Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Camera Review$479.99
We were initially blown away by the SX50's sharpness. After all, those super-zoom lenses don't usually offer the best resolution. But our first samples were so sharp, we decided to take an even closer look at the data. Sure enough, most of this camera's sharpness capabilities are actually just software forgeries.
Although our tests recorded resolution in excess of 2500 MTF50s (that's outstanding) in some areas, the test also recorded up to 48% overshoot and 10% undershoot enhancement in those same areas. What this means, is that in the sharpest zones, roughly half of a given edge's detail is faked by internal software, not resolved by the performance of the sensor.
When a camera uses such aggressive edge enhancement, shots look decent while zoomed out, but closer inspection reveals bright, unnatural halos around many subjects, as well as dark black lines around simple shapes and straight lines. Both of these undesirable effects are observable in the crops below. More on how we test sharpness.
One of the SX50's coolest new features is called Framing Assist, and this arrives in the form of two new buttons on the left side of the lens barrel, one for "seek" and one for "lock." Seek simply zooms back out for a moment to give the shooter a chance to reorient themselves, but lock is a stabilization feature. The idea is to use image stabilization to keep the frame locked onto a certain subject, regardless of any shake or drift on the user's part.
It does work. There is a slight "tug," which you may notice after experimenting with the feature for a short time, but mostly it just feels like swapping back and forth between "standard" and "active" stabilization which, given the convenience of the new button, isn't really a bad thing either.