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Andrys Basten | profile | all galleries >> Canon SX260 HS - My casual, superficial tests tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Canon SX260 HS - My casual, superficial tests

The photos are mostly 1024 pixels wide if you choose 'Original' size below the first photo that comes up after you click on a thumbnail.

 All were taken through a fixed-glass, dual-paned window with outside smudges after 8 yrs), mainly to see:

  (1) if this wide-angled camera with 20x zoom on a pocket-sized camera is effective when needing a long lens
  (2) how well it does in low light using higher ISO, and
  (3) whether or not I can avoid blown-out areas in jpgs on high-contrast days when using a small camera.  These are learning exercises for me.


They're casual tests of the Canon SX260 HS.   This camera has a lens with a range from 25mm to 500mm (35mm equivalent).  The zoom is 20x, and I'm hoping the small sensor having only 12 Megapixels to deal with will help avoid some noise problems.  So far, it does pretty well on that.

  The digital zoom, said to be more like Sony's Clear Image, doesn't produce any tighter detail than most other digital zooms I've tried (the Sony's RX100 Clear Image does relatively good interpolation instead of cropping and zooming in even more), and supposedly the Canon does interpolation too, but the image was quite degraded so I turned it off.

  With a good lens, superceding the SX230 HS, the Canon SX260 HS was listed at $349 in April 2012 and is currently selling for $249 at most online stores.   Amazon has been selling it for $214 though, and it's a bargain at that price, for a small camera with large zoom lens with good image stabilization.  That's a sale they have until April 27, 2013.

  However, its full-HD video (1080p) feature comes with audio that uses automatic level gain control, so in a quiet room, you can really hear the motor!  And zooming back out is especially loud.  I think that's one reason for the discounting, as otherwise it gets very good reviews from those who have used the Canon S95 and other better pocketable camera.

  There's No RAW mode and no custom settings you can save, which is how they kept the price down, I guess.  As a secondary camera that you can easily carry, with decent wider angle and 500mm-equivalent zoom, I do like it though.

  Good, thorough reviews at Imaging Resourcs and Photography blog for those interested in the details.

  I actually failed to notice, for two days (until I read about it in a reader-comments area) that the Default compression-setting is "Fine" (which is why I did a 3rd day of photo tests) but if you click on the settings-option and then go UP (rather than down as expected), there is an unexpected "Superfine" mode, which keeps much more image data, and the resulting files from that mode are 60% larger.  The detail is tighter, which you can tell when you view (or print) the original size before resizing it down for display.  Printing quality would be up'd when using Superfine mode.

  Superfine mode is available, though, only in Manual, Program, Aperture, and Shutter Speed priority modes.
  Most magazine reviewers haven't mentioned this but then judged the image-quality results from shooting just in the Default mode, the only one available when using the "Scene" options and a myriad of other automated features.  No mention is made of the higher-quality setting that would be important to camera-enthusiasts with non-automated modes.

  Even DPreview did a review using only the standard mode and said they'd not noticed there was a lower-compression mode and since then have said that after a quick look when a customer called this to their attention, that there's not much difference so they're not revising their review.

Added a few photos from Dec 11-12 when I noticed even more great skies.

  To see the images that are 1024 pixels wide for the thumbnails below, click on 'original' option below the first photo that comes up after you click on a thumbnail; otherwise, it defaults to 800 wide.



Click on any thumbnail to get a larger version.  Then click on "Next" or "Previous" to see other ones.



