Shoot Out: Canon SX60HS vs. SX50HS and Sony HX400V

When the Canon SX50HS came out, two years ago next month, it was a significant upgrade from the SX40HS, which was already a great Point and Shoot superzoom for wildlife, macro, and landscape photography. The SX40HS had impressive image quality, a long zoom with enough reach for even small birds and bugs, great optical image stabilization, and a wonderful macro ability both at wide angle and at full telephoto.

The SX50HS added a 50x zoom reaching 1200mm equivalent (2400mm with a very usable 2x digital tel-converter), fast precise focus, faster continuous shooting, a great Sports Mode for birds in flight, and, for those who wanted it, RAW. It quickly became, if you measure such things by the number of users and the chatter on the forums, the de facto standard for P&Ss for nature photography.

However, in the two years since its introduction a whole new group of features began to appear in competing models and in P&Ss in general. Wifi connectivity, GPS tagging, sweep panorama (see the post), in-camera HDR that does not require a tripod (post)…not to mention ever increasing pixel counts. Unfortunately none of the newer models seemed able to match the image quality of the SX50HS, and, honestly, for the P&S nature photographer, it is all about image quality…or at least it is about image quality first.

When last October rolled around, a lot of P&S nature photographers were disappointed that Canon did not update the SX50HS. Rumors came and went, and the fate of the SX60HS became a hot topic on the forums. It came up every time there was any kind of opportunity for an introduction from Canon all through 2014.

A few months ago I decided not to wait any longer, and purchased the Sony HX400V. It has all the modern features, a 20mp sensor, and, to my eye, image quality as good as the SX50HS…better in some situations…different certainly, but still very satisfying.

This month, of course, Canon finally introduced the SX60HS. It is not supposed to ship until October 20th, but I was able to get one direct from Canon this past week.

In many ways, it is everything a P&S nature photographer could have hoped for in an upgrade.

  • The Eye-level Electronic View Finder has been improved dramatically! It is bright, and detailed…the best I have seen in a P&S camera. The LCD panel is also high resolution and very easy to use.
  • The zoom is slightly longer (65x or 21mm – 1365mm, and still with usable 1.6x and 2x digital tel-converters to get you out to 2730mm when needed).
  • The pixel count has been increased to 16mp, considerably less than the Sony’s 20, but considerably more than the SX50HS’ 12mp.
  • Continuous shooting mode has been revised to 6.4 frames per second with viewfinder refresh between frames (the blacked-out view during high speed shooting was a major criticism of the SX50HS), 4.5 frames per second with auto-focus between frames. Contrast this with the Sony HX400V which only manages 2 frames per second with focus (or without focus…though it does have a 10 fps fast mode, see below), buffers all the images, and takes a much longer time to process and write the images to the card.
  • Macro mode has been extended so that you can still focus to 0 inches (touching the front lens element) at wide angle, but now focus to 1.1 inches all the way out to 200mm equivalent! Wonderful!
  • There is built in, no tripod needed, HDR.
  • Wi-fi connectivity is built in and apps are available for Apple and Windows laptops, tablets, and phones.
  • They also claim faster focus, but, personally, I don’t see a lot of difference between this and the SX50HS.

All thumbnails here are linked to much larger files for close viewing. Click and the original will load. You will need to use the back button on your browser to return here. (if you close the window with the large scale image, you will have to navigate back to this page manually 🙂

Unfortunately, at least in my early sample, Canon has not managed to maintain quite the same level of image quality from this 16mp sensor as they got from the 12mp sensor in the SX50HS. In fact, in every test I have tried, straight out of the camera, the SX50HS shows more detail and slightly better color than the SX60HS, and when looking for fine detail, the SX60HS comes no where near the Sony HX400V. The Canon images from the SX series have always been very clean at the pixel level…showing very few digital artifacts (pixelization and blocking), noticeably fewer than the the Sony, but at sizes up to 2:1 magnification, both the SX50HS and the HX400V clearly show finer detail and less digital “smudging” than the SX60HS. Digital smudging used to be a huge issue in Sony P&S superzooms. The fine details in browns, tans, flesh color, and all shades of green would just turn to mush, as though someone had dragged a wet brush across a water color painting. In fact, it was often called the water color effect. The Sony HX400V shows very little smudging and the SX50HS shows practically none. The SX60HS, again, straight out of the camera, shows a lot…as much as or more than earlier Sony H series cameras. Even without the smudging, the detail is just somewhat soft overall in the SX60HS when compared to the SX50HS or HX400V.

To compound the matter the SX60HS images at full wide angle and full telephoto zoom appear the most soft…and this time I think it is a lens or focus issue. Interestingly the images at full zoom look fine in the wonderful high resolution EVF, but as soon as you press the shutter release all the way down, you can see the image go soft even in the EVF. ??? And once up on the computer at home, the softness is evident, especially when compared directly to SX50HS and HX400V images taken in the same spot of the same subjects.

It is, of course possible to process the SX60HS images after the fact to improve apparent sharpness and detail at screen resolution. One of the differences between Canon and Sony is that Sony always applies more aggressive in-camera processing to their jpegs. Some people feel this gives Sony images a painterly look, lacking subtly, but there is no doubt in my mind that the images have eye-appeal at normal viewing sizes. I have experimented with more aggressive processing for the SX60HS images in Lightroom, but honestly, there is only so much you can do without introducing so much noise that it becomes noticeable even at screen resolution. And I have also been experimenting with turning down the in-camera sharpening on the Sony.

