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Just Posted: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS Review

By dpreview staff on Jun 4, 2012 at 19:49 GMT

Just Posted: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS review. We've collaborated with Jeff Keller of the Digital Camera Resource Page to bring you an 8-page review of Canon's latest travel zoom. The SX260 HS features a 12MP sensor and a 20x optical zoom spanning an effective range of 25-500mm. It also offers inbuilt GPS and a Smart Auto mode which can select from 58 scene modes automatically depending on the shooting environment. So how does it perform overall? Read our 8-page review to find out. 

This review is based on one originally published at the Digital Camera Resource Page, enhanced with a full set of our own product images, our usual studio comparisons and an expanded samples gallery, plus the addition of a standard dpreview score.

47
I own it
10
I want it
6
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 99
DiscoStu138
By DiscoStu138 (Jan 27, 2013)

Seems there are a lot of people commenting on this review when they don't own the camera and have no first hand experience. For someone interested in buying the camera, these second hand 'opinions' do not help.

I am going on a long trip around the world and decided that my Canon 7d was too big and expensive to take backpacking. No camera in this price range is going to come close to a dSLR in terms of features and quality of photos. After a couple of weeks playing with the Canon 260HS and knowing its price level and lens size I am amazed by the results so far.

If you turn off the GPS, continuous focus, continuos IS, and just take photos (no movies) then the battery life is reasonable (by my standards). Low light is OK too given the lens 3.5f stop wide.

I'm incredibly happy with this camera. Only time will tell as my travels progress but so far I would recommend it to family friends who want good photos from a small camera with what I would deem a large zoom range!

0 upvotes
Andrys
By Andrys (Dec 12, 2012)

Barney, I enjoyed Jeff's original review and most of this one but realized that few know (I didn't at first, either) about the 'Superfine' option for more camera data (60% larger file as a result), and you mentioned not noticing and that you'd follow up. But the review still uses the comparison of the smaller default 'fine' compression mode file vs other camera makers' larger 60% larger files files (with presumably more data when using lower compression).

Both the image-quality comparisons and image-quality report itself are unchanged and some of it mentions disappointment. Wouldn't it be better to use the 'Superfine' capability when reporting on image quality and comparisons to other cameras? Thanks for considering this. I saw no follow up so am asking. Am enjoying it as a second, flexible small camera.

0 upvotes
rcarotenuti
By rcarotenuti (Oct 20, 2012)

Can I switch my canon powershot 260sx hs from high-def video ti standard-edition video format?

0 upvotes
GianniV
By GianniV (Aug 18, 2012)

Hello,
I would like to buy a compact camera.
I am between Canon SX260 HS and Sony HX20V.
Which is the best?
What is your opinion?

0 upvotes
JN99
By JN99 (Jun 12, 2012)

Abysmal white balance performance renders this camera unusable. It is hands down the worst I have ever seen in any camera (from a $99 Fuji through my Pentax K
DSLR and several Panasonic Lumix cameras I have owned) and I am shocked anyone would ever consider keeping this camera given the white balance performance issues. Artificial lighting renders everything yellow and even manual setting doesn't always correct, and is unfortunately not even available for some modes such as the hand held night scene mode, which is pretty nifty though unusable because of the poor AWB performance. It's a shame because it makes what is otherwise a very nice P&S and effectively makes it unusable in anything but sunny daylight shooting conditions.

0 upvotes
PicOne
By PicOne (Jun 6, 2012)

Kinda odd.. and a bit troubling advice at the end of the conclusion: "As always, I recommend heading to your local camera or electronics store to try out the PowerShot SX260 HS and its competitors before you buy!" given that the links above are to online sources that DPR wants you to buy from. Shouldn't advice be more along lines of "we recommend buying this online from Amazon, trying it out, and if you don't like it, simply return it."

0 upvotes
nagi hojo
By nagi hojo (Jun 6, 2012)

Has anyone noticed that on the newer Canon P&S, they have not only limited the ISO to 100 for exposure of 1s or more, they seem to have also limited the minimum shutter speed at the long end of the zoom! Practical implications: my IXUS 1100HS has a minimum shutter of 1/4000, but at full telephoto the camera insists on only going to 1/1600 (even though you can tell the camera can do it because the screen is suitably darker until you half press!)- no good for sunsets, etc. I wish Canon stop this baby-sitting madness.

2 upvotes
NiallM
By NiallM (Jun 6, 2012)

My next compact will probably be the XZ-1 but my options are still open so naturally i tend to use it in the comparison tool...once again it destroys the competition in the center, the corners, tones, etc..

