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1,714 of 1,751 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Canon
I received my SX260 last Wednesday and have taken about 700 shots and a few quick 5 minute video. Without writing a novel, here are the high/low points of this unit. In addition to this unit, I also purchased a couple of aftermarket batteries (and after market A/C adapters for about $5.00 each) for about $5.00 each and the batteries work fine. With the battery (original...
Published on March 20, 2012 by Eric T.

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1,955 of 2,018 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 20x Zoom Comparison - Sony HX20; Canon SX260; Panasonic ZS19
I couldn't decide between these three cameras (and their variants, the Sony HX30 and the Panasonic ZX20) because many of the reviews of each made the cameras sound very similar. So, I went out and bought (from merchants who accepted returns) one of each of these three cameras (I didn't need WI-FI or GPS, so that's how I settled on these less expensive variants). And...
Published 23 months ago by Artemaria


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1,714 of 1,751 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Canon, March 20, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Image Stabilized Zoom 25mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full-HD Video (Black) (Electronics)
I received my SX260 last Wednesday and have taken about 700 shots and a few quick 5 minute video. Without writing a novel, here are the high/low points of this unit. In addition to this unit, I also purchased a couple of aftermarket batteries (and after market A/C adapters for about $5.00 each) for about $5.00 each and the batteries work fine. With the battery (original and aftermarket) I was able to get over 300 shots (50% flash) with zooming and playback and the battery meter still showed about 25% charge remaining.

Pro's
Zoom - very long for a subcompact camera 20x optical, total 81x combined (yes 81 times!)
Image Stabilizer - Excellent (far superior than the DSC-HX9V); Even at 81x the picture did not come out of focus, but of course not as sharp. I think it's still acceptable
Scenes - A few scenes; I think the portrait, sepia, B/W works real well (the Portrait+ suppose to blur the picture a bit, but it's not to my liking) It has a few effects (fish eye, toy, miniature) that's very effective and can be fun for creative shots.
Auto Mode - was able to pick the correct type of scene almost all the time; it has an easy mode, and smart auto. Not sure why they have an easy mode, but the smart auto works great
Size/Weight - very compact and weigh's 8.2 oz. I would have prefer if the lens was flushed with the unit, but at 20x it may not have been possible
Uniformity - the unit does not feel cheap, and beautifully curved; no sharp jagged corners
Grip - the right side of the camera has a nice plastic strip for easier grip
Controls - Dial extremely easy to use with one hand. The other buttons, if you're a previous Canon user, it's a no brainer; the menu and setup are practically the same across all their models.
Screen - 3 inch TFT LCD screen very beautiful; nuff said
Processor - Didn't notice that much difference between the DIGIC 4/DIGIC 5, but compared to the DSC-HX9V, this camera is like a Ferrari.
GPS - Camera has it, but I never used it and probably won't; at least for the time being. Am more interested in a camera that takes excellent picture

Con's
Video - compared to the Sony DSC-HX9V this Canon comes in a distant second; if you plan on using this primarily as a video recorder, look elsewhere. I think Sony has excellent lens on their camera but their processing technology is clumsy, painfully slow and unacceptable; whereas with taking videos, the Sony does not do any processing (not to mention it captures at 60fps compared to Canon's 24/25 fps) This is one thing I will miss dearly.
Flash - not sure if there is a good place but I had to change my grip as the flash is on the top left corner. Couple of times, I had my left index finger on the flash and the camera gave some flash error message and had to power off and power on the camera to reset the flash.

If you're a casual or intermittent photographer (or a professional wanting an everyday point and shoot camera without carrying a luggage everywhere) that is interested in looking for a well refined point and shoot camera, yet has manual controls usually found on higher end DSLR (or higher end point and shoot camera), this is it!

UPDATE 04/14/2012 - I paid $349 and today I noticed it's selling for $299, a 15% price drop in less than a month! I thought cars depreciate quick ...

UPDATE 04/18/2012 - The Live Mode works great! For those hard shots (for example, taking indoor picture with fluorescent lighting and without a flash), you can view the screen and make the adjustment right then and there. You look at what you plan to take, compare it to the SX260 LCD screen and press the shutter button.
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1,626 of 1,667 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Could Be the One, May 3, 2012
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This review is from: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Image Stabilized Zoom 25mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full-HD Video (Black) (Electronics)
I am an experienced amateur photographer and I've owned many cameras over the past 40 years. I've had some photos published but photography has always been strictly a hobby, though a serious one. I shoot with a Canon 7D, Rebel backup, various 'L' lenses, and I also use an Olympus E-P1 occasionally as well as a Canon S90 and Powershot 1100S (kept in my glovebox for 'emergencies'). I enjoy taking pictures.

