the EVF inferiority is the inconvenient location of the button which alternates the photographer’s view between the EVF and the LCD screen, and its inconvenient operation. You must pull the camera well away from your face to locate and operate it, and since the button is one of many dual-function buttons, you must press it twice quickly to change the views, which slows down composition & shooting. This camera either needs a well-designed automatic EVF-switching sensor, or else the button needs to be relocated - ideally to the left side of the flash unit near the diopter, where it belongs!
The telephoto is amazing. There is a button on the side of the lens barrel that further locks in the image stabilization at extreme focal lengths, although it is a bit clumsy to use, is difficult to locate by feel, and often jars the camera when one tries to depress it, thus defeating its efficacy entirely! At greater telephoto lengths in dim light the camera does often have to “hunt” for focus, resulting in a lot of noisy lens extension and retraction buzzes and grinds that don't have a pleasing high-quality mechanical sound to them!
There are no in-camera adjustable settings for contrast, sharpness, or noise-reduction, which I initially found unusual since this camera’s competitors (that I tested) all include such adjustment settings. However, and luckily, the default settings and the resulting images in these areas are so good that I don’t miss being able to tweak them.
The owner’s manual is very lengthy, convoluted, and most sections are loaded with cross-references to other pages and sections, making instructions very laborious and confusing to follow as you attempt to flip back and forth between all the cross-references and sub-cross-references. Like all cameras these days, the manual is only available in electronic form, which makes it virtually impossible to use. Fortunately, there are online services which for a reasonable price will produce print copies of the manual and provide fast delivery.
Features I would like to see in addition to a correction of the major complaints mentioned above: a lens cap that pops off when you turn on the camera and the lens extends, like my previous camera offered; an on-screen battery status indicator that A.) doesn’t start flashing CONTINUALLY onscreen once you get down to 25% battery power, ceasing only when battery is depleted (a REALLY annoying feature of this camera!), and B.) tells how many minutes or shots remain on the battery charge rather than simply depicting a very gross and generalized full /empty battery symbol that all-too-quickly goes into flash alert mode (see A., preceding!).
February 28, 2014
Purchased camera for a bird watching trip to Costa Rica. One week into trip camera stopped working. Others on trip with same camera had similar problems. This was an expensive trip in which I had no camera for most of it. Fortunately the retailer I purchased it from gave me a full refund.
February 17, 2014
most bang for the buck
Took my new sx50 to Costa Rica- Caught amazing images in Tortagero. Birds - Toucans and Macaws even at full zoom are clear. Monkeys - white face, spider, howler pics are amazingly clear.
February 11, 2014