Canon PowerShot SX530 HS Review

October 30, 2015 | Amy Davies | |
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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

Colours directly from the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS are bright and punchy, displaying a good level of saturation and warmth - something we’ve come to expect from Canon cameras.

There’s also a decent level of detail, especially if you’re just looking at images at normal viewing or printing sizes (A4 or below). If you look at 100%, it’s possible to see a little image smoothing (even at pretty low ISOs such as ISO 100 or ISO 200). The likelihood of most users of this camera examining at 100% is pretty low though, and there’s a great overall impression of detail in most shots.

As we’d expect, there’s more smudging and noise present at higher ISOs, but it only starts to become problematic or visible at around ISO 800 and above at normal printing sizes. If you’re mainly using this as your holiday or travel camera, and are unlikely to be shooting often in dark conditions, you shouldn’t encounter too many problems.

Generally speaking it’s not necessary to dial in positive or negative exposure compensation as the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS’s automatic metering system does a good job of evaluating the scene to produce accurate exposures. There will be times, such as high contrast, where this isn’t true, but no more than we’d otherwise expect to have to use it.

There are a couple of different options for taking creative shots. You have the Creative Shot mode which takes one normal picture and then applies five different filter effects or crops (or a combination thereof) to choose from later. Alternatively, you can choose from a different set of filters, such as fish eye, from the filters exposure mode. It’s fun to experiment with both ways, but whether you like the results will likely come down to personal preference.

Images taken at the furthest reach of the optical zoom display a good level of detail and clarity. We’d advise against using the digital zoom unless you’re particularly desperate - it seems unlikely that you’ll need more than 50x zoom, though. Images taken with the digital zoom applied are grainy and smudgy, and it’s also difficult to keep the camera still enough at the full reach to get a blur free image (even with image stabilisation applied).

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso3200.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 sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

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

Focal Range

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS's 50x zoom lens has a massive focal range of 24-1200mm, as illustrated by these examples.

24mm

1200mm

focal_range_1.jpg focal_range_2.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS suffered from chromatic aberrations, with purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, particularly at the edges of the frame, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS allows you to focus on a subject that is just 0cms away from the camera. 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 SX530 HS are Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, and Slow Sync Speed, with Red-eye Reduction options available in the main menu. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (1200mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (1200mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots.

Flash Off

Flash Off (100% Crop)
flash_off.jpg flash_off1.jpg
   

Flash On

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

Night

The Canon Powershot SX530 HS's maximum shutter speed is 15 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 100.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg