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Canon PowerShot SX510 HS Review

The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS is identical to its predecessor, the SX500 IS, in 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 to improve the image quality.

The sensor improves the camera’s performance in low-light conditions and 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 time that passes between shots.

Canon PowerShot SX510 HS Image Quality

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

Canon PowerShot SX510 HS 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 unacceptable visual noise. It appears 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.

It is not until we have increased the ISO to 800 that we 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 does not appear gradually; instead, it suddenly appears and begins to assault the image.

Substantial pockets of color noise influence the darkest sections of the photo, while black and white specks dot the image. The last manual setting for the camera was ISO 3200, which resulted in noise everywhere in the picture, albeit less evident in the highlights.

Canon PowerShot SX510 HS 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.

Canon PowerShot SX510 HS 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 to 720mm at maximum zoom.

In a regular, 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 idea 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.

Canon PowerShot SX510 HS Performance

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 bring each subsequent photo was an average of 0.7 seconds (about a second less than its predecessor). By using the flash, we could 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 more significant at 0.5 seconds. When you zoom closer, you have to wait for around 0.8 of a second longer.

The camera features two continuous shooting modes: autofocus and 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, while the latter can reach a maximum of 2.8 frames per second.

You can take pictures of children, animals, and sporting events if you are adept at predicting activity and 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.

Canon PowerShot SX510 HS Features

The camera is quite small considering 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 giant 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 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, regular, and macro), and flash. It also surrounds a button labeled “Func./Set.” Because the wheel is sensitive and has tactile stops, it will be difficult for you to accidentally pick something other than what you intended.

Even if you’re already familiar with Canon cameras, you should still read the handbook on the software disc that includes 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 much space between the viewfinder and the lens barrel. Even though it’s made of plastic, the camera has an excellent feel.

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 the controller, the view will return to where it was before.

The SX510 HS differs from other cameras in this class because its power source is not AA-size batteries. You will receive a compact rechargeable lithium-ion battery in its place, saving you both space and weight while providing a battery life that is at the very least satisfactory. Even though 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 activate it manually. If you’re used to a camera that handles everything for you, you could miss some photos. However, if you’re not used to a camera like that, 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.

Canon PowerShot SX510 HS 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
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
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

Canon PowerShot SX510 HS Conclusion

Readers of the 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 essential, and it appears that Canon has been paying attention to what customers have been saying about their products. Consequently, 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, even though the camera’s image quality has 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 even though it has such superb noise reduction, it has purple fringing along all of the contrasting lines.

Due to the sensor’s limited dynamic range, 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 similar circumstances.

The camera operation 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 choose. The user interface (UI) is often uncomplicated, making it possible for even someone new to photography to find their way around without 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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