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Canon Powershot SX50 Bridge Camera:  Worth Getting?
Copyright 2014-2015.  All rights reserved.

You may have seen my article on Bridge Cameras, where I mentioned the Canon SX50 as my top choice.   I also have a Bridge Camera Comparison.

For a while I'd been planning to do an in-depth review of the SX50, so here it is.  I know this model has been out for a while, so one of the questions we're going to address is whether the SX50 is still worth getting in 2014 (or even 2015 and beyond).  Now that there are a couple of meaningful competitors on the market, is the SX50 still the king of superzooms?

A Quick Note

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In This Article:


Power-Up / Basic Use

Auto Mode



Image Quality

Low-Light / High ISO Performance



SX50 vs. Everything Else

SX50 vs. 510


First, let's look at a brief rundown of some camera specs.

Some specifications:

35mm Zoom Equivalent:  24-1200mm
Batteries:  7.4 V  920 mAh  6.8 Wh (Li-ion) - Canon battery pack model NB-10L
Battery Life:  up to 300+ shots per charge, but I find it to be less than that with typical use
Connectors:  Mini-B to USB out;  Mini-HDMI out;  wired remote control jack (RS60-E3)
Continuous Shooting:  10-shot Burst HQ mode @ 13 fps;  ~ 2 fps Continuous mode
Exposure Control:   Auto, Programmed Auto (P), Aperture Priority (Av), Shutter Priority (Tv), Manual (M), & Smart Auto scene modes
Flash:  Built-in, plus a hotshoe to accept an external flash
Focus:  Auto (USM), Manual Focus available via rear dial
Image Formats:  JPG and 12-bit RAW
Image Processor:  DIGIC 5
Image Stabilization:  Optical
ISO settings:  ISO 80 through 6400, with Auto ISO available
Lens:  non-interchangeable zoom lens, 4.3 to 215.0mm, f/3.4 to 6.5
Metering:  Evaluative, Center-Weighted, & Spot modes
Panoramic Modes:  images can be stitched together with external software (included)
Resolution:  12 megapixels
Sensor:  1/2.3 inch CMOS (7.7 mm diagonal)
Shutter lag:  ~ 0.07 sec (prefocused);  0.4 to 0.5 second (AF)
Shutter speeds:   15" to 1/2000th
Video:  1080px HD
Viewfinder:   Electronic (202,000 pixel EVF) with 100% coverage, also has a swing-out LCD screen
Weight (no batteries):  551 grams (about 1.2 pounds)
Zoom magnification:  50x (optical)
Zoom special features:  Zoom Frame Assist (helps you keep from losing your subject when zooming in)

Power-Up & Basic Use

This Canon SX50 is noticeably smaller than a Canon EOS Rebel DSLR.   I like that.  The camera's weight of about 1.2 pounds is average among bridge cameras, but if you're used to toting around a DSLR with a zoom lens, it's kind of refreshing. 

The SX50 powers on pretty quickly, though not as fast as the Canon Rebel T3.  I like the SX50's power switch a little better than the one on the SX120-150 series, but it's not as convenient as that of the Rebel T3.  (If you want a camera on the basis of its ultra lightning-fast power-on ability, get a T3, without a doubt.  Absolute king of fast power-on, at least in the world of affordable cameras.)

The SX50 zoom is very fast.  If you want to capture fast-action sports in the daylight, this is your camera.  If you're walking along and suddenly want to zoom in on some wildlife that walks across your path, this is also a great camera (be sure to keep it powered on while you walk). 

By default, the camera is set to continuous auto-focus.  That means it's already finding its focal point before you press the shutter halfway.  (Well, in practice I don't know that I see that happening, really, but maybe it is.  Yep, it works great... took me a while to notice it.)  The camera also has generic face recognition, so you can make sure your people are in focus when you take the photo.  Normally I think of features like these as gimmicks, but I can see this being useful with a bridge camera.  That's because it doesn't have a true optical TTL viewfinder the way you'd get with a DSLR.   The auto-recognition feature can help you nail the focus when you can't see all the details of your subjects.  And if you don't like it, you can turn the feature off.

