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.
Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Review – Image Quality
Used in decent light and left to its own devices on Smart Auto the SX60 HS can be relied upon to capture accurately exposed images with good colour reproduction and accurate white balance.
That said, it does have its limitations. The simple reason for this is that while the SX60 HS might look a bit like a small DSLR, it’s fitted with a small 1/2.3-inch sensor of the kind found inside most regular compacts.
When trying to capture high-contrast scenes, for example, the limited dynamic range of the SX60 HS’s small sensor soon becomes apparent. To combat this the camera offers a Dynamic Range Correction tool (that aims to reduce blown highlights), alongside a Shadow Correct tool (that aims to brighten shadow areas).
While both can help out to some degree they can also cause images to look slightly artificial and lacking in contrast. The Shadow Correct option is also guilty of introducing noise to shadow areas that have been ‘boosted’, even when the camera is being used at low ISO settings.
Image sharpness isn’t generally a problem at wide to medium focal lengths, but gets harder to maintain at extended telephoto lengths. Resolution of fine detail is likewise acceptable when the camera is used at close quarters to its subject, however more expansive landscape-style shots tends to result in a ‘painted on’ appearance to fine detail when images are viewed at full size
Using the camera at sensitivity settings of ISO 100-400 the SX60 HS delivers good quality images with little noise. At ISO 800, noise remains quite well controlled although this does come at the expense of fine detail. While ISO 800 is still just about passable, ISO 1600 shows a more marked loss of detail. The top setting of ISO 3200 takes this even further.