Canon Powershot SX510HS review

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The previous model SX500IS was slower than a snail at 0.8 fps continuous burst, but Canon gave a significant speed upgrade so the new SX510HS can shoot at reasonable 4 frames per second.

Auto focus speed is reasonable at wide angle (below a second in good light) but still takes up to 2 or 3 seconds fully zoomed. Also, it works faster when you select “Face detection” which focuses using all AF points rather than single AF point.

Macro goes down below 1cm, but at this distance you’ll have trouble lighting you subject.

AF assist lamp is also present. There is an option to automatically enlarge focused part of the image to check focus accuracy. If needed, full manual focus with distance scale is also available.


Canon SX510HS can now shoot Full HD videos with stereo sound (SX500 only did 1280×720 with mono sound). Video quality is generally good for this class of camera, but more demanding users might notice compression artifacts in video files. The good news is that there is not a trace of moire which still plagues even some DSLR cameras. Effective optical image stabilization is also an important factor since it is possible to get very steady recordings even at maximum optical zoom.


Canon SX510HS is an excellent camera for amateurs in need of large zoom lens and offers good compromise between price and features. All of the disadvantages of the SX500IS have been fixed or upgraded: SX510HS has visibly better image sensor and image quality, much better video quality, four times faster burst and even got the now obligatory Wi-Fi connectivity. You can get even higher image quality from similarly priced SX270HS and SX280HS, but with smaller 20x optical zoom. Alltogether, alltough still not perfect, the new SX510HS deserves my recommendations as one of the best cameras in the midlle range ultra-zoom category.


  • Handling and design
  • Image quality greatly improved over SX500IS
  • Huge 24-720mm optical zoom
  • Image stabilization effectiveness in video and stills
  • Video quality
  • Easy to operate


  • Not working with broken battery compartment


ISO 100, 1/1000, F/6.3

ISO 400, 1/640, F/5.8

ISO 80, 1/800, F/4.5

ISO 200, 1/1000, F/5.6

ISO 100, 1/1000, F/4.5

ISO 160, 1/1000, F/4

ISO 1600, 1/10, F/5

ISO 1600, 1/13, F/4.5

Buy Canon SX510 here: SX510
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