The EVF (Electronic Viefinder) has 100% coverage of the scene, but the quality is just passable as far as detail. 

Since the autofocus is good, you don't need to worry too much about seeing fine details through the EVF anyway.  The LCD screen swings out and rotates, and the image quality on there is pretty nice.  Indoors I usually use the LCD on this camera, but in bright sunlight you're going to be glad there's an EVF.  Really glad.  Many digicams today have no EVF or even an optical VF, so you're stuck in bright sunlight not being able to see what you're photographing.  I'm happy the SX50 retains the viewfinder. 

Another thing I really like about this camera is that it uses pretty much the same basic control layout as every other Canon Powershot camera.  The pictograms, the function wheel... most everything is familiar.  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." 

Some people find the function wheel to be a bit ungainly, and to be sure, it's a lot slower than the nice controls on, say, a Canon Rebel T3.  Nevertheless, if you practice a lot with this camera, you can become easily proficient.

There is one thing I don't like so far, and that's the lack of a "bulb" setting.  The longest you can leave the shutter open is fifteen seconds.   I actually prefer Bulb for photographing fireworks, but then again, I still use slide film for most of that photography anyway.  (Read this article to see what happened with the SX50 at a fireworks show.)

Now, we get to the main feature of this camera:  the zoom.  There isn't much else on the market that matches this camera's incredible 50x optical zoom.  (Competitors are mentioned later in this article. )  Perhaps because it's the centerpiece of the SX50, Canon did an especially good job on the mechanism.  The zoom works very solidly and has little or no play in the barrel.  It's fast and quiet.  If you see a bald eagle in a tree, at least you can know it probably won't be your camera noise that scares it away.  In fact, you can be so far away from it that it will probably not fly away anyhow.  

This is a great wildlife camera, and it makes me want to get out there and find some big raptors instead of sitting in my office in front of a computer screen. 

Auto Mode

A reader asked whether a non-camera-enthusiast would be able to get good pictures with this camera.  Absolutely, yes.  In Auto mode, the camera will tell you when faces are in focus. When it beeps twice and the frames around your subjects' faces turn green, take the picture.

Auto mode will figure out what kind of scene you've got (portrait, scenery, whatever), and it will adjust the camera accordingly.  It will also tell you to raise the flash where needed.

Naturally, you'll always have more flexibility in the manual and semi-manual modes, and you'll be able to get some better pictures more reliably.   But I wouldn't worry about it, because auto mode will satisfy for probably 90% of the times.  Just stick with daylight scenes or be willing to use flash, and you're all set.

Want to get out there and just start taking pictures?  Purchase your SX50 through this link and help keep my website on-line.


Mostly, I use cameras for still-photography, not video.  There are people saying that photography will eventually be nothing but video-frame grabs.  That only applies to the average pedestrian.  Pro photography is not and never was a "spray and pray" proposition.  Mostly, it's not even "point and shoot", either.  (There are still many of us who shoot 4x5 film, not because we're being stubborn, but because there is nothing else on earth like it.)

So anyway, the Canon SX50 has pretty good video.  It offers 1080px HD.  For video, I actually prefer this camera over a DSLR, unless you're talking about tripod work with manual-focus and extensive editing.  For impromptu, straight-outta-the-camera video clips, the SX50 is often the better choice.  Why?  This is one area where the smaller sensor actually gives a real advantage:  greater depth of field.  You won't need to be refocusing constantly.   If you just want to capture a moment, this is your camera.  And it won't look as blotchy (etc) as it would with the typical smartphone.

Make sure you didn't leave the camera set to some other white balance setting.  Last time I took indoor video with the camera, I had it set on "cloudy", and the scene looked very yellow-orange.  Then again, it actually kind of had a nice, warm look to it.  If you really, really want to, there's always software to process your digital movies after the fact.