SX60HS, Unprocessed left, processed in Lightroom on right.
SX60HS, Unprocessed left, processed in Lightroom on right.

Even with much lighter processing in Lightroom, the Sony has better apparent detail, and this is with the in-camera sharpening turned down one notch. 🙁

HX400V. Sharpening turned down one. Processed in Lightroom.
HX400V. Sharpening turned down one. Processed in Lightroom.

Post-processing to the rescue is not a motto I believe in. I want a camera that has excellent, or at lease acceptable, Image Quality straight out of the camera, so that I can make it even better in post-processing. The SX50HS and the Sony HX400V give me that. The SX60HS, at least in my early sample, does not! It is not a camera I could trust in the field on a day to day basis.

HX400V left, SX60HS right. In-camera HDR processed in Lightroom.
HX400V left, SX60HS right. In-camera HDR processed in Lightroom.

One mode where the HX400V clearly outperforms the SX60HS is in-camera HDR (High Dynamic Range. The camera combines three exposures taken automatically at different exposures to produce a single image with better highlights and shadows than any normal exposure). The Sony allows much more control over the process, and produces consistently better results, especially when shooting without a tripod. I find the SX60HS HDR images to be mushy and messy compared to the highly detailed HX400V images. If HDR is important to you, you might not be happy with the SX60HS.

And then too, for whatever mysterious reason, the SX60HS totally lacks a Panorama mode???? What’s up with that?

tall/wide sweep panorama HX400V
tall/wide sweep panorama HX400V

And I am sorry, the Wi-fi connectivity to a computer in the SX60HS is simply too difficult to set up. It to me three days to work it out, and I am considerably computer handy. Good luck to anyone who is not. The process is unnecessarily complex, involving several trips to the Control Panel, adding devices, installing drivers, etc. Once connected the Canon Camera Window software works well. Connection to an Android tablet is somewhat easier and again, the Camera Window software works. Still, the Sony was much easier to set up.

And, for another omission that is hard to understand…the SX60HS has no GPS for tagging images.

So, you would probably not upgrade to the Canon SX60HS because of the modern features, or for image quality, as such. Though the modern features are all there (except sweep panorama and GPS), they simply are not particularly well implemented. And the SX50HS still has marginally better image quality…though the SX60HS might show slightly finer detail (as others have reported from their own samples). You still might what to upgrade to the SX60HS for the very fine EVF and LCD, longer zoom, the amazing macro mode, and the continuous shooting ability, if those are more important to you than image quality.

If you are choosing your first P&S superzoom for nature photography, the SX50HS is still available and is an excellent P&S for nature photography…especially if you do not need or want the modern features. The Nikon P600 gets very good reviews and I have seen some excellent images from it. I would love to be able to test the Fuji S1, which looks like it might be worthy camera.  If post-processing is already part of your work-flow and style, you are not adverse to a little extra work, you shoot much macro or active wildlife, and want the best EVF in a P&S, then the SX60HS has a lot to recommend it…but only if you can live with its lower image quality. The Sony HX400V, of the three cameras compared here, gives you the highest level of control over how your image is processed in the camera, delivers great images straight out of the camera, and has all the modern features (and well implemented at that). Despite its somewhat awkward continuous mode, I can highly recommend it.

As I have said, my SX60HS is an early production sample. Things may change for the better when they get production ramped up. Mine is going back to Canon, and I will be shooting with the HX400V, with some additional tweaks I have developed during this test. I may reorder the SX60HS after a few months and give it another try. If I do, and it performs better, I will certainly let you know.

What follows is a somewhat detailed comparison of the features and characteristics of the three cameras…at least the features and characteristics that I think are important for Point and Shoot nature photography. That I think! For instance, you will not find mention of RAW capability, since I don’t use it. You will not find mention of “face mode” or “creative filters”, since again, I have not found a use for them in nature photography.

Image Quality:
SX50HS: excellent, very clean overall, with good detail and color.
SX60HS: perhaps acceptable, but requires considerable post-processing. Perhaps more subtle than the Sony.
HX400V: excellent. More digital artifacts than the SX50HS or SX60HS, but very little to no detail smudging, great fine detail rendition, and vibrant colors. Not as subtle as the Canons.

At the pixel level, the SX50HS looks best…for general viewing sizes I would give a slight edge to the HX400V. Some find the SX50HS images more natural looking. I tend to  prefer the look of the more vibrant and apparently more detailed Sony images. At this point, unless Canon has a major firmware update that addresses the IQ issues, it is simply not in the IQ race at all.

Zoom range:
SX50HS: 50x, 24mm-1200mm equivalent field of view. The built in Digital Tel-converters at 1.5 and 2x provide acceptable results (especially for tel-macro where detail floods the sensor) out to 1800 and 2400mm equivalent. DTC can be applied anywhere in the zoom range, and is actually useful in macros to give large scale at reasonable working distances.
SX60HS: 65x, 21-1365mm equivalent. The Digital Tel-Converters here are 1.6x and 2x, but, since base IQ is less, they do not produce as satisfying results.
HX400V: 50x, 24mm-1200mm equivalent. Clear Image Zoom extends the range at the long end of the zoom out to 2400mm and provides very good results.

Lens speed (wide, telephoto):
SX50HS: f3.2-f6.5
SX60HS: f3.4-f6.5
HX400V: f2.8-f6.3

Though the Sony is the fastest (brightest) lens, it is not by much. None of these cameras are low-light specialists. Still they are adequate for most outdoor work, and all have special digital trickery built in to handle low light and indoor settings. And honestly, where are you going to find a faster 1200-1365mm lens for any camera? f6.3-f6.5 at those focal lengths is actually pretty fast, especially considering the light efficiency of the small P&S sensors.

