Previous news story    Next news story

Canon announces SX260HS 20x superzoom with GPS and SX240HS without

By dpreview staff on Feb 7, 2012 at 05:00 GMT

Canon has launched two SX series compact superzooms, the SX 260 IS and SX 240 IS. The difference between the two is that the SX 240 IS doesn't include GPS and isn't being announced by Canon USA, so may not be widely available if it reaches North American shores. Beyond that, both are 20x compact superzooms with 25-500mm equivalent lenses featuring the company's latest 7-mode image stabilization system. They feature 460k dot screens and the ability to shoot burst of images at 10.3 frames per second. Both use 12MP back-lit CMOS sensors.

Jump to:

Press Release:

Relive your adventures with the powerful and versatile Canon PowerShot SX260 HS and PowerShot SX240 HS

London, UK, 7th February, 2012 – Canon today announces two new versatile and powerful PowerShot SX models – the PowerShot SX260 HS and PowerShot SX240 HS. Combining sleek, modern design with an impressive 20x optical zoom and advanced imaging technologies, these models are the ideal travel companions for recording everything, from family holidays on tropical beaches to action-packed adventures, in stunning detail and Full HD video.

Available in four1 cool colours for the PowerShot SX260 HS and three2 for the PowerShot SX240 HS, the new models are Canon's slimmest 20x zoom cameras and offer Canon's signature high image quality thanks to the DIGIC 5-powered HS System and new Intelligent IS technology, in a compact, pocket-friendly body. The PowerShot SX260 HS also features integrated GPS, making it even easier to record your travels and retrace your route on a map from the comfort of your armchair when you return home.

Super zoom, super quality

Whether it's the holiday of a lifetime or a precious family moment, the PowerShot SX260 HS and PowerShot SX240 HS are designed to bring you closer to the action than ever before thanks to the enhanced 25mm wide-angle 20x optical zoom Canon lens with 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer (IS). New ZoomPlus technology further extends the reach of the zoom to 39x by harnessing the processing power of DIGIC 5 and the high resolution sensor to produce a more accurate and detailed digital zoom.

Complementing the impressive optical zoom, Canon's new Intelligent IS technology ensures crisp, detailed images and smooth footage in a range of shooting situations. By identifying the scene and subject to be captured, the camera selects the most appropriate IS settings from seven3 modes for steady, blur-free shots. For example, Macro IS is great for capturing those crystal clear close-up shots of exotic plants or insects, whilst Powered IS makes it easier to film distant subjects with the powerful zoom – perfect for recording wildlife on safari.

The HS System, which pairs Canon's next-generation DIGIC 5 image processor with the 12.1 Megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor, has been further augmented to ensure outstanding, low-noise images in all conditions, particularly in low light. Whether on a beach in the moonlight or at a party, pictures are well-exposed with up to 75% less noise than the models' predecessors, without the need to use a flash or tripod.

Point-and-shoot ease of use

The PowerShot SX260 HS and PowerShot SX240 HS provide total freedom, offering Canon's acclaimed Smart Auto mode which now detects up to 58 different scenes to determine the most appropriate settings to achieve the best possible result. Advanced Multi-area White Balance technology detects multiple light sources and corrects the colour balance for each, removing unsightly colour casts to give more natural results.

With new Face Identification (Face ID), your friends and family will always look their best in your photos, even if they are in a large group or at the edge of the frame. Simply register up to 12 faces in the camera and include their birthdays to enable some of the new age-related scenes added to Smart Auto. For example, when taking a shot of a sleeping baby, the camera will disengage the flash and audio cues in order to avoid disturbing its sleep and apply specific exposure settings to produce a similar result to the bright "high-key effect" portraits favoured by professional photographers. Similarly, in the case of a child over the age of two playing outdoors, the camera will anticipate more movement and engages servo AF to ensure focus, then shoots a short high-speed burst to increase the chances of capturing a perfect moment. Face ID will also tag your images with the names of your subjects, allowing you to search your image library by name for swifter browsing, both on the camera and on your computer using the supplied ImageBrowser EX software4.

