Photo quality from the SX50 HS is generally the same as it was with the SX40 HS, which isn't a bad thing. Of course, a lot has to do with expectations. This is still a small-sensor camera, so you will not get digital SLR-quality photos and noise and artifacts will probably stop you from using them at 100 percent size even at ISO 80 (macro photos are an exception).
Images do get softer and noisier above ISO 200 -- typical for point-and-shoots -- but ISO 400 and 800 are still usable. Also, since Canon included raw image capture on this model, you can process the images yourself if you want and rescue some detail if you don't mind a little extra noise. Another bonus: There are 1/3 increments for ISO sensitivities, as in ISO 250, ISO 320, ISO 400, and so on, giving you a bit more control over things.
Colors desaturate some at ISO 1600 and 3200, subjects look very soft, and detail is greatly diminished; ISO 6400 is sort of pointless.Keep in mind, too, that if you're shooting indoors with lens extended, you'll need the higher ISOs to keep shutter speeds fast enough to prevent blur. Also, the auto white balance is warm indoors, which doesn't help color when combined with higher ISOs; use the presets or use the custom option when possible.
February 8, 2013 3:02 PM PST
Photo by: Joshua Goldman/CNET
| Caption by: Joshua Goldman
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