Serves me right for saying shit…lol… OK, by pop-u-laire request…
First off, if you read the Amazon reviews, you have to wonder if half these people are reviewing the same product… so lets start with the alleged complaints.
The EV (electronic viewfinder) works perfectly for me, perfectly functional, perfectly usable, though *clearly* the design ethos is use the LCD screen, and EV is the equivalent of the floppy disk and parallel port, but then I am prepared to wear spectacles to correct my eyesight.
It doesn’t come with a manual, funny, I got one in mine, sure, a brief one, not in depth, that’s what the CD is for, but more than good enough to get you up to speed, albeit not good enough to find specific camera functions and UI menu items.
The buttons are all too close together, then you must be obese with fat pudgy fingers, and TOTALLY incapable of typing anything on a smartphone.
You get the idea.
So, here is my review.
In the box you get, Camera, carry strap, lens cap, battery, mains charger dock, “paperwork” bundle of 2 x CD and manuals, there is no USB lead, but most people have one anyway and in any event you don’t need one, just transfer the memory card itself, there is also no memory card, and the camera does not have any internal memory, so you definitely need a memory card of some sort.
I also purchased a spare battery, 2 x 32 GB class 10 SDHC cards, a tote bag and a remote control / shutter jobbie.
The battery docks in the mains charger for charging, not in the camera itself, takes 2 hours from empty for a full charge, see why I bought two batteries, and I bought 2 x 32 gig cards because it is more versatile that one 64 gig, which was what I used when I first unboxed the camera.
If you are only ever going to use AUTO mode, I’m not sure why you are buying this, or any similar camera, buy a point and shoot for half the money or less, certainly you will only ever get maybe 20% of the functionality of which the camera is capable if you stay in AUTO mode…. we’ll come back to this….
Generally speaking I have it on C1 pre-set, C2 I have pre-set to similar values but a default 12x zoom, this again is because the idea of C1 and C2 is not so much to give you anything special, all the other modes on the Canon rotating dial give you every option you can think of, the idea is to have to main common modes that are set just as you like them, that come up and are available within 1 second of hitting the ON button.
The old adage about the best camera is the one you have with you sorta applies here, if you spend 3 minutes sorting through menus you might miss the shot, and *this* is where all the AUTO users come from, instead of RTFM and actually using the available features they just leave everything on AUTO forever.
The native resolution of the SX50 CMOS sensor is 4000 x 3000 pixels, the native resolution of the Samsung SGS3 camera is 3264 x 2448, because the sensor itself is relatively small, compared to a genuine pro level DSLR, low light levels are where these cameras perform the worst, and to a photographer “low light levels” means “not in direct summer sunlight”, so every single indoor photo you ever take is going to be low light levels.
Incidentally, the smaller the physical pixels individually are, the worse they are, eg the less light they can capture and the more noise they capture, so the Sony Cybershot with the same size sensor and 20 mega-pixel as opposed to the Canon’s 12 mega-pixel sensor is going to have a harder time of it, but a full frame DSLR 18 mega-pixel sensor will have individual pixels an order of magnitude larger, eg will capture ten times the light and generate one tenth the noise…. but does this matter for 99% of users?
One final note on this, the SX50 will (in every mode except AUTO) write both a RAW and a JPEG to the memory card for every pic taken, RAW = a digital negative, anything and everything else is literally less, the ability to set white balance ALONE makes RAW worth it, sure, you can kinda duplicate this in image processing of jpegs, in the same way that a fleshlight is kinda as good as a 16 year old cunt… if it doesn’t shoot RAW, you may as well buy a point and click, if it does shoot RAW, never shoot anything else, ever.
Two minutes with Google will find you more shit than you can shake a stick at showing you just how impressive the SX50 can be, both in picture quality and the excellent zoom, that’s not what I am going to do, I’m going to take worst case scenario, which is why I mentioned the pixel resolution of the SX50 up there, and the SGS3 smartphone camera.