Focus Speed and accuracy:
SX50HS: quite fast, and quite positive. Seeks in low light and sometimes does not find focus. Seeks in macro, and sometimes focuses on background.
SX60HS: as fast as the SX50HS, but not, perhaps, as accurate. Lots of shots are just a little off. More testing is needed.
HX400V: fast and accurate. Some seeking in low light and macro, but the hybrid focus (auto with manual assist using the excellent fly by wire collar on the lens) makes it easy to acquire correct focus in even the most difficult situations.

Both Canons also have a manual focus mode, but it is so difficult to use that it is pretty much useless.

Image Stabilization:
SX50HS: great! Allows for sharp shots, handheld, at full telephoto and even using the digital tel-converter…as well as in low light.
SX60HS: much the same.
HX400V: excellent, even better than the SX50HS, especially while framing the shot at full telephoto.

I have total confidence in the IS on the Sony HX400V. There is no situation where I feel a tripod is needed.

Macro:
Both the Canon’s have a dedicated Macro Mode. The Sony has macro focusing as part of its normal focus range. (In Auto and Program, the Canons will behave just as the Sony does and focus at macro distances without turning on Macro Mode. Macro mode is intentionally biased for close subjects…so focus may be quicker.)
SX50HS: focus to 0 in. at 24mm equivalent. Goes immediately to 1.1 in. as soon as you touch the zoom lever, and stays there until about 35mm equivalent. Goes to 1.9 in. until you reach 100mm, then jumps to 11.8 inches. You can only focus to 19.6 inches below 200mm where it jumps to 27 inches to Infinity. It quickly goes to 3.2 ft., 4.5 ft., 6.5ft. It drops back to 4.9 ft. at about 1000mm, and reaches 4.2 ft. again at 1200mm.
SX60HS: focus to 0 in. at 21mm equivalent. Jump immediately to 1.1 to 19.6 in. but stays there until you reach 200mm equivalent, where it goes to 3.9 in. At just beyond 300mm equivalent it jumps to 27 in. to infinity. From there it increases steadily to 6.2 feet just short of 1200mm and then drops back to 5.9 ft. at full zoom.
HX400V: focus to .4 in at 24mm equivalent. 1.2 in. at 50mm, 2 in. at 85mm, 6 in. at 135mm, 11.4 in. at 200mm, 27.6 in. at 400mm, 5.2 ft. at 600mm and 7.9 ft. at full zoom.

As you can clearly see, if you are into macro, the SX60HS is a great camera. Macros flood the sensor with detail, and you will get amazing results from 1.1 inches at 200mm equivalent field of view. The tel-macros on the SX50HS from 4.2 feet at 1200mm (or even 1800mm using the DTC) are totally amazing. The Sony makes up somewhat for lacking a true tel-macro with its higher pixel count and good IQ, both of which allow for pretty heavy cropping when you need it. On the other hand, the macros from 2 inches at 85mm are simply stunning!

High Speed Continuous Shooting:
SX50HS: 13 fps in dedicated High Speed mode for 10 shots. 3+ frames per second in regular continuous mode, with focus locked on the first frame, up to 24 shots. Less than 1 fps with focus between frames. Sports mode seems to break the rules and gives something over 3 fps with focus between frames, bot only in Standard resolution (not Fine).
SX60HS: as above, 6.4 fps continuous until the buffer fills, then progressively slower. Focus locked on first shot. Slower in low light. Moving the camera (as in panning to follow a moving subject) seems to fill the buffer faster. The finders is refreshed after each shot, beginning with about the 3rd shot, so you can see what you are following. 3.4 fps is set to focus between frames. There is evidently a third mode at 4.3 fps (LV: but I have not found what LV means in the manual yet).
HX400V: High speed: 10 fps for 10 frames. One press of the shutter shoots all 10 frames. Low: 2 fps. It is difficult to shoot less than 3 frames. The camera focuses between frames and the viewfinder is refreshed. However all shots are held in a buffer, then displayed to the LCD or finder as a group, then written to the card. It takes a few seconds between bursts for the buffer to clear. Sports mode on the Sony does not break any rules, and you are limited to the Low setting for continuous shooting.

In practice, I find that 13 fps, or 10, is simply too fast. You end up with 10 essentially identical images, and since focus locks on the first frame, if the first one is out of focus, they all are. 🙁 2-3 fps is fine for most bird and wildlife action, and focus between frames is essential. Of course. your needs may differ. All in all, the SX60HS is pretty clearly the winner here.

Electronic View Finder:
SX50HS: adequate (but just)
SX60HS: quite good. Higher resolution and contrast than either of the others. Colors a bit off, well on the warm side, but a real pleasure to use.
HX400V: adequate (but just). I have slightly more difficulty with this EVF in critical situations (like finding a bird in a bush or tree) than I do with the SX50HS.

For wildlife photography, a good EVF is essential. None of these match the EVF on the Olympus Mirrorless Compact DSLRs, but they get the job done. And the EVF on the SX60HS comes very close to the Mirrorless standard.

LCD:
All three are sharp and bright enough for daylight use. The SX60HS is the brightest and sharpest.
SX50 and 60HS: fully articulated, swings out and around to the side and rotates 180 degrees.
HX400V: semi-articulated. Pulls out and rotates about 90 degrees, 45 up and 45 down.

