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REVIEW: Canon SX510, A Bridge Camera That Can Reach for the Stars


Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Canon SX 510 HS



Hello, let me share my thoughts about the Canon SX510 HS. This is a bridge camera that you can get if you're on a budget, don't want the complexity of carrying or using a DSLR, but want an upgrade from your old digital camera.



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Canon SX 510 HS specifications

Display: 3.0 inch LCD, 461,000 pixels
Resolution: 12MP (4608 x 3456)
Sensor: 1/2.3" CMOS (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Processor: Digic 4

ISO modes:
80/100/200/400/800/1600/3200
6400 (under Scenes > Low Light)

Aperture: F3.4 - F5.8
4x digital zoom
30x Optical Zoom lens / 120x Digital Zoom
24-720mm (35mm equiv)

Other cool features:
WiFi, Optical Image Stabilization

Video Modes: 
Normal Speed at 24 fps
Slow Motion 120/240 fps

Video Resolution: FHD, HD, VGA
Video Sound: 48kHz Stereo

In the box:
PowerShot SX510 HS Digital Camera
Battery Pack NB-6LH
Battery Charger CB-2LY
Lens Cap (with strap)
Neck Strap NS-DC11

For complete product info, visit this link:
http://ho.lazada.com.ph/SHDnZB


Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

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Camera Body

The box comes with the usual set of items: battery, charger, strap... except SD card and cables. I like the feel on my hands -- it's lightweight with a faux matte leather feel to the touch. Battery life is average. I think it should come with higher power storage, but it charges from zero to full in about 3 hours. The camera gets pretty hot when I used FHD video, so for events I usually use HD resolution to keep it cool and save on battery. 

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
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Image Quality

As for image quality, I get crisp photos despite having only 12MP in its arsenal. The image quality is mostly good, with occasionally the chromatic aberration on the edges being obvious to the naked eye. This is where the limitation of a bridge camera can get to you -- you CANNOT change the lens and you're stuck with it.

Sometimes the images look grainy in low light (since it only has a maximum aperture of f/3.5) when you crank up the ISO.
  
Review for the Canon SX510 HS

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Focal Length/Zoom

The Canon SX510 HS has a focal range of 4.3 to 129mm, aperture varying from f/3.4-5.8.

This camera has it all zooming from 4.3 to 129mm: from breathtaking macros at 0mm distance up to viewing the moon with its 120x magnification. I can achieve this without needing to switch lenses like that of my Nikon DSLR. But of course, images can get pretty grainy when I zoom toward its farthest reach.

For those who intend to double their cameras for the purpose of video, you will also be thrilled using this. No need to change lenses. However, the variable aperture of f/3.5-5.8 can be an annoyance sometimes when the exposure changes during video.

One of the features that I love is the Tracking AutoFocus (photos), which is decently fast. I cannot say the same with its despicably slow focusing during video.

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Left: Image showing the camera at 0mm macro
Right: Raw image of the macro shot

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Crisp details on zoom.

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Even tiny details are as sharp on zoom

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
I see every detail on the moon at 120x digital zoom

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Modes

There are 10 modes available for this device. The ones that I only use are Aperture Priority, High Burst Mode (from Scenes) for shooting pets and moving objects, Miniature (from Effects) for food photos, and Video. I occasionally use Live Mode if I want to produce very vivid and color saturated images. The other modes are totally unused.

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Live Mode and its vivid colors. No edit.

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Scenes

Of all 6 options in Scene Mode, the only one that I find of particular use is the High Speed Burst, which I use for shooting my pets and other objects that won't stay still. While the camera has a maximum ISO of 3200, Low Light mode can actually bump it up to 6400. Low Light mode is quite useless because the images are tinted with purple/magenta. So for low light, I just resort to the regular Aperture Mode.

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
High Speed Burst

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
High Speed Burst

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Aperture Mode

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Manual Mode

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Manual Mode in dim sidewalk lighting

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Miniature Mode

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

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Effects

Effects Mode is actually more useful than the previous mode mentioned. Miniature is my alternative to Tilt-Shift and it works pretty well with food and macro photography. I think the other effects apply beautifully on photos too.

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Miniature Mode

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Miniature Mode

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
Toy Camera effect

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Sample Photos

Review for the Canon SX510 HS




Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS

Review for the Canon SX510 HS
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Video


You can check out my YouTube channel (youtube.com/RattusChoki) for video samples.

Video resolutions are FHD (1920x1080), HD (1280x720), and VGA (640x480) -- all at 24 fps. There's also a Slow Motion Mode which takes videos at resolutions of 640x480 at 120fps and 320x240 at 240fps.

Stereo sound quality is also crystal clear with 48kHz sample rate and 16-bit resolution. It's able to capture adequate sound without too much noise and compression.

Video quality looks crystal clear as long as the camera is still and not moving around. Otherwise, the recorded video would look jittery and pixeleated.

There are limitations with using the Video Mode, which is one of the reasons I later decided to invest in a DSLR (Nikon D5200):

1) AutoFocus for video is damn SLOW taking up to 3 seconds to adjust.
2) You can use Manual Focus to set a fixed focusing distance, but you can't manually focus during video.
3) You're stuck with the variable apertures, and no, you can't change for better lenses.
4) Video looks muddled when the camera is moving, like when you're walking. Boo to image stabilization.
5) It's difficult to find filters and other add-ons for the lens.


For complete product info, visit this link:




















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Conclusion

Overall, the Canon SX510 HS did not disappoint despite a few complaints from me. This camera is for those who want to upgrade to a better tool without having to spend much or or be bothered with the complexities of using a DSLR.

Video was also one of the big considerations before I bought this bridge camera, and it was satisfying despite me having more demands.

If you're really serious about photography/videography and feel that you need more control -- then a DSLR is what you really need. That's what I got after 6 months of having this camera. Read my review of the Nikon D5200.




For complete product info, visit this link:




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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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