Worst case scenario is shooting a jpeg (not raw) indoors, no windows, electric light only, and framing the Canon shot so it pretty much has the same field of vision as the Samsung, eg eliminating everything the lens can do.
These pics are links to full size… jpegs… Neither one is processed in any way.
Canon SX50 HS
As you can see, at the resolution displayed on this page, not much in it at all, and when you look at the full size images these two thumbs link to, you cannot genuinely claim to see huge differences, for example the clarity of the text on the oscilloscope or the Farnell PSU, but, if you look at little deeper, you do see a better colour range in things like the wires hanging down over the oscilloscope, and if you look at the mould on the wall below the oscilloscope you can see it looks much more “real” than it does in the phone picture… but again, let me stress, this is worst case scenario, shooting jpeg, indoors in “low light levels” and at similar field of view to the phone camera.
The more observant will also see differences in lens barrel distortion and so on, and those of you who choose to download and save and examine in photo editing software will also see differences in the curves and histograms.
This shows one huge advantage of the real camera, I am stood in exactly the same spot, I am still shooting jpeg, same low light levels, everything else the same too, but instead of having to physically move the camera to compose the shot, as you do with the phone, I just zoom in a little, it is still, in every way, a crap photo, it is a 3 MB jpeg, and that means 13 MB worth of RAW photo data has been thrown away, and just like the magazine cover girls, this is what every photographer starts out with and then tweaks to give you what you see, and you only see the finished product.
Yes, there are clear, if not massive, differences in the *apparent* quality of the sensor between the Canon camera and the Samsung phone, nota bene *apparent*, because most of the differences are masked by everything else I have done to set the shot up that way, and by shooting jpeg in both, etc etc, but even here, the more you look at the two pictures (you do need a large screen really, a laptop is considerably less than ideal) the more you will see the quality coming out in the Canon one.
The third shot shows the massive impact a half decent lens has, there is only one point in space and orientation etc from where that shot can have been taken by the Samsung, the canon can duplicate that, and do it better, but the Canon can also be in that same point in space, and orientation, and take literally thousands of clearly quite different pictures, RAW, so no I am not talking about different exposures or white balance or anything else, as none of these feature in a RAW image, I am talking *solely* about composition.
The third shot is literally impossible to take with the Samsung.
Don’t get me wrong, I use the cameras on my SGs3 and Note2 every single day, I will often take 20 or 30 pics a day, at work, of work, record keeping, CYA, and I can put BOTH of these devices together in my shirt pocket.
But, if you want to take a picture, as opposed to record keeping…. no contest.
Which is why I rant on about shooting raw, individual CMOS sensor physical pixel size, and so on, because there is literally no point in spending about 350/375 quid all up for the kit I bought (listed above) unless you actually use those capabilities, if you insist on smart-phone style point and click jpeg shooting then you don’t need more than a 100 quid camera, the Canon powershot A3500 is all you will ever need… 70 quid delivered.
White balance? Here are two shots.
Unedited, take as a jpeg
Unedited, except for one click adjusting the while balance, taken as a RAW and then exported to jpeg.
A picture tells a thousand words…. look at the full size versions, and you tell me which one pops out at ya….
In closing…. software.
The bundled Canon software is reasonably good, imagebrowser does a *real* good job of importing and organising stuff from the camera via usb, and digital photo pro does a passable job at basic photo editing and raw processing…. augmented by the fact that the SX50 itself, if you RTFM and set it up right, automatically incrementally numbers every shot, as well as putting it in a folder structure named (in digits) for the year, then the month, then the day…
Speaking personally I can’t tell you shit about Adobe lightroom, cloud crap, got to sign up for an online account even to download the demo, so I didn’t.
Already being a user of Corel VideoStudio Pro 17 for the Canon HD movie camera, it was a no brainer to download and try an evaluation copy of Corel AfterShot Pro 2 for the SX50, and I bought a copy… works well enough for me.
Thanks due to the person who turned me on to ACDSee Pro 7, it rocks…