Canon Powershot SX270 HS Review

September 13, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.

The Canon PowerShot SX270 HS produces images of very good quality. It recorded noise-free images at ISO 100, 200 and 400, with some noise and slight colour desaturation at ISO 800. ISO 1600 shows more obvious noise and loss of colour but still remains perfectly usable, and even the faster setting of ISO 3200 doesn't suffer too badly, although we'd avoid using the fastest speed of ISO 6400.

The Canon PowerShot SX270 HS handled chromatic aberrations very well, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations and generally at the edges of the frame. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 15 seconds being long enough for most after-dark shots.

Anti-shake works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. Macro performance is good, allowing you to focus as close as 5cms away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the Canon PowerShot SX270 HS at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. The range of Creative Filters and the My Color modes help to spice up your images.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Canon Powershot SX270 HS. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso80.jpg iso100.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso400.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso1600.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso6400.jpg

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default setting ideally and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes via the My Colors menu option.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Focal Range

The Canon Powershot SX270 HS' 20x zoom lens provides a versatile focal length of 25-500mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

25mm

500mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

File Quality

The Canon Powershot SX270 HS has 2 different image quality settings available, with SuperFine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

12M SuperFine (4.72Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Fine (3.21Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_superfine.jpg quality_fine.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon Powershot SX270 HS handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg

Macro

The Canon Powershot SX270 HS offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Canon Powershot SX270 HS are Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, and Flash Off, with Red-eye Correction and Red-Eye Lamp settings available via the Flash Settings main menu option. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Auto Flash - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (500mm)

Auto Flash - Telephoto (500mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting or the Red-Eye Correction option caused any red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Night

The Canon Powershot SX270 HS's maximum shutter speed is 15 seconds in the Long Shutter mode, which is good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 80. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Anti Shake

The Canon Powershot SX270 HS has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, we took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/8th sec / 25mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
     
1/3rd sec / 500mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

My Colors

The My Colors function menu option contains the now familiar range of colour options for tweaking the look of your images before shooting.

Off

Vivid

my_colors_01.jpg my_colors_02.jpg
   

Neutral

Sepia

my_colors_03.jpg my_colors_04.jpg
   

B/W

Positive Film

my_colors_05.jpg my_colors_06.jpg
   

Lighter Skin Tone

Darker Skin Tone

my_colors_07.jpg my_colors_08.jpg
   

Vivid Blue

Vivid Green

my_colors_09.jpg my_colors_10.jpg
   

Vivid Red

 
my_colors_11.jpg  

Creative Filters

The Canon Powershot SX270 HS has 9 different creative filter options to help spice up your images.

Fish-eye Effect

Miniature Effect

effects_01.jpg effects_02.jpg
   

Toy Camera Effect

Soft Focus

effects_03.jpg effects_04.jpg
   

Monochrome

Super Vivid

effects_05.jpg effects_06.jpg
   

Poster Effect

Color Accent

effects_07.jpg effects_08.jpg
   

Color Swap

 
effects_09.jpg