I also enjoy traveling and have traveled around the states as well as visited many foreign countries. I'm sure I echo the frustrations of every photographer out there when I say that choosing which photo equipment to take on a vacation is the most agonizing process in planning a trip.

Let me share two experiences--one pleasant, another frustrating. In 2003, I visited New Zealand and took one of Canon's first digital Powershots. It was very small, fit in my pocket, and I could easily whip it out for quick photos. Even though the pictures were not pristine SLR quality, it was easy and fun using that camera and I still enjoy viewing those photos today. I had a pleasant and memorable trip. Second experience: a 10-day tour of China in 2007. I took a DSLR and 3 lenses as well as an HD camcorder, all in the same shoulder bag. It turned out to be total frustration. Instead of being able to enjoy the moment of seeing all that glorious ancient history and the people of China, I was overly concerned with 'getting the shot' -- all the time. Also, HD video was new in those days and I thought I could record the 'trip of a lifetime' with the latest technology. But switching between video and still photography simply added to my frustration. Although I got quite a few good pictures and videos, I did not enjoy that trip as much as I should have because I let my photo-taking desires get in the way of my vacation needs and cultural immersion. As a matter of fact, my wife used a point-and-shoot to get some great candid photos of people and children that totally outshone my efforts.

OK, fast forward to 2012. Like so many other photographers out there, when traveling I need a camera that's pocketable but can do everything. Impossible. It doesn't exist. But I remember the lessons learned from the experiences described above. Concessions must be made. With experience, I've learned what is a necessity, and what 'would be nice to have' when traveling. I have concluded that for me, a camera that takes 'very good' pictures, that is small and lightweight, is a NECESSITY. Anything else would be 'nice to have' but is not worth the enormous hassle.

I've had the Powershot SX260 HS for about a week now and I think I may have found the camera that will adequately meet my travel needs. I've shot a couple hundred photos and I'm surprised at the results. They are sharp, contrasty, colorful, noiseless, and good enough to use as desktop pictures on my 24-inch monitor without editing. The 20x lens is coupled to a shake-free technology that is very, very good. It's pocketable and has easy to use buttons that are logically placed. Canon has done their homework in finding the right balance between sharpness and noise, as far as I am concerned. Although it doesn't shoot RAW (that's a debate for another time), I am very happy with the JPEGs and I use the included highlight-taming technology built in to the camera and it works very well.

What I like:
1) Pocketable. Pocketable. Did I say pocketable?
2) Turns on quickly to get the shot.
3) 20x lens -- 25mm to 500mm. The 25mm shots are corrected internally for distortion and the 500mm shots are sharp thanks to the IS technology.
4) Very good noise control -- I haven't tested it at 1600 or 3200 but several other review sites reveal surprising, low noise photos at those ISO levels.
5) My copy is very sharp -- no need to sharpen the photos it produces.
6) Color accuracy is on par with my Olympus E-P1, which I consider to be the paragon of color accuracy.
7) Full manual when desired.
8) Takes very good HD video -- though that doesn't interest me so much these days. IS corrects for camera shake in video mode and zooming works well.

What I don't like:
Nothing yet, though I will update this review if anything comes up.

Does this camera take pictures comparable to my 7D? No. My E-P1? Very close. My S90? Superior to the S90 in my view.
The 20x zooming feature of this camera can't be overstated -- it's wonderful.

So many reviewers nitpick about technical matters. Sure, I could do that with any camera, including this one. But the point is--what need does the camera serve? All I know is this: If this camera had existed at the time, the SX260 would be the camera I would have taken to China.

Highly recommended.

