The Canon SX60 Powershot is an amazing ultrazoom bridge camera with few close competitors. Packed with a powerful 65x zoom lens, you'll have nearly limitless possibilities when it comes to what you want to shoot. It opens up many chances that you might have passed up as an amateur photographer or as a budding pro, providing crisp shots from quite a distance away.

The SX60 Powershot provides easier handling through its robust body and useful features without becoming too expensive. The numbers are impressive, but how remarkable is it under the hood? Let's take a look.

Understanding Ultrazoom Cameras

Tanned woman uses a canon sx60 camera

The world of ultrazoom cameras is a fascinating niche within the photography industry. Your ultrazoom camera empowers you to take gorgeous images from far away, alleviating the frustration of having to move closer to get a good shot. Plus, unlike pure digital zoom cameras, no definition is lost.

The ultrazoom camera, also known as the bridge camera, is an in-between type. It packs the features and body from a DSLR-style camera with the portability of a point-and-click. It removes the need to buy different kinds of lenses through its built-in optical zoom and various control options. This level of convenience provides smooth image processing for both wide-angle shots and ultra-telephoto shots without carrying what amounts to an entire studio in a briefcase.

Most bridge cameras tend to be made specifically for beginners in mind, and there are some factors to consider when buying these superzoom cameras. You'll want the features that are SLR-style, typically with a medium-sized frame and decent aperture.

Common problems

There’s no product without an issue, however, and these cameras are not exempt from that rule. We can easily identify three common issues with ultra-zoom bridge cameras.

One, with a built-in lens, there’s a limit on wide-angle shots and how much you can zoom in. The reason why ultra-zooms exist in the first place is customer dissatisfaction with low zoom kit lenses for these cameras. Of course, that built-in lens is also very convenient for beginners -- but you do lose out on some customizability.

The second issue is the camera sensor. Bridge ultrazooms tend to have smaller image sensors than their DSLR counterparts, which results in inferior image quality. If you’re a full-time pro and this disparity in image quality matters a lot to you, you may want to steer away.

The final important issue with these ultrazoom cameras is the price. They tend to be pricier than basic point-and-click options. While they come with enhanced features, the fact remains that this is still not a professional-level camera, so the increased price is harder for some to justify.

Canon SX60 Powershot Full Features

Canon Powershot SX60 16.1MP Digital Camera 65x Optical Zoom Lens...

The Canon SX60 is as basic as it gets for an ultrazoom bridge camera. Users who favor the SX60 are typically travelers, backpackers, and enthusiasts who want an easy but great quality unit.

However, there are a few awesome features that Canon has packed into this model that sets it apart from the rest. You’ll be glad about all the check marks it gets.

Lens

Let’s start with what sets this camera apart -- the lens. The Canon SX60 Powershot packs an ultra-powerful 65x optical zoom lens, for a focal equivalent of 21 -- 1365mm for those familiar with the 35mm standard zoom. This improvement is a substantial upgrade from its predecessor, the SX50, with a 24 -- 1200mm focus.

To put this extreme telephoto into perspective, it allows you to get a fairly distant shot clearly, without sacrificing depth of field and focal quality. The fully retracted set up is equally stunning, allowing for a wider than the standard angle for those up close true-to-life images.

One typical issue for the ultrazoom cameras is bad stabilization. The SX60 Powershot has solved this problem to a certain extent with its Optical Image Stabilizer technology -- except at the longest ranges. Of course, for image stabilization over long range, a tripod or other stabilizing tool is your best bet.

At anything close to the 1365mm full zoom, you'll have a hard time getting your subject in-frame without jitter. You can easily resolve this by using a tripod rather than handheld.

Aperture and shutter

The aperture and shutter speed leaves something to be desired with the SX60 Powershot. The aperture of the SX60 is at f/3.5 to 6.5 with a maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 sec.

The aperture and shutter speeds determine how much light goes through your camera. Aperture handles light blockage for more depth of field with less light. The lower the f-number, the more light allowed. Shutter speed also absorbs light but is time-based. The higher the fraction, the quicker the shutter closes. With this camera, the aperture will adjust automatically based on what shutter speed you have selected.

The SX60 is slower than many of its competitors. It can also struggle on overcast and dark weather conditions.

ISO

ISO stands for the "International Organization of Standardization," and refers to the sensitivity of the light sensor. Shooting at the same ISO lets you trust that the exposure from shot to shot will remain the same, even across multiple cameras. The Canon SX60 has a generally average ISO, having a range of 100 to 3200 on basic P mode and 6400 in low light mode.

