The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS ($429.99) is among the smaller cameras available with a 50x zoom ratio, and it generally does not really skimp on features to get there. The superzoom runs on the 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor that supports 1080p video capture and Canon’s unique Creative Shot mode, and its own control layout is pretty best for a point-and-shoot model. It generally does not quite earn Editors’ Choice accolade for models with 50x or more reach, though. Another Canon camera, the PowerShot SX60 HS ($479.00 at eBay) , is our choice instead, because of a 65x contact lens, a EVF, and Raw shooting support. However the SX60 HS is bigger and more costly, providing you reason to consider the SX530 HS as a far more affordable alternative.
Design and Features
The SX530 HS ($260.11 at Amazon) measures in at 3.2 by 4.7 by 3.6 inches (HWD) and weighs 15.6 ounces. It offers a deep handgrip and a huge lens that juts right out of the body, giving the looks of an extremely small D-SLR or mirrorless camera, however the lens isn’t detachable and there is no electronic viewfinder. If size is not a priority, and you are considering the most zoom you can obtain on a budget, don’t count out the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 ($249.99 at eBay) (3.8 by 5.1 by 4.7 inches, 1.3 pounds), with a 60x lens and EVF, but omits Wi-Fi.
The 50x lens covers a 24-1,200mm (full-frame equivalent) field of view, that allows you to fully capture wide-angle landscapes and zoom in on distant objects. The f-stop starts at f/3.4 at the wide end and narrows to f/6.5 when zoomed completely in, however the optical stabilization system is strong enough to provide crisp results at the utmost zoom range. If you feel that 1,200mm reach can be an overkill (and for most photographers it really is) but would like a lens that captures more light throughout its range, remember that the older Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 ( at Amazon) continues to be available on the market. Its 24x (25-600mm) zoom maintains an f/2.8 aperture throughout, and its own price is competitive with the SX530 HS.
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When shooting at telephoto distances, the overall guideline for photography is to create the shutter speed as the reciprocal of the focal length. That rule started in the times before optical stabilization. Modern superzoom compacts just like the SX530 HS sport pretty strong image stabilization, to the stage where I could get crisp images at shutter speeds given that 1/50-second when zoomed completely in. I took care to carry the camera steady, and was working with a static subject. If you are tracking a bird in flight as well as your hands are significantly less than rock solid it’s wise to change to Tv (Shutter Priority) mode and decide on a shorter speed, particularly if you’re shooting outdoors under bright sunlight.
The deep handgrip goes quite a distance to helping you contain the camera steady, but you will still need to utilize the rear LCD to frame images. A camera just like the SX60 HS or the Fujfiilm FinePix S1 ( at Amazon) with an eye-level EVF permits you to frame shots with the viewfinder at your eye, which is naturally steadier than holding it at arm’s length to start to see the rear LCD. The display is a 3-inch panel with a 461k-dot resolution. It’s fixed, but sharp enough to verify framing and focus. In addition, it has good viewing angles.
The most notable plate houses the energy button, a typical mode dial, a control wheel, the zoom rocker, and the shutter release. The shutter and zoom control sit at the front end the surface of the handgrip, which is sized so you will have to curl your index finger back order to use them comfortably. The control wheel adjusts aperture or shutter speed in the corresponding priority modes. Full manual shooting is available as a choice.
There are two buttons on the left side of the lens barrel. The most notable may be the Framing Assist function. If you lose an eye on your subject when zoomed in you can press and hold it to widen the field of view of the lens. An overview shows on the trunk LCD to point your previous focal length, and releasing the button returns the lens compared to that zoom position. It can even be used to automatically frame subjects for portraiture; pressing it without holding it down enables you to select a face, chest muscles, or full body subject; the lens will automatically zoom to frame a portrait. The low button activates a focus lock system, which works with the lens stabilization. If you are tracking a moving object, holding it down will shift lens factors to keep it in frame. It’s worth using, particularly if you’re trying to track birds in flight.
There are more controls on the trunk. To the proper of the thumb grip, at an angle that almost puts them on the proper side, you’ll discover a dedicated button to record videos and an exposure compensation button. Flat on the trunk, below the thumb grip, is a four-way controller with a center Func./Set button and direct controls for ISO, flash output, the focus mode, and information display. Menu, playback, and a dedicated Wi-Fi button round out the trunk controls. Additional shooting settings, including white balance, the drive mode, and the metering pattern, are accessed via an overlay menu that’s opened via the Func./Set button.
Like other recent Canon compacts, the SX530 HS includes Creative Shot. It’s a mode that Instagram fans should focus on. When set to Creative Shot, six total pictures are captured every time you press the shutter. The foremost is the shot as you framed it, and the other five have crops and artistic filters applied automatically. If you are more of an artistic type it’s worth checking out, as you may well be happy with the results it delivers.
Wi-Fi is made in, and there’s an NFC sensor on the left side of your body. But when you have an iPhone or other device without NFC, you can still pair the SX530. The camera broadcasts a Wi-Fi network; you merely need to hook up to it via your phone and launch the free Canon Camera Connect software for iOS or Android. The iphone app makes copying images to your phone or tablet for editing and online sharing a straightforward matter.
Remote control can be supported. The software can adapt the lens zoom, control the flash output, toggle the self-timer, and capture an image. But that’s it-manual control isn’t available, and if you are shooting in Creative Shot mode the camera is only going to capture one image. There is no GPS built-in, but if you wish to include location data to images that you can do so via the app. You will have to allow the positioning log function before you begin shooting, and make certain the camera’s clock is synced to your phone. But so long as you have those ducks in a row, the software will add GPS coordinates to images via Wi-Fi.
Performance and Conclusions
The SX530 HS starts and shoots in about 1.2 seconds, which is pretty speedy considering that its big lens must extend to the ready position for the reason that time. Its autofocus speed is quick at the wide angle, about 0.08-second, nonetheless it does decelerate when zoomed completely in. If your subject is near in-focus it requires about 0.6-second to lock, nonetheless it can exceed 2 seconds to bring a totally blurred subject into sharp focus and fire off a go. Even at its slowest, its focus system is preferable to that of the Samsung WB2200F ($594.95 at Amazon) , which regularly didn’t lock onto high-contrast targets when zoomed completely in.
Continuous shooting is offered by only 1 speed, about 1.8 fps. With an easy memory card, just like the SanDisk 95MBps SDHC card we use to check digital cameras, you can take the shutter button down and fire off shots continually at this specific rate. Other long zoom models can shoot at faster rates, but are occasionally limited in duration; the Panasonic FZ200 manages 5.5fps, but limited to 16 shots.
I used Imatest to observe how good the camera’s lens and 16-megapixel sensor were at capturing photos. On our standard center-weighted sharpness test drive it scores 2,071 lines per picture height. That’s much better than the 1,800 lines we search for in an image, and that quality is maintained through a lot of the frame. The outer edges are somewhat soft (1,318 lines), but that’s very typical for a concise camera. The Canon SX60 scores simply a little better on a single test, at 2,180 lines, and shows similar performance at the edges of the frame.