SX260 HS conclusion: Not bad. Next please...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Manic Tuesday
By Manic Tuesday (Jun 8, 2012)

being just a casual visitor i didn't know right away what camera you're speaking of. having checked it in the JPEG comparison i must say WTF!?!? that camera rocks, everything else just looks like it has sunscreen spread across the lens. i'm genuinely stunned, especially as a new owner of S100.

too bad it isn't just a little smaller.

1 upvote
Gerard Hoffnung
By Gerard Hoffnung (Jun 6, 2012)

@tkbslc
Good point about the 20x. Didn't think that out did I :)
I still would like to see some compact cameras that have optical viewfinders though. Maybe the latest LCD's are much better, but the one's in my wife's Canon SD850 and my Canon T3i are essentially useless in bright sunlight. That's not a problem on the T3i as I rarely use live view anyway but I know I would have missed good photo's on the SD850 without the optical VF.

0 upvotes
Gerard Hoffnung
By Gerard Hoffnung (Jun 5, 2012)

My usual complaint. No optical viewfinder, no sale.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 5, 2012)

Can you think of a good way to make a 20x optical viewfinder that isn't blocked by the lens and doesn't significantly increase the size of the camera?

5 upvotes
Master Yoda
By Master Yoda (Jun 6, 2012)

In that case, I think it's safe to say you'll NEVER again be purchasing a compact camera, as optical viewfinders are now extinct in these kind of cameras.

I agree with you though . . . this is sad indeed. I'd personally give up half of the gunk bells and whistles nonsense that are in these devices now for a decent optical viewfinder.

0 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (Jun 6, 2012)

I've yet to understand what the obsession is with the OVF on compacts. Is it a perception thing? Worried about the light annoying others?

I mean, you can't focus these cameras manually (at least not with any kind of speed or fineness); you aren't determining exposure; the colors may not be exact on an LCD, but it's not like you can't see the colors by just looking. An OVF on a non-slr is not going to give you a 100% viewfinder.

What is the practical draw?

1 upvote
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Jun 6, 2012)

"What is the practical draw?"

Tracking moving subjects.

0 upvotes
ManuH
By ManuH (Jun 6, 2012)

"What is the practical draw?"

Don't you take pictures outdoor? Even on the best LCD it's difficult to see anything in sunlight.

0 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (Jun 6, 2012)

Tracking moving objects...I guess I'm not shooting anything moving that fast. Kids, dogs, cars, airplanes..my LCDs always seem to keep up.

Outdoors? All the time. Canon, Sony, Panasonic - I rarely, if ever, have a problem with the LCD so blown out that I can't tell what I'm shooting. I'm not focusing or metering off of it - just framing/composing.

0 upvotes
Master Yoda
By Master Yoda (Jun 6, 2012)

"What is the practical draw?"

How about just plain old "preference".

0 upvotes
Gary R.
By Gary R. (Jul 12, 2012)

JordanAT, it always puzzles me when I read such comments. There are a lot of people that can't understand why anyone would carry a camera at all, when they can get great pictures with their phone. The answer is that we all have differing needs from our camera, we use them in different ways, some expect more from them, some find results acceptable independent of what the next person finds. Add to that different vision limitations such as presbyopia..

I use a device that allows me to use the LCD as a viewfinder, and in one case forgot to bring it for shooting model aircraft. Try following a tiny stunt plane in bright sun at 400mm zoom using a bare LCD, with smooth results. Perhaps you can do that, but some of us can't. Yet I can, if I use the 'viewfinder'. Focus? I focus all the time, by being able to see clearly if the subject has been correctly grabbed instead of the background. Level horizons, critical moments, all benefit from us being able to see well BEFORE shooting.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Breen
By Breen (Jun 5, 2012)

Comparing sample photos I have to say it loudly.. People were complaining about Sony HX200 picture quality, but in fact Sony camera is far more superior to Canon SX260. I know that HX200 is a bit different camera and it has 30x zoom instead 20x in Canon. However if Dpreview will test Sony HX20V I'm sure the results will be even better..

Why Sony HX200 has better quality? Please download sample photo with house and palm trees.. Even 1:1 image from Sony camera has far more detail. When you scale down 18 MP to Canon's 12 the advantage of Sony HX is even bigger. Image is more crisp,when SX260 produces very soft image, especially in the corners(compare the look of the windows, trees).