One thing I don't like about the SX50 is its lack of manual control when shooting video.  If you read my bridge cameras article, you may recall that I really liked the Panasonic DMC FZ200, except for the fact that its flash performance is not as good.  If you're primarily going to be doing video, the FZ200 is actually the better choice.  Nevertheless, I enjoy using the SX50 for video.  Just know that it's not going to give top-of-the-line picture quality or massive framerates.  Pretty good vids, but certainly this is no full-frame DSLR we're talking about.


On-camera flash is always the choice of last resort, as far as I'm concerned.  Not because it isn't bright, but because it's coming from the wrong angle.   That said, one cool thing about this on-camera flash is that you just pull up the flash by hand.  There are no fancy spring mechanisms or buttons.

The SX50 has a flash hotshoe.  That is a major plus if you're even semi-serious about photography.  For about fifty bucks, get yourself a Wein Safe Sync and you can use any standard hotshoe flash made since the 1970's or 80's.  If you don't get a Wein Safe Sync, make sure to use only the Canon DSLR flashes.  Otherwise the back-voltage will destroy your flash-control circuitry and possibly your whole camera.  

The SX50 will handle the great Canon 430 EXII (get yours here and show your support for my website.  Thanks!).   The 430EX II was made for Canon DSLR's and has a very low back-voltage.  Or, for less money, get this one by Metz.  If you're going to do a lot of indoor people pictures, it's worth it to get a good flash.  Then you can bounce the light off the ceiling or a white card.  Red-eye won't be nearly as much a problem that way, and the lighting will look better.

The SX50's shutter speed goes up to 1/2000th of a second.  My old Fuji Finepix S7000 from 2003 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000th, which I'd prefer to see on the SX50 also.  This really comes in handy when you're using an external flash.  You see, a DSLR has a maximum "flash sync speed" before the shutter starts getting in the way of the picture.  Meanwhile, the bridge camera will work with flash up through its maximum shutter speeds. 

As you gather experience in photography, you will see exactly how useful this is.  This is the kind of thing that beginners don't notice, but when you're the kind of person who likes to set everything manually, it becomes crucial.  (And "manually" is the only way you can use those 1980's flash units on the SX50... don't forget the Safe Sync.)

If you're doing scenery or still-life pictures, there's always the tripod.  In the next section we'll compare some different ISO settings.

Image Quality

The SX50 is a small-sensor camera, so it will not have quite the fine detail rendition that you'll get from a DSLR. 

Or will it?

Many times I can pick out images that were taken with small-sensor digicams, because they have a high acutance but somehow lack fine detail.  So, it was natural that I expected any old DSLR to be better than the SX50 in terms of IQ. 

I figured the EOS Rebel T3 vs. the Canon Powershot SX50 would be a good comparison, because they both have 12-megapixel sensors.   The T3 with its larger APS-C sensor would easily show up the SX50, right?

Using the Canon SX50 at its lowest ISO setting, I got a highly unexpected result. 

A 100% crop revealed that the image from the SX50 is actually sharper and more detailed than I was getting with a Rebel T3 DSLR at its lowest ISO setting!   (Note that I had HTP activated on the T3, so lowest available ISO was 200 rather than 100).   Now, part of it may be that I was using the cheap 18-55 kit lens on the T3, but it's still a valid comparison, because most camera buyers just use the lens that comes with the camera.

You can even see it in these thumbnails, but click the image for a larger view:

Take note that you would get better pictures from the T3 with a better lens.  Even this one would far surpass the kit lens on your T3 / T3i / etc.  You can also get marginally more-detailed pictures if you unsharp-mask the heck out of the T3 image... but straight out of the box, the little Powershot SX50 gives surprisingly detailed photos.  What you give up, mostly, is the ability to get shallow depth-of-field effects in your pictures, unless you use macro. 

Just for reference, here's the scene from which I'm getting these 100% crops:

Canon Powershot SX50
ISO 80 with tripod

By the way, chromatic aberration is pretty mild with the Canon SX50, even at full zoom, but only if you shoot in JPG mode.  The one place you might begin to notice a bit of aberration is when photographing high-contrast scenes, such as the silhouette of something against the sky.  Overall I don't find it to be distracting at all.  Shooting in RAW mode, however, you will really start to notice it.  The camera will not have pre-corrected the images for you.  Considering the zoom range of this camera, though, I'm surprised they could make it as good as it is.

