There was a time when we have modest 4x optical zoom lens, and we flaunt them, but that had been things of past. Since after the release of the Coolpix P510 from Nikon, which has whopping 42X zoom lens; we was eagerly waiting for an similar model from stable of Canon and here we have SX 50 HS. It has awesome 50X zoom which mean a lens system of 24 – 1200 mm. things are going crazy in war of lenses.
This camera is a upgrade of SX 40, now have 12.1 MP CMOS sensor, DIGIC 5 processing engine, rotating LCD display manual controls and a hot show for external flash, which comes handy when you want to increase the range of your shots in low light conditions and a good zoom framing assist feature which is really handy when zooming on the subjects.
Other things are a good rotating LCD which helps taking photos from the tough corners, LCD is better than the previous versions, a faster autofocus thanks to new subsonic motor which is faster than earlier models and greater burst speeds to take continuous shots.
Lens and Zoom:
It include a 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor and lens is 24-1200 mm ( 35 mm equivalent), that means; you can really take wide angled shots and at the same time you can still get a real nice photo of subject as far as a mile far away. But to do that you need to be having the hands of stone or a tripod because as per the norms, the more the zoom you apply, the more you are prone to camera shake.
But canon has been real thoughtful here they have developed a real nice trick to get the shots stabilized even when full zoom is rolled in with the help of neat image stabilization (IS ) which work pretty nice in normal light conditions, which they have called a zoon framing assist.
In order to click the sharp pictures without blurring the things, you can crank up the ISO settings but that can introduce noise in the image in the low light conditions when goes beyond ISO 1600. Which is fully expected as the ground rule is the higher the ISO the higher the grain noise.
ISO goes from 80 to 6400 and the maximum resolution is 4000 X 3000, which is 4:3 ratio, user can also select other aspect ratio as well including 1:1, 5:4, 3:2, 16:9 which crops the photo and resolution downgrade.
Aperture range of F/3.4 to 6.5 is on the slower side that means the auto focus is relatively slow when compared to the other cameras.
Canon does not provide any internal memory unlike other camera makers; which means with a memory card you are helpless. It support SDXC cards i.e. up to 64 GB of storage depending upon your use, pick up a good card so that buffer does not over flow or data pipeline does not get filled up all the time. A Class 10 Ultra card will be more than good for the camera provided you are shooting in low light and burst mode conditions otherwise a class 6 card will be enough.
Camera weights 590gms, it’s kind of heavy and needs to be handled carefully. But it feels sturdy and can be handled single handily. It is not environmentally sealed which means it is susceptible to dusts particle and moisture build ups when used in extreme environments, which is common in compact cameras.
Build is all plastic shell covering a metal chassis and lens barrel, which feels cheap, also to add no rubberized grip is provided, which could be use full to hold the camera. It can act the fingerprint magnet. There is a 2.8” LCD screen which is pretty sharp with 431,000 dots; it is fully articulated and can be moved around 270 degrees. Which can help you to take a shots from difficult angles as well. Canon had added a retractable Flash, which is raised manually. Notable feature in front of camera is an AF assist beam lamp, which help in focusing on the subject, act as a countdown timer indicator as well.
Buttons are solid and can be used with a thumb while holding the camera. Control panel to the right side of LCD has dedicated video recording button
Battery : It comes with a Lithium-Ion NB-10L rechargeable battery & charger, which can click up to 400 shots approx. in one go, which is ample but you would need to have your charger with you or have another battery ready if you are going on extended vacations. Also battery use depends upon how much flash you are firing, if doing photography in day light it lasts much longer, approximate 500 shots can be taken in normal day light photography.
Flash: Flash range is given as 0.5m to 5.5 m, but it can varies depending upon the condition and backlighting of the subject. If you need to seriously work in night get an external flash canon has some real good fast flashes available for this as this incorporates a hot show for external flash.
Photos come pretty decent; in normal conditions, and even in low light conditions you can get real close ups of the subjects and can get within 5 cms of the subjects, filters are great to work with.
Video recording is okay but not best in class, microphone is stereo but the speaker is mono. Focusing when recording video is good as well but still it does not replace the handy cam; but can work as substitute for one. It can record 1080P for 15 min at 24 fps.
Some real nice scenes which are added can spice up the experience is HDR mode, 32 scenes in the scene mode and a nice handy framing assist which help you to focus on the subject and take great shots. In Burst Mode HQ you can get 10 shots in one go at full resolution in 12.8 seconds.
Price may be significantly high when compared to the other super zoom cameras; it also surpasses entry level dSLRs(in price), which gives better image quality and better customizations. Camera lacks many features which would be great if included like; GPS, eye Sensor, some software modes like panorama stitching etc. which are available in most of the new models launched now a days. But given this zoom and stabilization along with the overall performance this is good buy for the money since you can flaunt your best zoom lens in this category.