Explore your creative side with confidence

For maximum flexibility, the PowerShot SX260 HS and PowerShot SX240 HS both offer full manual control, allowing users to stamp their own creativity on their shots and explore the impact of individual changes to ISO, shutter speed or aperture on their images.

The sensor and image processor combination not only provide superior image quality but also support high-speed shooting functions. Freeze fast-paced action with High-speed Burst HQ, shooting full-resolution images at 10.3 shots/sec, or slow the pace right down with 240fps Super Slow Motion Movie. Alternatively, give your lowlight photography an added boost with Handheld Night Scene which combines a highspeed sequence of shots into one image offering the least possible blur and best possible exposure.

The enhanced Creative Filters in the PowerShot SX260 HS and PowerShot SX240 HS mean you can add a new level of creative fun with eight effects5 to make your photos and videos stand out. Add a romantic touch with the new Soft Focus, and produce perfect portraits with the Smooth Skin setting which evens out skin tone for a more flattering effect. Alternatively, change the way you look at landscapes with Miniature Effect making the scene resemble a scale model.

Remember every step

Build a unique travel journal and relive each moment by tagging each picture with the local time and location it was taken automatically with the built-in GPS6 in the PowerShot SX260 HS. The integrated GPS Logger function has been enhanced compared with its predecessor, logging the location of the camera at regular intervals more rapidly and offering more than 48 hours tracking on a single charge. Using the Map Utility software included, you can then view your journey on Google Maps or share it with friends and family across the world through applications such as Google Earth7.

Both models allow you to create a 'behind the scenes' mini-film of the day's images with the improved Movie Digest feature, which records the last four seconds of action before each shot is taken and combines them into a single movie - a great alternative way to tell the story behind your perfect pictures in HD (720p) quality.

The traveller's companion

The robust metal body and compact, lightweight design ensure both the PowerShot SX260 HS and PowerShot SX240 HS are ideal for holidays and capturing important events.

Switch quickly and easily between photos and filming with just one touch to record the action in Full HD (1080p) with stereo sound. Fine Detail Movie Processing technology ensures every sensor pixel is employed in Movie mode to capture incredible detail, allowing you to relive each moment on an HD screen. The huge 20x optical zoom can also be used whilst filming to get closer to the action and Intelligent IS ensures that footage shot even at the furthest extent of the telephoto zoom is smooth and shakefree.

You can continue to capture great images in religious monuments or museums without disturbing other visitors thanks to Discreet mode and with the optional waterproof case, you can also take your camera to depths down to 40m – capturing all the beautiful scenery both above and below the waves. The bright 7.5 cm (3.0") PureColor II G LCD screen with approximately 460,000 dots of resolution and a tempered glass layer, for improved viewing and protection against the bumps and knocks of travel, also allows you to review your movies and images in rich colour and crisp detail.

Join the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY community

Owners of these new models can also join the newly updated CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, an online facility for sharing photos and video now providing up to 10 GB of personal storage capacity, perfect for storing many photos, even in full resolution. An easy interface allows users to search for images, create combined photo and movie Albums that can receive comments from friends, and to share Albums directly via email and Social Networking Sites.

1 Silver, Black, Red, Green
2 Silver, Black, Red
3 Intelligent IS modes include: Normal IS, Panning IS, Macro IS, Dynamic IS, Powered IS, Dynamic & Macro IS,
and Tripod Mode
4 Some extra features of the supplied ImageBrowser EX software, including Face ID, may require an
automatic software update using an internet connection.
5 Smooth Skin, Soft Focus, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Miniature Effect in Movie, Super Vivid, Poster
Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome
6 GPS use may be restricted in certain countries or regions. Use of GPS should comply with the laws and
regulations of the country and area in which it is being operated, including any restriction on the use of
7 Google, Google Maps and Google Earth are trademarks of Google Inc.

