Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Compact Camera

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72% Tried & Tested
If you're looking for a camera that can really cover some distance, then you should certainly be looking at the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS. With its 24-1200mm equivalent lens, there's really no type of scene it can't capture.”

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Key Features

  • 12.1MP /2.3"-type CMOS sensor
  • 50x F/3.4-6.5 optical zoom lens (24-1200mm equivalent)
  • 13 frames per second continuous shooting
  • ISO 80-6400
  • 1080 HD video
  • 2.8 inch articulated LCD with 461,000 dots
  • Electronic viewfinder with 202,000 dots
  • Raw shooting
  • Built-in flash & hot shoe
  • Electronic level
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • In-camera dynamic range and HDR features
  • Intelligent IS optical image stabilization

Product Description

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS is built around a 50x optical zoom lens, covering a massive range equivalent to 24-1200mm in 35mm terms. That said, with a fully articulated 2.8 inch LCD, built-in electronic viewfinder and 12.1MP CMOS sensor, the SX50 HS is more than just a big lens. Keeping up with the best of its compact class, it offers full 1080 HD video, full manual exposure control and Raw shooting. Canon's Smart Auto scene selection mode is included, choosing one of 58 different scene modes for the user. Dynamic Range and Shadow correction tools are available to help improve contrast in tricky scenes, and the SX50's Creative Filters include an HDR feature. With its 24 - 1200mm equivalent lens, there's really no type of scene the SX50 HS can't capture, given favorable conditions. It's not the best camera for low light or fast action though as its lens is slow and continuous shooting (12.8 frames per second burst mode aside) is lackluster.


Body type
Body type SLR-like (bridge)
Max resolution 4000 x 3000
Other resolutions 4000 x 3000, 4000 x 2248, 4000 x 2664, 2992 x 2992, 2816 x 2112, 2816 x 1880, 2816 x 1584, 2112 x 2112, 1920 x 1080, 1600 x 1200, 1600 x 1064, 1200 x 1200, 640 x 480, 640 x 424, 640 x 360, 480 x 480
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 12 megapixels
Sensor size 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor type BSI-CMOS
Processor Digic 5
ISO Auto, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400
White balance presets 7
Custom white balance Yes (2)
Image stabilization Optical
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, Normal
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 24–1200 mm
Optical zoom 50×
Maximum aperture F3.4 - F6.5
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (4x)
Manual focus Yes
Macro focus range 0 cm (0)
Number of focus points 9
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fully articulated
Screen size 2.8
Screen dots 461,000
Touch screen No
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 15 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/2000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 5.50 m
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Second Curtain
Continuous drive 2.2 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Format H.264
Videography notes Miniature Effect (HD, L) 6fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included Unknown
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Mini)
Remote control Yes (RS60E3)
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion NB-10L rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 315
Weight (inc. batteries) 595 g (1.31 lb / 20.99 oz)
Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm (4.84 x 3.43 x 4.17)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Exposure and focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Performance (speed)
Movie / video mode
Tried & Tested
Tried & Tested
72 %
Overall Score

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS boasts the most ambitious lens of any camera in its class, and in favorable conditions it's hard to beat in terms of framing versatility. Image quality compares well to its competitors, and we like the camera's ergonomics (although a zoom control on the lens would be very welcome) but where the SX50 HS falls down is highlight clipping in JPEGs, a relatively slow lens and sub-par operational speed, which compares rather poorly to its peers.

Good For

Travel photography, where the 24-1200mm lens is really invaluable for framing everything from intimate interiors to distant details

Not So Good For

User Reviews

4.26923 out of 5 stars
  • Millwood, Jan 25, 2013 GMT:
    It's better for me than the review would imply

    I wish I could post a picture to demonstrate what I'm describing. I bought this camera to capture memories when traveling, not to get publishable photos. I wanted the longest lens I could get in a camera that could be used hand held, and could be carried around my neck during hours of walking. The reviewer states that a tripod is needed for 1200mm equiv use. This just isn't so. The reviewer also pans the viewfinder. Perhaps he's forgotten that an important feature of a viewfinder is ...

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  • Nicholas Cheran, Jan 3, 2013 GMT:
    The Canon SX50: A Few Personal Likes and Dislikes

    There are some great in-depth reviews out there on this camera already. So I just want to add my personal likes and dislikes about this camera since buying it about a month ago. I have previously owned the Canon S2 and the SX20, and have used and abused them well in my travels. Furthermore, I've made some great photos and videos with these cameras, and have created several good quality DVDs and Blu-rays of my travels). With the promised better low light shooting and the greater zoom that the ...

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  • Padilla, Dec 31, 2012 GMT:
    Very good

    I bought this camera 3 weeks ago and I am surprised with the quality of the pictures. It is very better than my old SX10IS. The focusing is fast an more precise and the images are sharper. For those that wish a good bridge camera I strongly recomend this camera.