I wrote this because lot of people think that only Canon makes good cameras. These sample photos show how they are wrong!

0 upvotes
Sydtron
By Sydtron (Jun 5, 2012)

I've used the HX20V back to back with the SX260HS at a store, the Sony blew it away from a hands on perspective. Obviously wasn't able to do a high res quality comparison, but speed (focus, lag, everything) was noticeably better on the Sony, build quality was as good or even better. My only gripe is that the screen output may be too pumped up for contrast and saturation, but it sure made the screen "pop" versus the Canon while looking sharper. I've never been surprised in this manner by a Sony compact before, had to share.

0 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (Jun 6, 2012)

I bought both the Canon SX260 and the Sony HX30v. In nearly every measure, the Canon was capable of producing superior pictures - better detail, lower noise, more pleasing "grain" (more ike film, less like digital). I kept the Sony and returned the Canon because - when I looked at several shots side by side, straight off the SD card, at the same physical size - the Sony prints were subjectively more pleasing. At the pixel level, there was no contest - Canon. After running though Lightroom, there was no contest - Canon. But for the majority of users, the Sony will produce better 4x6 (or even 8x10) prints.

It killed me to return the "better" camera, but in the end I know that I never want to tweak these photos before I use/share them - I don't have that kind of time. If I'm really going for art, or it's a major life event, I'll be shooting an FX SLR and working with RAW images. Otherwise, life's too short to have to fix weekend snaps.

0 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (Jun 6, 2012)

I should add, the Sony has got to be the slowest shot-to-shot camera in existence. If I had a penny for every second I had to look at the words "processing" on the screen after a shot, I would be a rich man by the time I replace this camera in a couple of years.

0 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Jun 5, 2012)

"ISO locked at 100 at shutter speeds below 1 second"

Below or above?

0 upvotes
Almeida
By Almeida (Jun 5, 2012)

Slower than 1 second.

1 upvote
dccdp
By dccdp (Jun 5, 2012)

The problem is, speed is not measured in seconds. The article should correct this, as it's an unfortunate way of expressing a simple fact. "Below" is definitely not a good choice. "Slower than 1 second" would be better, although it still lacks rigour.

1 upvote
taotoo
By taotoo (Jun 6, 2012)

But if you're going to go with Above or Below, Above is much the better choice!

1 upvote
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Jun 5, 2012)

We got the SX 230, which has the best picture of the four shown and is still available for $199. It's a great little camera and my wife takes a good looking shot with it with no fiddling needed.

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Jun 5, 2012)

Has anyone noticed the drop in sharpness compared to SX230HS ? The longer zoom = more compromises in the optical quality department. The same sharpness degradation has happened to "Leica" lens on latest Panasonic travelzooms.

I just hope the successor of Panny FZ-150 won't follow this pattern.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Jun 5, 2012)

People have to decide if they want convenience or the best quality. It's the same thing with SLRs and 28-200mm lenses. With zooms that try to be both wide angle and telephoto, the longer the range, the lower the quality. But manufacturers know most folks are uncritical and will say "the lens on the new model is a big improvement because it goes to 24mm instead of 28mm". Convenience, not quality.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jun 5, 2012)

I'd rather have a k-01 that scores a measly 69%

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 5, 2012)

What a silly statement. As if the two cameras are even remotely comparable.

0 upvotes
JulyTom
By JulyTom (Jun 5, 2012)

I like IXUS!

0 upvotes
Mayank B
By Mayank B (Jun 5, 2012)

Another compact camera review by Jeff, yaay! Hope this would become a regular feature on DPR.

0 upvotes
AdisX
By AdisX (Jun 5, 2012)

Need RAW mode and much more control in Canon P&S?
http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK !

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Jun 5, 2012)

There is just so much limited QUALITY that one can cram into a typical
1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) SENSOR that camera companies use (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, etc)

The selling points are then waged on features, menus, bells and woots.

For a sensor size of 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm), the best balance is just 5 to 7 Mp!

But because camera companies have zombied buyers into thinking more Mps is more good, they don't DARE do a 5 or 7 Mp modern camera.

A 5 Mp or 7 Mp P&S with a 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) sensor can set outstanding standards, but they won't do this... (maybe Leica, because they think OUTSIDE the mirror box...)

.

14 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Jun 5, 2012)

Which is why leica takes average panasonic p&s cameras and rebrands them right? Highly original! Next.......

