Canon PowerShot SX600 HS Review

The Canon PowerShot SX600 HS camera has a large zoom range that fits into a tiny point-and-shoot camera chassis. This feature is in addition to the improved connection and artistic possibilities that the camera offers. The strong 18x optical zoom of the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS camera gives customers with the high-quality optics that the pocket-sized Canon PowerShot SX camera series is known for. This zoom range is equivalent to 25-450mm.

The Canon HS SYSTEM is created when a 16-Megapixel CMOS sensor and Canon’s DIGIG 4+ Image Processor are combined in the SX600 HS camera. This enables the camera to perform very well in low-light conditions.

Although Canon classifies this model as one of its “high-end, sophisticated digital cameras,” it is not, and instead has more in common with the budget-friendly Elph series that the camera manufacturer produces. You may have overlooked the SX600 HS because it was described as “advanced,” but you might think about giving it another chance.

Having said that, the Nikon Coolpix S9600 (or the S9700) has somewhat higher photo quality, while the Samsung WB350F is a better fit for people who seek the greatest wireless capabilities. Both of these cameras have a zoom range of 22 times.

The standard of the photographs

It is reasonable to anticipate that there will be a distinction in image quality between the SX600 HS and the SX700 HS, given that the price difference between the two models is around $100. The photographs are about the same, which is to say that they are of very high quality. This may be viewed either as a blessing or a curse, depending on your point of view. If you aren’t a pixel peeper, don’t normally expand photographs by more than 50 percent, and don’t crop them significantly, you’re probably going to really appreciate what you receive from the SX600 HS.

Even when set to the lowest ISO, the camera produces noise; nevertheless, unless you are pixel peeping, it is quite unlikely that you will notice this. Canon manages to strike an effective balance between noise and its suppression. It isn’t until ISO 1600 that things start to seem particularly soft at smaller sizes, and ISO 3200 is mushy and should be avoided if at all possible. Although most photos straight from the camera may benefit from a little post-shoot sharpening, this isn’t the case for most subjects.

The fact that the lens has narrow maximum apertures indicates that it is a slow lens, which is the most crucial aspect of this whole situation. When utilizing a zoom lens, it is necessary to have a greater amount of light, slower shutter speeds, or a higher ISO in order to get an accurate exposure and prevent blur. Even when the sun was shining brightly, I discovered that the camera consistently utilized an ISO of 200 or more when it was completely zoomed in, which means that using it handled inside or in low light will almost certainly result in photographs that are blurry or grainy.

The quality of the video is astonishingly high. The images taken with the SX600 HS suffer from the same noise problems as those taken with the SX600, and they also get softer when shot in low light. However, the 1080p video at 30 frames per second is better than I anticipated given the price of the camera while filming outside during the day. While you are recording, you are able to utilize the zoom feature on the camera; however, the lens motor may be audible in more quiet settings.

Performance in the shooting

The performance of this camera is roughly in line with that of others in its class such as the Samsung WB350F, despite the fact that I wouldn’t consider it to be a very quick camera. It takes 1.7 seconds from turning the camera on to taking the first shot, and there is a 1.1-second delay between shots. Starting up the flash drives, which can take up to around three seconds of waiting time.

Shutter lag

When shooting in good lighting, the time it takes from pushing the shutter release button to taking the picture without prefocusing is slightly under 0.2 seconds, but it takes nearly 0.4 seconds when shooting in poor illumination. This is with the lens set to its most wide-angle position; when photographing a low-contrast subject with the lens set to its most zoomed-in position, you should anticipate a somewhat longer time to focus.

On the Canon SX600 HS, there are two different choices for continuous shooting. You have the option of shooting at full resolution at up to 4 frames per second or at a reduced resolution of 4 frames per second for up to 10.5 frames per second. Because the focus and exposure are both established with the first picture, regardless of which method you employ, it is doubtful that all of your photographs will be sharp if the subject of your photograph is moving quickly.

In addition, if you are shooting with the camera set to Auto mode, the focusing mechanism will frequently focus on something other than what would seem to be the intended topic. The issue is that there is no way to bypass it or circumvent it. When I wanted to take a fast shot but couldn’t choose my subject, this became an unbearably irritating experience for me. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been accustomed to using a smartphone, where I can tap the screen to bring the topic into focus.

Structure and characteristics

The Canon PowerShot SX600 HS is more similar to Canon’s ultra-compact Elph line in terms of its design and feature set than it is to Canon’s SX series. In the same vein as the Elphs, the SX600 is compact and lightweight, and its controls have been simplified for photographers who don’t typically switch out of Auto mode.

For instance, there is no dial for selecting the shooting mode; rather, there is merely a switch with three settings that allows you to select what mode you wish to shoot in. The other controls are quite normal, with the exception of the Mobile Device Connect button which is unique to Canon cameras. This button allows you to select a computer or smartphone in advance, and then connect to it with the push of a button.

If you press it, it will switch on the camera’s Wi-Fi, at which time you will need to enter the wifi settings on your mobile device and choose the camera as the connection type. The procedure is finished when the software called Camera Window is opened.

You may use Wi-Fi to transfer photographs and movies straight to mobile devices for viewing, editing, and uploading. Additionally, you can use the Wi-Fi to sync the GPS on your mobile device to geotag your photos, which is convenient given that this camera does not have a GPS that is built in. You also have the option of wirelessly sending photographs directly to a photo printer or backing them up on a personal computer that is linked to the same network as the camera.

Last but not least, the application may function as a remote viewfinder as well as a shutter release. It only has a zoom, self-timer, shutter release, and flash (provided you have the pop-up flash attached), but it is useful for taking pictures of wildlife and large groups of people. However, it cannot be used to begin or terminate the playback of a video.

