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Menus & Playback

Function Menu

The SX50 HS features Canon's long established 'FUNC' menu for fast access to key shooting parameters, without the need to delve into its main menu system.

Moving onto menus now, I want to start with the SX50's function (shortcut) menu, which is activated by pressing the center button on the four-way controller. Here are the most interesting options you'll find there:

  • DR correction: reduces highlight clipping; choose from off (default), auto, 200%, or 400%; ISO will be boosted as high as 320 in order to make this feature work
  • Shadow correction: brightens the darker areas of a photo, with off or auto being the options here
  • White balance: choose from auto, the usual presets, or two custom slots; as mentioned earlier, you can fine-tune, but not bracket for white balance
  • My Colors: enhance colors or skin tones, take B&W or sepia photos, or manually adjust contrast/sharpness/saturation/RGB/skin tones
  • Bracketing: you can bracket for exposure and focus on the SX50
  • Still image aspect ratio: select from 4:3, 16:9, 3:2, 1:1, or 4:5
  • Image resolution/compression: choose from JPEG, RAW, or RAW+JPEG, with two JPEG qualities (Fine and Super Fine) to choose from; a RAW image is about 18 MB in size, while a Large/Super Fine JPEG is around 5.8 MB.

Main Menu

This is the shooting menu, with help info at bottom And here is the customizable 'My Menu' (with room for one more option to be added).

The rest of the shooting-related options that I want to talk about can be found in the PowerShot SX50's main menu (shown above). The menus are attractive, easy-to-navigate, and feature "hints & tips" that describe each option. You can also create your own menu, using the My Menu feature. You can put up to five items into your My Menu, and even have the camera go to it automatically when you hit the Menu button.

Some of the notable menu items here include:

  • AF Frame: choose from Face Detect (finds up to nine faces, and falls back to center-point if none are found), Tracking AF, FlexiZone (select any point in the frame), or center-point; if you're using either of the last two options, you can select the size of the focus point (normal or small)
  • Digital zoom: Canon quietly introduced a new feature called ZoomPlus, which lets you apply up to 2X worth of digital zoom with a minimal drop in image quality; that means that you can have 100X worth of zoom power, though you'll a
  • lmost certainly need to use a tripod; if you lower the resolution, the amount of lossless digital zoom you can use goes up even higher
  • Servo AF: the camera keeps focusing with the shutter release halfway-pressed, which is helpful for moving subjects
  • Continuous AF: the camera is always focusing, even when you're not pressing the shutter release button; this will lower battery life, though
  • Flash control: you can manually control the flash strength, turn on redeye reduction (see below), and choose the slow sync mode
  • ISO Auto settings: choose the maximum sensitivity the camera will use in Auto mode, and also choose how quickly the camera will increase the ISO (basically, how slow of a shutter speed it'll use)
  • Movie audio: choose between auto or manual mic level control, then adjust it manually; the wind filter can be found here, too
  • Blink detection: the camera will warn you if someone in the frame had their eyes closed
  • IS settings: choose from continuous or "shoot only" stabilization, or turn it off entirely; there's also a dynamic IS mode which can be used to reduce severe camera shake while walking
  • Framing Assist - Seek display area: choose how far back the zoom goes when you press this button
  • Face ID settings: the SX50 not only recognizes faces -- it also lets you register your favorite people, who will then get priority when they appear in a scene; you can enter their name and birthday, and this information is saved into the metadata of the photos they appear in
  • Set Shortcut button: choose one of fifteen functions to assign to the shortcut button on the back of the SX50


By default, the PowerShot SX50 HS shows you just basic information about a photo. Press the Display button, though, and you'll get a lot more, including your choice of histograms. You can also enlarge the area on which the camera focused, to verify that everything is sharp (you can do this in post-shot review, as well).

Since the SX50 has "transitions" turned on by default, there's a slight delay as you move between photos. Simple solution: turn them off. If you want to really move through your photos quickly, just spin the dial on the back of the camera. Using the dial also allows you to just to photos taken on a certain date.

Playback menu

The SX50 HS's playback mode menu is pretty versatile, and as well as the expected image erase protection features you'll find options for displaying captured images as a slideshow, and basic editing tools like Redeye correction and i-Contrast, for balancing tones in your images.

The PowerShot SX50 HS has a pretty nice playback mode. Some of the notable features here include:

  • Movie Digest playback: Allows you to playback a video of the day's events, created from short clips of video recorded at the point of image capture.
  • Smart Shuffle: a slightly bizarre feature which shows four photos similar to the one you're viewing; well, that's the idea, at least
  • My Category: assign a category to a photo, which is then transferred over to the ImageBrowser EX software; if a photo was taken via a scene mode, the camera may have done this automatically
  • Photobooks: you can put photos into a "book" containing up to 998 photos; the book structure is transfered to ImageBrowser EX
  • i-Contrast: brightens dark areas of your photo
  • Redeye correction: digitally remove this annoyance from a photo
  • My Colors: apply color effects (vivid, monochrome, sepia, etc) to a photo you've taken
  • Rotate/Resize/Crop: gotta have these!
  • Jump: press "up" on the four-way controller to move through photos by date, category, file type, whether they're tagged as a favorite, or be registered face

In terms of movie editing, you can trim unwanted footage from the beginning or end of a clip, which is definitely handy.

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Total comments: 20

I want to know how the image quality compares between the SX40 and the SX50 .. Thank you.