3 upvotes
Mayank B
By Mayank B (Jun 5, 2012)

Good point. I often use my 12mp compacts at the 6mp setting for better results. Most camera manufacturers provide a lower resolution setting and it does seem to boost the IQ.

1 upvote
Graystar
By Graystar (Jun 5, 2012)

"For a sensor size of 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm), the best balance is just 5 to 7 Mp!"

That's as pointless as it is arbitrary. The larger MP count doesn't reduce image quality, and print testing shows that the higher counts make a difference. Imaging Resource actually prints images as part of its testing, and found that the SX230 (SX260 not tested yet) produces very good prints at 16x20. But at that resolution you're getting around 187 PPI...acceptable, but just barely. But that's better than what 7MP gives you, which is 144 PPI and dipping into the unacceptable range.

There's simply no benefit from maintaining low MP counts, except to appease vocal minorities who don't know what they're talking about.

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Jun 5, 2012)

http://petavoxel.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/mp-swindle-example/

3 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Jun 5, 2012)

http://lifehacker.com/5452656/stay-under-7-megapixels-to-avoid-photo-noise-and-diffraction

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jun 5, 2012)

@Mayank Using the camera at a lower setting makes no sense, it just downsamples it. It doesn't magically increase pixel size.

@Graystar not only ppi count's its also what those pixels look like. If 18mp would be usefull in a compact we would not be carrying around dslr's. My old Nikon Coolpix 5200 with 5 mega pixels makes excellent photo's in good light. Better than my newer Sony Hx9v with 16 mega pixels. Because there is no crappy NR and pixels that are big enough and an uncompromising fixed iso of 50. Because of that it is of course much less versatile. When cameramakers would use the technology they developed to still make acceptable pictures with 16 to 20mp compacts, on an 8 tot 10 mp sensor, picture quality would greatly improve.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Graystar
By Graystar (Jun 5, 2012)

"When cameramakers would use the technology they developed to still make acceptable pictures with 16 to 20mp compacts, on an 8 tot 10 mp sensor, picture quality would greatly improve."

No, it doesn't. That's not how sensors work. Sensor area is what matters...not pixel count. It is impossible to improve image quality by using a lower pixel count.

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jun 5, 2012)

sensor area is a given in these types of cams. The only way to make a compact megazoom is using small sensors. For longer focal length's mp-count is even less important, because resolving is much more difficult(ever seen what a 500mm prime costs?). The gain of extra megapixels is totally negated by diffraction and noise.

I suggest you read Cameralab testers links.

edit: Here I looked it up for you http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-200-500mm-Ultra-Telephoto-Nikon-Cameras/dp/B0013DAPNU

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Graystar
By Graystar (Jun 5, 2012)

"I suggest you read Cameralab testers links."

Two links from the same joe on the internet? That's the authority you're relying on??

How about some real print tests...

http://pixinfo.com/en/articles/canon_powershot_g_evolution.3/

The print test clearly shows improvements with resolution in A3 sized prints, right up to the 14.7MP G10.

Really...in this day only the ignorant go by 100% crops. There's simply much more to it than that.

0 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Jun 5, 2012)

@graystar ...ur not listening...cramming more mp into a puny sensor degrades the quality not increase. you have been zombified.... try not being ignorant and listen to others that are trying to point u out

2 upvotes
Graystar
By Graystar (Jun 5, 2012)

@magneto shot
You're the one who's being ignorant by accepting BS talk while ignoring actual results.

Obviously, you want to believe that more pixels is bad. Believe what you want to believe.

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Jun 5, 2012)

By CameraLabTester (3 hours ago)
http://petavoxel.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/mp-swindle-example/

Thanks for giving me a good laugh. The guy is using a budget Olympus, notorious for their bad IQ, to prove his point that MP are bad. All he's proving is that budget Olympus P&S cameras are bad.... we all already know that.

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jun 5, 2012)

@Graystar about ten years of camera tech does a lot to improve on pictures. Your example though is about the powershot G line which sports a bigger Sensor 1/1.8" opposed to 1/2.3" and has always been an enthusiast camera with better than average optics. And Canon fitted the G11 an 12 with a 10mp sensor (opposed to the 14.6 of the G10) which mean they can listen and that more is not better. This camera is not aimed at enthousiasts, so is crammed with useless megapixels.