This ISO is standard for its range, further cementing the low-light problems that the SX60 tends to struggle with. It doesn’t help that the camera sensor is standard as well, making this feature completely unexceptional.

Viewfinder

Another less-than-optimal part of the SX60 Powershot is the electronic viewfinder coupled with its optical viewfinder. The EVF resolution is at 922k dots, with a fully articulating LCD. This feature is a far cry from the Canon SX50’s abysmal 202k dots resolution. It is reasonable, but not overwhelmingly great. At low light, the viewfinder starts to sputter. It also lacks an eye sensor, which can get annoying at times.

As for the 921k dot three-inch LCD, some people may dislike the lack of touchscreen functionality. For those who won’t mind using a traditional d-pad on the right, the variable-angle is a welcome feature during tripod supported image and video capture.

Shooting mode

Another typical criticism for ultrazoom bridge cameras is the lack of manual mode. Though the system is for entry-levelers by design, the Canon SX60 has a great manual mode. This shooting mode provides you full control of all the features of your camera. It's perfect for more advanced users, helping to really bridge that gap between an amateur and a professional product.

In addition to this, the SX60 has the standard modes available to all Canon cameras like a smart shutter, fish-eye effect, super vivid, sports, and movie mode.

Camera sensors, autofocus, and processors

The SX60 Powershot uses an improved DIGIC 6 image processor, allowing for a two-second startup from cold start to first shot. This processing is a fair and drastic improvement, again, compared to the SX50.

As for image quality, the Canon SX60 has a 16 mega 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, which is standard for nearly all ultrazoom bridge cameras. Even then, you will love the image quality for this camera – something ultra important in any digital camera. The images it processes have good exposures and tend to be vibrant and colorful.

If you want to squeeze a bit more out of your ultrazoom SX60, you can do so with the RAW capture system; albeit they would require more time for post-processing compared to using the easy JPEG mode.

For continuous shooting, the Canon Powershot SX60 can go between 1.3 FPS to 6.1 FPS depending on the settings you use. These numbers are great for general purpose usage except if action shots are the premium.

Physical specifications

The body of the Canon SX60 clocks in at 5.02 x 3.65 x 4.5 inches, weighing in at 650g. The overall size tends to be on the heavier, bulkier side, reminiscent of full-size DSLR cameras. This feature is a mixed bag: After all, a heavier camera can start to get uncomfortable if you're wearing it all day on a neck strap or something. On the other hand, the increased weight makes it easier to stabilize the camera for long-distance shots.

The frame consists of molded plastic with aluminum around the lens barrel. The design makes the camera feel robust and high-quality.

Other features

The Canon SX60’s other features include a full HD 1080p video capture system, with various video function capabilities that you will love. It can provide super slow motion, a miniature effect for movies, and "digest movie" at both 60 fps and 30fps.

It also has Wi-Fi and wireless NFC for additional connectivity with your devices, a remote shooting feature using your mobile phone, and a mobile device connection option that allows file transfer directly to your phone.

Canon SX60 specifications

To help you decide if it stacks up with the competition, here is a quick list of important specs of the Canon SX60 from the manufacturer page itself:

  • Lens: 21-1365mm
  • Sensor: 16MP BSI-CMOS 1/2.3-inch sensor
  • Zoom: 65x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom, optical image stabilizer
  • Aperture: F/3.5 to 6.5
  • Shutter speed: maximum speed of 1/2000 second
  • Viewfinder: 922k electronic viewfinder, three-inch 922k dot vari-angle LCD
  • ISO: 100 to 3200 (P mode), 6400 (low-light mode)
  • RAW support

Canon SX60 consumer reviews

The Canon SX60 is well-beloved on many of its consumer reviews, specifically on Amazon. The camera has received favorable ratings with 4.4 out of 5 stars on an aggregate of 332 reviews. Out of the total number of reviewers, 65 percent scored it 5 stars and only 4 percent scored it one-star.

The positive reviews make a note of the low cost, availability, and the incredible zoom as among the top reasons why they like the system. Some also praise its RAW format support, which provides the proverbial “zing” for their photos. According to the top positive review, the SX60 has an edge with the autofocus feature.

Pricing

You can find this camera for $$ to $$$depending on the seller. If you're paying more than that, the chances are that a better deal is out there. The product is available primarily on Amazon or the Canon Store.

What comes in the box

  • PowerShot SX60 HS Digital Camera
  • Lens Cap (with Strap)
  • Battery Pack NB-10L
  • Battery Charger CB-2LC
  • Neck Strap NS-DC11

How We Reviewed

To bring you the best information possible, we've scoured the internet for information about the Canon SX60 as well as competitors. Then, comparing price and features, we looked at professional reviews from a variety of sources.

