Camera manufacturers have been chasing the “numbers on the box” lately, especially in terms of pixel count, almost relentlessly. However, there is a new pursuit these days, the pursuit of longer and longer lenses in compact cameras, and Canon has now pushed that boundary further than ever with the SX50 HS.
This model has a 50x optical zoom lens that provides an amazingly wide 24mm focal length at one end and a monstrous 1200mm at the telephoto end of the zoom lens.
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review – Features and handling
The Canon PowerShot SX50HS lens is an incredible feat of optical engineering, but it comes with some health warnings. First, its maximum aperture of f/3.4 to f/6.5 is quite limited in its ability to gather light and control depth of field, while you’ll need to bring a tripod or get a surgeon to help you. a firm grip to keep things from vibrating at a lower level. ISO and at maximum zoom level.
The SX50 HS actually preserves many features from its SX40 predecessor and includes a 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor, DIGIC 5 processor, rotating LCD screen (although the SX50 is slightly larger), and full manual control. hand. The hot shoe is still present, as is the very useful Zoom Frame Assist feature that allows you to control the frame at larger zoom ratios where the frame tends to be skewed by you (camera shake) or the system. The anti-vibration system causes everything to misalign on the frame.
There are also some really cool new features and my favorite of them is RAW shooting which includes simultaneous combined RAW and JPEG shooting, faster AF setup, although this has its drawbacks and Continuous shooting speed is improved up to 13 frames per second. Another plus is that there are now additional scene modes in the camera’s Intelligent Auto mode.
Camera size and handling
In terms of design, even with the 24mm to 1200mm lens, the SX50 HS is still really a mid-sized superzoom camera. The build quality is okay in that it has a plastic body and lens on a metal frame.
The camera is then relatively small and fits comfortably in the hand, but I found one-handed use useful – that’s assuming, of course, that you want to risk such a laid-back approach to recording capabilities. That long launch – means the controls under your right thumb are too easy to accidentally press down.
I also found that the aforementioned maximum aperture range makes the camera one of the slowest lenses in its class, a necessity to get such a long focal range packed into a optical system.
Like the SX40, here the 50x zoom lens uses Canon’s excellent USM (ultrasonic motor) for very quiet focusing – great for HD filming – but beyond that huge zoom, the front of the camera The camera only has one other notable feature, which is the AF-assist lamp. This is pressed against the top right corner of the camera (from the front). This light acts as a red-eye reduction light and a countdown indicator light for the timer mode.
As with other similar long-zoom cameras like this, the Canon SX50 HS’s image stabilization system needs to be good, and luckily it’s here. The SX50 uses Canon’s lens-shift IS and includes Canon’s Smart IS feature to choose between panning, hybrid, or tripod modes for the situation at hand.
There’s a decent Dynamic IS mode that can reduce extreme camera shake when shooting movies as well as an IS mode supported for shooting at the 1200mm telephoto zoom. Other kit includes the camera’s tiny manually controlled flip-up flash unit, which provides a bit of extra light but is woefully short on power and so the addition of a hot shoe makes using Using a “proper” flash gun becomes something that will then add a large amount of light. More versatility and flexibility for the camera and compensates for the limitations of the built-in flash.
The back of the SX50 HS has a slightly larger 2.8-inch 461K-dot LCD, which tilts, swivels, and is fully rotatable, (the SX40 has a 2.7-inch 230k-dot display); up to 270 degrees, allowing you to take photos over the heads of people in front of you or use a tripod (especially when placed low to the ground) without straining your neck, an on-camera waist level finder once upon a time.
The LCD screen is best described as acceptable; it can only be used outdoors in bright sunlight, but is a bit flat and lacks sharpness. But what’s really disappointing is the electronic viewfinder (EVF).
I would love a camera to have some form of “proper” viewfinder, and if it has to be an EVF then that’s better than nothing. But this is not what I expected. It’s blurry and not sharp on the frame (very small), the dioptre adjustment is great but really difficult to use because the dial is so smooth and the adjustment is of course the way to get it just right.
The top plate of the SX50 HS houses the excellent hot shoe, flash mode button, and main mode dial. If you use an external flash, Canon’s gun will sync with the SX50’s metering system, you’ll be able to adjust flash settings using the camera’s interface, and features AF assist and red-eye reduction. and high-speed flash synchronization will be available to you. command as well. If you don’t have a dedicated Canon flash, you’ll have to adjust everything manually.
On the SX50 HS’s mode dial, you can see all the details about the camera’s settings, including manual controls, automatic settings, and scene modes and filters. The large on/off button is located alongside the mode dial; In front is the shutter button and the surrounding lens zoom lever.
Moving to the rear plate and as well as the large screen, you’ll find the playback button, the dedicated movie record button, which is slightly recessed from my large thumb and therefore difficult to use quickly and under there. . You’ll find the focus point selection button.
On the right side of the camera, shielded from dust and dirt under a snug, rubber cover, are the SX50’s three I/O ports. They cater for the wired remote, which is another new feature over the SX40, USB+A/V output and a mini HDMI port, and finally you’ll find the port for the main power cable (optional).
The camera’s four-way jog button contains the camera’s direct buttons for ISO, exposure compensation, self-timer function, and focus modes. The center ‘FUNC/SET’ button is used to access Canon’s usual on-screen menu system or select and scroll selected options, images or settings.
A slim rotating dial surrounds this but it’s recessed just enough to keep it out of the way, but too much to make it really easy to use. Another button, not mentioned but my favorite, is the “S” button located to the left of the EVF on the back, which is the off button.
This is essentially a user-specified button, so you can load functions (or rather a function) that you use a lot but are not offered elsewhere on the camera, including also the great i-Contrast.
Metering, aspect ratio, AF type, white balance (WB), and drive modes are all other functions that can be specified here; What you use depends on your shooting style or the type of photo you’re taking.
Control by hand
All of the SX50 HS’s manual controls are adjusted using the aforementioned dial located around the four-way jog controls. Turn it to aperture priority and the aperture will adjust within a modest range of f/3.4 to f/8; switch to shutter priority and you can cycle it through settings from 15 seconds to 1/200 second; In full manual control, it defaults to adjusting shutter speed; to change aperture (and back) you press the exposure compensation button at the top of the four-way treadmill.
All of this is simple to do and straightforward enough, but if you want to use the automatic features then you have Program AE (it’s like automatic but without the camera choosing the scene mode for you) , Auto mode as described before, the camera does “think” about the subject mode but it is very slow and sometimes also wrong.
The SX50 HS’s video recording settings include Full HD 1080P video recording but at 24 frames per second. Many similar cameras today boast a “smoother” 60fps and, it has to be said, shooting too fast on the SX50 and the results are a bit choppy.
The camera’s ultrasonic focusing system means you can continuously autofocus while filming without audio interference to stereo sound. And zooming that huge lens while shooting is also silent, both of which I haven’t been able to write about for cameras of this type before, Canon has done both of them very well.
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