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  • Jeff73, Dec 22, 2012 GMT:
    Canon SX50

    I’m relatively new to the photography world, having used the Canon G12 for the past couple of years. The G12 is great for travel and outdoor adventures, but marginal for sports/action shots. I considered a full upgrade to a good DSLR and a couple of telephotos, but it’s hard to justify the expense for basically a bunch of snapshots and Facebook posts. Most importantly, the SX50 is in my price range. As a G12 user, the SX 50 requires almost no learning curve. My third-party flash works fine. ...

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Questions & Answers


How to shoot and make a raw photo by canon sx50 hs?

How to shoot and make a raw photo by canon sx50 hs?

coody asked
1 year ago


Page 146 of the manual (on the disk that came with the camera) tells you how to set the camera to raw mode. Take pictures as normal (though some features are not available in raw). Then use the Digital Photo Professional program (also on the disk) or Photoshop Lightroom or CS6 to open the raw file on your PC. Here you can input sharpness, color, saturation, etc. settings to your taste (what the camera would do in the JPEG mode based on the in-camera settings.) You can then save your corrections as a separate file of your choice, such as JPEG or TIFF. Since this doesn't change the raw file, you can use it over and over again with different settings you choose for different effects, always using the original data recorded by the camera. Continue Reading

VisionLight answered
1 year ago

If I take a pic in raw with the sx50 can I open it up with PS 12 elements?? Continue Reading

laserdoc85 answered
3 months ago

You can open with PSE 12, but PSE will use Adobe Camera RAW "ACR" first to open the file to make the initial RAW adjustments generally best done in ACR; i.e., color balance, highligts, etc. Then you use the ACR "open Image" to open the file in PSE for any additional edits/ adjustments you wish to make. See the PSE Help: Processing camera raw image files You can download the PSE 12 Getting started tutorials and PSE 12 Manual from the: Adobe Learn & Support / Photoshop Elements Help Continue Reading

Jon_T answered
3 months ago


Suggested Settings for SX50 HS?

 Has anyone fine-tuned their Super-zoom camera yet? I just got one today, (letting my aged 40D rest a bit) & would greatly appreciate any pointers! Prefer to shoot in P-riority, but like to get acquainted w' all the settings!!  

Sassylass asked
2 years ago


Continue Reading

B-rad answered
2 years ago

Personally I use the SX50HS in Program mode 70% of the time. I turn on auto iContrast and auto Shadow Fill. Auto ISO and Auto white balance  Unlike the SX40, where I kept the Exposure Compensation set to -1/3 EV all the time, experimentation has lead me to shoot with the SX50 on 0 EV. I have used the auto HDR function (mode) quite a bit, and like the natural effect it produces. You need to keep the camera absolutely still. This is not "over the top HDR" but rather produces a file that is very easy to post process in Lightroom to an impressive natural extended range look. (I invested in a ZipShot tripod (11oz) to facilitate HDR when there is no handy post or prop.) I am experimenting with Sports Mode for birds in flight. So far I am impressed. Focus is fast and accurate enough to catch a bird on the wing, and it shoots 10 shots at 5 fps with focus between shots. The only drawback is that ISO is pretty much pegged at 800, maybe 500 in very good light. Do use the "framing assist ... Continue Reading

Stephen Ingraham answered
2 years ago

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Dansby answered
2 years ago




mrbharat asked
2 years ago


Then get the superzoom, SLRs are poorly suited for casual photographers. And lay off the Caps Lock, it's considered rude (*). (*) some people say it's because it's "shouting", but no: it's because studies show text in all caps is tiresome to read and understand, like writing long text without breaks or avoid using punctuation marks. Continue Reading

Draek answered
2 years ago

The IQ on the DSLR will be much better in low light, with fast moving objects, or with big prints, even with the kit lens.  Flash will also be better.  Ultra wide angle lenses are only available for system cameras, so if you like landscape and architectural pics that is another advantage of the DSR The superzoom has a longer zoom range in the lens than would be possible with any DSLR.  It is also smaller and lighter. Unless you need good low light shots, fast action shots, or big prints, the superzoom is probably your best option. Continue Reading

Ed Rizk answered
2 years ago

I used Film SLR's for years and now use a superzoom. When you start shooting digitally your preferences and habits change.  I suggest a superzoom for a different reason from the others. When you buy an SLR you will ahve to invest in lenses and other accessories.  Thus your forst DSLR has a strong tendency to lock you into a system. One other reason to postpone getting a DSLR is that at least one maker is not in trouble and may exit the market. Start with a a superzoom.  It will take you some time to fully learn it but you will also evelove in what you shoot and how you do it.  Once you know what you like to do you should consider moving to a DSLR. You will know what you want and how you want to expand the capabilities of what you have. You will also be able to determine whether the image quality i sacceptabel to you.  My superzoom has been widely disparaged for its image quality but it is vastly better than I ever got with 35mm film and more than enough for my needs. I suggest a ... Continue Reading

Dr JLW answered
2 years ago
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