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Old 22nd Apr 2014, 03:05 PM   #1
Starbase1
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Default Techniques - Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Superzoom

Well, this was going to be based on the one I bought for my wife, but I just ordered one of these cameras myself...

I mentioned elsewhere I was getting a bit frustrated with the Ixus, (again a camera we both had), and it was clear my wife was getting limited by the camera rather than her ability, so after a bit of research I bought her a Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Superzoom.

Over the Easter weekend I tried taking several shots with that camera, and in the same places with the old Ixus, and my Sony Alpha 200.

The Powershot is distinctly more chunky than the Ixus, it will go in a jeans pocket just about, but not a shirt pocket. Skies come out a LOT better than the Ixus, though by default the colours in general are distinctly on the vivid side - I gather this can be toned down without much effort, which is definitely required for my taste.

Having said that, overall I'd say the amount of change I make in Photoshop to the images from the camera is distinctly less than either of the other two.

The screen on the back of the camera is excellent, and you really can get a feel for how the image came out, much more so than the other two.

The zoom lens covers a whopping 20:1 range. There's built in stabilisation, and it seems rather effective - at full zoom I was struggling to keep the target in the frame at all, but the camera seemed to compensate rather well. If you look at the squirrel image full size though, it's clear there's some fairly hefty deconvolution / processing taking place to rescue it. Artifacts very noticeable. But like I said given what it was coping with, impressive it got anything at all.

Ease of use is great, with a sensible smart fully auto option that seems to deliver well if you just want to point and click.

It also seems to work well with available light, and rarely decides to use the flash if given a choice.

One thing that irritated me with my A200 DSLR was the way there was distinct vignetting in the corners of pretty much every image, I've not noticed that yet with the powershot.

There are a couple of things that probably come under gimmicks (as they don't directly affect the image), which I like the look of too. It can link to a tablet via its built in wi-fi, which means I can check out images on an even better screen on site, and it also has built in GPS which should help work out where the *** I was when I took the images.

This does lead to one very clear weakness though - it's apparently rated at about 200 shots on a full charge, which I can easily get through when taking panoramas for stitching, or indeed on single shots if things are going well. Given the plus points, I think I can live with this though, with the aid of a spare battery. Or maybe 2.

At 129 for something that appears able to match or beat my DSLR, this really does seem excellent value to me, and I can't wait for my one to arrive, so I can give it a proper work out! I've not yet had the chance to try shots almost directly into the sun, where the A200 really did well.

So is it me, or have compact cameras really come on in the last few years?

Nick
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Old 12th Jun 2014, 02:24 PM   #2
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I've been using the camera quite a lot, and overall I'm very pleased with it, apart from the video failures.

The skies would benefit from a bit of polarised filtering, but I can't work out how to practically put it on a pop up lens.

I was not expecting to get much from the extra resolution, but in practice I have found it very handy, I can be a lot more extreme with my cropping if I want, and still get something nice and sharp.

The extreme zoom combined with a stabiliser works very well and delivers surprisingly good results. The other evening I tried taking photos of the Moon - I used the 'live adjust' to darken it as much as it would go, and it could have done with a bit more. But even so, pretty good for a compact.

I attach two of the results - the main adjustment I made was to the levels, and just a touch of sharpening.

Nick
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Old 12th Jun 2014, 06:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbase1 View Post
The skies would benefit from a bit of polarised filtering, but I can't work out how to practically put it on a pop up lens.
Probably the cheapest method would be to hold a filter over the lens

In regards to the vignetting on your A200, did you notice this with all your lenses?
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Old 12th Jun 2014, 09:59 PM   #4
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Yeah, I'm going to start shopping for a good zoom lens at some point in the next couple months. They get really expensive, really fast.
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Old 13th Jun 2014, 01:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrippledPidgeon View Post
Probably the cheapest method would be to hold a filter over the lens

In regards to the vignetting on your A200, did you notice this with all your lenses?
Yes, though I didn't use that many

As for the filter, I really can't see me bothering to do that every time, and it would make it harder to hold steady....
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 12:23 AM   #6
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I want one.
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