*** ( For FULL SCREEN: PC's, press/toggle F11.  Mac's, maximize screen. ) ***


Oakland Zoo - a visit on Feb. 16, 2013
gallery: Oakland Zoo - a visit on Feb. 16, 2013
San Francisco Zoo - a visit on March 16, 2013
gallery: San Francisco Zoo - a visit on March 16, 2013
Tiger Cub, 9 wks old, at San Francisco Zoo #sftigercub
gallery: Tiger Cub, 9 wks old, at San Francisco Zoo #sftigercub
Tiger Cub, 10 weeks old, at San Francisco Zoo #sftigercub
gallery: Tiger Cub, 10 weeks old, at San Francisco Zoo #sftigercub
Canon SX260 Video Screenshots on Kindle Fire HD 8.9 tablet
gallery: Canon SX260 Video Screenshots on Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablet
Jazz at Cheeseboard, iso800, 125mm-equiv. 0562, 1/30s
Jazz at Cheeseboard, iso800, 125mm-equiv. 0562, 1/30s
Jazz at Cheeseboard, iso800, 125mm-equiv. 0563
Jazz at Cheeseboard, iso800, 125mm-equiv. 0563
VIDEO attached. Photo: iso500, 125mm-equiv. 0567
VIDEO attached. Photo: iso500, 125mm-equiv. 0567
The over-all scene. Day 1 (See notes below), w/ default, heavier compression. 017
The over-all scene. Day 1 (See notes below), w/ default, heavier compression. 017
Zoom-in, 300mm equiv. on Chevron area . Day 1, w/ default heavier compression. 0124
Zoom-in, 300mm equiv. on Chevron area . Day 1, w/ default heavier compression. 0124
Dusk. Bay Bridge & SF. Day 1,  w/ default, heavier compression. 0041r
Dusk. Bay Bridge & SF. Day 1, w/ default, heavier compression. 0041r
SF Bay Bridge on left. Day 1, 500mm equiv handheld, w/ default, heavier compression.  0015r.
SF Bay Bridge on left. Day 1, 500mm equiv handheld, w/ default, heavier compression. 0015r.
SF Bay Bridge at left, 272mm-equiv, Day 1, w/ default, heavier compression. 0018
SF Bay Bridge at left, 272mm-equiv, Day 1, w/ default, heavier compression. 0018
Pine tree.  Equiv 315mm zoom. Day 2, w/ default higher compression. 0131
Pine tree. Equiv 315mm zoom. Day 2, w/ default higher compression. 0131
Morning. 500mm handheld zoom-in on Bay Bridge. Day 2, w/ default compression. 0136
Morning. 500mm handheld zoom-in on Bay Bridge. Day 2, w/ default compression. 0136
Golden Gate Bridge. Day 2. 272mm-equiv, iso400, w/ default, heavier compression. 0145
Golden Gate Bridge. Day 2. 272mm-equiv, iso400, w/ default, heavier compression. 0145
Sunset. Day 2, w/ default, heavier compression. 0146
Sunset. Day 2, w/ default, heavier compression. 0146
Sunset,  Day 2, 272mm-equiv, iso400, w/ default compression. 0147
Sunset, Day 2, 272mm-equiv, iso400, w/ default compression. 0147
Sunset, SF Sutro Tower, freeway. 236mm-equiv, iso400, Day 2, w/ default compression. 0166
Sunset, SF Sutro Tower, freeway. 236mm-equiv, iso400, Day 2, w/ default compression. 0166
The over-all scene, zoomed into Marin-side. Day 3, w/ Superfine compression.  0187
The over-all scene, zoomed into Marin-side. Day 3, w/ Superfine compression. 0187
Zoom-in on Marin & Chevron, 170mm-equiv. Day 3, w/ Superfine compression.  0190
Zoom-in on Marin & Chevron, 170mm-equiv. Day 3, w/ Superfine compression. 0190
500mm-equiv. zoom-in on Chevron, Handheld. Day 3, w/ Superfine mode.  0195
500mm-equiv. zoom-in on Chevron, Handheld. Day 3, w/ Superfine mode. 0195
Morning. 500mm handheld zoom-in on Bay Bridge. Day 3, w/ Superfine mode. 0202
Morning. 500mm handheld zoom-in on Bay Bridge. Day 3, w/ Superfine mode. 0202
City area on left. 500mm-equiv. Day 3, w/ Superfine compression.  0208
