Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Camera Review$479.99
The SX50 offers quite good color accuracy, and our tests revealed an uncorrected error value of 2.39, which is competitive for this price range. In the most accurate color mode, that's with "My Colors" off by the way, saturation was only slightly below the ideal at 95.5%. The most severe inaccuracies are found in flesh tones, so this is probably not an ideal camera for portraits, as it also lacks a dedicated "portrait" color mode. More on how we test color.
Jiving with what we saw in our lab results, the camera's color performance impressed us during real world shooting, especially for landscape photography. This could be due to the relative accuracy of shades like blues, reds, and greens, which is a rare distribution for cameras of this class. We're fine recommending the SX50 HS if color accuracy is your thing, though we'd caution that you have to tweak some things to get the most out of the camera.
NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above do not exactly match the originals found on the chart or in the captured images. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the absolute captured colors.
2.39 is right along with almost every competing ultrazoom this year, and almost identical to its closest competitor, the Panasonic FZ200. We saw similar color accuracy out of last year's model, the Canon SX40.
Including the "off" setting there are nine available color modes and, as previously mentioned, if you want accurate colors leaving them off is the best option. Canon has historically shown very little consistency with regard to which color mode is the most accurate. Sometimes it's Neutral, sometimes My Colors Off, sometimes Lighter Skin Tone, sometimes Vivid Red. In the SX50's case, all modes other than Neutral are oversaturated and less accurate, with Neutral being too undersaturated to produce accurate shots.
Automatic white balance will be perfectly acceptable for the majority of shooting scenarios. Specifically we're talking about photography under daylight or fluorescents. In fact, under such conditions, we actually found the camera to be more accurate using automatic white balance than custom.
The exception to this is incandescent or "tungsten" light, which the automatic algorithm has trouble dealing with. Under those conditions, the automatic white balance will be off by about 2000 Kelvin, so you should really perform a manual white balance, which will drop that figure down to around 100 K.
White Balance Options
Six white balance presets are available, including one for flash and two different shades of fluorescent, plus automatic and two custom settings that are relatively simple to program.