Canon announces PowerShot SX400 IS and SX520 HS superzoom cameras for the budget-conscious

by Felix Esser

posted Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 5:40 PM EDT

Canon has today announced two new budget-friendly superzoom compacts, the Canon SX520 HS and SX400 IS. While the SX520 replaces the year-old SX510 HS, the SX400 is positioned below it and has to make do without some of the bells and whistles of its larger sibling. What both have in common are their powerful zoom lenses that offer a generous 24mm wide-angle -- although they differ in telephoto strength -- and a pronounced grip which gives them an SLR-like look.

The Canon PowerShot SX520 IS ups the ante in terms of zoom power over its predecessor, by extending its range from 700mm-equivalent to 1,008mm-equivalent at the telephoto end, which translates into a 42x zoom. An "intelligent" optical image stabilizer helps prevent blur even at the longest setting of the lens, by selecting between eight different stabilization modes.


On the inside of the SX520, there's Canon's HS system at work, which consists of a 16 megapixel 1/2.3" CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 4+ image processor. Together, these promise high image quality especially at the higher ISO settings. Besides capturing still images, the SX520 HS is also capable of recording 1080p Full HD video.

Other specs of the PowerShot SX520 HS include ISO sensitivities between 100 and 3200, a maximum aperture between f/3.4 and f/6.0, a three-inch rear LCD screen with 460k pixels, a pop-up flash and your choice of the classic Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority and Manual shooting modes, which Canon labels P, Av, Tv and M.

The PowerShot SX520 HS's little sibling is the SX400 IS, which sports a slightly less powerful 30x zoom lens ranging from 24mm to 700mm, with an initial aperture rating of f/3.4-5.8. Instead of a CMOS sensor, the SX400 comes with a 1/2.3" CCD with 16 megapixels, though it's also paired with the DIGIC 4+ image processor.

Its sensitivity range ends at ISO 1600 equivalent, and the SX400 is only capable of recording 720p HD video instead of 1080p. There's also an optical image stabilizer that should come in handy when using the camera's full zoom power, but it's less sophisticated than that of the SX520 HS. On the rear of the SX400 IS there's a 3" LCD with 230k dots, and of course the camera also comes with a pop-up flash.

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS will be available in September 2014 at an MSRP of US$400. For those who can do without Full HD video and who don't need the massive 42x zoom capability, the SX400 IS can be had for US$250 from August 2014, and will be available in a choice of black or red body colors. Find out more about either camera in our Canon SX520 preview or our Canon SX400 preview.

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