Canon PowerShot S50 Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Good resolution (up there with the best of the five megapixel)
- Good metering, nice tonal balance (more shadow detail)
- Good color, slightly too strong in some situations (can be adjusted)
- Control over cameras internal processing algorithms (saturation, tone, sharpness)
- Low noise at ISO 50, not as clean at ISO 100, more sensitive than rated value
- Excellent build quality, solid 'brick like' feel to the camera, nice metallic finish
- More portable and more robust design than the G5
- Shooting priority play mode (a half-press of the shutter release always returns to shooting)
- Excellent range of manual controls (for a compact camera)
- Good shot-to-shot times, fairly good startup time (for an extending lens camera)
- Manual focus has magnified loupe and ruler readout
- Flexible continuous shooting modes (buffer after processing)
- RAW file format maintains 12-bits of data
- Ability to turn JPEG shot into RAW during record review
- Compact Flash Type II and official Microdrive support
- Voice annotation feature
- Orientation sensor, although JPEG's are only tagged not rotated
- Invervalometer (time lapse)
- AF assist lamp works well
- Remote Capture software with live video feed included
- Good accessory support
Conclusion - Cons
- Chromatic aberrations visible at wide angle or maximum apertures
- Vignetting at wide angle and maximum aperture
- Moderate barrel distortion at wide angle
- Rotated CCD (in the camera I had for review)
- Nine-point AiAF not available in P, TV, AV, M or C exposure modes
- Flash can be under-powered if 'tricked' by a white background
- Average macro performance
- Poorly designed multi-controller (pressing SET can be hit and miss)
- Location of battery/CF compartment can be a pain if you use a tripod often
- Lens slow at telephoto (F4.9)
- AF Assist lamp doesn't have enough power at telephoto zoom
- Limited apertures at telephoto
- Manual mode limits in relation to combinations of aperture and shutter speed
Here's my rating of the Canon PowerShot S50: (5 megapixel compact)
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Lens / CCD combination||8|
|Ease of use||9|
|Value for money||8|
Lets be honest I think we all expect more from Canon than to simply bolt a larger sensor into an existing design, but that's exactly what they did with the G5 and the S50. And what's the reasoning behind this? Market pressure. Both the G3 and S45 are excellent cameras which get the absolute maximum out of their four megapixel sensors, produce very nice images without too many undesirable artifacts. Indeed in my opinion nobody actually needs a five megapixel compact camera, it's just a case of 'bigger must be better' (I'm sure we can thank some retailers for this).
While it's true that the S50 carries all of the excellent features, control and image processing from the S45 it can't be said that the lens is as good a match for the sensor as it was with the four megapixel unit. This is clearly visible in the strong chromatic aberrations which can occur (this is the same thing we experienced with the G5). This is the reason I can't give this camera 'Highly Recommended'.
Enough complaining, the S50 is a very capable digital camera with good resolution a huge feature set well beyond its 'compact' label, it also feels responsive and works well as a photographic tool. There's little doubt that if you really feel-the-need for a five megapixel compact then the S50 should be on your short list. Unfortunately I feel that Canon has lost a little of its focus with the production of the S50 and G5. A company with such a dominant market position should be braver.
So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.