Now that I've seen how good the images are at ISO 80, this camera is going along with me on every landscape shoot.

Low-Light Performance

This can be one of the big decision points between getting a bridge camera and a DSLR. 

We've already seen that at low ISO, the SX50 actually has an advantage over the Rebel T3 with kit lens.   At high ISO, it's a different story.  The bridge camera with its smaller sensor will lose image quality pretty quickly at higher ISO settings.

Here are some 100% crops taken from pictures of the tree shown above.  All were taken with the Powershot SX50.    I didn't run through every ISO setting here.  I just wanted to show the usable range, which to me is up to about ISO 1600. 

Click for larger versions.

The SX50 with its tiny sensor is actually not that bad at moderately high ISO, as long as the exposure times are very short.  Those really low-light shots can bring out some serious noise and detail loss at higher ISO settings.  Above 1600, the image quality in dim light is not that great.  I wouldn't even bother with ISO 6400, except for emergencies where you just couldn't get a picture any other way.

If you want maximum detail and sharpness, just use ISO 80 or 100 whenever possible.  By the way, you can set the maximum ISO that the "Auto ISO" setting will use. 

Here's a shot taken at ISO 1600, and because the lighting is fairly bright, there isn't much chroma noise or detail loss.   This just goes to show how much progress there's been in camera technology.  Would this picture have been better at ISO 80 or 100?  Absolutely.  It's not that bad at 1600, though.  (Oh, and by the way, this was "auto" white balance, which looks kind of greenish-ugly under certain types of light.  That's true of most digital cameras, though.  Use the custom white balance feature to make your photos look better.  Sort of like this.)

Straight from the camera at ISO 1600.   White balance set to "Auto". 
Click for full-size image.

So, ISO 1600 can be usable sometimes.  Again, though, longer shutter times and dimmer light will degrade the image. 

I like ISO 80 or 100 for anything daylight, wherever possible.

"Positive" color mode is pretty nice.  Combine with ISO 80 for sharply-detailed, colorful images.

Gallery of additional Canon SX50 images here.

I see one potential annoyance with the SX50's ISO settings.  Actually, two.  First, you can't open the shutter for more than one second unless you use ISO 80.  Right away that eliminates a lot of night sky photography.  I think they did this because the small sensor would noise up unacceptably with long shutter times at higher ISO.  This is where you'd do much better with a DSLR, or some 400 or 800 film and a 28mm lens on your SLR.

Here's the second ISO annoyance.  If you turn on Dynamic Range Correction to 200% or 400%, the camera will block out certain ISO settings.  A couple of those ISO settings are your lowest ones, which would provide the best image quality.  If you set DRC to "AUTO", this doesn't happen.  But that's just how DRC works:  you can't have your cake and eat it too.  Just like Highlight Tone Priority on the Canon DSLR's, it turns up the minimum ISO setting in exchange for better highlight preservation.  Actually, though, the trade-off is worth it for a lot of uses.  Blown digital highlights are much more noticeable than a teensy bit of sharpness degradation.  If you're photographing high-contrast scenes, use DRC.  (And by the way, it only works in JPG mode.)

The SX50 allows you to choose intermediate ISO settings.  So, if for some reason you want ISO 160 or maybe ISO 1000, you can do that.  One of these settings could be the difference between a hand-held shot and a tripod, so I guess they're nice to have.

At ISO 800, you can get some pretty usable shots in low-light conditions.  Looking at the images close-up, you'll probably notice some detail loss and noise (compared to, say, ISO 100), but 800 is not bad on the SX50.  Here's an example.  This one was underexposed by either 2/3 or 1 stop.    I didn't adjust the levels or anything on this picture;  it's basically straight out of the camera.  Click for full-size image...

Straight from camera at ISO 800.  Click for full-size.

