Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review

Canon's superzoom bridge packs a whopping 50x zoom

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The Canon Powershot SX50 HS is styled very much akin to a miniature DSLR, with a pronounced hand grip, electronic viewfinder, hotshoe and mode dial.

It's also relatively heavy, giving the same kind of feeling as an entry level DSLR with the kit lens attached, such as the Canon 1100D.

But of course the lens that is attached is far more flexible than a standard 18-55mm kit lens, with its 50x optical zoom.

Unlike a DSLR, this is controlled via a switch around the shutter release button on top of the camera, rather than by manually twisting the zoom by hand.

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review

Zooming in and out is quick and smooth, meaning you can quickly go from the fully wide angle right up to the full telephoto with the minimum of effort.

Thanks to the large hand grip, the camera feels very secure in the hand, making it easy to use when shooting one-handed - even when extending the full range of the zoom.

Anyone familiar with Canon's range of DSLRs will recognise the mode dial at the top of the camera. Here you'll find access to full manual, semi-automatic, automatic, scene, movie and creative effect modes.

When using aperture/shutter priority, to change shutter speed or aperture, rather than using a dial on the grip, as you might do a DSLR, the wheel on the back of the camera must be used. If shooting in fully manual, you can switch between shutter speed and aperture by pressing up on the control pad.

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review

The Canon SX50 HS features a fully articulating, 2.8-inch PureColor II 461k dot LCD screen. It's a bright and clear display, avoiding glare and reflections in a variety of lighting conditions. We've been unable to test it in the brightest of sunlight to fully assess that, though.

Having an articulated screen is very useful, because it gives that extra flexibility when shooting at awkward angles.

A small pop-up flash can be found at the top of the camera, which needs to be raised manually. There's a button at the side of the flash which is used to access different flash modes once the flash is raised. It can take a lot of jabbing at the button to realise that it doesn't raise the flash automatically.

You can either elect to have the camera decide autofocus points for you, or choose a singular point.

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review

This is achieved by pressing a dedicated button on the back of the camera, then using either the arrow keys or the scroll wheel on the back of the camera to move the autofocus point into the correct position.

An electronic viewfinder is included on the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS. Unfortunately there's no eye sensor to automatically detect when your eye is lifted to the EVF, so you will need to hit the display button twice to switch it on.

This slows down the image taking process somewhat, and is a shame on a camera with an otherwise great specification.

Next to the thumb grip on the back of the camera is a dedicated button to activate Full HD video recording. This is particularly handy and can be used even when the camera is not in video mode, which really speeds up capturing the moment as it unfolds in front of you.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyPowerShot
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom50x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesSelf-timer, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Continuous Shooting Mode, Face Detection, Smile Detection, Wink Detection
Screen Size7.1 cm (2.8")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)595 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, REACH, ErP, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height87.3 mm
Width122.5 mm
Depth105.5 mm
Focal Length4.30 mm to 215 mm
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesManual, Auto
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelSX50 HS
Product NamePowerShot SX50 HS Digital Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter priority AE
  • Aperture priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number6352B012AA
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

A powerful 50x ultra zoom for extreme telephoto shots. Intelligent IS counteracts shake and Zoom Framing Assist helps keep subjects in the frame. A premium lens, manual modes and RAW give expert results.

Package Contents
  • PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery NB-10L
  • Charger
Limited Warranty1 Year