Canon PowerShot SX 260 HS, PowerShot SX 240 HS specifications

 Canon PowerShot SX260 HSCanon PowerShot SX240 HS
MSRPUS: $349.99
Body type
Body typeCompact
Max resolution4000 x 3000
Other resolutions4000 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:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorDigic 5
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
File format
  • JPEG (Exif 2.3)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)25–500 mm
Optical zoom20×
Maximum apertureF3.5 - F6.8
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Macro focus range5 cm (1.97)
Number of focus points9
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots461,000
Touch screenNo
Screen type PureColor II TFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/3200 sec
Exposure modes
  • Smart Auto
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
  • Live View Control
  • Easy
  • Movie Digest
  • SCN
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Smooth Skin
  • Smart Shutter (Smile, Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer)
  • High- speed Burst HQ
  • Handheld Night Scene
  • Low Light (3.0MP)
  • Underwater
  • Snow
  • Fireworks
  • Stitch Assist
Built-in flashYes
Flash range3.50 m
External flashYes (optional HF-DC2)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Auto drive
  • Continuous
  • Continuous with AF
  • Self-Timer
Continuous drive2 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps) 640 x 480 (30, 120 fps), 320 x 240 (240 fps)
Videography notesMiniature Effect (HD, L) 6fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps iFrame Movie (HD)
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini)
Remote controlNo
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NB-6L rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)230
Weight (inc. batteries)231 g (0.51 lb / 8.15 oz)224 g (0.49 lb / 7.90 oz)
Dimensions106 x 61 x 33 mm (4.17 x 2.4 x 1.3)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo

Additional images

Canon PowerShot SX 240 HS  
Canon PowerShot SX 260 HS  
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 38
By lichtloper (Dec 23, 2012)

The GPS function: how good is it?
How accurate, how fast?

By subfly59 (Feb 19, 2012)

Reading the features above, an underwater camera case is mentioned as available. On Canon website,

I read the following at the bottom of the page

PowerShot Pro Series, ... SX10 IS, SX260 HS, SX230 HS, SX210 IS, SX200 IS, ... and E1 do not have Waterproof or All Weather Cases.

even though I see just above a Waterproof Case WP-DC42 which is defined as "For the PowerShot SX230HS". So what is right? Is there or will there be such an enclosure (the only reason teh DC42 needs to be replaced being they moved the on-off button, the rest being in the same place vs the 230)? This is a mandatory thing for me to consider this camera.

By Dan (Feb 8, 2012)

What happened to the beautiful blue color!? Why is 1080 HD still only 24 fps? I would rather it use AVCHD. Does it have an IS mode similar to Sony's Active Mode where it uses electronic stabilization along with optical IS? Can I take pictures while capturing video (the SX230HS can't)? I wish the flash was manually activated by a mechanical switch or manually pulled-up. Doesn't look like much of an upgrade over the SX230HS. This is one of those cameras that's almost good enough, but isn't. I wonder if they sped up their super slow AF system. Canon, you really should make this more like a pocketable SX40HS (along with its hot shoe) with the S100's sensor. I'd pay $500 for it. I can't wait for my new Sony HX9V to arrive in the mail! Wish it had a bigger sensor though.

By dodfr (Feb 9, 2012)

HX9V ? don't you ever watched at some samples and noticed how blushed are grass, leaf and faces ? their 16MP sensor is horrible.

By Dan (Feb 11, 2012)

What do you mean by "blushed?" I chose the HX9V because it has Steadyshot with Active Mode when you're recording movies. I have a Sony Handycam with that feature, and it is absolutely AMAZING. I just got it today, so I'll take some pictures and see how things are. My Panasonic FZ150 is going back to the store.

By Dan (Feb 12, 2012)

I just had a chance to play with my new Sony HX9V, and I must say my initial impressions are very positive (especially compared to the Panasonic FZ150 its replacing). Colors and skin tones are very pleasing, and it has a background defocus mode that incorporates a beautiful background blur into your images. It does this by taking two pictures in rapid succession, keeping your subject in focus, but purposely making the background out-of-focus. My main camera is a D300, and I've been shooting 1.5 crop DSLRs for about 7 years, so I've been spoiled by the wonderful bokeh offered by large sensor cameras. While not the perfect solution, it's great to see that a point & shoot can offer a similar effect. The image quality of the HX9V also looks very good to me. Movie mode is also great. I'm surprised by how well it does in low light. I think it's gonna be a keeper!