Again, there's a bit of detail loss compared to the lower ISO settings, but this is a lot better than you get from the typical camera phone that so many people are relying on today.  Since you've read this far, that tells me you're probably looking for better images than you'll get with a camera phone.  Your descendants will thank you for it.  Thanks to the aggressive marketing of digital cameras, a lot of people are going to leave behind over ten years' worth of chroma-noisy, detail-blurred images taken with cheap digicams and smartphones.  I'm not saying you can't get pro-quality results with these, but the potential for horrendous pics is much greater.  Don't blame me for relaying the message:  a smartphone is not a primary photography tool.  It's a nice-to-have gadget that replaces some camera uses, but it doesn't replace a bridge camera or DSLR any more than my Nikon 6006 replaces a 4x5 view camera.   Either way, there are about ten bad years of digital photography when people would have done much better just sticking with film.  There are even a lot of DSLR portraits out there that just keep reminding me of Camera vs. Log.

OK, digression over.  Now, a little adjustment and you can get some enlargement-worthy pictures with the SX50.   This just goes to show that a camera like this can be a good backup unit for serious work, as long as you know your camera and its limitations.  Depending on what you're going to do with it, the SX50 could even be your primary camera.  

If you're skilled with your editing software, you might even achieve that "film look", sort of.

ISO 800
Some curve & layer adjustments

I've seen studio portraits taken with $3,500 full-frame DSLR's and they didn't come out this nice.  They toasted the highlights and made the people look harsh and synthetic.  You don't have to sit there all day adjusting one picture;  what's important is to start with a photo that preserves the data you'll need.  Like any digital camera, the SX50 can do that if you pay attention to what you're doing.  Unlike the average pocket digicam or smart phone, the bridge camera has enough manual controls for serious use, and they're within easy reach.  ISO, white balance, and EV settings are all just a button-push away.

The bridge camera, like its pocket-digicam cousins, has a small sensor.  That's going to intensify the effects of bad lighting.  So you have to be even more careful to get the scene and the settings right.    I'm pretty happy with the picture above, but many of the out-takes had harsh clipping.  The SX50 has settings that are supposed to correct for clipped highlights, but like most digital cameras, the usefulness of such a feature is limited.  It's just better to be careful with the lighting in the first place.  (Color negative film still way outperforms digital in this area.)

Is the SX50 good enough for pictures of loved ones in all lighting conditions? 

Well, not all.  

For pictures in dim light, you'll generally get better results with at least an APS-C sensor.  In other words, use a Canon T5 or T6i, or a Nikon D3300.   Again there's a trade-off, because the SX50 offers faster and greater zoom than you'll be able to do with a DSLR.  This can be really helpful when you're trying to compose a good picture and your subject keeps moving... or they just toddled off beyond the useful range of your 55mm lens.  

The SX50 is also lighter-weight, which makes it easier to cart around all day.   In my youth, I didn't used to think that mattered.  It matters.


See those two buttons at the base of the lens barrel?  The upper one helps you locate an object when you're trying to zoom in on it.  Hold the button, and the camera will zoom out so you can re-locate the object.  Then, let go of the button and it will zoom back in.  Kind of handy if you're trying to photograph, say, a red-tailed hawk in flight.

Another nice thing is that the SX50 doesn't utilize touchscreens.  Some people do prefer touchscreens, but as far as I'm concerned, real cameras have dials and buttons.  

New cameras are going heavy on the "connectivity" thing.  Call me a dinosaur, but I could do without that.  On the SX50 there looks to be a Print/Share button, but I never use it and would prefer it wasn't there.  That's a spot that could be used by some other, more useful button.  Bridge camera users can navigate their way around an advanced control set, so most of us can already figure out how to share photos if we want. 

I probably mentioned before, but this is not the kind of camera to get if you want "bokeh".  The sensor, being very small, is going to give very high depth of field.  That means your subject and the background will both be in focus.  This is not the first camera I'd grab for portraits, unless you can put a lot of distance between your subject and the background.  I mean, a lot.  Or, use a plain background.  I have been able to set up photos where the background was somewhat out of focus, but these are not everyday situations.  (It's a little easier with the FZ200.)