[UPDATE: Many people have asked me about the so-called 'squeal' in video mode. When ambient sounds are low, the condenser mic (as in all cameras) boosts the gain. Most cameras will then pick up the internal motor/electronic sounds. This camera is no exception. The noise I've noticed is a very subtle high pitched ring similar to tinnitus. Am I surprised? No. It's the same sound I've heard in every video unit I've owned in the past 25 years. Medium to loud sounds will cause the mic to adjust and the tinnitus disappears. Folks, if video is important, buy a dedicated video camera. This is a PHOTO camera that has video capability, which is what I wanted.]
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1,955 of 2,018 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 20x Zoom Comparison - Sony HX20; Canon SX260; Panasonic ZS19, September 27, 2012
By 
Artemaria (New York City) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Image Stabilized Zoom 25mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full-HD Video (Black) (Electronics)
I couldn't decide between these three cameras (and their variants, the Sony HX30 and the Panasonic ZX20) because many of the reviews of each made the cameras sound very similar. So, I went out and bought (from merchants who accepted returns) one of each of these three cameras (I didn't need WI-FI or GPS, so that's how I settled on these less expensive variants). And then I took photos and videos in various conditions. I am not a professional photographer, and I didn't do Imatest or any other specific tests on the images (you can read C/net for that), but this is an experience of a regular person who was taking pictures and videos with these three cameras side by side, which is a comparison that you do not often see.

The bottom line is that these three cameras are very similar with a few minor differences, but those differences set them apart and may make you decide that you like one more than the other.

Generally speaking, NONE of these cameras is a DSLR replacement. Whomever writes that the pictures are as good as a DSLR is not speaking accurately. Also, none of the cameras is a replacement for a high end camcorder.

OUTSIDE PICTURES

If you are taking pictures outside on a sunny day all of these cameras will take very nice pictures for small to medium enlargements (no bigger than 8 x 10). The cameras all produce nice fairly sharp images that would be well suited for that purpose. And, like most people, I don't remember ever enlarging a picture more than 8 x 10, so it is not a common problem.

What might be an issue is if you are zoomed in all the way and wanted to crop a photo (which sometimes happens), the differences in the way the cameras' photos look when you "pixel peep" might make a difference. In good light outside, the cameras were close, but the best photos were from the CANON with the SONY and the PANASONIC a close second.

INSIDE PICTURES - GOOD LIGHT

If you are inside and you are taking pictures in low light, you will see a different story. Again, at smaller sized prints 4x6, 5x7, most people will see almost no difference between the pictures of the three cameras other than the PANASONIC's colors are a little less vibrant than those in the CANON and the SONY. I am not sure whether those colors are less accurate, they are just a little less vivid.

If you pixel peep at these pictures, the CANON's photos are clearly the best with the PANASONIC's being second. The CANON's remain very sharp through a good amount of enlargement while the PANASONIC's, although close, get softer a little faster. The SONY's pictures inside with good light became soft rather quickly and, I'm not sure if this is because the SONY has 18MP on a small chip (as some of the tech reviewers write), but there is a "watercolor" effect where after you enlarge it a little bit, it looks like a Claude Manet painting.

INSIDE PICTURES - LOW LIGHT

In poor light, the hierarchy between the cameras remains the same, but there is less of a gap between the CANON and the PANASONIC. It seems as if the CANON takes somewhat worse pictures in low light, and the PANASONIC just doesn't get that much worse. As a result, the gap between these two becomes somewhat closer. The SONY's pictures remain the poorest of the three in low light.

VIDEO - OUTSIDE GOOD LIGHT

All three cameras take very nice video outside in good light. If you are editing or nitpicky, you will note that the SONY and the PANASONIC take 60 frames per second, which is somewhat easier to edit, than the 24 frames per second that the CANON records. While you have to look for it, the CANON's outside video does have a couple of instances where it seems to be a tad jerky compared to the SONY and PANASONIC's video. But you really have to look for it and most people won't notice if you don't have another video outside for comparison.

While all the outdoor video is close, I would give the edge to the SONY in video, with the PANASONIC second and the CANON third. But they are close for outside video.

VIDEO - INSIDE

Taking video inside is a different story. Inside, the SONY shines and clearly has the best video. The video from this camera is actually good. It is not professional level by any stretch, but it is good solid quite viewable video from a camera that takes still pictures.

There is a noticeable difference on indoor video between the SONY and the PANASONIC. This difference was perhaps most noticeable to me because I had both videos from both cameras and watched them over and over again looking for differences. While the difference is noticeable, it is not a tremendous difference. The SONY video is super smooth and seems to get as much out of the light as it can. The PANASONIC video also is smooth and gets a good contrast tone and color out of the available light, but is slightly less smooth than the SONY. The PANASONIC video is still very viewable and looks good, but not as good as the SONY.