Although Canon included NFC in the SX600 HS so that it may be used with Android devices, very few people actually make advantage of it. If you haven’t already downloaded the CameraWindow app on your smartphone, you may open the Google Play store by tapping your device against the camera. This will allow you to get the software on your device. After then, it can only be used to start the application. You will still need to activate the Wi-Fi on the camera and connect your device to it by choosing the camera from the list of available wireless networks on your smartphone.

Other cameras from Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung that have NFC will automatically start the app and manage the connection procedure. This will make shooting and sharing photos and videos far simpler. They also make use of NFC so that you can easily transmit individual photographs to your phone by just tapping the camera and the device together.

Using Wi-Fi will, as you probably have guessed, significantly decrease the amount of time your battery will last. The battery life is extremely good for regular shooting and is comparable to those of the other models in its class. However, taking a lot of videos, utilizing the Wi-Fi connection, turning up the screen’s brightness, and repeatedly zooming in and out can all reduce the battery life.

As I was saying before, the switch that is located on the back of the camera next to the thumb rest is used to change the shooting mode

The highest setting is reserved for Canon’s Hybrid Auto mode, which records a brief video clip immediately prior to the taking of each still image. When you have finished shooting for the day, the camera will compile all of the still images and short videos that you have taken during the day using Canon’s Smart Auto scene recognition feature and compile them into a movie for you. The end product is essentially a highlight reel of honest moments.

The Creative Shot option, which was initially introduced on the ultra-compact PowerShot N released the previous year, has been given a facelift and now occupies the center position. When you take a picture of something, the camera will automatically make five various versions of the image using different color and tone settings, crop settings, and style settings in addition to preserving the original photograph.

The previous version did not allow you to exercise any control over the effects that were applied. You now have the option to select which type of filters (Retro, Monochrome, Special, or Natural) you want the camera to use out of the total of 46 filters that are available.

The final spot is reserved for Smart Auto in addition to everything else. After moving the switch all the way to the bottom of its travel, you will need to push the Func. Set the button in order to access the menu of available shooting modes. This model does not have any shooting modes that allow you to directly adjust the shutter speed and aperture; if you want those features, you will need to purchase the SX700 HS or one of the other SX models. Program Auto is the one that comes the closest, as it enables you to manage other aspects of the camera such as the ISO and the white balance.

Image Quality

The SuperFine JPEG option at 16 megapixels was used to capture each of the sample photographs included in this study. This setting results in an image that is around 8 megabytes in size on average.

For a camera that comes in at a relatively affordable price point, the SX600 HS is capable of producing really beautiful photographs. The detail is sharp across the whole frame and is not as prone to being smoothed out by noise reduction as it is in many other cameras that have sensors of equal size.

As a result, the tiny details in nature images are preserved very well and are not smeared into a painterly mush, as is all too commonly the case with cameras operating in this market segment. Reproduction of colors that are vibrant and full-bodied contributes to the overall allure, as do faultless exposure metering and dependable white balance.

In high-contrast areas, an optical phenomenon known as chromatic aberration, sometimes known as purple fringing, can be seen. However, this phenomenon is rarely obtrusive. In spite of the lens’ extensive variety of focal lengths, it performs rather well in the distortion sector. When shooting at wide-angle, there is only a trace of barrel distortion, and when zoomed in, there is no discernible pincushion effect. The sharpness in the corners is good, however, the detail is not nearly as distinct as it is in the center.

When compared to its otherwise remarkable performance, the SX600 HS’s picture noise levels are a significant drawback for the camera. If you view images captured with an ISO of 400 or below at their full resolution, you may notice fine grit. However, this is a characteristic that is common of cameras that use a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The amount of color speckling that may be seen when you ratchet up the sensitivity to ISO 800 is something that is less tolerable.

At an ISO of 1600, the issue is noticeable even when examining the photographs at a scale of fifty percent or less, and the detail has also deteriorated significantly. Check out the indoor sample photos if you want to observe the issue for yourself since it is not immediately apparent in the ISO picture quality test samples that we have provided. Although the problem is not serious enough to make the photos useless, it is unfortunate that the camera is not on par with many of its competitors in this respect.

Specifications

Body typeCompact
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions3264 x 2448, 2048 x 1536, 640 x 480, 4608 x 2592, 3264 x 1832, 1920 x 1080, 640 x 360, 4608 x 3072, 3264 x 2176, 2048 x 1368, 640 x 424, 3456 x 3456, 2448 x 2448, 1536 x 1536, 480 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorDIGIC 4+
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsSuperfine, Fine
Focal length (equiv.)25–450 mm
Optical zoom18×
Maximum apertureF3.8–6.9
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterFace Detection
Digital zoomYes
Macro focus range5 cm (1.97″)
Number of focus points9
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots461,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typePureColor II G (TFT)
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Aperture priorityNo
Shutter priorityNo
Manual exposure modeNo
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range3.50 m (50 cm – 3.5 m (W) / 1.0 m – 2.0 m (T))
External flashYes (Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2)
Flash modesAuto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro
Continuous drive3.9 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Resolutions1920 x 1280 (30fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatH.264
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11 b/g/n with NFC
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionRechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6LH
Battery Life (CIPA)290
Weight (inc. batteries)188 g (0.41 lb / 6.63 oz)
Dimensions104 x 61 x 26 mm (4.09 x 2.4 x 1.02″)
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone
GPS notesvia mobile (linked to a compatible smartphone)

Conclusion

Even if it does not excel in any one area, the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS is a good option for photographers who are looking for a straightforward upgrade from a smartphone camera but do not want to give up the ability to share photos on the move.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Wi-Fi / NFC
  • Creative Filters
Need Improvement
  • Not a touchscreen device.
  • Control issues while operating in the Creative mode
  • There are instances when macro concentrating is less than satisfying.

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