If you are looking for something more advanced than most point and shoots, but smaller (and lighter) than a DSLR, you might want to consider the Canon PowerShot SX50 advanced compact. Also known as a bridge camera, because it â€œbridgesâ€ the gap between a point and shoot and DSLR, it is the best of both worlds. And talk about versatility; what other camera at this price has a 50X optical zoom from a 35mm equivalent wide angle view of 24mm to an impressive telephoto of 1,200mm. Key Specs For The Canon PowerShot SX50 RRP: $499.99 Year of release: 2012 Display size (inches): 3 Image resolution (MP): 12.1 Zoom: Optical: 50x; Digital: 4x Video Capture? 1080p HD Canon PowerShot SX50 HS: The Pros Price: At a price of just under $400, this is a great buy. By comparison, prices usually range from between $429 to $450 for this camera. Basically you get the many of the DSLR features, but at the cost of a high-end point and shoot camera. Image Quality: In a word - impressive. With a maximum resolution of 4,000 x 3000 pixels at 12.1MP, images have incredible detail in both highlighted and shadow areas, are color true, crisp and sharp. Other resolutions available range from 2,816 x 2,112 pixels at 5.9MP to 384 x 480 pixels at 0.18MP. Plus you have your choice of image file formats; shoot in JPEG, RAW, or JPEG+RAW. When set to both, press the shutter once and two images are recorded - one in JPEG and one in unprocessed RAW. How sweet is that! And that is not all. The SX50 comes with a choice of 5 aspect ratios: â€¢ 16:9 â€¢ 3:2 â€¢ 4:3 â€¢ 1:1 â€¢ 4:5 The aspect ratio is the relationship of an imageâ€™s width to its height. For example, an image having a 3:2 ratio, may be 3 inches wide and 2 inches high, or 3 centimeters wide and 2 centimeters high. Whatever the unit of measurement used, the width will be 3 units wide and 2 units high. An real-life example using the 3:2 aspect ratio would be a full-framed12x8 inch print. Divide each number by 4 and the width is 3 and the height 2. Zoom Framing Assist: Tracking subjects at extreme telephoto focal lengths can be challenging, however, Canon solved this problem with Zoom Framing Assist. To use this feature just press the Zoom Framing Assist Seek button while zoomed in. It remembers your zoomed-in focal length setting, zooms out to let you locate your subject and once locked on in the viewfinder frame, zooms back in and keeps tracking your subject in the center of your viewfinder until you press the shutter button. HS System: The HS function employs a 12.1MP High Sensitivity CMOS sensor coupled with Canonâ€™s famous DIGIC 5 processor that delivers spectacular low-light image quality up to ISO 6,400. Vari-Angle LCD Rear Screen: The variable angle feature of this bright 461,000 dot LCD screen is an option you will find yourself using more and more. No longer are you tied to just one view - the direction your camera is pointing. With Vari-Angle, you can adjust the LCD at different angles - one that gives you a better view - while your camera is pointed toward your subject. A great feature if you are trying to shoot over the heads of people or in the bright sunlight. Electronic Viewfinder: Donâ€™t like to frame your images using an LCD rear screen? No problem! The SX 50 also has an electronic viewfinder which makes for the â€œtraditional photographic experienceâ€ of framing by looking through a viewfinder. While specific to advanced compact cameras right now, electronic viewfinders use an electronic feed that comes directly from the cameraâ€™s sensor. By using this technology, camera manufacturers found that not only did it eliminate parts, such as the mirror and pentaprism found in DSLRs that took up space, it shortened the shutter lag time, along with reducing the overall size and weight of the camera. Long Battery Life: Letâ€™s face it, digital cameras are power hogs. While others are getting 170 to 180 shots per battery charge, you can enjoy about 335 images without flash or around 315 with flash per charge thanks to Canonâ€™s proprietary NB-10L Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack - enough for a normal full day of shooting. Canon PowerShot SX50 HS: The Cons Poor Low-Light Image Quality: There isnâ€™t much not to like about this camera, however, one common complaint seems to be poor image quality with images taken under low-light conditions. Yet other users report great low-light images, so it could be just how the user is setting up the camera that makes the difference. Or maybe inexperience verses experience? Of course with both an onboard flash and a hot-shoe to hook up an external Speedlite flash, most of the time, it should not be necessary to shoot in low-light, unless where you are shooting does not allow flash or shooting from a tripod. Is The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Worth Buying? Yes, the Canon PowerShot SX50 is worth buying, for a few reasons. If you need extreme telephoto, there are not many bridge cameras that offer 1,200mm zoom like this one does. It's also great for recording full HD 1080p videos, and perfect if you want a camera with many of the same features as a DSLR, but you donâ€™t want the weight or bulk of a larger camera. Canonâ€™s SX50 HS is a great all-around camera, however, it is expressly suited for travel, landscape/scenic and wildlife photography.
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