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- Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
- Canon reaches the 50x mark, making few sacrifices to image quality along the way
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Camera Review$479.99
Lens & Sensor
This is the main event, right here. The SX50's comically long lens offers a zoom magnification of 50x, by far the most super of the super-zooms on the market today. For some consumers, optical zoom is the new "megapixels," meaning it's the one specification people tend to measure a camera's worth by. Of course that's a rather unsophisticated way to judge a product, but at least the SX50 offers more than just a long lens.
For those that really can take advantage of 50x (who are these people?), you'll find the lens capable of resolving detail from clear across a football field or two, with a 35mm-equivalent focal range of 24 to 1200mm.
Another important change has been made to the lens motor, it's much more powerful than the SX40. So this camera doesn't just reach 50x, it flies down to 50x in only two or three seconds.
Sadly, geometry dictates than unless we were comfortable with a lens that protrudes three feet or so, the camera's sensor needs to be tiny. Therefore, we're stuck with a 12 megapixel CMOS that measures only 1/2.3-inch. Every other super-zoom has a similar limitation, so the complaint is minor.
The SX50's electronic viewfinder is small and not the most comfortable to squint through. The display also has a severe lag associated with it, which will make action photography a little more challenging than it should be. Color rendition is accurate though, much more so than the average EVF. Sadly the camera is not equipped with an eye-lever sensor, so you'll need to toggle the display button in order to swap between the EVF and LCD.
A sturdy rear LCD panel is probably your best bet for accurate framing. This is a fully swiveling panel that's very useful for video applications or challenging shooting angles. Viewing angle of the actual screen isn't perfect, but since the whole thing rotates, this really isn't a problem.
The built-in flash bulb is of average power, it's effective out to a maximum of 18 feet, and recycle time is also fairly typical. The pop-up arm has neither a motor nor a spring, so you'll need to actually reach up and pull back the flash to deploy it.
On the right side of the body you'll find a rubber stopper blocking standard USB and HDMI terminals, as well as a wired remote shutter port. We just love when manufacturers use standard connectors that are already compatible with cables you've got lying around in a drawer somewhere. We just wish the rubber cover was a little less flimsy.
Other than the main connectivity ports, the only one left is the hot shoe mount on top of the camera, right above the EVF. Here you can attach supplemental flash or other external accessories.