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Another winner from Canon,
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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) (OLD MODEL) (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.
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
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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Showing 1-10 of 95 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 21, 2012 8:37:15 AM PDT
Could you comment on why the video is a distant second to hx9v? I'm looking for an upgrade for my hx9v and have been looking at the sx260, zs20 and the upcoming hx20/30v, my main purpose is video with long zoom, thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 11:08:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 21, 2012 11:11:38 AM PDT
Actually it's not a yes-no question, it depends on what kind of video you're going to shoot most. The quality of the SX260's full HD video is stunning if you do not do panoram. In that case the quality is very high - very clear and sharp without any artifacts. From my prospective it is better than HX9V and ZS10 (FYI I have/had SX260, HX9V, ZS10). But when you start panning the video on SX260 becoms remarkably choppy not because of the low 24 fps frame rate, but I guess because of the special Canon's inter-frame image processing, which on one hand provides that remarkable clarity, but on the other hand causes that image-jumping effect when panning. So if you are recording a kind of concert or show (no panning) - SX260 is the best choice. But if you're going to shoot sports or taking panorama - look at the Sony or Pana models wich have 60p frame rate and don't have that additional image processing as Canon. Panorama with HX9V or ZS10 looks very smooth, however their general video is not that clear as the Canon's one.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 11:55:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 21, 2012 12:45:47 PM PDT
Thanks for the feedback, it'll be mainly for concert shooting so I don't expect much panning, looks like this camera might do I'll look more into it, thanks.
For still photos....image quality wise how does it compare to hx9v and zs10? How about low-light perf?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 1:28:59 PM PDT
The Sony was true 1080HD at full HD frame rate, the Canon is only 25fps
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 1:30:38 PM PDT
The low light is far superior. I took a picture inside an space auditorium (where it was pitched black) and was able to take a picture of the seat without a flash. The Canon will take four/five consecutive shots (just got to hold the camera steady) and compile the image..
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2012 1:59:54 PM PDT
This consecutive shots in the dark by Canon is remarkable. I was comparing SX260HS to ZS3 ( the model I wanted to upgrade ) and night shots made by hand (without tripod) in that 'night mode' blew me away...
Posted on Mar 22, 2012 9:02:12 PM PDT
Ryan T. Acree says:
Thanks for the helpful review. Just a couple of questions. Does the flash pop up every time you turn the camera on? And how is the battery life?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2012 9:04:25 PM PDT
Flash does not pop up every time you turn the camera on if you are in NO FLASH mode. Once you switch to e.g. force FLASH or auto when it needs FLASH it pops up. Immediately after you switch to the NO FLASH icon - flash goes down. That is an improvement over recent models where it was all the time up, however it might surprise to pop up out of the blue :) Well at least it up there only when it's needed.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2012 9:26:05 PM PDT
Unless you manually set the camera to no flash, it will pop up, especially in auto mode.. And I agree with Ted, this Sony has a mind of his own and will pop up even if it sometimes doesn't flash
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2012 9:32:08 PM PDT
Here's the logic - forcing flash on - flash pops up immediately when you switch to that setting
changing it back to off - flash goes down immediately (while you're in the menu changing options)
In auto mode - by default after turning camera on flash is down, but once camera thinks it needs it - or the scene requires it it will pop it up after half-pressing the button and then it doesn't hide - I believe till you shut down the camera - even if subsequent shots don't require flash anymore (maybe there is a timeout, which I haven't checked, since was to impatient to wait and see :) )
And I guess you meant Canon right?