I photograph wildlife and birds .. I am not so much concerned about the ability to track and capture as the ability to capture with the best image quality .. I do not need the extra zoom of the SX50 as I live in the woods and cannot see very far because of the trees.
I want to know if the SX40 is better at capturing birds say taking off and landing due to having a significantly faster shutter speed by 40%.
I want to know if one them is better at capturing say two birds together like one behind the other because it has more depth of field in say sport or bust mode.
I am confused the by stats that say the aperture is wider on the SX40 as some reviewers have said that they both the same at 35X zoom.

1 upvote
Leandros S

The SX40 has an f/2.7 to f/5.8 lens rather than the f/3.4 to f/6.5 of the SX50, so at least at the wide angle end, the SX40 has the potential to use more light. If you wanted to shoot at a particular ISO and shutter speed, then the SX40 could still do so in slightly darker conditions. However, this may to some extent be compensated by better stabilisation and/or autofocus allowing for longer exposures with the SX50. If your subject is moving, however, a shorter shutter speed may be required, so then the SX40 may be the better choice.

Image quality wise, there isn't much between the two if you compare them at the same ISO.

1 upvote

Canon and Nikon aren't the only ones in the game. I have a Panasonic Lumix FZ 47, discontinued, 12.1mp 24x optical, 25mm - 700mm and a Panasonic Lumix FZ 70, 16.1mp, 60x optical, 20mm - 1200mm, and if you go into digital mode you can double that to 120x or 2400mm without a lot of degradation which I have been very successful with on a tripod and doing moonshots. Then you can go even further than that up to 300x but anything above the 120x is junk.


Primary use is along the waterfront and in awkward locations where I need a movable viewing panel.

Used an SX10 with great results.... but has been dropped enough to look for a back-up (and hoped for an up-grade with similar features).

The SX50 HS does not seem to be an upgrade... only a compromise (SX10 was more versatile and less cumbersome to use.


All of a sudden (in the last few months), the resolution on pictures taken by my Canon PowerShot SX50HS has become very bad. I think I must have accidentally changed things. Can someone help?


Thanks for the most thorough review I’ve seen so far. I’m looking to upgrade from my SX10 and have to say I’m torn between this and the FZ200 - wanting a thorough review of that one, which seems quite a revolution in a different direction. I suspect Canon has much the superior in camera jpeg. I would have liked a comment about the famously slippery and dodgy “control wheel” of the SXx predecessors and whether it’s been worked on.

1 upvote

I had Canon SX40 and I was happy in general for 2 years. Some how I felt maybe better to update. I sold it. And I got Canon SX50. MP is 12 and sensor is 3.4, and I don't need that much zoom and I felt low light is not good other than if you are using hand handle night mode which needs waiting time in every click :/ I'm taking my kids swimming and water polo games the most.
I'm planning to give back the cam in couple of days and get the SX40 and I need advise.
Thank you all.


Powershot SX60 HS: 3.7-242.0mm f/3.4-6.5 (21-1365 FF)
Canon 79.3∠1.09 ∅ 3.4 ev (Wide: 3.7/3.4=1.09)
Canon 1.5∠37.23 ∅ 6.5 ev (Tele: 242/6.5=37.23)

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting

Powershot SX50 HS: 4.3-215.0mm f/3.4-6.5*
Canon 71.6∠1.26 ∅ 3.4 ev (Wide)
Canon 1.7∠33.08 ∅ 6.5 ev (Tele)

*∠ for 4:3 (not 3:2 in previous comment below)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote

SX50 4.3mm-215.0mm Zoom Lens
Max.Ap.Diam: 1.3mm (4.3/3.4) Wide
Max.Ap.Diam: 33.1mm (215.0/6.5) Tele
Horiz.AoV: 71.31° Wide
Horiz.AoV: 1.64° Tele*

Visual Diameters of celestial objects viewed from Earth:
Sun: 31.6′ – 32.7′ (Div by 60'/degrees)= 0.5267° to 0.5450°
Moon: 29.3′ – 34.1′ (Div by 60'/degrees)= 0.4883° to 0.5683°

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote

DPReview, please report the sensor size in mm. The designation 1/2.3" is inscrutable to most people. The sensor size of the SX50 is 6.17 x 4.55mm, I believe, which is very small.


You are right. The sensor is as big as Sony Xperia Z2 phone camera sensor. This is, IMO, just not good enough.


Yeah, obviously no one could do anything decent with it


The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a camera recall.
Camera recalled due to a chemical used in the rubber part of the viewfinder can cause skin or eye irritation or an allergic reaction to the user.

Read more:


If you have a hard time making up your mind, search for santu.brahma on facebook and look at his galleries...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting

Lumix-dmc-G6 has external mic in the same class.
Sensor Size -
Canon - 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Lumix - Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Explain This Difference before I explode...
Why are specs mixed format? To keep us confused?

I try to give best advice to new students - now I'm handicapped with non standard specs between models.


I just saw a friend's shot of the full moon at maximum telescope- unbelievable, hand held, too. The definition of the craters were something but seeing the jagged edge of mountains really stunned me. His telephoto shots of pelicans on Richardson Bay are really impressive. I would like to see a larger sensor to match its RAW capability, but the price is certainly right.


I have one amazing

ali k

It's amazing camera.but f/3.4 seems not very well.

1 upvote

Must have in the future; information about the Minimum LUX, in video mode. So we can determine how good is the camera shooting in night light!
I realize manufacturers are dogging this issue deliberately so that less educated consumers will fall into very mediocre product. And to be fair. it is not only Canon, but all manufacturers. So Lets Ask For This Important Information!

Total comments: 20