The CANON will take decent indoor video in good light, but in poor light, it just seems to struggle. The CANON's video had many shadows and dark areas that simply were not present in the SONY and PANASONIC videos. I did not notice any hissing in the CANON video as some of the other reviewers have mentioned. This may be an issue that varies from camera to camera.

HANDLING AND SPEED

This was a fairly subjective comparison between the three cameras as to how they felt in the hand and how quickly the camera did what I wanted it to do because if the camera doesn't take the shot when you want to, it doesn't really matter how sharp the picture or video might be.

Based on my experience, the PANASONIC had the best handling of the three. While the PANASONIC and the SONY were both quick to take a picture, for some reason the SONY that I had would take a much longer time (seconds) to record the picture onto the card. This was despite the fact that both cameras had comparable cards with comparable write speeds. Both the SONY and the PANASONIC had rather quick autofocus which also made them seem to react faster. The PANASONIC is noticeably thinner and lighter than the SONY while maintaining a similar full raised rubber grip on the front which made the camera easier to handle. While both the SONY and the PANASONIC were quick, the blazingly fast (by comparison) write speeds on the PANASONIC compared with its almost non-existent shutter lag made this the best handling camera of the three by far.

Even though it consistently took the best pictures, the CANON was the worst handling camera. The autofocus often had issues focusing and there was a constant shutter lag while it was searching for its focus. We did miss some shots because the CANON was so slow to react. Also, the CANON is somewhere in weight between the SONY and the PANASONIC, but has the worst grip of the three. That little rubber strip on the front is not as effective a grip as the fuller grip that appears on the SONY and the PANASONIC.

With respect to handling, I've read many reviews and each of them seems to state different things about each of the cameras. Many of these reviews seem to indicate that the SONY is a very fast camera, and that might be the case, but the write speed of the 18 MP pictures (which are 50% larger than the CANON's photos and almost the same for the PANASONIC) was so slow, it was distracting and detracted from the experience of using the camera.

VERDICT AND CONCLUSIONS

None of these cameras is the best at everything. The CANON has the best pictures, but is slow to focus, somewhat awkward to handle and has the worst video of the three. The SONY handles okay but is heavy and has noticeably slow write speeds, its picture quality varies greatly with the light (and will deteriorate rapidly with any significant cropping) but the SONY has the best video, and it is noticeable.

In the end I decided to go with the PANASONIC. While it only was the best in handling, to me that was a significant portion of the photographic experience. It is not DSLR fast (instantaneous), but it is a zippy camera for a superzoom, is light in weight and has a good grip which makes it easier to hold. Also, it does not have a pop-up flash which I found always seemed to come up under my fingers where I was holding the left side camera. As noted above, the PANASONIC's videos were good, perhaps not as good as the SONY, but the PANASONIC was certainly capable of capturing some nice video, even in low light. The photos also were not as good as the CANON's, but they were close and very close in low light. With respect to the vibrancy of the colors, if you set the photo vibrancy on the PANASONIC to "happy" (which I guess is their "vivid") it is less of a noticeable difference. The photos look very nice and certainly are competitive in quality for this type of camera.

Hopefully this comparison and these observations will help you decide between these three similar cameras so you can choose the best one for your needs. Good luck.
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424 of 446 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Camera! Very impressive, March 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Image Stabilized Zoom 25mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full-HD Video (Black) (Electronics)
Canon SX260 HS: I'm happy to say that I was one of the first people to buy this camera. I bought it from one of the sellers on Amazon Marketplace, before it was officially released (it wasn't even available on amazon.com itself when I bought it).

It's a good camera & quality clear pictures, with a clear & sharp LCD screen.

The camera has the option of changing the aspect ratio for the pictures; you could choose from 16:9, 4:3, 3:2 & 1:1. You could also change the amount of recording pixels from L, M1, M2 & S. In auto mode, it has many predefined scenes. The camera could also be set to various scene modes, including portrait, Smooth skin, smart shutter, High-speed Burst HQ, Handheld night scene, low light, underwater, snow, fireworks, discreet & stitch assist. It does not have the scene modes for Kids & pets, foliage or beach, which other Canon powershot cameras have, but I don't think that would make a big difference, as it takes great pictures anyway. It also has creative filters which I haven't yet used, including fish-eye effect, miniature effect, toy camera effect, soft focus, monochrome, super vivid, poster effect, color accent & color swap. It has the movie digest feature & face ID. It also features continuous shooting.

