Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Review - With a 65x optical zoom, the SX60 HS stands out from the superzoom crowd as one of the best specified compacts on the market. Audley Jarvis gets his hands on the SX60 HS to find out how it performs.
In this respect the 65x optical zoom of the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS puts it out in front, of the chasing pack although a number of its chief superzoom rivals aren’t far behind with optical zooms that hover around the 40-60x mark.
Notable competitors to the SX60 HS currently include 2013 releases such as the 50x Lumix FZ72 and 42x Fuji HS50EXR, both of which are very competent cameras in their own right. This year has also seen the release of the 60x Nikon P600 , the 50x Fuji S1 and the 50x Sony HX400V.
If anything, the £450 price tag of the Canon SX60 HS makes it look a little expensive next to its rivals. Can it justify its price? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Review – Features
The Canon SX60 HS succeeds the SX50 HS that was released around this time last year. The newer model sees a number of specification upgrades, the most attention grabbing of which are its new 16.1MP CMOS sensor and extended 65x optical zoom. By way of comparison, the SX50 HS was fitted with a 12.1MP sensor and a 50x zoom.
The image processor has been updated too, with the newer model benefiting from Canon’s newer DIGIC 6 chip. One thing that has been scaled back slightly though is sensitivity, which now maxes out at ISO 3200, compared to ISO 6400 on the SX50 HS.
The 65x optical zoom on the front of the SX60 HS provides the 35mm equivalent of 21-1365mm, which should be more than enough telephoto reach for most situations. Canon claim the camera’s upgraded image stabilisation system can compensate for up to 3.5 stops of shutter speed.
In practice however, you’ll need to use a tripod when the zoom is fully extended, or at the very least balance or brace the camera against something solid. Trying to shoot handheld at 1365mm is a real challenge, for the simple fact that it’s extremely difficult to keep your faraway subject steady inside the frame.
While the SX60 HS’s 65x optical zoom leads the superzoom pack in terms of telephoto reach, it isn’t by any means a fast lens with a maximum aperture of f/3.4 at 21mm, rising incrementally to f/6.5 at 1365mm. By way of comparison, many of its competitors can be opened up to f/2.8 at maximum wideangle.
Connectivity, LCD and EVF
Elsewhere the SX60 HS comes with a range of useful features, including built-in Wi-fi and NFC connectivity, 1080p Full HD movie recording and a hotshoe for attaching more powerful flash devices.
The SX60 is equipped with a 3in, 922k-dot vari-angle LCD display on the back. It’s hinged to the side of the camera and pulls away from the body by 180-degrees before rotating through 270-degrees. Sadly, there’s no touchscreen control available though – something that a number of the SX60 HS’s competitors do offer.
Above the LCD display sits a 922k-dot EVF. While colour is a little oversaturated and fine detail a little lacking, we found it to be perfectly workable when using the camera outdoors during the day, or indoors under bright artificial lights.
Used in poor light the EVF does become unresponsive and juddery though, with the displayed image further marred by excessive noise. That said, it’s undoubtedly a huge improvement over the meagre 202k-dot EVF of the SX50 HS.