Last week for my birthday I treated myself to a new Canon PowerShot SX280 HS digital camera and shelved my rather old and tied Canon IXUS 220 HS. This was in part because I could no longer look at blurred and distorted images. Before anyone comments this was not due to my shaky hands but instead because the camera has been a gem and put up with a battering over the last three years – in fact I’m surprised it lasted this long!
By no means is this post going meant to be an in-depth feature-by-feature review – I read what felt like a million of these before deciding on this camera instead I’ve shared some of these review with you below. I wanted to use this post to share with you my first thoughts on this camera, how it immediately delivered on my surprise trip to Berlin for my Birthday and generally how excellent I think the Canon PowerShot SX280 HS is.
A lot of the reviews I read highlighted an issue with the firmware whereby the battery is becomes flat after only a few seconds of video recording. With this in mind I managed to update the firmware which fixed the issue and touch wood I’ve not had any problems thus far.
The reviews also advised purchasing a spare battery if you want to use the GPS logging feature due to how much battery the uses. As I quite liked the idea of using the GPS logger especially while on the trip to Berlin I brought a couple of spares!
Even with this feature enabled I was still getting pretty much two-thirds of a day of rather intensive use out of the camera but it was reassuring knowing I had a spare battery in my pocket. One thing to remember is to disable the GPS logger feature when you’re not using it as I forgot and after a few days of not using the Camera I went to use it only to find the battery was flat.
Using the built-in WiFi you can share pictures and video to various services such as Facebook and Flickr. You have to configure these services on the camera via your computer which I found quite tedious even for me but after a little patience and perseverance, 30 minutes later I managed to set up all my sharing accounts. It’s really neat being able to sync pictures straight to my phone using the Canon CameraWindow iPhone app or send them straight to my Flickr account.
My favourite feature on camera is the Hybrid Auto mode that records a small four second video clip prior to every picture you take and these are then merged to form a movie of your day known as Movie Digest. I found that if you take lots of Hybrid Auto pictures it causes the camera to slow down while it saves and merges the movie and by using a high-speed SD card I was able to resolve this.
The 20x optical zoom on the camera is incredible but at this level of zoom I found my best photos were those that I taken with support from a Gorilla Grip tripod or similar.
One thing I would suggest is to play around with all the modes of the camera as there are a number of effects that you can apply to images along with some great functions that unfortunately are not so obvious until you navigate through the various menus.
I just love this camera, it has enough manual controls to keep me happy and the Hybrid mode is just perfect for instantly creating a fantastic video memory of pictures you’ve taken throughout the day. Changing from my old Canon to my new one was almost seamless with the way Canon has kept the user interface and controls very similar. The camera really lived up to all the reviews I read and even my expectations from Canon. Overall the camera was competitively priced against similar models on the market and with Canon throwing in £30 cash back it’s a bargain.
Five out of five stars ***** from me!