The PowerShot SX260's movie mode is essentially the same as the one on the SX230 that came before it. You can record Full HD video (1920 x 1080) at 24 frames/second with stereo sound, until the file size reaches 4GB (which takes about 14.5 minutes). While the 24p frame rate is popular with film makers, the average person may find it to be a bit choppy. The SX260 can also record at 1280 x 720 and 640 x 480 -- all at 30 frames/second. You can also use the Apple-developed iFrame codec, which is supposed to be easier to edit -- not that working with H.264 is that hard.
As you'd expect from this hybrid camera, you can use the optical zoom (complete with continuous AF) and image stabilizer while you're recording a movie. There aren't any manual controls, though, unless you count the wind filter.
Movies can also be recorded using the miniature effect (at 720p) and at high frame rates. These "super slow motion movies" are recorded at 120 or 240 fps, at resolutions of 640 x 480 and 320 x 240, respectively. When played back at normal speed, the videos taken at the high frame rates appear to move in slow motion, as their name implies. Many of the other Creative Filters can be used in movie mode, if regular color just isn't good enough for you. There's no way to take a still photo while you're recording a movie.
Sample Video 1
|Download original movie (1920 x 1080, 30 fps, 33.4 MB, QuickTime/H.264 format)|
Footage from the SX260 HS isn't anything wildly special, but it's smooth and detailed and the camera's in-built microphone does a decent job of capturing the sound of the action without too much background 'noise pollution'.
Sample Video 2
|Download original movie (1920 x 1080, 30 fps, 44.2 MB, QuickTime/H.264 format)|
The abilities of the in-built microphone are on show in this clip, keeping a nice separation between the sound of the water in the fountain and the background noises. This clip was shot in the middle of the SX260 HS's zoom range and you can see too the effect of the camera's optical image stabilization system which has kept the footage nice and stable and free from camerashake.