1 upvote
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Jun 5, 2012)

You might as well think of this test as a test of a 12.8MP full-frame camera against a 205MP full-frame camera. As you can see, especially from the far-right column which includes processing, the higher pixel count camera destroys the large pixels of the low pixel count camera. This is likely to always be the case due to the fact that noise reduction is software is vastly better at eliminating noise and preserving detail than simple block averaging is. Block averaging is all large pixels do.

http://photos.imageevent.com/sipphoto/samplepictures/Pixel%20density%20test%20results.jpg

1 upvote
duartix
By duartix (Jun 5, 2012)

I believe you are all embarking on a resolution/PSNR discussion but are missing out on another important parameter of IQ: Dynamic Range.
Doesn't a twice as big pixel size imply 1EV stop gain in DR from a sensor design view?

0 upvotes
Virvatulet
By Virvatulet (Jun 5, 2012)

Image sensor manufacturers are struggling to keep the same basic characteristics on a per unit area basis when increasing the pixel count or density, if you will. This fact is on hand in almost all occasions when a new sensor is marketed to camera manufacturers.

To achieve this with every new generation they have been able to increase the relative size of the photodiode and the pixel aperture area i.e. light gathering efficiency by miniaturizing the circuitry and optimising microlens condensing ability. Also some compromises have been made with the Bayer CFA in order to increase its transmittance which yields lower colour saturation and thus compromises colour purity/noise in final image.

The question has always been that is this development the best compromise and is the somehow chosen base quality level good enough? The basic characteristics have not reached their theoretical limits, should they do so only then increasing resolution wouldn't compromise other image quality metrics.

1 upvote
Virvatulet
By Virvatulet (Jun 5, 2012)

Cont.

Resolution has its place and use, but in my opinion we have had enough resolution with P&S cameras for years now. Most average Joes I know seldom if ever print larger than 10 cm x 13 (15) cm and most pro image labs print those with 300 ppi native resolution; with a Bayer CFA camera one needs only appr. 7 MP to reach perfect colour resolution and 2 MP for normal colour resolution (and full luminance resolution).

It's time to have better DR, colour and lower noise, without more noise reduction processing. Better video, especially in low light conditions, would be nice too.

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Jun 5, 2012)

"Doesn't a twice as big pixel size imply 1EV stop gain in DR from a sensor design view?"

No, it doesn't.

1 upvote
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Jun 6, 2012)

Everyone should read this to get out of ignorance :
http://snapsort.com/learn/sensor/true-resolution

0 upvotes
Sephirotic
By Sephirotic (Jul 15, 2012)

Each following year, revisions in sensors make then better than last generation in a pure PSNR account. So comparing a 4 years old 7mp camera to a 14 mpx contemporany is not a good thing, it doesn´t imply a camera twice worse in noise.

So is it true, that enthusiast larger pixel-dot cameras, aren´t 7mpx, they are 10, wich in fact, if you analise comparing to entry level APS, has a decent quality at low base iso. (LX5, s95, s100, G12, etc).

Also, i've found this article posted by camera lab tester, not very cientific. The artifcacts of looking like a "blurry aqua" background seens to me much more related to pure optic perfomance to this fable "theoretical minimum size for a light spot as 1.5 micron".
Proof of that is the enthusiast compacts cameras at 10 mpx with more than proven exceptional quality outside the dslr world.
However, each new gen in the last years, SONY INSIST IN KEEP THE MPX race, ALONE may i add. I will never buy a sony camera while others options wich SMALLER PPI

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
cheenachatze
By cheenachatze (Jun 5, 2012)

According to the Canon specs, shots taken at Fine quality are about 3MB in size, and shots taken at Superfine quality are about 5MB in size. Were the studio shots taken at Fine quality or Superfine quality?

0 upvotes
cheenachatze
By cheenachatze (Jun 5, 2012)

I found the EXIF info. Apparently the shots were indeed taken at Fine setting, which is not the best quality setting. Any reason for that?

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jun 5, 2012)

Thanks for spotting this - without the camera in front of me I can't comment but we'll look at this first thing tomorrow.

1 upvote
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Jun 5, 2012)

Wow! The return of superfine? I thought canon dropped superfine to help diferentiate mainstream cameras from raw capable cameras a couple of years ago? I don't think my 2011 S100 or SX40 have superfine so it's sort of notable that the SX260 does.

Regarding shooting in fine versus superfine: "fine" is the default setting and Superfine is not offered in all modes. Superfine is only available in Program, Shutter, Aperture, and Manual. If the tests use another mode such as AUTO superfine is not available.

2 upvotes
cheenachatze
By cheenachatze (Jun 5, 2012)

The S100 and SX40 both have Fine and Normal settings. The SX260 has Fine and Superfine. Go figure.