For me an articulated LCD is essential for macro and low angle landscape work. Both designs work here, but the Canon design is superior.

Controls and layout:
SX50HS: I have used this camera for two years so I am well used to where things are. There is a button for almost everything you might want quick access to, and one programmable custom button that you can reach with your left thumb. The controls are large enough for average hands. The thumb wheel surrounding the 5 way rocker control on the back of the camera can be awkward but is usable.
SX60HS: The 5 way rocker control on the back is very difficult to use without looking and the rockers are very small and too flush with the surface for my fingers. I may get used to it, but it is awkward. There is no ISO control button and the exposure compensation button has been moved off the rockers to a separate button above and to the left. The programmable shortcut button has been moved to the top where it is reached by your shutter finger. The thumb wheel has been moved from surrounding the 5 way rocker to an actual wheel immediately behind the shutter release. This means that you can NOT operate it with your finger on the shutter release as it requires that finger to turn it. Awkward! On the other hand, it is very handy for changing the primary settings in each Mode. For instance in Shutter Preferred Mode it controls shutter speed. Canon missed, in my opinion two good options for this wheel in standard Program mode. It ought to either control manual focus (ideally a manual focus assist for Auto), or Program Shift.
HX400V: Controls are well placed and large enough for most fingers. The rocker buttons on the 5 way control have a raised edge and are very easy to use. There is one programmable custom button immediately behind the shutter release and a function button to the left of it. The function button pulls up a programmable on-screen menu of the most used settings for the mode you are in. Selections are made using the center button on the 5 way rocker and adjustments are made using the excellent thumb wheel, which is ideally placed under your right thumb. (It is possible to turn this wheel unintentionally while handling the camera, but a little care solves the problem). All in all,  excellent controls and layout.

The one thing all these cameras lack is touch screen control. This is surprising in cameras at this price level. An intelligent touch screen would improve usability.

In-camera HDR:
SX50HS: three exposures, adjustable for exposure spread and center, with “creative filters” (oops, I made a lair of myself…but I don’t use them). The three exposures take significant time, so a tripod is absolutely necessary. Results are good if you set it up right. Any movement at all results in ghosting or misaligned images.
SX60HS: three exposures, not adjustable, with creative filters. Results: not so great. The range is extended, but all fine detail is lost, and detail over all is smudged. Useless.
HX400V: excellent three exposures, adjustable for spread and center. Creative filters (Picture effects) available, as well as the full range of Sony Creative Styles (Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, etc. (By the way, each of these Creative Styles has separate settings to adjust the Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness of the image, giving you a lot of control over how the jpeg is rendered in the camera, not only in HDR mode, but in standard Program as well 🙂 I plan to “tune” my settings on the HX400V to see if I can achieve a more subtle rendering of color tones. )

I find in-camera HDR to be a big help with dramatic landscapes…big skies, etc. Of these three, only the Sony has a really effective in-camera HDR mode, and it produces files that can be easily tweaked in Lightroom for natural look I prefer. Post.

Panorama
SX50HS: Stitch assist panorama in any direction. Display allows you to overlap three or more separate exposures or stitching later in software.
SX60HS: NONE!
HX400V: two different (wide and standard) sweep panorama modes. Images are created seamlessly as you sweep the camera across the scene in any direction, in either portrait or landscape orientation. Such fun! And don’t forget to try vertical panoramas with the camera sweeping down. Post.

Considering that Sweep Panorama is built into $200 Point & Shoots these days (phones even), it is, in my opinion, inexcusable that Canon did not implement it in the SX60HS. Sony was the first to implement sweep panorama in a P&S, and their mode is still the best!

Sports Mode:
If you shoot birds or bugs in flight, you are going to be interested in the Sports Mode on these cameras. Sports Mode is optimized for rapidly moving subjects.

SX50HS: excellent. Locks on to moving subjects and tracks them, even after the shutter is pressed. Follow focus as long as the subject is near the center of the finder. Only focuses to 49 feet at the long end of the zoom, closer in at below 600mm.  About 4 fps.
SX60HS: the same.
HX400V: large center focus rectangle picks up whatever is moving closest to center and tracks focus. 2 fps or 10 fps.

I have shot dragonflies in the air with the Sports Mode on the Sony, and many many birds in flight with the SX50HS. It is amazing that you can do either with a P&S! I plan a post of birds in flight in November when I next visit Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and have lots of cooperative subjects. 🙂

Processing Customization:
Both the SX50HS and SX60HS shoot in both RAW and jpeg, or RAW and jpeg. That gives you a lot of control over how the image is processed after the fact. The Sony only shoots in jpeg, but gives you a lot of control over how the image is processed in camera. The Sony Creative Styles, as noted above under HDR, provide 7 different processing programs, each of which can be individually adjusted for Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness. Your adjustment are remembered so in Program, you can have 7 individually tailored processing options. Changing Creative Style on the fly is easy, using the function button for quick access. You can also set a customized Creative Style in both of the Memory Modes. I am just beginning to play with customizing my Creative Styles, but I believe that this kind of control in-camera makes not having RAW much less of an issue.

To finish, I will give you my likes and dislikes for the Canon SX60HS and the Sony HX400V.

