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Canon Powershot SX280 HS Review

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Category: Compact Cameras
Product: Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
Price: £129.00
Rating: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Canon Powershot SX280 HS Review - Wi-Fi, GPS, high speed shooting, and a 20x optical zoom lens? Sounds like the perfect pocket camera?

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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Canon Powershot Sx280hs Black (2)

The Canon Powershot SX280 HS is the latest travel zoom camera from Canon, in its long running series of travel zoom cameras, updating the SX260. The camera features a 20x optical zoom, high speed shooting, built in GPS, and Wi-Fi to share images from where-ever you are.

Canon Powershot SX280 HS Features

Canon Powershot Sx280hs Black (3)

A wide-angle 20x optical zoom lens is the equivalent of 25mm to 500mm and features optical image stabilisation. The 12 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor allows high speed full HD video recording at 60fps for smooth videos, and 14fps continuous shooting.

GPS and Wi-Fi is built into the camera, or alternatively a version of this camera is available without GPS and Wi-Fi, the Canon Powershot SX270 HS available in blue and grey. The rear features a 3inch screen with 461k dots.


Canon Powershot Sx280hs Black (4)

Key Features

  • 12.1 megapixel B.S.I CMOS sensor
  • 20x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25 - 500mm
  • Optical image stabilisation (approx 2.5 stop)
  • 3inch screen, 461k dot resolution
  • Wi-Fi, GPS built in
  • Full HD video at 60fps, with stereo sound
  • ISO80 - ISO6400
  • 5-axis image stabilisation
  • 5cm Macro Focus
  • Manual modes, Manual focus
  • Available in red, and black

Canon Powershot SX280 HS Handling

Canon Powershot Sx280hs Black (5)

Handling - The Canon Powershot SX280 HS is a compact pocketable camera with a metal body. There is a protruding plastic bar at the front of the camera to aid grip, although nothing at the back, apart from the mode dial to grip on to. This works fairly well as a grip, although due to the cameras general small size and lack of grip we would recommend using the wrist strap to avoid any accidents. The camera feels very well built and is compact enough to fit in trouser pockets. There is an electronically controlled pop-up flash that will automatically pop up when the flash is switched on and automatically close when the flash is switched off.

Canon Powershot Sx280hs Black (1)

Menus – Built in hints and tips explains each option on the camera making it easy to use. Manual focus is available, flash compensation, and the camera gives an overlay of the most common options making it easy to choose and change settings. The menu button lets you set additional photo and setup options. In playback there are also playback and print options.

Canon Camera Window1 Canon Camera Window2 Canon Camera Window3

Wi-Fi - You can connect the camera to an existing Wi-Fi network, or create an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network, then connect the camera to your phone. Using the Canon Camera Window app on iOS or Android, you can view images and transfer them to your smartphone or share them, as well use the smartphone as GPS logger (for other cameras that don't have built in GPS), or if you prefer to use your smartphone rather than the camera.

Canon Powershot Sx280hs Black (6)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 210 shots according to Canon / CIPA test results, as the camera has built in GPS and Wi-Fi, the battery life is expected to be much less when using these features so a spare battery is definitely recommended.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Canon Powershot SX280 HS
Shutter Response <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.2
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.5
Shot to Shot without Flash 1.4
Shot to Shot with Flash 2.6
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
 
3fps Normal modes
14fps (7 shots) High Speed mode
Continuous Shooting - Flash 1.7s

Focus and shutter response is good, although flash recharge time is a little slow.

Canon Powershot SX280 HS Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Sample Photos

Portrait Flash | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 14.2 mm | ISO 100

Portrait Flash | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 14.2 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Drive | 1/320 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Drive | 1/320 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Hall (Wide) | 1/320 sec | f/5.6 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Hall (Wide) | 1/320 sec | f/5.6 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Macro | 1/640 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Macro | 1/640 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Bird | 1/320 sec | f/6.8 | 90.0 mm | ISO 400

Bird | 1/320 sec | f/6.8 | 90.0 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Duck | 1/1000 sec | f/6.8 | 90.0 mm | ISO 160

Duck | 1/1000 sec | f/6.8 | 90.0 mm | ISO 160
High-Res


Sample Photos - The portrait photo with flash had quite noticeable red-eye - although this didn't appear to be an issue with other subjects. Colours are excellent with the camera producing pleasing images with bright saturated colours whether using the camera at the wide end or the telephoto end of the lens, and exposure is reliable.

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Lens test images

Wide | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Wide | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

20x Zoom | 1/800 sec | f/6.8 | 90.0 mm | ISO 400

20x Zoom | 1/800 sec | f/6.8 | 90.0 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Digital Zoom | 1/160 sec | f/6.8 | 90.0 mm | ISO 125

Digital Zoom | 1/160 sec | f/6.8 | 90.0 mm | ISO 125
High-Res

Trees | 1/50 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Trees | 1/50 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res


Lens Performance - A 5cm macro focus means you can get a decent macro photo, although it's not as close as some other cameras. There are good levels of detail at both ends of the lens, as well as generally low levels of chromatic aberration or purple fringing, although this is more visible when using the full optical zoom. The lens performs well, and while there is some barrel and pincushion distortion, this is quite minimal and wasn't noticeable in everyday shots out and about.