In manual mode, there are many different options, including setting the ISO speed (speeds available: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 & 3200), flash output, changing the compression between fine & superfine (superfine is not available in Auto mode, but is available in P mode), white balance (settings available: auto, daylight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, fluorescent H, underwater & custom), my colors (including: vivid, neutral, sepia, B/W, film, lighter & darker skin tone, vivid blue, vivid green, vivid red & custom) & light metering. Manual mode has the option to have the flash forced on (forced flash is not available in auto mode, but is available in P mode). You can also set the shutter speed anywhere between 1/3200 of a second & 15 seconds (with speeds slower than 1.3 seconds, ISO speed is set at 100). Aperture value could be set anywhere between f/3.5 & f/8.0, but it also depends on the zoom position (with maximum zoom, aperture value could be set either at f/6.8 or at f/8.0).

There is also a P mode, where various functions can be set. (Many of the options available in manaual mode are available in P mode also, including forced flash). I'm not here to describe every detail of the camera, as there are many more functions available as well (including setting the focus & exposure, plus some more that I haven't yet figured out), but for those that would like to know everything prior to buying the camera, they could go to Canon's website - [...] (find the camera, click on brochures & manuals) & download the complete user guide.

Movies: Good quality with very clear sound. Optical zoom could be used for movies (& the sound of the zoom during the movie is extremely faint, not like some of the previous canon powershots). Options available are: Full HD (1920 x 1080, 24 fps), HD (1280 x 720, 30 fps) & VGA (640 x 480, 30 fps). Maximum clip length is approx 30 minutes for Full HD & HD, & approx an hour for VGA (or until the memory card is full). Movie format is .MOV. It also has iFrame (1280 x 720), & super slow motion (640 x 480, 120 fps, or 320 x 240, 240 fps). Please note since the primary function of this camera is for stills (as this is not a camcorder), therefore when you shoot a movie, it uses quite a lot of memory & the files will be very big. On an 8GB memory card: Full HD will be approx 30 minutes, HD - approx 42 minutes & VGA - approx 1 hour & 28 minutes, whereas on a camcorder, for the same amount of memory, the shooting time could be much longer, even in HD. But for shooting small clips here & there, it's very good.

Zoom: zoom is very good - 20x zoom. It zooms quickly. Wide angle is 25mm which is very good & for some pictures you might want to zoom in a bit; otherwise it might be a bit too wide. In full maximum zoom, you may want to use a tripod; otherwise it might take some time to focus (but you could get good pictures even without a tripod). I found that in full maximum zoom (indoors), auto mode might not get the right ISO speeds etc. & you might need to use some manual settings, but that shouldn't be a big problem (plus you don't have to always use the full maximum zoom).

Playback: It has some cool features for playback, including giving you various transitions between pictures (fade, slide or scroll), or watch them in a slide show on the camera. Erasing pictures is very easy; you do not need to go into the menu to erase pictures. You could also organize pictures in categories, or set-up a photo book. It has red-eye correction in shooting mode & in playback. You can also trim pictures or resize them in playback.

Camera body: I find that the camera is very solid; the door for the memory card & battery compartment is sturdy, though the cover for the (AV & HDMI) terminals is flexible. The tripod socket is metal. The feel of the camera is smooth & it has a rubber grip on the front. In the USA, this camera is available in three colors; black, red & green. In other countries it's also available in dark silver; I don't know why this color is not available in the US.

GPS: I have not yet used the GPS, so I can't give any info on that. In other countries, Canon also makes the "Powershot SX240 HS". The difference between the SX240 & the SX260 is that the SX240 does not have the GPS feature, whereas the SX260 has the GPS feature. The SX240 HS is not available in the USA.

Flash: The flash is a pop-up flash. Some people might think this is not convenient. However it's ok & it's more convenient than the previous model, the SX230 HS. In the SX230, the flash takes up the entire depth of the camera; therefore there's almost nowhere to place your left finger. In this model however, the flash only takes up half the depth of the camera, enabling one to place their left finger behind the flash. The flash does not pop up automatically every time you turn on the camera. It pops up (in Auto-flash) when it determines that it needs to use the flash, or when you set the flash to (forced) on. If your finger is stopping the flash from popping up properly, it might tell you to power-off the camera & then to power-on, in order to be able to pop-up completely. After a while of using the camera, you should get used to the pop-up flash.