Canon SX60HS:

Like

  • excellent EVF
  • great macro
  • usable continuous shot
  • sports mode for birds in flight

Dislike

  • Image Quality overall
  • Poor HDR
  • No panorama
  • Difficult wifi setup

Sony HX400V

Like:

  • good to excellent image quality
  • great HDR mode
  • great sweep panorama
  • auto focus with manual assist using focusing collar on lens!
  • sports mode for birds in flight
  • easy wifi setup
  • ability to tune jpeg processing in camera

Dislike

  • awkward, annoying continuous shot mode

 

 

 

 

132 thoughts on “Shoot Out: Canon SX60HS vs. SX50HS and Sony HX400V”

  1. Thanks a lot for that !
    (I’m in the market right now for one of these, and especially for wildlife/birding photography)
    Will wait a bit on the sx60 then …
    And too bad the sony hasn’t a better EVF.

  2. Thank you for this useful and thoughtful information.
    I have owned the SX50 and HX400. For the SX60, I have only looked at photos posted online.
    Generally I agree with your comments about both the SX50 and the HX400, particularly about image quality, where I think the SX50 has been excellent. However, I disagree about the HX400’s burst mode. I have not compared it to the SX60, but to me the key thing is that the HX400 refreshes the viewfinder/lcd during the shooting fairly fast. This permits visual tracking of a fast moving subject during the burst. Most subject motion is not directly at or away from the camera. Therefor refresh, even at fixed focus, is more important than refocusing, because, without fast refresh, the subject is out of frame. I have found, for example, that I’m able to get 10 shots of a Northern Gannet dive with the Sony (which is about a 1 second plummet into the ocean) because of its fast refresh. Maybe I could get 6 with the SX60, I don’t know, but the SX50 essentially got no burst coverage.

    1. I like the way burst mode works on the HX400V, but I do not like the fact that it it buffers 100% of the shots, then displays them as thumbnails, then writes the to card, all the while locking up the camera so you can’t start another burst until it finishes. 🙂

  3. Yes, I agree that is annoying and sometimes an impediment to getting the shot you want. It is an exaggeration to describe the situation as “choose your poison” because I do get very pleasing photos, but maybe “choose your impediment” would be accurate.

  4. Thank you very much for the fine comparison, Steve. Makes me feel much better about my recent HX400V purchase.

    I own a dSLR w/three lenses and love it. This Sony was purchased solely for the huge zoom, but I have been blown away by its photo quality under so many different extremes, that I can’t put it down.

    Thanks again for the excellent comparison.

  5. HI Team ,
    I am still confused between Canon SX50 HS and Sony HX40V .
    Please recommend me .
    SX60 HS is out of my mind now.

    1. If you are interested in the “modern” features: wifi, sweep panorama, in camera HDR, etc. The Sony is your choice. If you value a “clean” image with the fewest digital artifacts, then the SX50 is your choice. Overall image quality is about the same, but the Sony has almost twice as many pixels. 🙂

  6. Hi Steve ,

    Thanks for you reply . As per your posts i have seen Sony HX400V has more clear and brighter colour images than Canon SX50 HS .

    I am more interested in rich image quality , Perfect autofocus and IS.
    Some good features to canon as compared to sony are
    1) Slow motion video capture
    2) Click photos during video capture
    3) Flip Out screen

    Please help me to get decision soon.

  7. Wonderful review! I have owned the SX50 for near two years now and love it. Mostly using it for bird photography here in NZ. I do only have the SX50 and like many others have been awaiting the coming of the SX60 but must say feel very disappointed with what I have seen and heard so far. I want a second camera and an now looking at the Sony and Nikon P600, image quality being top of the list, so thanks for your great review. I do hear that Canon are soon to bring out a new bridge camera SX70!!? Maybe not. With a 1in sensor!

  8. Hi . Thanks for work. Just do you know if movie mode on sx60 is improved and use 1:1 pure pixels from sensor or is interpolated like in sx50? if i’m clear enough? thanks

  9. Hi, nice comparative review. I’m an ex-SX50 owner (only sold it in anticipation of the SX60 – now sorely disappointed!) and am looking at either getting another SX50 or going over to the Sony camp. From what I can see (and have heard numerous times) the Sony images look a bit over-processed – particularly they look “over-sharpened”. Is there any way you can turn down the in-camera sharpening about 5 notches?

    1. You can adjust Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness for each of 7 different Creative Styles which can be applied in Program modes. I set sharpness to -1 in the Styles I use, and I think it eliminates some of the sharpening artifacts. It can be set as low as -3.

  10. I own the Canon SX40, have been waiting for the Sx60, but now pretty disappointed after reading some reviews.
    For bird photography, do you recommend the Canon Sx50 or Sony Hx400V?
    I want better image quality and fast shooting.
    Thanks,
    Lynn

    1. Either camera is an improvement over the SX40HS…faster focus being a major difference. I own both the SX50HS and the Sony HX400V. I have not shot with the SX50HS (except for this comparison) since a week after I got the Sony. In my opinion it is a better camera all around, and gives me excellent results for birds.

  11. Thank you for your input. I have always been using point and shoot cameras, but have been considering getting a DSLR camera for better image and faster focus. However the prices for the DSLR cameras are much more expensive, and doesn’t have the big zoom like in the Canon SX 50.
    I am amazed at the photos that you have taken with the point and shoot camera. I think my problem is I don’t really know how to adjust some of the features on my camera, thus the quality is not quite as good as I want it to be.
    I will read your article on the bird photo setting, so may be I can take better bird pictures. Thanks again!

  12. Hey bro I’m badly confused between Cannon SX50HS and Sony HX400V. Please help me. Is raw file format is not a major con? Please help me out I’ve never bought a camera before. Thanks.

