Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Image Stabilized Zoom 25mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full-HD Video (Green)

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  1. K. S. Bowen "KS Bowen" says:
    1,086 of 1,100 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    This Could Be the One, May 3, 2012
    By 
    K. S. Bowen “KS Bowen” (California) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    I am an experienced amateur photographer and I’ve owned many cameras over the past 40 years. I’ve had some photos published but photography has always been strictly a hobby, though a serious one. I shoot with a Canon 7D, Rebel backup, various ‘L’ lenses, and I also use an Olympus E-P1 occasionally as well as a Canon S90 and Powershot 1100S (kept in my glovebox for ’emergencies’). I enjoy taking pictures.

    I also enjoy traveling and have traveled around the states as well as visited many foreign countries. I’m sure I echo the frustrations of every photographer out there when I say that choosing which photo equipment to take on a vacation is the most agonizing process in planning a trip.

    Let me share two experiences–one pleasant, another frustrating. In 2003, I visited New Zealand and took one of Canon’s first digital Powershots. It was very small, fit in my pocket, and I could easily whip it out for quick photos. Even though the pictures were not pristine SLR quality, it was easy and fun using that camera and I still enjoy viewing those photos today. I had a pleasant and memorable trip. Second experience: a 10-day tour of China in 2007. I took a DSLR and 3 lenses as well as an HD camcorder, all in the same shoulder bag. It turned out to be total frustration. Instead of being able to enjoy the moment of seeing all that glorious ancient history and the people of China, I was overly concerned with ‘getting the shot’ — all the time. Also, HD video was new in those days and I thought I could record the ‘trip of a lifetime’ with the latest technology. But switching between video and still photography simply added to my frustration. Although I got quite a few good pictures and videos, I did not enjoy that trip as much as I should have because I let my photo-taking desires get in the way of my vacation needs and cultural immersion. As a matter of fact, my wife used a point-and-shoot to get some great candid photos of people and children that totally outshone my efforts.

    OK, fast forward to 2012. Like so many other photographers out there, when traveling I need a camera that’s pocketable but can do everything. Impossible. It doesn’t exist. But I remember the lessons learned from the experiences described above. Concessions must be made. With experience, I’ve learned what is a necessity, and what ‘would be nice to have’ when traveling. I have concluded that for me, a camera that takes ‘very good’ pictures, that is small and lightweight, is a NECESSITY. Anything else would be ‘nice to have’ but is not worth the enormous hassle.

    I’ve had the Powershot SX260 HS for about a week now and I think I may have found the camera that will adequately meet my travel needs. I’ve shot a couple hundred photos and I’m surprised at the results. They are sharp, contrasty, colorful, noiseless, and good enough to use as desktop pictures on my 24-inch monitor without editing. The 20x lens is coupled to a shake-free technology that is very, very good. It’s pocketable and has easy to use buttons that are logically placed. Canon has done their homework in finding the right balance between sharpness and noise, as far as I am concerned. Although it doesn’t shoot RAW (that’s a debate for another time), I am very happy with the JPEGs and I use the included highlight-taming technology built in to the camera and it works very well.

    What I like:
    1) Pocketable. Pocketable. Did I say pocketable?
    2) Turns on quickly to get the shot.
    3) 20x lens — 25mm to 500mm. The 25mm shots are corrected internally for distortion and the 500mm shots are sharp thanks to the IS technology.
    4) Very good noise control — I haven’t tested it at 1600 or 3200 but several other review sites reveal surprising, low noise photos at those ISO levels.
    5) My copy is very sharp — no need to sharpen the photos it produces.
    6) Color accuracy is on par with my Olympus E-P1, which I consider to be the paragon of color accuracy.
    7) Full manual when desired.
    8) Takes very good HD video — though that doesn’t interest me so much these days. IS corrects for camera shake in video mode and zooming works well.

    What I don’t like:
    Nothing yet, though I will update this review if anything comes up.

    Does this camera take pictures comparable to my 7D? No. My E-P1? Very close. My S90? Superior to the S90 in my view.
    The 20x zooming feature of this camera can’t be overstated — it’s wonderful.

