Canon PowerShot SX260 HS review

A talented travel camera packing a far-reaching 25-500mm zoom

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The Canon PowerShot SX260 HS is a superzoom that offers a good balance of features and produces still images and HD movies that are very pleasing.

It might lack some of the bells and whistles of other travel compacts - such as the Panasonic TZ30's touchscreen or the Samsung WB750's Live Panorama mode - but it delivers where it really matters: in picture quality and manual control.

We liked

The combination of automatic and fully manual shooting options, plus creative effects such as slow motion video, are great fun and useful.

We disliked

High quality, high speed burst shooting isn't available in all modes, and battery life, rated at 230 shots in normal use (and a lot less with GPS activated) is merely OK.

Final verdict

The Canon PowerShot SX260 HS's 25-500mm equivalent zoom range surpasses the Panasonic TZ30's 24-480mm reach at the top end, although the Canon SX260 HS's sensor, at 12.1MP, comes up short against the Panasonic's 14MP resolution.

Not that that matters when it comes to overall picture quality. The Canon PowerShot SX260 HS's images can be a little soft straight out of the camera, but the camera is capable of resolving a good level of detail and pictures look a little cleaner than those from the Panasonic TZ30.

In terms of street price, there's a wafer thin mint between the Canon SX260 HS and the Panasonic TZ30 (the Canon is currently a little cheaper). But the longer zoom range, versatile exposure modes, ease of use and picture quality make the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS a slightly more well-rounded and better value family camera.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANNo
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyPowerShot SX
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom20x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesLive View, Self-timer, Wink Detection, Face Detection, Smile Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)231 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE, REACH, ENERGY STAR
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height61 mm
Width106.3 mm
Depth32.7 mm
Product SeriesSX
Focal Length4.50 mm to 90 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelSX260 HS
Product NamePowerShot SX260 HS Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number5900B012AA
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

With 20x optical zoom to get you closer, Full HD movies and GPS to track locations, the compact PowerShot SX260 HS is the ideal travel companion. HS System and Intelligent IS ensure superb results.

Package Contents
  • PowerShot SX260 HS Compact Camera
  • NB-6L Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Charger
Limited Warranty1 Year