Peter Davis
By Peter Davis (Feb 25, 2012)

I just returned an HX9V because its interface is SLOW. Random freezes, wait 10 seconds to switch to playback mode. Switch to movie mode and the action is already passed. All the features you mention are really great, it's true, but Sony really must have maxed out the CPU to cram in all those smarts.

By Calobscura (Feb 8, 2012)

Canon, you kill me every time! they keep getting better and better, but always seem to lack some of what I want. if it was a little faster, 3.1 even this would be great. I liked the sx230, but wished it had a little wider lens. when I saw this, I was really excited, but after dwelling on the aperture, I am not so sure. 500mm is crazy... who would trade that for a few stops? I guess canon doesn't want to overlap markets with the s100. Except that they overlap all there auto point and shoots to death! The thing that I am wondering is if the I.S. can compensate any for the slow lens. It also struck me that a fully manual small point and shoot with a ipod style scroll wheel (like the 100s) around the lens instead of a control wheel would be pretty sweet. that and raw. I hope canon finally cashes into camera nerds a little more!

By Dan (Feb 8, 2012)

So....what do you not like about the S100?

By Calobscura (Feb 8, 2012)

really, just the price... the 230sx can be had for over 100 bucks less. and maybe just a little more focal length would be nice.... but nothing like 500mm

By Snaaks (Feb 7, 2012)

I bought the SX230 HS last year as and easy lightweighted alternative to my bulky DSLR set 5D with the lenses) as I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in my neck. I also have a panasonic LX3. I really like the SX230 for the P&S pics. The quality relative to the 5D always amazes me , the GPS is very , very handy on trips and filming is also very good. You can use the zoom while filming without disruptions or noise.
I highly recommend this camera, however the 260SX offers little useful advantages for 230-owners to upgrade. I don't have 12 friends to program into my memory and the increased zooming from 14x to 20x isn't really a benefit without bringing a tripod.
I'll skip this year's upgrade , although it is a very good camera in it's class.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
By dodfr (Feb 9, 2012)

for sure, i'd prefer 400mm "only" and F3.1

By subfly59 (Feb 19, 2012)

Actually, you seem to miss the only reason I would consider it after I discarded the 230 last year: the 25mm wideangle. Of course assuming this huge increase in zom range doesn't wreak havoc in optical quality. I would also have felt better with a 25-400 or even 24-360 like the pannies.

Klimt z
By Klimt z (Feb 7, 2012)

These little cameras are getting closer and closer to doing all the thinking for the average vacationer. It is very addictive to go skiing or boating or walking around Disney with an 8 ounce camera that can do videos, shoot in very, very low light, and have incredible long reach for the wildlife reserve. Hope it all works, especially the IS. I see the feature set as an effort to keep pocket photography competitive by doing more than a smartphone can.

1 upvote
By BeanyPic (Feb 7, 2012)

Remember everyone this is a consumer product. No need for Raw, Low Aperture or many other features needed for photographers. This is for Mr & Mrs Jones with 2.3 kids wanting a good point and shoot with a little creativity and HD Movie. All that a family needs.

By D1N0 (Feb 7, 2012)

20x zoom seems to be the new maximum voor compacts (see Pentax and Nikon). So next year it is 24x, to keep us buying new camera's?

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
By Diggadonkey (Feb 7, 2012)

Pardon my ignorance, but maybe they're able to get away with these smaller apertures because of the improved sensitivity of the Digic 5 processor. Otherwise wow, that's a pretty slow lens. And 20X - again wow, if they're not pushing too many pixels they're pushing totally impractical zoom ranges. I guess that's what you can always expect when they're catering to the consumer market.

By anchorite64 (Feb 7, 2012)

One bad decision here was to go for longer reach instead wider aperture. The intended use is for travel so how is anyone going to hold it at 500mm while it's f/6.8? If you are travelling with a tripod then it would not be SX260 that you would place on that tripod.

1 upvote
By btwango (Mar 20, 2012)

Why not? I often used a tripod with my TZ10. You are being presumptuous.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By harrisoncac (Feb 7, 2012)

Canon should really look at Sony on how to design the look of a product.