    1. If you currently shoot in RAW, and rely on it, then, yes, the lack in the Sony is a major con. I do not use RAW, and I find that the Sony gives me a lot of control over how the jpegs are processed in-camera, through the Creative Styles feature. If this is your first camera and you will be shooting in Auto on either camera (Superior Auto on the Sony)…you will NOT be using RAW anyway.

    1. The Sony images of birds are as good as, maybe better than, the SX50, and they have a much higher pixel count which makes cropping more practical. SX50 images are “cleaner” with few digital artifacts. Sony images are more vivid and slightly more detailed. Your choice.

  13. Today i purchased Sony HX400V . Its amazing package.
    Better to go instead of SX50 HS. Clear pictures with bright colour + Wifi sharing works amazingly . Its worth to buy.
    Still more to explore this Sony.

  14. I just picked up the sx60 yesterday and bad news for the EVf. The screen inside this evf might be higher resolution, but it is tiny!!! I absolutely have to be wearing glasses to use the EVF, which I’ve never had to do for any other because the they have a diopter adjustment. Dealbreaker. For me it is worse in some respects to the sx50 EVf

    I find that at same usable image sizes s1 has better image detail than hx400. At 100% it’s even more obvious though Fuji has grainy texture which is visible in solid background at 200 ISO even at 50% or less whereas Sony has edge and text artefacts visible above 60 % even at 100 ISO but do not affect entire image like Fuji grain.

  15. Excellent report on the 3 cameras, these were the three that i could not decide between. Its been taking me weeks to choose , but after reading this,looks like it could be the sony , it has always been the one that i keep going back too.I suppose you don’t know how good the video quality is on the hx400v as i want to use it at airshows as well. many thanks karl

  16. Hello, I am a bit baffled by your comment that the Sony hx400 Image Stabilization is excellent, and the report below from “Which” magazine in the UK. :

    Is there anything I should look out for?
    Aside from its image stabilisation this is a top performing camera with no obvious weaknesses.
    Should I buy it?
    Despite its many plus points, that low image stabilisation score is a real kicker. When you’re spending this much money on a camera, you can afford to be choosey. That means you’d be better served with an alternative to the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V.

    Pros: Very good photo quality, semi-professional design, wi-fi

    Cons: Disappointing image stabilization.

    Totally contradicting!! who do I believe?

    1. I can not understand their results unless they got a bad sample or tested it incorrectly. ?? Check the Sony forum on dpreview and you will find other positive comments on the IS. It is better than the Canon by a good margin.

  17. It seems like disapointing a lot with sx60. Can you also add Nikon CoolPix P600 to this comparison? I like photographing moon rather than birds.

  18. Thanks much for the article on the 3 cameras. I am starting to lean towards the Sony , but will read a few more reviews. I plan on using it for travel photos and pictures of my family.

  19. Although you mention that the Canon SX60HS is an “early production sample”, I think its rather unfair of you to make the comparisons, which suggest the inferiority of the product and put people off buying it. Disappointed by this

    1. Nothing I have seen or read since, based on the current shipping models, has indicated much change in the quality, especially at the long end of the zoom…and until they upgrade the firmware (and Canon does not have a good record on firmware updates in Point and Shoots), the HDR will still be inadequate…and there will never be sweep panorama. I stand by my conclusions. 🙂

    2. I might also mention that this my unit, while I got it before the official release date, was sold to me at full retail price by Canon…part of an early shipment that apparently arrived before the official date. I did not receive it as a “sample” despite what my wording might have implied.

  20. Hi Steve, great comparison review. I have a Canon SX40 and have waited to upgrade to the SX60, but after your review (and others) it looks like I’ll be getting the Sony HX400.
    Thanks for making my choice somewhat easier, and as it happens saved me quite a substantial amount of cash.

  21. Have been going back and forth… Sx60 or hx400… In my comparing the two cameras I found the Sony to focus much quicker… You also have to buy a $25 adapter for the Canon to screw on any type of lens protector (uv etc.) I am going with the Sony.

  22. Hi Steve,
    I just got the Sony Hx400V yesterday. Could you please let me know how to set the sharpness level to -1? Also, any tips on Setting the camera to taking bird photos?
    Thanks

  23. Hi!Thanks for your post.It really helped me out to some extent.The three cameras were on my mind already and here you’ve made the best comparison.
    Please give me a final word(recommend)between canon sx50 vs sony hx400v.
    My choice is for ‘Bird photography and Super Macro’ Shots with great details.
    Thanks!!

  24. Hi!Thanks for your post.It really helped me out to some extent.The three cameras were on my mind already and here you’ve made the best comparison.
    Please give me a final word(recommend)between canon sx50 vs sony hx400v.
    My choice is for ‘Bird photography and Super Macro’ Shots with great details.
    Thanks!!

  25. Great info Steve. I’m coming from an FZ-150. Why no Panasonic in this comparison? FZ-200? FZ1000? All web pics of Sony 300 and 400 look great online and I was all set to jump on either the SX50 or Sony 300/400 but terrible reviews everywhere [for just the Sonys] They’re nowhere in the running for some reason. Your pics tell a different story! Thoughts on the Pannys in this race? Thanks…VB

    1. Yes, I totally do not understand the bad reviews the Sony HX400V gets. Are they using a different camera than I am? Anyway. I would love to have included the Panasonic cameras, but I have to purchase the cameras I test 🙁 and I can only afford so many. I have to pic my cameras based on the same reviews you read…which given the previous comment I know to be a very inaccurate method.

