Digital Cameras

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS – Review

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS offers a 42x zoom, a 16 megapixel sensor and an interesting macro mode ” to 0 cm ” for an entry-level price.

Superzoom entry-level. With its new Canon PowerShot SX520 HS, Canon brings to market superzoom characteristics not overly ambitious and attractive price for this product category. The mission is to convince the mass public with a versatile tool from the optical point of view, but at the same time simple and accessible.

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS incorporates a back-illuminated CMOS sensor with 16 effective megapixels and 1/2.3″ diagonal, the size most commonly used in the category of bridge cameras. The lens offers a 42x optical zoom, which corresponds to a range from 24 mm (an excellent wide angle) to 1,008 mm. This is undoubtedly a considerable range, but does not reach the multiplications 50x and beyond recently observed in other competing products. The maximum aperture is f/3.4 in wide position and f/6.0 in telephoto position is not particularly bright, but still adequate for a car of this type.

The image processor is DIGIC 4 Canon’s optical stabilizer is integrated and provides a performance stated by the manufacturer up to 2.5 stops. The system focus is the traditional one (for compact) based on the recognition of the contrast, and the focus on a subject even in macro mode is to ” 0 cm ” the front element, which means that the subject movement can touch the lens and still be focused correctly, with very interesting effects. The maximum shutter speed is 1/2000 s.

On the back of the machine, there is a LCD screen, not touch, not jointed, 3″ 461,000 points; the electronic viewfinder and the Wi-Fi. The video mode allows you to record video up to 1080p 30 format.

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS: Design and Controls

A constructive level, the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS is a camera well made, although from a very basic design. The camera body is small and light enough for a superzoom (120x81x92 mm and 441g weight) plastics and materials used are of reasonable quality. The front grip is very pronounced and has a pretty firm grip, while the allocation and arrangement of controls are only sufficient.

The physical buttons on the camera body are not numerous and, in some cases, are in positions not optimal. The power button, for example, is unusually placed next to the flash, while those dedicated to the start of filming, and exposure compensations are on the outside shoulder of the grip.

Finally, the AF assists lamp is next to the lens barrel, on the left makes it easy to block it when the machine is being appealed in the traditional position with two hands. It is of slight imperfections that do not undermine the usability of the camera in an excessive way, especially for a target consumer.


The absence of an articulated screen and an electronic viewfinder is felt more. The first would give more flexibility in the process of framing, while the second would allow to keep the camera nearest to the body, going to minimize vibrations: an important factor for a superzoom. Canon has decided to omit both of these features, probably with a view to containing costs, but in doing so made the experience of using the camera’s pretty basic.

Finally, the only idea worthy of note, in the interface, is the presence of a button zoom control that helps, in a logical and functional, to compose the shots: in the case of extreme levels of multiplication and find the subject is more difficult. You can press the button on the barrel to momentarily retract the zoom, frame the scene and then return to the maximum zoom by simply releasing the key. A useful and well implemented.

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS: Image Quality

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS is quite fast and agile for a superzoom the cost. The times of ignition are good, as well as the speed of extension of the zoom lens. The AF is quite fast and precise, offering even a continuous function that can draw well enough slower moving subjects. The navigation in the menus (rather elementary) and also the display of the images taken are operations that do not present particular difficulties or problems.


In terms of overall speed, only the burst leaves something to be desired: You can only take three pictures in rapid sequence (10fps) before the buffer of the machine congestion and require much longer waiting time between shots and the other. The overall image quality is decent for a camera of this cost, but not surprising for special skills.

The sensor is equipped with rather small (as always in the superzoom), which is reflected in an ever excellent detail when viewed at 100% resolution. A small dose of digital noise is always observed, even at base ISO, and becomes more and more present to the rise to this value, going to grind highly detailed already at ISO 800 and introducing the annoying color noise in images shot in low light.

If you resize, the images are quite pleasing, thanks to Engine JPEG from Canon, as always great. The contrasts are usually well managed, nice colors and realistic, and the exposure generally adequate. The optical performance of the lens is not flawless, but even lacking: distortions and aberrations, although a present in extreme situations, they are still fairly small and do not have an excessive impact on the captured images.


Interesting results in the macro: the focus to zero inches allows you to get closer to the subject to touch them, literally, getting reproduction ratios in some cases of great impact (assuming that we can get a good light, to express better the sensor). Even the video quality is decent: movies at 1080p and 30fps are not excellent in terms of overall detail, but show a good dynamic and well-balanced color values, while the recorded sound is quite clear and the ambient noise is fairly deleted.


The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS is a superzoom cost entry-level and the characteristics of balanced, but not too inspired. The image quality is adequate for such an instrument, in both photo and video and the fund’s performance in general is not disappointing. The user experience is reduced by the lack of an articulated or touch screen, an electronic viewfinder and free Wi-Fi, features usually very common and popular tools in this range. Even the camera body, although it is pretty solid and lightweight, it has a few minor imperfections that impede usability design to shine.

Where to Buy Canon PowerShot SX520 HS

Canon PowerShot SX520 16Digital Camera with 42x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 3-Inch LCD (Black)
  • 42x Optical Zoom (24-1008mm) and 24mm Wide-Angle lens
  • 16.0 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor combined with the Canon DIGIC 4+...
  • Capture stunning 1080p Full HD video with a dedicated movie button and zoom...
  • Zoom Framing Assist makes it easy to track and capture subjects while using the...
  • High Speed AF greatly helps improve focus speed..
Value of Money

PROS : 42x optical zoom, 24mm wide-angle lens good, Fairly fast and accurate autofocus, Macro mode to "0 cm", Attractive price for a superzoom.

CONS : Screen is not articulated, Absent the electronic viewfinder, Burst very limited, Some controls are awkward to reach.

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