Finally, and most importantly, we researched reviews from verified customers to get an accurate sense of customer satisfaction.

Canon SX60 vs. Other Brands

Woman in a seashore uses a canon sx60 camera

The Canon SX60 is not the only ultrazoom bridge camera on the market. To get a better sense of whether or not this camera is worth your money, we've compared it to three other cameras. These three products are the Fujifilm X-S1, the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV, and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000.

How do they fare when compared to the SX60? Let’s find out.

Fujifilm

Fujifilm X-S1 12MP EXR CMOS Digital Camera with Fujinon F2.8 to F5.6...
  • 2/3 inches - 12MP EXR CMOS Sensor
  • High Quality Fujinon 26x Manual Optical Zoom Lens
  • Large High Performance EVF

The X-S1 is one of the older but equally premium models in the ultrazoom camera market. It has a 26x optical zoom lens with an aperture of F/2.8 to 5.6. In other words, the Canon SX60 trumps it in virtually every way.


Any feature the X-S1 has, apart from the ISO that goes all the way up to 12800, is irrelevant to compare to the SX60. Its best features are available with its Canon counterpart, and many features it doesn’t carry are included the SX60. The Fujifilm X-S1’s price range of $500 to $700 is high, especially for an Amazon rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.

Sony

Sony DSCRX10/B Cybershot 20.2 MP Digital Still Camera with 3-Inch LCD...
  • 20.9 MP 1"-type Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • 24-200mm equivalent F2.8 lens with optical image stabilization
  • Up to 10 FPS continuous shooting

The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV is almost an unfair comparison. Widely considered the undisputed best product in the bridge camera market, the award-winning RX10 IV is the expert choice with its top of the line features and specs.


The Cyber-shot RX10 IV uses a powerful Exmor RS sensor, a 25x zoom range, and 0.03-second autofocus -- the best in the market. Sure, the price range of $1,500 to $1,800 is high, and the 4.3 out of 5 star Amazon rating is not as impressive as it could be, but the RX10 IV is the clear-cut winner of the current ultrazoom camera market.


Other great features for this intermediate to advanced level camera include a touchscreen LCD and 24fps continuous shooting.


The biggest drawback is definitely the price, which is above what many people will be willing to spend.

PANASONIC

Sale
PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 II 20.1MP Digital Camera, 16x 25-400mm LEICA DC...
  • Large sensor - 1-inch 20. 1MP MOS sensor provides excellent low light and color depth performance making it perfect for...
  • Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT - 16x optical zoom Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT F2. 8-F4. 0 lens (35mm camera equivalent: 25-400mm)....
  • 5-Axis Hybrid O. I. S. - Optical image Stabilizer. I. S. ) plus active mode effectively compensate for hand shake to...

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is a great compromise bridge camera when compared to the entry-level Canon SX60 and the fully-advanced RX10 IV. It incorporates a one-inch 20.1 MP MOS sensor that captures clear photos with as little noise as possible.


The FZ1000’s zoom is a decent 16x long zoom, which is not as ultra as the SX60. Regardless, its Leica DC Lens 25-400mm F2.8-4.0 provides great light control even at low-light conditions, and the ultra high-speed 0.09-second autofocus is excellent as well.


The price range for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 clocks at $500 to $800. Its 4.3 out of 5 stars Amazon rating is also nothing to scoff at.

Canon SX60 Pros and Cons

The Canon SX60 Powershot is a great all-in-one camera experience for beginners, but it’s not perfect. It has its strengths and weaknesses, providing a balanced offering for the price it commands. There are some pros and cons that you should consider when buying this ultrazoom camera.

PROS

  • 65x optical zoom allows for top-notch telephoto images
  • Durable frame and good weight for additional stability
  • Superb image quality, especially with RAW
  • RAW capture format
  • 1080p video with advanced video functions
  • Fully articulating LCD
  • Manual mode available

CONS

  • Slow autofocus vs. other brands
  • Weak performance in low-light conditions
  • No eye sensor for EVF
  • Low fps for continuous shots
  • No touch LCD

Is the Canon SX60 Powershot Right for You?

Woman in an autumn forest captures images using her canon sx60 camera

With all the information you've learned, you might be questioning if you want to buy a Canon SX60 Powershot. If your camera budget is on the low side, the SX60 might be the best choice for its capabilities. If you’re an entry-level photography enthusiast who does not need high-end settings, we highly recommend getting this ultrazoom camera.

As your needs develop, you might want to move to a more advanced, professional model. This bridge camera is an excellent starting point. The Canon SX60 Powershot is worth it for its price and performance. You’ll be hard-pressed not to enjoy every click.

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