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Canon SX50 Comparison Review

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in September 2012 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 12 megapixel.

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The Canon SX50 has a Camera Elo of 1428. This rating puts the SX50 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the SX50 also falls below average. – Well, the Canon SX50 is more than 6 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2012.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX50
Fixed lens compact camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/24p Video
ISO 80-6400
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
3.0" LCD, 461k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.2 shutter flaps per second
315 shots per battery charge
123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Canon SX50 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon SX50 vs credit card front
SX50 versus credit card top view
SX50 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon SX50 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
 
Canon S120« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.1 in 7.7 oz 230 n Aug 2013 449- i Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15« » 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
 
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
 
Leica V-LUX 4« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949- i Leica V-LUX 4
 
Leica V-LUX 3« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3
 
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon SX50 was launched in the US market at a price of $429. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Canon SX50:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Canon SX50 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon SX50 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Canon SX50 sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
 
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
 
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
 
Canon S120« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546Canon G15
 
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
 
Leica V-LUX 4« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 4
 
Leica V-LUX 3« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 3
 
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX50 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the SX50 can use is 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX50 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
 
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
 
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
 
Canon S120« »- n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y Canon G15
 
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T3
 
Leica V-LUX 4« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 4
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 3
 
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150

One convenient feature of the SX50 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
 
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
 
Canon S120« »-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G15
 
Canon T3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
 
Leica V-LUX 4« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 4
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 3
 
Panasonic LX7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
 

The SX50 has a zoom lens built in (4.3-215.0mm f/3.4-6.5), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 1200mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX50. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50++72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon SX60« »++75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Canon G16« »+-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
 
Canon S120« »++-4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2013 449- i Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X« »+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15« »+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
 
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
 
Leica V-LUX 4« »----- Sep 2012 949- i Leica V-LUX 4
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »----- Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3
 
Panasonic LX7« »++75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« »++76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX50 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the SX50.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the SX50 based on?

The camera is build around a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the SX50 with the DIGIC 5 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the SX50?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the SX50 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

Does the Canon SX50 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Which battery does the SX50 use?

The camera gets its power from the NB-10L (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Canon SX50
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date September 2012
    Launch Price USD 429
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video
    ISO Setting 80-6400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 179
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification ..x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NB-10L power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)315 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    Camera Weight 595 g (21.0 oz)

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