0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Jun 5, 2012)

Oooops!

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jun 5, 2012)

Just for clarification, we just ran a couple of quick tests, and the smaller file size is the most significant difference between files shot in 'fine' as compared to 'super fine'. There's a fractional difference in the appearance of high-contrast edges when files are overlayed but it really is fractional.

Although we'd always recommend shooting in the lowest compression JPEG mode for best quality (all our samples - studio and real world were shot in superfine) in normal use, using the 'fine' setting will allow you to get more files on your memory card with very little practical penalty in IQ.

0 upvotes
Andrys
By Andrys (Dec 12, 2012)

Barney, I just found your 'clarification' response, as it was not showing above the thread section divider. This way, of course many others will never have seen what you explained after people had chimed in with interest about the unnoticed mode.

This isn't testing the way DPreview is known for and especially not for comparison testing against the best modes of other cameras (!) nor is it thorough to leave out careful tests of two modes of the same camera.

I shot many pics with both modes, and in any *printing* the difference is fairly large and especially when using the zoom mode with lower light, which is what many do.
The image breaks up considerably with the default setting under tougher circumstances (long lens, lower light) and stays more solid with the Superfine setting.

The default lines in low contrast situations are not as solid as in Superfine and are more like cheese - the 100% images are degraded looking on anything at iso400 and above and zoomed in 40% even...

0 upvotes
Andrys
By Andrys (Dec 12, 2012)

Continued --- to Barney.

I wasn't going to keep the SX260 until I saw for sure I could do better when needing to shoot in lower light with a long zoom, if I used the mode that keeps more data.

Canon did a good job on normal 'fine' but there is a very telling difference when we use the vaunted feature of that pocketable camera -- the zoom (which also means it loses some, over the SX230) -- that's where we see problems in low contrast and long zoom situations.

The Superfine mode noticeably helps in that situation and your review should have an addendum testing for this. I know it's more work and it's an unusual situation for DPreview not to really test the fine compression mode when it's there ! in a way that shows us what you find.

Please reconsider. It's made me lose some confidence in your testing, not that you missed the setting, but that you are deciding not to add to the review ANY word about this and any test results we can see. Print quality's important. Thks.

0 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (Jun 5, 2012)

Yukkkk....I'd rather use a phone camera and have one less gadget to carry around.

4 upvotes
hobbit mob
By hobbit mob (Jun 5, 2012)

Your camera phone has a 500mm equivalent zoom!?

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Jun 5, 2012)

Let's see how your phone compares to this shot, taken on the SX260HS:

http://photos.imageevent.com/sipphoto/samplepictures/SX260_0016.jpg

0 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (Jun 6, 2012)

Dude...that pic of the moon looks like a big white smeary blob.

Just reinforces my belief that you need a decent camera for images that matter and a phone camera for everything else.

These "inbetweeners" are quickly becoming irrelevant.

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Jun 6, 2012)

A phone camera couldn't grab anything close to that. The moon would be a tiny white speck, nothing more.

My wife was shooting indoors with her 260 last night. She was shooting at equivalent focal lengths of between 300 and 400mm. These were shots of our kids - ordinary family snapshots. Get closer you say? Well, the kids were in the pool. Indoors. The 260 did great even though she was shooting at ISO 1600. Try that with a cell phone.

You want better moon shots? Here, these weren't taken with gear that comes anywhere close to fitting in my wife's purse. In fact, each was taken with gear that's bigger than the entire purse. Now that I've shown you mine, show me yours taken with a cell phone.

http://photos.imageevent.com/sipphoto/samplepictures/T2i__3574%20edited.jpg
http://photos.imageevent.com/sipphoto/samplepictures/Whole%20moon%20with%20extension%20final%201920%202.jpg

0 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (Jun 7, 2012)

Now if this crappy little camera had've taken the images that you just linked then you'd have a point but it didn't, (or not without the help telescope anyway).

And if you want to use the aid of a telescope then you could just as easily attach a decent camera phone in place of this Canon junk.