    So many reviewers nitpick about technical matters. Sure, I could do that with any camera, including this one. But the point is–what need does the camera serve? All I know is this: If this camera had existed at the time, the SX260 would be the camera I would have taken to China.

    Highly recommended.

    [UPDATE: Many people have asked me about the so-called ‘squeal’ in video mode. When ambient sounds are low, the condenser mic (as in all cameras) boosts…

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  2. 1,050 of 1,066 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Another winner from Canon, March 20, 2012
    By 
    E. Tam (Antioch, CA) –
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    I received my SX260 last Wednesday and have taken about 700 shots and a few quick 5 minute video. Without writing a novel, here are the high/low points of this unit. In addition to this unit, I also purchased a couple of aftermarket batteries (and after market A/C adapters for about $5.00 each) for about $5.00 each and the batteries work fine. With the battery (original and aftermarket) I was able to get over 300 shots (50% flash) with zooming and playback and the battery meter still showed about 25% charge remaining.

    Pro’s
    Zoom – very long for a subcompact camera 20x optical, total 81x combined (yes 81 times!)
    Image Stabilizer – Excellent (far superior than the DSC-HX9V); Even at 81x the picture did not come out of focus, but of course not as sharp. I think it’s still acceptable
    Scenes – A few scenes; I think the portrait, sepia, B/W works real well (the Portrait+ suppose to blur the picture a bit, but it’s not to my liking) It has a few effects (fish eye, toy, miniature) that’s very effective and can be fun for creative shots.
    Auto Mode – was able to pick the correct type of scene almost all the time; it has an easy mode, and smart auto. Not sure why they have an easy mode, but the smart auto works great
    Size/Weight – very compact and weigh’s 8.2 oz. I would have prefer if the lens was flushed with the unit, but at 20x it may not have been possible
    Uniformity – the unit does not feel cheap, and beautifully curved; no sharp jagged corners
    Grip – the right side of the camera has a nice plastic strip for easier grip
    Controls – Dial extremely easy to use with one hand. The other buttons, if you’re a previous Canon user, it’s a no brainer; the menu and setup are practically the same across all their models.
    Screen – 3 inch TFT LCD screen very beautiful; nuff said
    Processor – Didn’t notice that much difference between the DIGIC 4/DIGIC 5, but compared to the DSC-HX9V, this camera is like a Ferrari.
    GPS – Camera has it, but I never used it and probably won’t; at least for the time being. Am more interested in a camera that takes excellent picture

    Con’s
    Video – compared to the Sony DSC-HX9V this Canon comes in a distant second; if you plan on using this primarily as a video recorder, look elsewhere. I think Sony has excellent lens on their camera but their processing technology is clumsy, painfully slow and unacceptable; whereas with taking videos, the Sony does not do any processing (not to mention it captures at 60fps compared to Canon’s 24/25 fps) This is one thing I will miss dearly.
    Flash – not sure if there is a good place but I had to change my grip as the flash is on the top left corner. Couple of times, I had my left index finger on the flash and the camera gave some flash error message and had to power off and power on the camera to reset the flash.

    If you’re a casual or intermittent photographer (or a professional wanting an everyday point and shoot camera without carrying a luggage everywhere) that is interested in looking for a well refined point and shoot camera, yet has manual controls usually found on higher end DSLR (or higher end point and shoot camera), this is it!

    UPDATE 04/14/2012 – I paid $349 and today I noticed it’s selling for $299, a 15% price drop in less than a month! I thought cars depreciate quick …

    UPDATE 04/18/2012 – The Live Mode works great! For those hard shots (for example, taking indoor picture with fluorescent lighting and without a flash), you can view the screen and make the adjustment right then and there. You look at what you plan to take, compare it to the SX260 LCD screen and press the shutter button.