Software: I have not yet used the software on my computer, so I can't say anything about it. But you can still connect the camera to a computer (via the USB cable) even without installing the software.

Included in the box are: The camera SX260 HS, Battery NB-6L, Battery charger CB-2LY, Wrist Strap WS-DC11, USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU & the Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM.

The camera comes with a printed version of the "Getting Started" guide. The complete "User Guide" is to be found on the disk that comes with the camera (together with the software), or it could be downloaded from[...] . If you would like to get product updates from canon, you could register your camera on usa.canon.com .

For those who are aware of differences in other Canon models between being made in Japan or in China, the camera that I purchased was made in Japan, & the battery & battery charger were made in China.

Memory Card: The memory card of a camera is like the processor of a computer. The faster the memory card, the faster the camera. Canon recommends a "Class 6 or Higher Memory Card". I got the SanDisk Ultra Class 10 Memory Card 16GB Sandisk SDSDU-016G-A11 16GB Ultra SDHC UHS-I Card 30MB/s (Class 10). It's also available in 32GB & 64GB (The 64GB is SDXC, not SDHC). Please note: if your memory card is SDHC or SDXC, make sure you have a card reader that could read those types of cards, as some card readers only read SD cards, but not SDHC & SDXC (or it might not support a certain class speed). (You might be interested in the SanDisk USB 3.0 card reader that I purchased SanDisk ImageMate All-in-One USB 3.0 Flash Memory Card Reader (SDDR289A20)). But even if you don't have such a reader, you can still connect the camera to a computer via the USB cable (even without installing the software).

