SX50 Mini-Review Take One - Initial Observations, SX50 vs SX40, and Images

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
VisionLight
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Re: SX50 Mini-Review Take One - Initial Observations, SX50 vs SX40, and Images
In reply to Dale Buhanan, Nov 11, 2012

Dale Buhanan wrote:

I just did a focus speed comparison between my SX40 and SX50 in very dim light. I was looking through the door into a closet and trying to focus on the handle of a suitcase about 10 feet away with both cameras. The light to focus was marginal and both camera struggled a little. I got perhaps 20% focus failures with both cameras 1/5), so the light was really dim in there. It was close enough though that I could see the sX40 had a green focus assist lamp and the SX50 has a blue focus assist lamp. Curious... I hadn't been aware of that before.

Anyway, the speed seemed to be pretty much the same for both of the cameras under these conditions to me. It was marginal, but the focus assist lamps no doubt helped.

Conclusion, outdoors in good light, the SX50 is about twice as fast. Indoors in very dim light, both cameras seemed about the same to me. If they were going to lock, they both locked about as quickly. If they were not able to lock, the both took about the same amount of time to give up.

It surely made it obvious that the EVF on the sX50 is about 20% larger than the SX40. I could also read text with the SX50, that was too small to read with the sX40 at the same zoom setting. So, the EVF has been improved. That being said, it is still pretty lousy, but a step in the right direction.

OK, Dale, this time I did a test almost exactly like yours shooting into a dark space. And had fairly comparable results. I did go a little further though in testing the results by focusing on objects of different reflective values. Both cameras were set-up side by side at a distance to compose the target object with a nearly identical composition to eliminate any difference from angle of incidence. The luminance level was lowered until neither camera could attain focus on any object, then increased slightly. First test was a white object with a definitive pattern. This test came up with the same results as yours. Both cameras reached focus at the same time, and reasonably quickly. After refocusing each camera to infinity, the second test was a grey object with a less definitive pattern. Attaining focus was slower now, but once again about even for both cameras. The third test was the original object in my test from the other day. It is medium dark brown with definitive tan and black details. Both cameras struggled some, but on the first try the SX40 attained focus a little before the SX50. So I tried it again after refocusing to infinity. This time the cameras were about even. Third time - even as well. I wanted to get three evens to call it a day, but on the fourth time, guess what? The SX50 gave its all and beeped first. So overall, we'll call the "dark test" a draw.

But I wasn't finished. I changed the luminance level to the point where the focusing of both cameras would just begin to struggle. This time I used multiple takes of different objects at various levels of tan to dark brown, all with definitive patterns, and also an orange as a brighter object in the same general color space. This time however, there was a clear winner. It was the SX40 in each of the brown and tan tests. Not by much, but enough to notice. On the other hand, the orange test was won by the SX50.

Now I guess I could test a whole bunch of other colors, but I don't think the timing differences really warrant it. In practical terms they're not really all that different and when shooting in low light it is always just good photography to be aware and careful of focusing. But there does seem to be a color bias between the two cameras, possibly having something to do with the different colors of each's assist beam (blue vs green).

And thanks for pointing out the difference in the EVF. I hadn't really paid attention to it yet and was going to do so before my next mini-review. But, yes, it does appear larger and easier to "read" in the SX50. Also noticed that the eye relief is slightly further. With the SX40 I tended to smudge my glasses on the bezel to see the whole frame. With the SX50, that's not happening. I like that.

So thanks again Dale for your contribution to this thread. It's great that together, all of us can learn more, understand more, and take better pictures.

Vision

 VisionLight's gear list:VisionLight's gear list
Canon PowerShot S100 Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Canon EOS 5D Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM +4 more
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