And regarding your pool shots of the kids. Well at least you got something, which is better than nothing, but that's the situation where real cameras come in handy. Could've cranked up the ISO past 25600 on a decent DSLR and still got better results than your wifes P&S.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Jun 7, 2012)

I have plenty of "real" cameras. My point is that your point (just use a cell phone) is flat garbage - they are fixed at 28mm equivalent or so, they have lousy sensors, they have lousy focusing and they have lousy shot-to-shot times. My wife isn't going to carry my 5D + 70-200/2.8L IS II in her purse, and this Canon 260HS is far, far better than any cell phone now or ever as long as they all have tiny fixed-focal-length lenses and lack dedicated hardware for processing the images. Do you know a cell phone that can take 2+frames per second at 400mm equivalent? Do you know a dSLR that can do so and also fit in my wife's purse with all of the rest of the stuff in there?

This little camera crushes every cell phone camera in every way, yet still fits into the space of a cell phone. If you don't believe that, then show me a better moon shot taken with a bare cell phone.

0 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (Jun 8, 2012)

Being a little facetious here now but I think the only point you've made is that this camera is good for females who want to take a an image of the moon with a camera that will fit in their purse.

However for a man, (well one who doesn't carry a purse), the DSLR is there for any shots that may be limited by a decent phone camera.

0 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (Jun 8, 2012)

Just want to add a moon photo I found taken with the same phone as mine. Compares fairly well to the one taken with your wife's P&S don't you think?

http://forum2.mobile-review.com/showthread.php?17123-Post-photos-taken-by-your-mobiles-here!&p=930597&viewfull=1#post930597

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Jun 9, 2012)

That was not taken with cell phone optics, and who was it said "not without the help telescope"?

Here's one take with my S3IS at its shortest focal length.

http://photos.imageevent.com/sipphoto/samplepictures/S3__9045%20reprocessed.jpg

What I pointed out is that this camera is far superior to any cell phone camera, especially if you have to shoot at a focal length longer than about 30mm, and it has to fit in the same place as a cell phone. I bought this camera for my wife. I carry an even smaller camera that's also far superior to any cell phone, but I use a dSLR with one of my many lenses if I need quality better than the compacts.

Compacts are tweeners, they are the lowest end. Cell phones are below the bottom end. MILCs are tweeners - neither small enough to be pocketable nor big enough to be powerful.

0 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (Jun 9, 2012)

Agree about MILC's.

As you've pointed out though, there's a lot of provisos before these P&S become a invaluable tool. Sure there are advantages over a good cell phone in terms of focal range and control but as I've stated all along, these shortcomings are where the DSLR comes in to play.

IQ on the other hand is very similar between the better phones, (Nokia N8), and the better compacts like the S95 and S100. Infact, it wouldn't surprise if the the just released Nokia 808 will better the IQ of these more popular compacts. Although it doesn't address the handling issues associated with using a phone camera, it will in go some way to improving the lack of zoom range that you rightfully pointed out is currently a shortcoming of all cell phones.

0 upvotes
DiscoStu138
By DiscoStu138 (Jan 30, 2013)

Just to reopen an old post. Moon shot taken last night with my sx260hs on a tripod and processed with photogene on an ipad:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xfvchhirewf8wt6/Photo%2029-01-13%2021%2049%2034.jpg

0 upvotes
Realfi
By Realfi (Jun 5, 2012)

Are you guys EVER going to review the Fuji X10 now that there is a revised sensor? New reviews all the time - never the X10..

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jun 5, 2012)

Yes we are.

2 upvotes
Q N D Media
By Q N D Media (Jun 5, 2012)

I love canon stuff I have 2 elph 300hs and love them

1 upvote
tessl8d
By tessl8d (Jun 5, 2012)

Thanks for recommendation, worth a look. Cheers.

0 upvotes
skyrunr
By skyrunr (Jun 5, 2012)

I agree QND! I've tried everything under the sun (including the S95, P7100, P300, LX5, etc.) and the 300hs is the best point and shoot going. I take SD cards to stores and then compare the images at home. My DSLR and other gear is Nikon, but I much prefer Canon's point and shoots.

I just returned a 110hs which is two years and versions newer. They made the buttons even smaller, it didn't always turn on with one press, and the shutter button has three pressure points where the first one doesn't seem to do anything but frustrate the user.

And every single point and shoot I have laid hands on can't focus within 4 feet at full optical (always disable digital) zoom/telephoto.

0 upvotes
skyrunr
By skyrunr (Jun 5, 2012)

continued... ALL manufacturers have to do is STOP processing JPG's so aggressively in camera! Just give people who know what they are doing the option to disable compression, aliasing, and noise reduction completely. The flash should always be a manual physical pop-up along with a dedicated delete image button (even it if took three presses). Canon currently has a maze you have to navigate and the function button doesn't always work (delayed) in image preview.

