Canon SX50 review: Could it be the best megazoom camera we’ve ever tested?


posted Monday, June 3, 2013 at 5:01 PM EST

With a 50x optical zoom that delivers an amazing 35mm-equivalent range of 24-1200mm, the Canon SX50 brings distant subjects up close and personal -- and it does so with intelligence and grace. Hand-held shots at full zoom and in good light are relatively easy to take, thanks to the SX50's improved image stabilization and Zoom Framing Assist function. And the end results are surprisingly sharp and pleasing for the digital camera's class and sensor size.

The Canon SX50 HS will no doubt build a fervent following of zoom addicts, including enthusiasts and casual users alike. But that's not all there is to the camera, which features a bevy of advanced photographic options including a 10-shot High-speed Burst HQ continuous shooting mode, RAW image capture, Full 1080p HD video recording, a 2.8-inch vari-angle LCD screen and more.

Performance-wise, the Canon SX50 HS operates like most other good superzooms -- a bit slow, but nothing that hampers shooting too much. That is, unless you're trying to use the camera in low light, where it often struggles with autofocusing. While the SX50's lens is sharp, it isn't very fast -- just f/3.4-6.5 -- compared to models such as the Panasonic FZ200 that boasts a constant f/2.8 aperture across its 24x zoom range. The Canon SX50 HS also doesn't fare well at high ISOs, producing blotchy and fuzzy images indoors and in poor light.

Despite such limitations, it all comes back to what the camera excels at: Taking sharp, detailed outdoor pictures on sunny days, with a massively long zoom lens that can bring you into the action like no other we've tested. But the question remains: Is the Canon SX50 HS the best megazoom we've ever reviewed? Read our in-depth Canon SX50 review to find out!