Canon’s PowerShot SX50 HS raises the stakes in superzoom arms race with 50x lens
posted Monday, September 17, 2012 at 4:01 AM EDT
In the ever-increasing battle for the biggest, baddest megazoom on the planet, Canon has fired its latest salvo with the PowerShot SX50 HS. This digital camera's 50x optical zoom delivers the equivalent of 24-1,200mm range from a 24mm wide-angle lens, and boasts several improvements over the PowerShot SX40 HS, an IR favorite and a popular Dave's Pick. But staggering range isn't all the SX50 HS offers. A refined 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor coupled with a DIGIC 5 processor provides enhanced low-light imaging quality, according to Canon, and a maximum ISO of 6,400.
The Canon SX50 HS looks similar to its predecessor, though its lines are no longer as curvy. The grip appears to be more pronounced, and the Shutter button rests at a forward-sloping angle. Upgrades include a slightly larger 2.8-inch, 460,000-dot vari-angle LCD. Canon also changed the button layout on the back, removing one button and making way for a larger navigational wheel. Overall, the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS is just a fraction smaller and lighter than its predecessor, measuring 4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 inches and weighing 21 ounces.
The Canon SX50 HS records in full 1080p HD at 24 frames per second, and 720p at 30 fps. The camera allows for zooming while recording, and delivers stereo sound. One disappointing, but ultimately understandable spec about the SX50 HS is the lens brightness. Going from a 40x to a 50x zoom means the maximum apertures increased to f/3.4 at its widest and f/6.5 at its longest focal length, compared to f/2.7-5.8 for the SX40 HS. Guess you can't have everything.
The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS will set you back an estimated US$480 at launch, $50 more than the SX40 HS cost upon introduction last year, and will be available in October 2012. Read more about it in our preview.