1 upvote
By BeanyPic (Feb 7, 2012)

That's your opinion and your welcome to it. As for me I gave up on Sony many moons ago as they are weak on design and image quality... That's my opinion anyhow

1 upvote
By Macist (Feb 7, 2012)

Very interesting. Great improvements to the GPS, which is a must for a travel camera nowadays.

Curious if Canon implements some sort of HDR on these models and if so, how well it works compared to the competition (mainly Panasonic's new DMC-ZS20?

It looks like a good year for travel cameras :)

By geoffire (Feb 7, 2012)

Nice improvements, looks like canon fixed most of the issues I have with the wife's SX230. Add raw and trade some reach for a faster apertures and It would be the perfect pocket camera.

What do you want to bet the flash still pops up whether it's needed or not...

1 upvote
By CollBaxter (Feb 7, 2012)

Yep Hate it.

You can bet they still do.

Canon tries to think for you so switch on camera and pop up flash. Raw would be nice but the users of this range camera would never use it. Maybe some controll over noise reduction and shrapning might be better.

As to the flash I stuck a strip of gaffer tape over it.Also good to see they stuck with 12MP as its noisy enough in low light as it is.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By anchorite64 (Feb 7, 2012)

There already is some control of sharpening in mycolors.
Raw mode is avaiable from chdk.

By BeanyPic (Feb 7, 2012)

Now people want to manipulate the laws of Physics. The Flash needs to be a certain distance from the lens as to not cause flash effect on such a Big lens. So you make sure the flash is away from the lens and pops up when needed. There's always someone who moans without thinking it through....

By CollBaxter (Feb 7, 2012)


As to the flash we where complaining that it always pops up when the camera is turned on and not only if you need it. If you turn the camera on up pops the flash. My reason for gaffer tape. :)

Comment edited 15 minutes after posting
By BeanyPic (Feb 7, 2012)

Fair Point. I do believe this model is like the S100 which I know have and the Flash will not pop up when switched on only when needed in auto or when switched on by the user. :o)

By btwango (Mar 20, 2012)

From the user's manual : "and the flash will be lowered if it was up". Page 36. "The flash automatically rises in low-light conditions". Page 55.
@CollBaxter "the users of this range camera would never use it." You know that for a fact do you? What would be the reason for RAW being included in CHDK's software?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By IcyVeins (Feb 7, 2012)

"ME TOO!!!"

By evogt500 (Feb 7, 2012)

The Zoom war continues...

By cheenachatze (Feb 7, 2012)

They fixed so much that was wrong in the older model: they put a hand grip, went back to a 4:3 LCD, the zoom starts at a wider 25mm and they refrained from raising the resolution. But did they really have to put this x20 zoom?? I wish the cheaper model would have been without GPS and with 25-250mm zoom. I know what I'd be buying.

1 upvote
By don_mateo23 (Feb 7, 2012)

f/3.5-6-8... LOL!!

1 upvote
By nhf7170 (Feb 8, 2012)

Agreed. Some here are saying that f6.9 won't matter to the average user, but it is unknown at what focal length it kicks in. Maybe the numbers might not matter to the average user, but motion trails in all his telephoto shots will.

1 upvote
By servic (Feb 12, 2012)

Would be really handy if DPreview report focal length vs f-stop for those superzooms being compared to each other.

My bet: it won't beat older cameras like TZ7 (f/4.9@300mm).

By MichaelSpotts (Feb 7, 2012)

Looks like a solid compact. For daytime shooters, why get the S100 over this? I expect this camera to cost 40% less and it seems more robust in terms of focal reach, 25-500mm. Looks good, too.

By B1ackhat (Feb 7, 2012)

Well the IQ of the S95 is vastly superior to the SX230 out in the blazing sun, so if the same difference exists between the SX240/60 and the S100, there's your answer.

By anchorite64 (Feb 7, 2012)

Judging from dpreview studio shots it is not. SX230 gets slightly more detail. Does real world performance differ dramatically from what you get in studio? Or maybe you are taking dynamic range into account, then I don't know.

Total comments: 38