Canon PowerShot SX260 HS Review
Performance & Image Quality
As with other recent Canon PowerShot cameras that I've looked at, performance is about average on the SX260 HS. The area in which it disappointed the most was focusing in poor light (especially at the telephoto end of the lens). Not because it was slow, but because the SX260 often refused to lock focus in those situations. If you think you'll be shooting tele shots in low light, you may want to consider another camera.
The table that follows summarizes the SX260's performance:
|Timing||Measured Performance||How it Compares|
|1.2 sec||Above Average|
|Autofocus (Wide-angle)||0.3 - 0.6 secs||Average|
|Autofocus (Telephoto)||~ 1.0 sec||Average|
|Autofocus (Low light)||~ 1.0 sec||Average|
|Shutter lag||Barely noticeable at slow shutter speeds||Average|
|Shot-to-shot (flash off)||~ 2 secs||Average|
|Shot-to-shot (with flash)||~ 3 secs||Average|
Another performance-related area to discuss is with regard to the SX260's burst modes. There are three modes to choose from: continuous, continuous AF, and high-speed burst HQ (mentioned earlier). The difference between the first two can be found in the name: one locks focus on the first shot, while the other refocuses every time. The high-speed mode is only for JPEGs, with the ISO locked at the Auto setting. The LCD is blacked out while shooting, as well, which makes tracking a moving subject a bit difficult (to say the least).
Here's the kind of performance you can expect from the SX260 in burst mode:
|Image quality||Continuous||Continuous AF||High-Speed Burst HQ|
|Large/Fine JPEG||Unlimited @ 2.2 fps||Unlimited @ 0.8 fps||10 shots @ 10.5 fps|
|Tested with a SanDisk Class 10 SDHC card|
All-in-all, a pretty good performance for the SX260. If they could keep the LCD active during the High-Speed Burst, then the SX260 would be quite a tool for sports photography. Alas, you'll need to shoot at 2.2 fps if you want to follow the action on the screen.
|Photos are taken under indirect lighting provided by two Smith-Victor Q80 lamps at a focal length of 40mm (equivalent) and an aperture of f/6.3.|
Since this scene is always taken under the same lighting, you can compare the results with other cameras that I've reviewed over the years (Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20, anyone?). Keep in mind that the crops below only show a small portion of the total image, so view the full size images, as well! Here we go:
|ISO 100||ISO 200||ISO 400||ISO 800||ISO 1600||ISO 3200|
While there's no really obvious noise at ISO 100 and 200, they do have a bit of a "fuzzy" appearance to them. While you start to see some actual grain-style noise at ISO 400, it's still very low. Details start to get fuzzy at ISO 800, but it's still good enough for small and perhaps midsize prints. When we get to ISO 1600 you can see that details are getting eaten away, so I'd pass on this setting unless you're really desperate. I'd avoid the ISO 3200 setting altogether.
Since the SX260 doesn't support a RAW format, I can't run a test to see if you can extract more detail from the photos. My guess is that you could, if RAW was supported.
A lot of people are probably wondering how the PowerShot SX260 compares to other GPS-equipped ultra zooms. With that in mind, I grabbed the ISO 800 photos from the Nikon Coolpix S9300 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20, and compared them to the SX260. Do note that I reduced the resolution of the other two cameras in order to match that of the SX260.
|Canon PowerShot SX260 HS|
|Nikon Coolpix S9300|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20|
Even with the advantage of being downsized, the Nikon's image quality just doesn't hold up against the SX260, and I've found the same to be true even at ISO 100. The Panasonic is a bit closer, but I think the SX260 retains a bit more detail here. If you view these images at full size, the difference becomes even more glaring -- despite its sort of fuzzy appearance, the SX260 still captures a bit more detail than these two competitors.
You'll notice that I've only included one ISO sensitivity setting for this example - ISO 100. The reason is that the SX260 has the same "fixed ISO" annoyance as the PowerShot S100 that I reviewed a few months ago. Simply put, if you take the shutter speed below 1 second, the ISO is fixed at 100. This makes a lot of sense for keeping noise levels down, but it seems unnecessary, especially in the manual exposure modes. It's due to this restriction that I can't show you how the camera performs at high ISOs in low light, so you'll have to survive on the indoor test scene shots higher up this page (and of course the image quality compared pages which follow)
The minimum focus distance in macro mode is 5 cm at wide-angle and 1 m at telephoto.
|Our usual macro test photo turned out nicely. The only real issues here is a slight "fuzzy" appearance and blacks that aren't as, well, "black" as I would like. Otherwise, color accuracy is solid, and plenty of detail was captured.|
|Straight out of the camera|
|After redeye removal in playback mode|
The PowerShot SX260 HS tries to eliminate redeye in two ways. First, it'll fire the AF-assist lamp a second or two before the photo is taken, with the goal of shrinking your subject's pupils. I've found that this rarely works. The second part of the removal system is a digital system (which needs to be turned on in the Flash Settings menu), which tries to get rid of whatever shows up in a photo. Even with both of those turned on, I still got pretty strong redeye. I went into playback mode and used the removal tool there, which took care of the problem. While your results may vary, odds are that redeye will be an issue on the PowerShot SX260 HS.
There's not a whole lot of barrel distortion on the SX260's lens at wide-angle. That's because Canon is digitally correcting for it (as most cameras do) when you take the photo. Corner blurring was very mild, and vignetting (dark corners) didn't seem to be an issue, either.
Overall Image Quality
Overall, the PowerShot SX260's image quality is good for a compact ultra zoom, but not fantastic. While exposures were accurate on most occasions, the camera seems to enjoy clipping highlights, though the i-Contrast feature may reduce that a bit. Colors look good -- no complaints there. Photos are a bit on the soft side, with a "fuzzy" appearance that I've mentioned several times in this section. Noise levels are reasonable at low ISOs, and clean enough at higher sensitivities that you can still get a 4 x 6 inch print at ISO 800 and maybe even 1600. Purple fringing was a problem at times, but not to the point where I'm going to knock points off of the SX260's score.
There are two photo galleries available for the SX260. There's the standard gallery, and I also have a Disneyland gallery, where I did whatever it took to get the shot -- so expect a lot of high sensitivity photos there. Browse through the galleries -- maybe printing a few of the photos if possible -- and then decide if the SX260's photo quality meets your needs!
Jun 4, 2012
Feb 7, 2012
Jun 3, 2015
May 27, 2015
|Fascia walkie talkie building London by ian herridge|
from Abstract Architecture
|Global Reach by cjf2|
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.
After 1.7 million downloads on Apple computers since the launch in November 2015, Aurora HDR will be available for Windows PCs for the first time with the 2018 release.
The company behind the new Meyer Optik Goerlitz lens manufacturing business has formed a new brand to bring back the Biotar 75mm F1.5 that was made by Carl Zeiss Jena in the 1940s and 50s.
The updated Qualcomm Spectra system is a dual-camera setup that is capable of sensing depth and motion in real time.