Canon PowerShot SX260 HS Digital Camera Review$349.99
We spotted plenty of artificial edge enhancement, which manifests itself as too-dark and too-bright lines on high contrast edges. That being said, the SX260 is a genuinely sharp camera, 20x lens and all. The closest focal length is the sharpest, averaging almost 1900 MTF50s across all zones, though detail is always much better in the center of the frame. The middle focal length is almost as sharp, averaging 1670 MTF50s, however maximum zoom causes a significant drop-off, down to 1270 MTF50s on average.
This is a good compromise we think. The SX260 suffers the same fate as similar cameras when fully extended, but sharp shots are still possible at minimum and moderate zoom. More on how we test sharpness.
In our stabilization lab test, which simulates quick, constant, horizontal movement, the SX260's stabilizer produced only a moderate improvement to overall sharpness. A difference of under 6% in fact. That's not bad, we sometimes observe stabilizers worsening image quality, but still a modest result overall.
Yet when we actually got out to shoot with the SX260, things were much different. The stabilizer is highly effective in retaining sharpness for shots we expected to be blurry. Walking and shooting simultaneously is possible at all but the most extreme focal lengths, and long zoom framing is aided tremendously by the Continuous IS mode. For still photography we do not recommend the "Powered" option.