The flip-out screen rotates.  It can be put back into place with the screen facing outward, if you like.  This is really a standard feature for any flip-out LCD camera nowadays.  (Actually, some bridge cameras don't offer this.)

I almost forgot to mention something.  One annoyance, in terms of control placement, is the AF frame selector.  It's to the immediate upper-right of the control wheel, in a place you're likely to hit with your thumb while using the camera.  Actually that's probably on purpose, because someone figured you'll need to use that button a lot.  I never use it, but that could change.   You will find some situations where you'll wish you could change the way this camera auto-focuses.  That button will become useful.

Oh, and finally... how could I forget?  The SX50 can actually do macro capture of 35mm slides.  Believe it or not.   You just have to do a little correcting for the barrel distortion, since you can't activate macro focus while zoomed in much.  


I like the Canon all the more when you can get shots like this without doing a ton of cropping.  Go ahead, try this with a DSLR (and you're not allowed to use a telescope mount.) 

Canon SX50
ISO 80 @ 1/160th
Zoom:  215mm

I did some processing on this to make it look more contrasty (etc),
but the SX50 base image is plenty good.

I turned off digital zoom here, but actually, the digital zoom on the SX50 would help a bit for shots like these.  

The SX50 actually has different grades of digital zoom.  To confuse matters, there is also 1.5 and 2x "digital teleconverter".  All of these are accessible through the "Digital Zoom" setting on the Menu.  As best I can tell, the 1.5 and 2x settings add teleconversion to every zoom setting.  On the other hand, set the digital zoom to "Standard" and you will only get digital zoom when you've maxed out the optical zoom.  Now, this is where you have to pay attention.  Up to "100x" zoom, the digital zoom is called "ZoomPlus".  You will see a yellow bar.  This has actually pretty high quality for digital zoom, which I would otherwise avoid.  Beyond the 100x range, the bar will turn blue.  This is digital zoom that takes the camera up to an effective 200x zoom, but here the picture quality starts to degrade, as you'd expect with digital zoom.  The ZoomPlus range (yellow bar) is useful for getting those moon shots where the moon fills the screen.  That said, I didn't use it for the above photo, but maybe I'll mess around with it later.

Also forgot to mention, this was my ultra-cheap department-store tripod.  I had to use it because this camera's tripod lug is too shallow, so I can't mount it on the "real" tripod without messing around with spacer washers.  (Maybe next time).   Even with image stabilization, we're talking about a 1200mm zoom equivalent here.  That's a lot of zoom, and so for sharpest detail I'd recommend a good, solid tripod.

SX50 vs. Everyone Else

When the SX50 first hit the market, its 50x optical zoom was unheard-of. 

Now, Sony has the HX300 (available through this link) and the HX400 (here) which also offer 50x optical zoom. 

Both cameras have pretty good 2x digital zoom, which allows for "100x" zoom that gives those nice screen-filling pictures of the moon.  Which is better? 

In terms of color rendition, the Canon SX50 has the better image quality.  The Sony may give a very slight edge at higher ISO, but at lower ISO it shows more smearing and artifacts than the SX50.  (The HX400 has somewhat sharper detail rendition at low ISO.) 

The Sony has a nice "Background Defocus" feature to simulate bokeh, but this has a somewhat limited range of usefulness.  Sony recommends using it for subjects that are about one foot from the camera lens.  Really I'd prefer to see more range here.  The "Background Defocus" is pretty cool, but it still doesn't put the bridge camera up there with a DSLR. 

The SX50 has RAW mode which the Sony doesn't have.  It also has a flash hotshoe which the Sony HX300 and several others lack.

The Fuji SL1000 is another contender in the 50x department, and it costs quite a bit less than its competitors.  Its image quality is not quite up to the Canon's, though.  Actually, and I hate to say this, the SL1000's image quality is not all that much better than my Fuji S7000 bridge camera from 2003.   I think what happened here is that Fuji wanted to make an affordable 50x superzoom camera, and it isn't terrible, but there are better choices. 