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  3. Artemaria says:
    987 of 1,012 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    20x Zoom Comparison – Sony HX20; Canon SX260; Panasonic ZS19, September 27, 2012
    By 
    Artemaria (New York City) –

    I couldn’t decide between these three cameras (and their variants, the Sony HX30 and the Panasonic ZX20) because many of the reviews of each made the cameras sound very similar. So, I went out and bought (from merchants who accepted returns) one of each of these three cameras (I didn’t need WI-FI or GPS, so that’s how I settled on these less expensive variants). And then I took photos and videos in various conditions. I am not a professional photographer, and I didn’t do Imatest or any other specific tests on the images (you can read C/net for that), but this is an experience of a regular person who was taking pictures and videos with these three cameras side by side, which is a comparison that you do not often see.

    The bottom line is that these three cameras are very similar with a few minor differences, but those differences set them apart and may make you decide that you like one more than the other.

    Generally speaking, NONE of these cameras is a DSLR replacement. Whomever writes that the pictures are as good as a DSLR is not speaking accurately. Also, none of the cameras is a replacement for a high end camcorder.

    OUTSIDE PICTURES

    If you are taking pictures outside on a sunny day all of these cameras will take very nice pictures for small to medium enlargements (no bigger than 8 x 10). The cameras all produce nice fairly sharp images that would be well suited for that purpose. And, like most people, I don’t remember ever enlarging a picture more than 8 x 10, so it is not a common problem.

    What might be an issue is if you are zoomed in all the way and wanted to crop a photo (which sometimes happens), the differences in the way the cameras’ photos look when you “pixel peep” might make a difference. In good light outside, the cameras were close, but the best photos were from the CANON with the SONY and the PANASONIC a close second.

    INSIDE PICTURES – GOOD LIGHT

    If you are inside and you are taking pictures in low light, you will see a different story. Again, at smaller sized prints 4×6, 5×7, most people will see almost no difference between the pictures of the three cameras other than the PANASONIC’s colors are a little less vibrant than those in the CANON and the SONY. I am not sure whether those colors are less accurate, they are just a little less vivid.

    If you pixel peep at these pictures, the CANON’s photos are clearly the best with the PANASONIC’s being second. The CANON’s remain very sharp through a good amount of enlargement while the PANASONIC’s, although close, get softer a little faster. The SONY’s pictures inside with good light became soft rather quickly and, I’m not sure if this is because the SONY has 18MP on a small chip (as some of the tech reviewers write), but there is a “watercolor” effect where after you enlarge it a little bit, it looks like a Claude Manet painting.

    INSIDE PICTURES – LOW LIGHT

    In poor light, the hierarchy between the cameras remains the same, but there is less of a gap between the CANON and the PANASONIC. It seems as if the CANON takes somewhat worse pictures in low light, and the PANASONIC just doesn’t get that much worse. As a result, the gap between these two becomes somewhat closer. The SONY’s pictures remain the poorest of the three in low light.

    VIDEO – OUTSIDE GOOD LIGHT

    All three cameras take very nice video outside in good light. If you are editing or nitpicky, you will note that the SONY and the PANASONIC take 60 frames per second, which is somewhat easier to edit, than the 24 frames per second that the CANON records. While you have to look for it, the CANON’s outside video does have a couple of instances where it seems to be a tad jerky compared to the SONY and PANASONIC’s video. But you really have to look for it and most people won’t notice if you don’t have another video outside for comparison.

    While all the outdoor video is close, I would give the edge to the SONY in video, with the PANASONIC second and the CANON third. But they are close for outside video.

    VIDEO – INSIDE

    Taking video inside is a different story. Inside, the SONY shines and clearly has the best video. The video from this camera is actually good. It is not professional level by any stretch, but it is good solid quite viewable video from a camera that takes still pictures.

    There is a noticeable difference on indoor video between the SONY and the PANASONIC. This difference was perhaps most noticeable to me because I had both videos from both cameras and watched them over and over again looking for differences. While the difference is noticeable, it is not a tremendous difference. The SONY video is super smooth and seems to get as much out of the light as it can. The PANASONIC video also is smooth and gets a good contrast tone and color out of the available light, but is slightly less smooth…

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