City area on left. 500mm-equiv. Day 3, w/ Superfine compression. 0208
Pine tree, at 200mm-equiv zoom in. Day 3, w/ Superfine compression.  0213.
Pine tree, at 200mm-equiv zoom in. Day 3, w/ Superfine compression. 0213.
Moving BART train outside. Day 3, w/ Superfine compression. 0225cr
Moving BART train outside. Day 3, w/ Superfine compression. 0225cr
Copy-paper print on wall. Day 3, ISO 400, 1/8 sec, w/ Superfine mode. 0242
Copy-paper print on wall. Day 3, ISO 400, 1/8 sec, w/ Superfine mode. 0242
Sunset. Golden Gate Bridge. Day 393mm-equiv, iso200. Superfine compression. 0258
Sunset. Golden Gate Bridge. Day 393mm-equiv, iso200. Superfine compression. 0258
Sunset. Golden Gate Bridge. Day 3.  409mm-equiv, iso200, Superfine compression. 0269
Sunset. Golden Gate Bridge. Day 3. 409mm-equiv, iso200, Superfine compression. 0269
Sunset. In front of the window. Day 3. iso200, w/ Superfine mode.0275
Sunset. In front of the window. Day 3. iso200, w/ Superfine mode.0275
Sunset. Golden Gate Bridge. Day 3. 100mm-equiv, iso100, w/ Superfine mode. 0279r
Sunset. Golden Gate Bridge. Day 3. 100mm-equiv, iso100, w/ Superfine mode. 0279r
Clearest over-all view. 7:52 am. Day 4, w/ Superfine mode. 0292
Clearest over-all view. 7:52 am. Day 4, w/ Superfine mode. 0292
Sunset. SF. 222mm-equiv, iso400, 1/13s, handheld. Day 4. Superfine mode. 0328
Sunset. SF. 222mm-equiv, iso400, 1/13s, handheld. Day 4. Superfine mode. 0328
 SF lights. Freeway lit below. 114mm-equiv, iso400, 1/15 sec. handheld. 12/11/12.
SF lights. Freeway lit below. 114mm-equiv, iso400, 1/15 sec. handheld. 12/11/12.
Marin/Golden Gate Bridge, late afternoon. 192mm-equiv, iso100.
Marin/Golden Gate Bridge, late afternoon. 192mm-equiv, iso100.
Heavy clouds, late afternoon, SF, 192mm-equiv, iso100. 12/12/12
Heavy clouds, late afternoon, SF, 192mm-equiv, iso100. 12/12/12
Heavy clouds, late afternoon, San SF skyline. 192mm-equiv, iso100, B&W, 12/12/12
Heavy clouds, late afternoon, San SF skyline. 192mm-equiv, iso100, B&W, 12/12/12
Lights on in San Francisco, top left, and locally. .80s, iso400. 12/12/12
Lights on in San Francisco, top left, and locally. .80s, iso400. 12/12/12
Morning light, 500mm equiv  zoom, iso100, 1/125 sec. Golden Gate Bridge. 0432r
Morning light, 500mm equiv zoom, iso100, 1/125 sec. Golden Gate Bridge. 0432r
Dusk, San Francisco areas. iso100. 0451r
Dusk, San Francisco areas. iso100. 0451r
Dusk, across the bay.  iso100. 0462r
Dusk, across the bay. iso100. 0462r
Dusk, last sun, behind clouds. iso100. 0470
Dusk, last sun, behind clouds. iso100. 0470
Nighttime mode, wide 25mm, ISO 4000, 1/4 sec handheld - window scene. 0479r
Nighttime mode, wide 25mm, ISO 4000, 1/4 sec handheld - window scene. 0479r
Nighttime mode. 300mm-equiv zoom. ISO 4000, 1/4 sec handheld, SF. 0481r
Nighttime mode. 300mm-equiv zoom. ISO 4000, 1/4 sec handheld, SF. 0481r
289mm-equiv zoom. ISO 200, 'Live' mode. 0527
289mm-equiv zoom. ISO 200, 'Live' mode. 0527
218mm-equiv zoom. ISO 800, 1/25s.  'Live' mode. 0532
218mm-equiv zoom. ISO 800, 1/25s. 'Live' mode. 0532
143mm-equiv zoom.  ISO100, 1/25s.  'Live' mode. 0538
143mm-equiv zoom. ISO100, 1/25s. 'Live' mode. 0538
25mm-equiv. ISO160.  'Live' mode. 0548
25mm-equiv. ISO160. 'Live' mode. 0548
25mm-equiv. ISO200.  'Live' mode.  Moved needle to 'brighter'. 549
25mm-equiv. ISO200. 'Live' mode. Moved needle to 'brighter'. 549
25mm-equiv. ISO125.  0555
25mm-equiv. ISO125. 0555