The Fuji HS50EXR (available here) has 42X zoom, plus 2x digital zoom.  This is also a pretty good camera, but the autofocus is not as good as the SX50 (actually there is some debate on this issue.)  The image quality of the HS50EXR is pretty good;  it may not be quite as good as the SX50, but it's quite a bit better than the SL1000.  Of course, strictly speaking the HS50EXR is not a 50x superzoom.  The HS50EXR and HS35EXR are worthy cameras, but the Canon just has that overall combination of features and image quality.

Panasonic now has the FZ70, which has a 60x optical zoom.  Apparently, though, it comes out to the same 1200mm zoom equivalent as the Canon.  The FZ70 doesn't have as good an LCD screen, the lens isn't as good, and aside from its powerful zoom, the FZ70 is actually not as good as the FZ200 (which I'd get instead, if I wanted a Panasonic).   The Panasonic FZ200 has only 24x optical zoom.  It's still worth getting, though, because of its wide f/2.8 aperture and its good video (if you get your FZ200 through this link it will help my site).

As far as image quality, I'd rank them like this, in decreasing order of quality:  the Canon SX50 and Panasonic FZ200 at the top, then the Sony HX300 / 400 and the Fuji HS50EXR, then finally the Fuji SL1000 and Panasonic FZ70.  

The Canon SX50 is still the best 50x superzoom camera on the market, in my opinion.  I say this because:

 -  It has the image quality
 -  It has a good LCD screen
 -  Autofocus is good
 -  It has a flash hotshoe
 -  I like the color rendition
 -  It supports RAW image capture
 -  There are enough features to keep it interesting

Really, when it comes to superzooms, the Canon SX50 is still the one to beat. 

Canon SX50 vs. SX510

Wondering whether to get the lower-priced Canon SX510 instead?  This article should give you the info you need.

The First Colors of Autumn

Canon SX50

For autumn foliage trips, this camera is great to have along.
Get yours now and get out there and start taking some pictures!

Canon SX50 vs. SX60

I had hoped the SX60 would be a huge improvement over the SX50, but there's one big problem.  The SX50 still has the better image quality!   Overall I like the design of the SX50 better, as well.  

Unless you require a higher-res electronic viewfinder, just get the SX50.

(Back to top)


The SX50 is still my favorite bridge camera.  

If I didn't need quite as much zoom, I'd also consider the Panasonic FZ200.

There is no such thing as a "perfect camera for everything".   There will always be some use that's outside the design parameters.   Even so, the SX50 is pretty versatile.

Like most bridge cameras, the SX50 is not the ideal low-light performer, but you probably knew that.  This is not the camera you'll want for ambient-light pictures of your family indoors.  It's either a tripod special, or use the flash (also read the SX50 vs. 510 article for more about that). 

Or, use it as a daylight camera.   The great outdoors is where this camera really excels over your typical point-and-shoot.   And its 1200mm-equivalent zoom eats smartphones for breakfast.

The SX50 offers remarkably good image quality at ISO 80 to 200, and passable image quality at 400 to 800.  Sometimes even 1600. 

There's nothing else on the market I'd rather have for wildlife photography, unless price were no object.  Even there, you'd be hard pressed to find this much zoom power outside the world of bridge cameras.  I see this camera as a perfect complement to a DSLR.  Carry both, and you'll have pretty much the whole range of photography options.  

Now, if it comes down to one camera, and often it does, then you have to ask yourself which is more important to you:  low-light performance, or good zoom?  There is enough overlap that the SX50 can do some of what a DSLR can do.  Certainly it will be better than your typical pocket digicam or smartphone.  I'd feel a lot more confident in getting a good low-light shot with the SX50 than I would with an average smartphone. 

The SX50 even has RAW mode, which retains a lot more color depth and has other advantages, too.

The Canon SX50 may not be the king of high-ISO performance, but it's definitely the star of superzooms.  Others have introduced 50x or 60x superzooms, but I still think the Canon is still the best of the bunch.  The SX50 has enough all-around capabilities to make it useful for everyday photography.  

I hope you enjoyed this page.   Please help support my website by shopping for any of your stuff through the links on here (get your SX50 here).  Thanks again!!


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