John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Mega Zoom Vs SLR, Canon SX50HS Vs T6I thoughts

When I bought my T6I I briefly considered a Mega zoom camera. These cameras like the Canon SX50HS, SX60HS, Nikon P900 and P1000 have a much larger optical zoom than is practical on an SLR. There are super long, heavy expensive lenses for SLRs, but these aren’t practical for my budget or uses. And generally have a much smaller range requiring you to be swapping lenses. To give you some numbers the SX50HS has a 50X optical zoom 24-1200mm equivalent and the P1000, the king of megazooms has a whopping 125x 24-3000mm equivalent. My lens for the Canon is a 55-250. You will notice this is a lot more limited on both ends of the scale, close up and far out. The megazooms achieve this using a much smaller sensor size 6.17 x 4.55mm Vs 22.3 x 14.9mm, it part of the optical trade off.

Generically speaking the smaller sensor size make it not as crisp at detail and much worse in low light.

I’ve played a bit with the SX50HS and can make some anecdotal comparisons. This isn’t going to be super scientific comparison, or super detailed comparison, I just don’t have the tools, or knowledge to address this intelligently. None the less I’ll give my thoughts … Now a lot of this can be compensated by skill/training, but these are points worth noting.

My girlfriend has the SX50HS and I have the T6i and we take a LOT of photos of nature while in our kayaks as well as under other conditions. I can use these comparisons to draw some conclusions.

1) Across the board the SX50HS is a lot worse in low light. Now what’s low light? Well I’m not even talking darkness, just not complete brightness. At my home I have a deck with a vine growing overhead. When we are on the deck we are nicely in shade. She has a lot more trouble getting good images of birds that are 30 ft out than I do. It really is quite noticeable.

2) Taking pictures of small birds takes a fairly quick focus and shoot. I find my T6i focuses a LOT faster than the SX50. Again, quite noticeable. This often results in missing the shot entirely with the SX50 while the t6i get’s a usable shot more often.

3) When you are zoomed in and you bring your camera up on target it can take time to find the object you were looking at with the naked eye. This is amplified the more you are zoomed in. So with a megazoom camera this can be quite a challenge. Canon recognized this and there is a button that zooms all the way out, then you get your object in the center then it zooms all the way back in when you release the button. It works and works well, BUT all this takes time. And if your object is on the move, well this is somewhere between frustrating and maddening. This has more to do with high zoom than anything. And is something you can learn to get better at, but still worth noting.

4) On the t6i when I take a picture at max zoom, I can still crop the image once I get back because there’s still lots of detail in the image. I find the same can not be said for the SX50. If you were unable to use the optical zoom to get the picture properly framed, cropping if you are trying to magnify really shows the grainyness of the smaller sensor quite quickly.

5) The viewfinder on the SX50HS is digital Vs optical on the SLR. This means as your moving around trying to find the image in the viewfinder the camera is trying hard to focus. The more your moving the more challenging this becomes. And to top it off the screen on the back of the camera if you choose to use it instead, isn’t the best in bright sunlight. The combination presents a challenge. The optical view finder on the other hand suffers no such issues.

6) When the SX50HS powers off it retracts the lens. When it powers back on it, it re-zooms to what the zoom last was when it powered off. All this takes time and delays startup and can be an issue when a spontaneous moment happens.

7)  Battery life from a spec point of view is 440 shots for the T6i vs 315 shots for the SX50HS or around 40% more shots per battery charge. This doesn’t take into account the zooming in and out that may happen and this takes a significant amount of battery power. I find The SX50HS is dead LONG before the T6i. Of course you can easily carry around a spare battery.

In the end … I personally think I’m more pleased with the T6i than I would have been if I had bought the SX50HS. I have no experience with the Nikons …

November 6, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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