Camera Case: Personally I prefer a case with a flap opening (as opposed to a zipper opening) together with a shoulder strap. The Canon cases do not have a shoulder strap. For my previous model, I had the Lowepro rezo 10. For the size of this camera, the Lowepro cases that were big enough have zipper openings. So I searched for a case. Eventually I came across the Tamrac cases. First I tried the Tamrac 3819 Case, but it was extremely tight. So I got the next size - the Tamrac 3821 Tamrac 3821 Neo's Digital 21 Camera Bag (Black), & it fits perfectly. (It's available in 4 colors; black, red, green & rust). It has a Velcro opening, small pocket (but make sure nothing falls out) a belt loop & an extendable shoulder strap.
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141 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect travel camera!, April 7, 2012
By 
Lee (Front Royal, Va United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Image Stabilized Zoom 25mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full-HD Video (Black) (Electronics)
I purchased this camera a full month before it was released on Amazon for an upcoming trip to southeast asia. As luck would have it, it arrived the day before my flight took off. I've had good luck with Canon cameras in the past and their picture quality is among the best. The SX260 caught my interest mainly because of the 20x zoom. There are already a couple of reviews going into detail about all of the features so I won't be redundant. Just let me say that there are more features than you will probably use. I will play around with the myriad of shooting modes from time to time, but mostly I will do 99% of my shooting in P mode, tweaking settings as I desire on the fly. I love the GPS feature; I will keep it permanently on so that all of my pics are geo-tagged. The Canon imagebrowser software that comes with the camera will show you the exact location on Google earth where the pic was taken. Pretty cool! I used the movie digest feature during my trip and like it very much. The camera will record three second snippets of video before each pic is taken then stitch them all together into one video. Again, pretty cool! The battery life was a major complaint on the previous model SX230. I did not have any battery life issues with this camera, but then again, I only take about 50 to 60 pictures in a day. I spent several days exploring the Khmer temples in Cambodia, taking my 50 to 60 pictures and at the end of the day the battery level indicator was at half. If you take a lot of pics then you may want an extra battery. With my shooting style, the battery life is fine. The picture quality is excellent. The somewhat slow lens gave me a little pause when I was making a purchasing decision, but it turns out that the CMOS sensor coupled with the HS system more than makes up for it. Turns out this camera is the best low-light performer I have had. I love the zoom. 20x optical plus 4x digital means a full 80x. I took a lot of pics at 80x during my trip and was pleased with the results. Even at 80x, the image stabilization was able to give me a clear pic in full sunlight. I found that I needed to steady myself in lower light to get a clear shot which is to be expected. The camera feels sturdy and has a nice "heft" for its size. I did drop it twice onto solid concrete (not like me at all) during my trip with no ill effects, thank God. So I guess it is solidly built inside as well. My only gripe with this camera is the very annoying location of the flash. It pops up where you naturally want to put your finger. Many times, my finger was in the way when it tried to pop up and it "jammed" causing an error message that said to turn the camera off and then back on. That always corrected it but I was afraid I would eventually cause it to break. I considered downgrading the rating to four stars because of this but eventually I trained myself to place my finger behind where the flash pops up and no longer do I have any issues with this.
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88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best camera you can buy under $700, May 3, 2012
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This review is from: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Image Stabilized Zoom 25mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full-HD Video (Black) (Electronics)
This is the best camera you can buy at this price. I feel like i wasted money buying my SLR camera because I rarely take it out because it's so big, heavy, awkward, and even embarrassing. Please go to a huge retail store and play with this camera and compare it to all others, you'll see it's the best camera out now based on specs, design and performance. I also have a nikon s9100 which is slightly inferior to this camera in both design (accidentally turns on all the time) and performance(and we all know its either canon or nikon for best photos). Please read the cnet reviews and and any other reviews on this camera. Compact megazooms are taking over. Any review you read will be comparing this camera's performance to a thousand dollar SLR set up. I print flawless 8x10 pictures with this camera. Save your money and buy this camera because the best camera is the one you have on you. Who wants to carry around a backpack when this canon fits in any shirt pocket and gives you excellent photos with excellent manual controls and an excellent auto mode. Go play with it at the store, and than buy it on amazon where you know its cheaper. Probably the best point and shoot of the year.
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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powershot S95/100 versus SX260, June 7, 2012
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We just returned from a trip overseas and brought both the S95 and the SX260. We have owned the S95 for the past 2 years and really liked the camera but we wanted to get another camera as a backup and also to get one with a higher optical zoom. We tested both cameras in multiple situations on the trip and came to the conclusion that the S95 takes better night shots but the SX260 takes better shots in the day and the 20X optical zoom is extremely useful. The S95 allows you to go full manual but the SX260 gives you many options to play with your photo taking. Overall, if I could only take one camera I would take the SX260 because the optical zoom and picture quality is great. The night photos were pretty good too but not as good as the S95 (obviously if you are planning on taking more night shots, then the S95/100 would probably be better for you). On a side note, the GPS on the SX260 sucks battery life very quickly and the camera has a difficult time finding the GPS signal (we left it off for most of the trip)
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best pocketable travel camera on the market, October 8, 2012
By 
David Nungesser (Gahanna, OH United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Image Stabilized Zoom 25mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full-HD Video (Black) (Electronics)
We travel often, and I am a serious-amateur photographer, taking many photos on every trip, both in the US and in Europe. One of my criteria is that the camera must be one I can carry in my pants or jacket pocket so it's always ready, but still high quality enough to take excellent photos and videos, be versatile, and have a processor that allows me to take good shots without a flash in places such as museums, cathedrals, castles, and other interior sites. Most of cameras have been Canons, and they have performed well.
Based on reviews in camera mags, I bought the Canon SX260 this fall, as I thought its amazing 20x optical zoom, new processor, stabilizer, and wide angle lens would make it ideal for travel photos. At only $270 from Amazon, it was well below the big SLRs and other cameras I saw advertised, but would still be in-the-pocket ready.
We have just returned from a two-week tour of Scotland- lots of lakes (lochs), the highlands, historic sites - a real test for any camera. In every respect, the Canon 260 lived up to its claims, and, in my opinion, may be the best camera for travelers on the market.
The 20x zoom, over and over, allowed my to get shots of scenery, people, castle and cathedral interiors that would have been impossible before. The amazing processor "gathered" light in even very dim places,so I never had to use a flash once; I turned in off on the first day of the tour and never needed it for two weeks! And - a small but appreciated detail -- in every Canon before, if you turned the flash off for a shot, the next time you turned on the camera, it defaulted to flash on, making you turn it off over and over. With the 260, if you turn it off, it stays off until you change it - a big time saver. I was even able to take night shots of the lights and harbor at Oban- no flash, handheld and stabilized. The improved video controls on the back make that job easier as well.
Although a bit larger by about 1/4" and a bit heavier by about 1 1/2oz, it is still easily an in-the-pocket, ready to go camera for any trip or occasion.
In short, I 100% recommend this new Canon, for travel or otherwise,

