Canon PowerShot SX510 HS Review

The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS is very identical to its predecessor, the SX500 IS, in both appearance and operation. It even has the same 30x zoom lens. However, as the suffix suggests, Canon upgraded the sensor from a low-end CCD-type sensor to one of their high-sensitivity 12-megapixel BSI CMOS sensors. This was done in order to improve the image quality.

Key Specs

  • Feel the Full Potential of the Canon HS System’s Imaging Capabilities
  • Memorable Moments in Spectacular Full HD
  • A more sophisticated camera will provide superior still images and moving images.
  • A quicker focus helps you catch every shot you take.
  • Making Super-Telephoto Photography Simple to Do
  • A Lovely Image Is Always One That Is Steadfast.
  • Create Your Images Using a High-Resolution Mode.

The sensor not only improves the camera’s performance in low-light conditions but also enables it to capture video in 1080p at 24 frames per second and high-speed footage that can be used to create slow-motion recordings. Additionally, it appears to have improved shooting performance by reducing the amount of time that passes in between shots.

Quality of the Image

The SuperFine JPEG option at 12 megapixels was used to capture each of the sample photographs included in this study. This setting results in an image that is around 5 megabytes in size on average.

Noise

The reduction in resolution from 16 to 12 megapixels is an intriguing choice that Canon has made with their new camera. As we progress through the phases, there will be fewer pixels, which should result in images with less noise.

Even with the most basic settings, the SX500 HS that this camera is meant to replace had a level of visual noise that was unacceptable. It would appear that Canon has been working very hard to find a solution to that issue since the images taken at low ISO show no discernible noise at all.

In point of fact, it is not until we have increased the ISO to 800 that we begin to notice a trace of salt and pepper noise appearing in the darkest portions of the test photographs. At an ISO of 1600, color noise first becomes noticeable, and it does not appear gradually; rather, it suddenly appears and begins to assault the image.

Strong pockets of color noise influence the darkest sections of the photo, while black and white flecks speckle the image. The last manual setting for the camera was ISO 3200, which resulted in noise being present everywhere in the image, albeit it was less evident in the highlights.

Sharpening

We discovered that the photographs produced by the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS are already pretty crisp; nevertheless, they may benefit from a little bit of post-processing refinement.

Focusing Distance

Its predecessor, the Canon PowerShot SX500 HS, also has a 30x optical zoom, and so does its successor, the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS. It begins at a 35mm equivalent of 24mm when shooting at wide-angle and extends all the way to 720mm when shooting at maximum zoom.

In a normal, daily image, there shouldn’t be any anomalies, such as barrel distortion, that may be seen. It is possible to have barrel distortion in an image if you construct it with the horizon at the top or bottom of the frame, or if you have vertical or horizontal lines that are closer to the frame’s boundaries.

Chromatic Errors and Deviations

Even though the lens setup is identical to that of the SX500 HS, we found that chromatic aberration was plainly visible in a great number of the photos we took. It is not only confined to the margins of the picture, but it also creeps uncomfortably near to the image’s center. This is quite concerning.

File Quality

There are two different levels of compression that may be applied to the resolution. Images captured with Superfine will be around 5 megabytes in size. You are able to bring it down to Fine, at which point the picture size will be around 3.5 megabytes. Even with the setting set to Fine, we were still able to record a significant amount of detail, and doing so will help clear up space on the card.

Macro

The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS’s closest focusing distance when shooting at wide-angle is equivalent to point-blank range. The edge of the memory card can be seen pressing up against the lens in the test image that we took. When you do that, it does mean that there is very little light coming in, and it also causes the definition of the edges to diminish, leaving just about half of the image in focus.

Flash

The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS comes equipped with a new Smart flash technology that works in conjunction with the surrounding light. Regulating the amount of light that is accessible, it most surely is effective. When shooting at a wide-angle, there is a significant amount of vignetting, but it disappears when the zoom level is increased to its maximum.

Night

The Sony Cyber-shot SX510 HS lacks a Night mode due to the presence of manual shooting modes that allow for adjustable shutter speeds of up to 15 seconds. There is an option for shooting in low light, however, selecting it reduces the resolution to 3 megapixels and increases the ISO in order to prevent the camera from shaking. The images produced by this setting are filled with noise and have very little to no detail.

