Early opinion of SX260hs vs Sony hx9v vs Nikon S9100

Started Apr 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Coyote_Cody
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Early opinion of SX260hs vs Sony hx9v vs Nikon S9100
Apr 4, 2012

Had sx260hs for about a week, have taken lots of 'test' shots, my early thoughts (have 'borrowed' all 4 from Best Buy, new 30 day return policy is great! I no longer have any pride about returning stuff I do not like).

sx230hs Weaknesses (my list compared to Sony & Nikon long zoom pocket competition- 12x+):

  • visible chromatic aberration in high contrast shots such as tree limbs, etc.

  • slowish AF, especially constant focus (video), even single shot slowish.

  • no 30p or 60i/p fps at 1920x1080 video.

  • zoom not as long as Sony hx9v (16x) or Nikon S9100 (18x) but good sharpness.

  • not as 'wide' as others (28mm vs 25mm, above 2 cams).

  • a bit too much 'standard' sharpening (noise reduction can fix or blurring).

sx260hs comparison:

  • chromatic aberration seems much improved, essentially eliminated, still possible but that's true for all lens/cams.

  • AF does not seem much/any better, certainly adequate, but a Canon weakness compared with Panasonic & others. I was unable to get focus in a couple low light situations (lights reflecting in water puddle) a couple of times, but I can not compare this to competition.

  • still no 30p or 60i/p fps at 1920x1080 video (but supposedly improved, seems fine or about same, full HD records at approx. 35mbps) (needs more testing).

  • zoom now longest or equal to longest - 20x

  • 25mm equiv 'wide', seems nice, decent sharpness!

  • zoom at limit (500mm) is a little soft, but sharpening seems to help.

  • AWB (auto) can change with simple zooming or moving view (video)! unexpected , 1 video moved up along a creek green turned into blue/grayish , stills 2 shots, turned green of tree, with sky no longer in shot, to very very blue , pulling down blue channel about 30% corrected, hard to do this for video).

This (AWB auto mode) is a real problem that Canon needs to address with a firmware update!!!

  • Sharpness seems now equiv to a single step less as 'standard', must go 1+ step to equal sx230hs standard 'sharpness' for most zoom lengths (good/bad an opinion thing).

  • no HDR mode! but iContrast simulates this, seems ok.

  • lens does need to be faster, f2.0-2.5 would be great but.....

Other observations:

  • general operation does not seem 'faster' with Digic 5 vs. Digic 4 sx230hs, but responsive enough, comparable to sx40hs which I recently tested.

  • This 'blue' AWB (auto) is very concerning (video would be nearly unusable w/o lots of color processing, stills just a pain, I need to test if in a selected mode if it still happens.

  • sx260hs has 2 modes of fast sequence shooting available, 1 with same focus as 1st shot, the second with focus each shot. The first gives what seems like 8-10/sec, the second seems about 1/sec, each can be useful!

  • the low-light (3mp) mode gave 'ok' shots in essentially near black conditions, ISO bumped to 1600 & 3200, the night-shot mode takes 4 fast sequence shots and combines, full resolution. Little use for landscapes!

  • Neither Sony or Nikon have 'really' improved their products for 2012, so sx260hs likely may be best in class of a relatively weak class, both Sony & Nikon have stupidly added even more pixels (18 & 16mp IIRC) for a 1/2.3" sensor, SILLY, & early reviews state the 'watercolors' noise reduction & no improvement on actual resolution for both of these.

Wonder/hope if there are other Brands (15x + zooms) that have 'stepped up' to compete with these former top performers?

Will continue testing, will post some pics soon.

Obviously not a scientific review but my own evaluation.

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