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS ISO test images

1/6 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 80

1/6 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

1/8 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 100

1/8 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

1/15 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 200

1/15 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 400

1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 800

1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

1/125 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 1600

1/125 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res

1/250 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 3200

1/250 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 3200
High-Res

1/500 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 6400

1/500 sec | f/4.5 | 15.0 mm | ISO 6400
High-Res


ISO Noise Performance - ISO Range ISO80 - ISO6400 - this is extended since the previous version of this camera. Noise is low at ISO80, ISO100, and ISO200, with a slight increase of noise at ISO400. Noise increases again at ISO800, with a loss of detail seen at ISO1600. ISO3200 shows quite strong noise but results may still be usable if images are resized. ISO6400 is probably best avoided due to high noise levels.

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS White-balance test images

AWB Tungsten | 1/10 sec | f/4.0 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100

AWB Tungsten | 1/10 sec | f/4.0 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

WB Tungsten | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100

WB Tungsten | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

AWB Fluorescent | 0.3 sec | f/4.0 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100

AWB Fluorescent | 0.3 sec | f/4.0 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

WB Fluorescent | 0.3 sec | f/4.0 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100

WB Fluorescent | 0.3 sec | f/4.0 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a warm image in tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset performing much better. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset giving a slightly warm image.

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Digital filters

Effect Toy | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Effect Toy | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Effect Fisheye | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Effect Fisheye | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Effect Mini | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Effect Mini | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Effect Mono | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Effect Mono | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Effect Poster | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Effect Poster | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Effect Soft | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Effect Soft | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Effect Super Vivid | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Effect Super Vivid | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Colour Bnw | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Colour Bnw | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Colour Boost Blue | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Colour Boost Blue | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Colour Boost Green | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Colour Boost Green | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Colour Natural | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Colour Natural | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Colour Positive Film | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Colour Positive Film | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Colour Sepia | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Colour Sepia | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Colour Vivid | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Colour Vivid | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
High-Res


Digital Filters - The camera has a number of effects and scene modes that can be used to alter the appearance of photos, as well as get shots that might otherwise not be possible, including handheld nightshot. It's also possible to select from a number of colour settings, with a custom setting letting you change contrast, sharpness, saturation, red, green, blue, and skin tone. The camera doesn't feature a HDR mode as such, instead dynamic range can be improved by using the iContrast options.

Video - Video recording is smooth thanks to the 60fps frame rate, and the camera records full HD with stereo sound. Optical zoom is available while recording and two speeds are available, both fast and slow, although lens noise is quite audible when using the zoom, so the slower speed is recommended.


Value For Money

The Canon Powershot SX280 HS is available for £250 which makes it reasonable value for money priced just a bit higher than similar cameras from Nikon and Panasonic, and is up against the following cameras, shown below, with the latest price information:

Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR, 20x, GPS, £179
Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR, 20x, Wi-Fi, £235
Nikon Coolpix S9500, 22x, Wi-Fi, GPS, £240
Panasonic Lumix TZ40, 20x, Wi-Fi, GPS, £240
Sony Cyber-shot HX50, 30x, Wi-Fi, £329

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Canon Powershot SX280 HS Verdict

The Canon Powershot SX280 HS offers a lot of optical zoom in a compact camera body and has a number of features that the traveller will find appealing including both GPS and Wi-Fi. Image quality is very good with excellent colours and good levels of detail. The 14fps high speed shooting mode will also appeal, although it would be nice if it was available in all of the modes, and could have been used for an automatic HDR mode. It would have also been nice to see an auto-stitching panoramic mode built in. One of the biggest issues with the SX280 is the very short battery life, which will be even shorter when using GPS and Wi-Fi. However, if you are looking for excellent image quality in a compact camera, with a lot of zoom, then the Canon Powershot SX280 HS is recommended.

 
  The Canon Powershot SX280 HS delivers impressive image quality thanks to a 12 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor.

Canon Powershot SX280 HS Pros

12mp BSI CMOS sensor means low noise
GPS and Wi-Fi built in
Excellent image quality
Excellent colour
Good image quality when using full zoom
Compact and pocketable
Very good build quality
14fps continuous shooting mode

Canon Powershot SX280 HS Cons

Lacks panoramic mode
14fps only available in special mode
Lacks HDR mode
Short battery life

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Specifications

ManufacturerCanon
Lens
Max Aperture f/3.5 - f/6.8
35mm equivalent 25mm - 500mm
Optical Zoom 20x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels 12.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 4000
Pixels (H) 3000
Sensor Type Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size 1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width) No Data
Sensor Size (height) No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 3in
Screen resolution 461,000 dots
Touch Screen No
Focusing
Min Focus 5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • Manual
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/3200sec
Shutter speeds longest 15sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
  • Multi Pattern
  • Centre Spot
ISO sensitivity 100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp +/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting 14fps
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS 30
Stereo Sound Yes
Optical Zoom with Video Yes
Other Features
Image Stabilisation Yes
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Wi-Fi Yes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6L
CIPA Rating 210
Box Contents
Box Contents Digital Camera PowerShot SX280 HS, Wrist Strap WS-DC11, Battery Pack NB-6L, Battery Charger CB-2LYE, AC Cable, Interface Cable IFC-400PCU, User Manual Kit
Dimensions
Weight 233g
Width 106.3mm
Height 62.8mm
Depth 32.6mm

View Full Product Details


 


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