Performance in the shooting

During the tests that we ran in the laboratory, the time it took for the camera to go from off to its first capture was an average of 1.6 seconds, while the time it took to take each subsequent photo was an average of 0.7 seconds (about a second less than its predecessor). By using the flash, we were able to reduce that time to 2.1 seconds.

In good lighting, the shutter lag, which is the amount of time it takes from pushing the shutter release button to the moment when the image is captured without the need for prefocusing, was 0.3 seconds. In dim illumination, the shutter lag was somewhat larger at 0.5 seconds. When you zoom closer, you have to wait for around 0.8 of a second longer.

The camera does feature two different modes for continuous shooting: one with autofocus and one without. In both cases, the camera determines the exposure and focus settings for the first photo taken in the mode. The former can achieve a maximum of 1 frame per second, whilst the latter can achieve a maximum of 2.8 frames per second.

You can basically take pictures of children, animals, and sporting events if you are adept at predicting activity and if you can learn to live within these restrictions. In general, though, I would not suggest it for consistently catching fast-moving scenes, particularly when using the zoom lens or while shooting inside. This is especially true in the former case.

Structure and characteristics

The camera is quite small taking into consideration that it has a 30x, f3.4-5.8, 24-720mm lens. The absence of an electronic viewfinder is likely a contributing factor in this situation (EVF). This is a deal-breaker for some folks, however, the fact that it has a huge 3-inch LCD screen that becomes bright enough to view in daylight makes it a little bit easier to overlook.

Even though the body is on the smaller side, there is still enough space for big buttons that are simple to operate. In addition to the display, menu, and exposure compensation buttons that are located above and below the navigational scroll wheel, you also receive a button that records movies with only one click.

The wheel features pressure points at the top, bottom, left, and right sides for adjusting the timer, ISO sensitivity, focus (including manual, normal, and macro), and flash. It also surrounds a button labeled “Func./Set.” Because the wheel is sensitive and has tactile stops to it, it will be difficult for you to accidentally pick something other than what you intended to.

Even if you’re already familiar with Canon cameras, you should still read the whole handbook that comes on the software disc that comes included with the camera because its functioning is quite simple to understand.

The camera possesses outstanding optical image stabilization, and the ergonomics of the grip allow you to get a solid grasp on it, with plenty of room between it and the lens barrel. Additionally, the camera has a large amount of space between the viewfinder and the lens barrel. Even though it’s made of plastic, the camera has a really solid feel to it.

When compared to cheaper mega zooms, this one has very little lens rattling, and the lens’s weight prevents it from completely dislodging itself from the camera while you’re attempting to take a picture with it. In addition, Canon installed a framing help button on the lens barrel. Pressing this button retracts the lens, allowing you to locate your objects even if they have moved beyond the frame. When you let off of the button, the view will immediately return to where it was before.

The SX510 HS differs from other cameras in this class in that its power source is not AA-size batteries. You will receive a compact rechargeable lithium-ion battery in its place, which will save you both space and weight while providing a battery life that is at the very least satisfactory. Despite the fact that it is rated for 250 photos, take in mind that the battery life will decrease if you do things such as use the zoom lens frequently, increase the screen brightness, shoot continually, record videos, or any combination of these activities.

When we talk about things that drain your battery, we should mention that the flash on the camera does not automatically pop up; you have to manually activate it. If you’re used to a camera that handles everything for you, then you could miss some photos because of this. However, if you’re not used to a camera like that, then it probably won’t be a significant concern for most people. On the bright side, the camera will at least give you a heads-up when it’s time to boost the brightness of the flash.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is one of the most significant new features added to the SX510 HS, along with a whole new sensor. The Wi-Fi functionality of the camera is quite easy to use, and it enables you to upload photos directly from the camera to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and now Flickr.

However, in order to use Canon’s Image Gateway service, you will need to sign up for and register all of the social networking accounts that you intend to share content. You will be relieved to know that it is no longer necessary to install CIG on a computer in order to accomplish this task; instead, you can configure everything using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.

Setting up an intermediary account such as CIG is annoyingly common; therefore, if you have a problem with giving Canon information about your social networks, you can use the CameraWindow app for iOS or Android to send photos and movies directly to mobile devices for viewing, editing, and uploading. This app is available for both Apple and Google products.

Because you are not sharing content directly to sites, but rather to your mobile device, doing this action does not need you to establish an account on CIG. It also indicates that you are able to share while you are traveling, as opposed to simply being able to do so while the camera is linked to the Internet. You can also geotag your photographs by connecting the camera to your mobile device, which is a great feature to have considering that this camera does not have a GPS receiver built in.

