Canon PowerShot SX600 HS Review

May 6, 2014 | Jack Baker |


There’s a lot to like about Canon’s latest midrange travel-zoom compact. The Canon PowerShot SX600 HS is a doddle to operate thanks to simple menus and sensible controls, plus autofocusing, exposure metering and auto white balance all perform admirably.

The camera’s extra features are a bit of a mixed bag though. Sure, the Wi-Fi works well and the Hybrid Auto and Creative Shot modes are certainly pretty nifty, but we’d wager a panorama mode and proper multi-shot HDR capture would be more useful.

Optically the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS is strong thanks to its useful zoom range and minimal distortion. However the real performance highlight is its image quality in good lighting. Impressive detail, colour reproduction and dynamic range combine to form images which are about as clear as you’ll find from a camera using a 1/2.3” sensor. If only the same could be said for shots taken in dimmer lighting though. Whilst grain noise isn’t too severe at ISO 800 and above, the level of colour speckling is noticeably higher than many similar cameras.

Unfortunately for the SX600 HS, there’s far from a shortage of similar travel-zoom options out there. Manufacturers are queuing up to tempt you with ever-smaller compact snappers with ever-larger zoom ranges. Samsung’s WB800F, Fuji’s FinePix F900 EXR and Nikon’s Coolpix S9500 are just a few alternatives which offer similar specs for similar – and often less – money than the SX600 HS.

Consequently any weakness in a camera in this class is going to leave it vulnerable to numerous highly-accomplished rivals. So if you’re a stickler for decent low-light image quality, consider the competition.

Otherwise, if you’re after an easy to use camera with a versatile zoom range, spritely performance and above-average image quality in good light; the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS should be high on your shortlist.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 4