1 upvote
FTW
By FTW (Jun 5, 2012)

The camera industry is fooling us with this everlasting change of models. If they where showing improvement in picture quality, there was a reason to be. But, most have higher pixel count, something that is just the opposite of what we look for. I bought a Sony H90 for my daughter and compared the shot to my old Fuji F30 and was disappointed about the bad picture quality of he Sony. The same back-lit sensor on the other side produces huge shots in the HXV models, but then the price tag is in a range where one could await to have raw included. So, this P&S market sucks the way it is at the moment. And same is for high end cameras. more pixels all the time, pictures in sizes no normal common mortal needs and no further development of the mid pixel count sensors or just few, and those are sold in an over driven price-range, as we see on D4, D3X and some similar models in other brands. Don't play the game of the Pro body, Olympus has a small one for just 1000$, so others can do this too.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
FTW
By FTW (Jun 5, 2012)

Camera market sucks ....

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 5, 2012)

Maybe you're just not looking at the right P&S. Most of the better ones - the S100, X10, XZ-1, LX5, GRD IV, et al - are 10-12 mp, and have excellent IQ. In a certain sense, there is almost no reason to favor a P&S with the advent of good cameras like the m43 and Nikon 1, but for ultimate portability a P&S has it's place.

As far as professional market, because you don't need high resolutions images doesn't mean others have the same needs.

And as good as the OM-D is, there no comparison between a high end Olympus and a D4 or D800 other than they both make images. They are for completely different markets and the price reflects that.

1 upvote
tessl8d
By tessl8d (Jun 5, 2012)

That F30 is a classic little camera, it's probably not viable for companies to make camera's which don't break down and take fab pics. My F30 is being lent out and going OS,I wish I bought three of them. I want another good small camera but will pass on this sx260 and Canon S100 (lens issues). I'm actually finding it difficult to buy a high quality small camera.

0 upvotes
Poweruser
By Poweruser (Jun 4, 2012)

What a boring, low quality camera. And this is what the "average guy" is buying?

Unnatural color, poor details, blown highlights. It seems the low end of the market hasnt improved for the last five years except in nonsense features (smile detect, idiotic "art" filters, funky body colors...)

9 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Jun 4, 2012)

It's not a low-quality camera. I have one, along with several other compacts and several dSLRs, and this little camera works pretty well. The lens is surprisingly sharp for such a large range, it doesn't produce a lot of CA, exposure, flash exposure and white balance are quite accurate, the JPEG processing is very good especially if you put in your own parameters, and the camera is exceptionally flexible for such a tiny device. It also does amazingly well at high ISO. I have no problem whatsoever with ISO 800, and even 1600 and 3200 are reasonably useable. I have no trouble recommending this to someone interested in this class of camera (compact hyperzoom).

0 upvotes
danWax
By danWax (Jun 4, 2012)

Perfect camera for my wife.. easy to use.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 5, 2012)

I agree with ljfinger. 100% crops have a way of making only the cream of the crop look subpar, when in reality the SX260, like most Canon P&S produces some of the better looking images for a 1/2.3" sensor camera. Good metering, nice colors, sharp results is all the average user is after. Cameras like these are for recording event, not creating masterpieces. And they do most things very well.

0 upvotes
MichelBB
By MichelBB (Jun 4, 2012)

No raw ? No, thanks.
OK, I know that most people do not need it but why a small camera can not have raw?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 4, 2012)

You need to buy an S100 class camera for RAW. Canon figures most users buying an SX260 would have no use for RAW. You and I and the majority of DPR users might want it, but I guess that's not enough. Fortunately there are plenty of great P&S with RAW.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Jun 5, 2012)

I wonder if it costs anything to add raw but I guess they want to build in as much correction for lens defects as possible. You can "fix" most lens problems with jpg and the user doesn't even need to know.

0 upvotes
keysmith
By keysmith (Jun 4, 2012)

It appears the older and cheaper sx230 is better at 1:1..

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Jun 4, 2012)

It would be cool if we had ZS15(TZ25) studio shots, this camera is the main rival of SX240/260 in therms of IQ in the class IMHO

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jun 4, 2012)

We'll be adding samples from the ZS15 very soon.

4 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Jun 4, 2012)

Thank you Barney !!!

0 upvotes
Mousehound
By Mousehound (Jun 5, 2012)

I don't have a point and shoot - too much heavy and long lenses. But I am amazed at what you get for the money - I paid that much for a bag the other day.

1 upvote
Total comments: 99