Last but not least, the Wi-Fi may also be used to transfer photos straight to a photo printer or to back them up on a personal computer that is linked to the same network as the attached camera.

The fact that the SX500 IS can shoot in modes other than completely automatic is one of the advantages offered by this camera. Manual, shutter-priority and aperture-priority are three of the various shooting modes that may be selected via the mode selector on the camera.

At the wide end, you have access to apertures of f3.4, f4.0, f4.5, f5.0, f5.6, f6.3, f7.1, and f8.0; at the telephoto end, you have access to apertures of f5.8, f6.3, f7.1, and f8.0. The slowest shutter speed is 1/1,600 of a second, and it can run as fast as 15 seconds (sensitivity is limited to ISO 80 for shutter speeds longer than 1 second). If you find that to be too much control for your needs, you may change the mode to Program, which gives you control over everything other than the shutter speed and aperture.

There are also some standard scene modes such as Portrait, Landscape, and Fireworks; a Discreet mode that shuts off all noise and lights while shooting; and a Movie mode for capturing clips at resolutions up to 1080p at 25fps in MOV format. In addition, there is Canon’s dependable Smart Auto mode, which analyzes your subject and automatically selects an appropriate scene setting from among 32 defined settings.

Canon offers many of its high-quality Creative Filters, including the Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, and Poster Effect. These filters are designed for those who are addicted to the picture filters available on their favorite smartphone app.

Another option called Live View Control enables you to easily experiment with the camera’s exposure and color settings while simultaneously viewing the consequences of your adjustments onscreen before you take a picture (the same goes for the filters). Even while some people may consider them gimmicks that can be done with separate software, they may be fun to experiment with if you’re seeking to do something new, and they can really help you line up your shot effectively for the impact that you’re trying to achieve.

Specifications

Body typeCompact
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors13 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDigic 4
ISOAuto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsSuperfine, Fine
Focal length (equiv.)24–720 mm
Optical zoom30×
Maximum apertureF3.4–5.8
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterTrackingSingleFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range5 cm (1.97″)
Macro focus range0 cm (0″)
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots461,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT Color LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1600 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range5.00 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, on, slow synchro, off
Continuous drive3.8 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Videography notesMiniature Effect (HD, L) 6fps, 5fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini-HDMI)
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notesWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Remote controlNo
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NB-6LH rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)250
Weight (inc. batteries)349 g (0.77 lb / 12.31 oz)
Dimensions104 x 70 x 80 mm (4.09 x 2.76 x 3.15″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone

Conclusion

Readers of Photography Blog had a range of reactions when asked about their impressions of the SX500 IS. Some readers praised the camera’s extensive feature set, while others were unhappy with the image quality. The second issue is an important one, and it appears that Canon has been paying attention to what customers have been saying about their products. As a direct consequence of this, the resolution has been reduced, and significant effort is being put into improving the sensor, the noise reduction, and the processor. The lens is the one component of the SX510 HS that we feel isn’t quite up to par, despite the fact that the camera’s image quality has much improved.

It’s not a terrible concept to put a big lens on a compact camera, but the one that came with the SX510 HS appears to have been copied directly from the one that came before it, and that lens had a lot of problems with chromatic aberrations. Therefore, the same thing can be stated about the new camera, and it’s a great shame that despite the fact that it has such superb noise reduction, it has purple fringing along all of the contrasting lines.

Due to the limited dynamic range of the sensor, the camera has difficulty correctly exposing images when subjected to either direct light or complicated illumination. It frequently causes highlights to disappear. We understand that the days on which we tested the camera were extremely bright, with a low fall sun that wreaked havoc with intense shadows, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. On the other hand, we have observed superior outcomes from other cameras when used in analogous circumstances.

The operation of the camera is simple enough, and even if you have no prior expertise with manual control, there are a lot of features that will take care of everything for you while still providing you with the opportunity to improve your photography skills if you so choose. The user interface (UI) is often uncomplicated, making it possible for even someone who is new to photography to find their way around without a great deal of difficulty.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Compact
  • Sharp 30x zoom lens
  • Integrated support for Wi-Fi
  • A well-designed control arrangement
Need Improvement
  • Images with a significant amount of noise.
  • There is room for improvement in the burst rate.
  • 1080p video can only play at 24 frames per second.

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