I
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dig and reap the rewards., June 11, 2012
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This review is from: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Image Stabilized Zoom 25mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full-HD Video (Black) (Electronics)
I have been using this camera now for a while. I come from the SLR film days and needed something that would provide full manual (just enough) controls that would allow me to tweak settings if I wished. This camera is a 90% fit for me in this regard. No use having all of the bells and whistles and not be able to grab it and carry it along and end up missing the shot. There are compromises, notably some quality, for the convenience. If all you end up printing on is letter sized photo paper, you'll be fine. I use a Canon Pixma 980 and the results are as good as my SLR stuff from 25 years ago, all instantly, compared to those days. Take the time and go through the manual (it's a pity that it only comes in pdf format) it is really worth it. That being said, it's a lot to digest in one go, so give yourself some time to work through the features (and there are many). Seems that each setting has some gems buried in sub-layers of settings. Unless you clearly understand the basics and what the terms mean, it can get quite intimidating. The auto modes do work well though, and if you understand the impact of high ISO, various shutter speeds and aperture values, you can always tweak things yourself. The bottom line is that it does a fine job of both auto and manual shots. The wide to superzoom is really great, and combined with some really good low/natural light capabilities, this camera is lots of fun. The most confusing thing for me when I first held it was "where do I hold it?" It's so small, that I really do not know where to place my fingers at times, but the metal feel is sturdy. The flash can be a bit annoying sometimes, but I've worked that out by mainly shooting in "auto" and setting "no flash" until I do really need it. The GPS feature is handy, but I would not use it unless travelling around. Get lots of spare batteries, you'll need them, as battery life is not too good. Also get a good case, as the lens can be easily damaged. There is lots more that I can say about this camera, nearly all good; but I'll leave it here for now. P.S. Do not be afraid of the digital zoom, this one can actually get a really far off shot if necessary, and the blur is understandable, but tolerable.

July 17th 2012 Update:
Still loving this camera. Pay attention to all of the features and experiment with P settings. Keep ISO at around 200 and you will get the sharpest pics, although the high ISOs in low light on Auto does do a pretty good job. The camera has what it takes if you care to take the time and learn how to use its many features. Sometimes a bit daunting for the point and shoot person, but nice to know that manual settings are there when you feel to push your photography skills a bit further.

October 3rd 2012:
It has been six months now, and this camera does not disappoint ....period. Want a solid point and shoot with great quality? Buy this!
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64 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good point and shoot, May 11, 2012
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This review is from: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Image Stabilized Zoom 25mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full-HD Video (Black) (Electronics)
As many other reviewers, even folks who typically prefer SLRs, have said, sometimes it's just more convenient and spontaneous to use a point and shoot than a full-blown SLR. You just pull it out of your pocket or bag and go. I bought this camera to replace a Canon PowerShot SX210 IS which I bought a couple of years ago and was never really happy with. It took fairly good pictures, but somehow was not that fun to use. The SX 260 was the perfect replacement. It's basically an update of the older model, but in my opinion, is a vast improvement. The pictures look much better to me, and I rarely use anything but the Auto modes and presets. The combination of 20x zoom and great image stabilization get fantastic shots. We were recently in New Orleans for JazzFest and took a lot of pictures far from the stage, zoomed in to a single performer and I was shocked by how good the images were. It was daylight, so take that into consideration. It also is very quick to be ready to take multiple shots without waiting a long time. The wide angle shots also look better to me, as the SX210 seem to blur those shots considerably at the edges. I mostly use presets for certain conditions, like low-light shots, as opposed to effects, but they all seem to work well if you're into that. The video looks ok, but we don't shoot much. My wife and I typically take hundreds of pictures when we go on trips and have been since the days of film. We never bothered with a film SLR either, but when we look at shots from the film point and shoot days, there is no comparison. Digital wins hands-down, especially on this camera. Often many of the shots we take are multiples of the same scene to make sure we get at least one good one. (We sure didn't do THAT in the film days!) With this camera, we usually have more than one good one from a single series and it's even harder to decide on a keeper. If you are looking for a great quality replacement or improvement from your current digital point and shoot, or an alternative to your SLR, this camera deserves your attention. After around half a dozen digital point and shoots over the years, I feel like I finally found one that measures up.
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