The Canon Powershot SX600 HS was announced in January 2014 - it is a compact camera with 18x optical zoom and Wi-Fi, which lets you shoot remotely on a smartphone as well as share images quickly and easily. The SX600 HS is available in black, white and red for £172.
Canon Powershot SX600 HS Features
The Canon Powershot SX600 HS has a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and an 18x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-450mm. To keep images sharp there is optical image stabilisation. In continuous shooting, the SX600 is capable of up to 3.9 fps.
To make picture taking easy there is Smart Auto mode which automatically adjusts the camera settings for the detected scene. In Hybrid Auto mode you take a picture in Smart Auto and a 4 second movie clip is recorded for 4 seconds before the shot. They are then combined into a 720p HD video. There is a Creative Shot mode which takes a shot, analyses it, then generates another five creative shots.
The SX600 HS has built-in Wi-Fi which allows you to connect it to your smartphone. This lets you add GPS data to your images, share images as well as use your smartphone to shoot remotely.
Movies are recorded in full 1080p HD with Intelligent IS helping to keep videos steady. Optical zoom is available during recording and you can connect the camera to a HD TV using a HDMI cable.
16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
18x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-450mm)
Optical image stabilisation
3.0 inch 461k dot LCD screen
Wi-Fi for image sharing and remote shooting
Full 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps
5cm minimum focusing distance
3.9 fps continuous shooting
Available in black, white and red
Canon Powershot SX600 HS Handling
The Canon Powershot SX600 HS is a pocketable compact camera, despite hosting an 18x optical zoom lens - it's not all that heavy either. There is a small, rubberised groove on the front to help with grip and a rubberised area on the rear where your thumb sits. This also has a button which selects between Hybrid Auto and Creative Shot, with the third setting being where you'll find the P mode and scene modes.
The side of the camera has a button which releases the pop-up flash, you need to manually push it back down when you no longer want to use it. On top of the camera is the on / off button, as well as the shutter release and zoom rocker. Buttons on the rear are playback, movie record, menu and Wi-Fi. There is a d-pad with the function / set button in the middle - press this to access picture setting such as ISO, white balance, etc. The d-pad can be pressed to give access to macro, flash, display and exposure compensation.
Also on the rear is the 3.0 inch screen, which has a decent 461k dot resolution. The menu system is easy to use, when you press the function button, a column appears along the left hand side of the screen, so you press up or down to choose which setting you want to change, then press left and right to select your preferred option. The rest of camera settings are available via the menu button.
When you first press the Wi-Fi button you need to give the camera a nickname - it would make the process a little quicker if there was a name entered by default. You then choose if you are connecting to a smartphone or computer. A Wi-Fi network is the created by the camera for you to connect to. When connecting with a smartphone, it's then just a case of starting the Canon app. With the app you can transfer photos and use your smartphone to shoot remotely - you can adjust the zoom as well.
Battery life is rated at 290 shots according to CIPA test results, which is good for a compact camera, be aware that you'll get less shots if you use the Wi-Fi a lot. 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.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting with flash
Continuous shooting records in full 16 megapixel resolution, whereas high-speed burst is limited to 4 megapixels only.
Canon Powershot SX600 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 SX600 HS Sample Photos
Sample Photos - The Canon Powershot SX600 HS takes pictures with good colour reproduction that are also well exposed. Portraits have reasonable skin tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash.
Canon Powershot SX600 HS Lens test images
Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail at both ends of the lens, detail is also good in the darker areas of the images. Purple fringing can be seen, particularly when using the zoom. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm which allows for a reasonably good macro shot.
Canon Powershot SX600 HS ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 and 200, with a little appearing at ISO 400. Noise increases at ISO 800, which causes images to become soft and even softer at ISO 1600. At the highest setting of ISO 3200 images are very soft, but detail is still reasonably good.
Canon Powershot SX600 HS White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, the Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well, although the incandescent preset does a little better. Under the fluorescent lights, the AWB performs very well, with the fluorescent preset taking an identical picture.
Canon Powershot SX600 HS Digital filters
Digital Filters - There are a number of creative options included under My Colours, such as sepia and vivid. There are also other creative modes including miniature, toy camera and fish eye.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD video. Quality is good, although the noise can be heard, albeit faintly, when zooming. Also when fully zoomed in, videos are shaky when shooting handheld, so using a tripod would be recommended.
The Canon Powershot SX600 HS is a good all-round camera, having scored four stars in all our categories. Its features include a good zoom range and built-in Wi-fi, so an ideal camera for travelling and sharing pictures quickly on the web. It's also a well-built camera with ample buttons and a decent screen which fits in your pocket. Image quality is also good, with performance at higher ISO settings being quite impressive for a compact camera. The SX600 is at a price level which is competitive against other cameras with Wi-Fi and a similar amount of zoom. All this adds up to a camera we can recommend.