  26. Ahhh…gotcha’. Thought maybe (for what you do) you already dismissed the Pannys. Friend said stop reading reviews – read the specs, peruse the manual, look at user pics and then buy & try. Thanks for getting back and Happy Holidays!

  27. I just loved your review bt I’m still confused……I’m a bird photographer and looking for sharp images with greater detail…..which one would you recommend?……..also it would be a great help if you post more image comparision of birds n other stuff in different lighting conditions…..:)

    1. Depends on your demands. Canon SX50 still has the “cleanest” image, but lacks the higher resolution sensor and modern features of the Sony. I am only using the Sony now. Recent sony work can be found in the galleries at:
      http://weiw.lightshedder.com/Landscape-Wildlife/Everglades-2014/
      http://weiw.lightshedder.com/Landscape-Wildlife/Bosque-del-Apache-2014/
      http://weiw.lightshedder.com/Landscape-Wildlife/Rio-Grande-Valley-2014

      For Canon samples check out:
      http://weiw.lightshedder.com/Landscape-Wildlife/Florida-2014/

  28. Thank you fr the rply……I checked your pics on the sony camera and saw some on the dpreview forum……The image quality is stunning and has everything I need……I have made my mind to buy the hx400v……bt one thing that I can’t seem to agree with are the negative reviews…….every user of this camera denies them…….then why are there so many false comments made on this camera?..

    1. It is a mystery to me. Every current P&S Superzoom has its strengths and weaknesses, and the truth is, you can make excellent images with any of them. The camera is rarely the limiting factor in photography 🙂

  29. Your review was immensely helpful to me, and I bought a Sony HX400V 5 days ago. I am coming from a Nikon P510 which produces great IQ but is slow focusing. I borrowed an SX50 to compare full zoom with the P510 and found the images remarkably similar despite the X42 1000mm equiv zoom of the P510. I bought a Nikon P600 when they first came out a year ago and returned it as it was even slower and IQ no better. I followed that with a Fuji HS50 which had disastrous IQ, also a year ago.
    Hoping to have fun with the Sony, lots of bells and whistles to master, and I expect the Zeiss lens will be no worse than any other P&S superzoom. It is birds and flowers which are my main interest, so I need to choose carefully.

  30. I really appreciate all the work you do Steve.
    I am pretty sold on the Sony HX400V – but I am having trouble getting good skin tones. I like taking pictures of family as well as nature. Are there any tricks to getting good skin tones with this camera or is there another camera you would recommend?

    1. Try Creative Styles Portrait, and turn sharpness down to – 3, Contrast down to – 1,and Saturation down to – 2. As a start. Experiment with the settings until you get the effect you want. Also play with color balance in post processing. 🙂

  31. Hi Steve – I have really appreciated reading your review/comparison of the CanonSX60 and Sony HX400V cameras. I have been reading so many different reviews of both cameras and just getting confused. My decision has finally been made after reading the comments following your comparison article and more importantly your prompt, clear and honest replies. Thank you for taking the time and showing such patience in sharing your personal opinions – and your fantastic photographs! I can’t wait to get the Sony HX400V in my hands!

  32. Hi Steve:

    Thanks for your fast reply – I really appreciate your support.
    I did try and look for the Creative Styles Portrait in the Sony HX400V and couldn’t find it.

    I just finished talking with a Sony Technician this is what he said.
    The camera has some scene selections available.
    You can select the “Portrait” in the scene selection which helps you for the skin tone. There are no other specific settings available in the camera for skin tones other than Scene selection.
    You: 3:30:48 PM
    I’m in the mode now – can I fine tune it?
    Shawn (C70E): 3:31:57 PM
    I am sorry to say that users cannot change the settings.
    You: 3:32:55 PM
    Is there anything in the PA or S modes that allow me to choose creative styles?
    Shawn (C70E): 3:34:03 PM
    I am sorry there are no such option available.

    Overall I have found the Canon SX50 to be better with skin tones.
    I have tried many different settings and it appears the Canon is consistently better. Consequently, I think I am going to go with the Canon instead of the Sony HX400. I will miss the panorama, GPS and wi-fi of ths Sony though.

    If there is something I am doing wrong and I can get better skin tones out of the Sony please let me know.

    Thanks again for all your support,
    Susan

    1. Put the camera in Program. Press the Function button (behind the shutter button, next to the “W” for wide angle. This brings up a menu across the bottom of the screen. Creative Styles is the 4th from the left on the bottom row. Navigate to it using the up/down/left/right rocker switch which surrounds the control button on the back of the camera. Press the control button (center of rocker switches). This brings up the Creative Style menu. You can use the thumbwheel or the rocker switches to choose one of the 7 settings on the left side of the screen. As you scroll through them Portrait is the third from the top. You will see settings for Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness across the bottom of the screen, corresponding to each Creative Style on the left. Once you have scrolled to Portrait, press the right rocker switch around the control button and Contrast will highlight. Use the up/down rocker switches to adjust. Press the left rocker switch once more to scroll to Saturation. Set it. Left rocker one more time to Sharpness. Set it. The settings you make here will be remembered the next time you go to Program…or if you shoot a lot of portraits, navigate the menu system to the Memory section (main menu, using the Menu button) and save the settings to one of the two memory positions. You can make separate adjustments for Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness for each of the 7 Creative Styles. That gives you A LOT of control over how the raw file is processed to jpeg in the camera. 🙂

  33. Wow Steve, You are amazing. You know so much more than the Sony Technician I talked with. Thank You. I will experiment more with the Sony.
    I do find the Sony is great outdoors – I just need to decide if I can make it do the indoor shots I want. Do you personally have a preference for skin tones with either camera (especially indoors)…or is it just a matter of learning to work with each.
    Thanks again for your support in this issue.

