Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Review and Samples
Bridge cameras tend to play second fiddle to DSLRs and Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras (ILCs), but the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS offers the discerning photographer an enticing package.
Canon PowerShot SX60 HS: Z to the O-O-M
Facing competition from DSLRs and ILCs as they become more user-friendly, Bridge Cameras still offer one unassailable benefit to any photographer: serious range right-out-of-the-box. With interchangeable lens cameras, long telephoto lenses are expensive and heavy. Compact cameras sometimes feature big zoom ranges, but image quality may suffer from smaller sensors.
Enter the Bridge Camera, built with an expansive zoom range, DSLR-like functions, in sizes ranging from moderate to tiny.
The Canon PowerShot SX60 HS is all of this and more, featuring 65x optical zoom (equivalent to 21-1365mm focal range in 35mm or Full Frame), custom user modes, built-in WiFi, 6.5 frames per second continuous shooting, and a built-in electronic viewfinder. So with all these bells and whistles, does it perform well?
The camera handles like you expect it to: a tad bulky, but with plenty of controls at your fingertips. Feeling like an easy-to-use point and shoot, but with plenty of advanced manual controls, the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS is more than enough camera for all but the most serious of amateurs. And thanks to Canon’s easily-accessible and ultra-intuitive menus, changing functions inside the camera are a cinch as well. Zooming in and out can seem a little slow, and there is no sensor around the viewfinder to automatically turn it on when you look through it, but despite these two drawbacks, the camera operates quite well.
Compared to other bridge cameras with a long zoom range, this camera is in most respects top-of-the-line. Olympus and Panasonic (and most other brands, it seems), give you an eye sensor on the viewfinder so that it automatically turns on when you press your face up against it. The PowerShot SX60 HS it just doesn’t offer you that, and instead you find yourself hitting the “Display” button and cycling through different variations of displays on the LCD or electronic viewfinder. This probably won’t be a big deal for many shooters who prefer the LCD anyway, but for those of us who like the viewfinder, it can be a nagging pain.
Here the Canon PoweShot SX60 HS squarely beats out the competition, with some fantastic image sharpness, as well as excellent color rendering. Even the Auto White Balance is decent.
Zooming in, there’s some minimal loss of quality, but in general, you’ll see stellar results until you start using the digital modifiers at the end of the zoom range. In close areas, you may even find all that zoom a little too intense, but the quality is still there should you need it.
Automatic Mode in the camera tended to result in some clipped highlights for me, even without exposure compensation. This is the only issue, but even then, the clipping wasn’t too extreme. For those who like the best image quality possible, the Manual Mode will come in very handy in some situations.
Who It’s For
This camera is a prime candidate for anyone who is looking for the best zoom range out-of-the-box, or for someone who wants a relatively inexpensive camera that they can grow with. Portraits and landscapes will be easy pickings for this camera, and any beginner looking to get a leg up in these areas will be happy with the results out of the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS.
Who It’s Not For
People who want to photograph at night without a tripod, and those looking for a good sports-shooting experience should skip this camera. Why? Canon does a lot of things right with its bridge cameras, but the SX60 HS is lacking in ISO compared to the competition. If you want a bridge camera for night shooting, check out some offerings from Olympus or Fuji. Zooming in and out with the lens (and trying to follow action) can seem a bit difficult – for such situations, a manual zoom would be much handier (and that’s where one might consider a Mirrorless or DSLR camera).
The Canon PowerShot SX60 HS offers excellent image quality and convenient handling in an affordable package, and may offer certain photographers a welcome alternative to pricier point and shoots or heavier, more cumbersome DSLRs. However, little faults here and there may limit the appeal of this camera to old-school shooters, or people looking for the most capable of setups.
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