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.