    1. Canons in general are reputed to produce better skin tone than Sonys. I think the original settings I gave for Portrait Creative Style are worth trying, but if skin tone is important to you, you might be happier overall with the SX50HS. No small sensor camera is going to give you the kind of tone you get from a full frame DSLR, or even an APS-C sensor.

  34. Hi Steve
    You done a very good job. So much thanks for giving the review.
    I want to know to you that which one will be able to give a better image quality after a long zoom between Canon sx60 and Sony HX400V?
    thank you

  35. Hi Steve,

    I ended up getting the Sony. When I got to playing with the video I was sold.
    I do like the skin tones better with the Canon….but the Sony’s video blew the the Canon out of the water.

    Thanks for all your help with the decision.
    -Susan

  36. Hey Steve…..Loved your review bt still a bit confused…..I’m a bird photographer and mostly shoot photos at high zoom…..I read a reply of yours above that the Sony is better at telephoto end than the Canons…..are you sure?…..because some lame reviews on random sites claim just the opposite…..Thanks btw!!….:)

    1. If we are comparing the SX60HS and the HX400V then I stand by my assessment. There may be better samples of the SX60HS than I had…but that is a problem in itself. Others I know personally have made the same comparison with the same conclusion. If we are comparing the SX50HS to the HX400V, then the choice is much harder. SX50HS has a “cleaner” image (less artifacts), but is only 12mp compared to 20mp, and does not have as much “pop” (at normal viewing sizes) as the Sony. The Sony’s in camera processing can be tailored using the Creative Styles option, to produce images almost as “clean” as the SX50HS, and way better than the SX60HS. 🙂

  37. Hi Steve,

    Amazing post with loads of information.
    I purchased Sony HX400v few month back as I’ve lost patience to wait for canon sx60, but in the end it turned out to be a good decision and this post makes me a lot more happy. Well done.

  38. Hello Steve,

    Many thanks for an excellent down to Earth review on the Canon’s and Sony HX400v cameras.

    Having owned several Sony Cameras – and liking the quality images they produce, I am Looking to buy a Sony HX400v (I already own a Sony H5 and Sony HX1). I’ve found both the Sony’s to be excellent cameras. The old H5 only has 7mpixels and a 12x zoom (I bought a 2.2x Teleconverter which fits both cameras), but even with the 2.2x converter, gives excellent images which a almost completely free of noise and artifacts. The Sony HX1 produces excellent detailed images, albeit a bit noisier (which I clean up using “neatimage”). I did own a Sony HX200v and although I found this camera very good in respect of being easy to handle, and versatile in the many in camera adjustments available, I just could not get it to produce anything like the detailed images which the other two Sony’s produce.

    I would like to upgrade to a better camera than the Sony H5 and Sony HX1, but after my experience with the Sony HX200v I am nervous about spending over £300 on a HX400v. I have read as many reviews as possible on the Sony HX400v and most critisise the HX400v’s image quality. They all seem to say that the Sony is a good camera, but it’s let down by the quality of it’s images. Just a few reviews (your excellent review among them) say that the Sony HX400v is an “excellent” camera which produces great images!. I do fancy the HX400v mainly from the point of view that I wouldn’t need to fit a Teleconverter to get those much needed close ups of wildlife and birds.

    I will now look for a Sony HX400v! Many thanks again. Best wishes. Phil Edwards. Connah’s Quay, North Wales.

  39. Thanks for this excellent review. I’ve been looking for a camera to replace an old P&S Canon for ages. I’ve tried several of the newer compact Canons and I’ve been very disappointed in image quality. Very helpful.

  40. After reading all the comments, I am even more greatful for the huge bargain that came my way just yesterday. I have bee considering to buy the Sony HX400v for several months, but in view that Sony recently withdrawn from my home country (Republic of South Africa) thought I would have to buy something else. Quite by coincidence I yesterday walked into a camera dealership and noticed a Canon SX50 HS displayed for sale at half of the normal price this camera was sold for only one month ago. Upon my inquiry if there was anything wrong with the camera, I was assured it was new, but because it was the last SX50 in store, with the Canon SX60 now being the leading bridge camera they have available, they could sell this last SX50 at half the price. I just there and then decided to take the camera. This was surely my lucky day, I bought a new Canon SX50 HS brand new at half the price. All the reviews above make me to appreciate my luck even more. Buying the SX60 would cost me at least a third more than I paid, whilst the Sony HX 400v would cost three times what I paid, if I still could get it in my home country. Im really thrilled and cannot wait to spend some time mastering my new camera’s features.

    1. Thank you very much for this amazingly fine gallery of HX400V shots! I have seen samples of your work in the cybershot forum on dpreview, but to see so many really excellent images all at once is very impressive.

  41. Hey,Aisse Gartner…I’ve been following your pics on fickr for a while now and just want to ask u one question…HOW?!?!!….just how do u manage to take such crisp shots with the Sony Hx400v?…What settings do u use?…

  42. Amazing comparison Steve….Had almost made my mind for the Sony Hx400v bt now confused between this and the new Nikon p900 with 83x optical zoom!!….I follow u on dpreview and so I knw that u yourself hav bought d p900…Which one do u feel is bettr in overall image quality?….
    I hope a detailed comparison lyk this one will be coming soon…:)

    1. I have started collecting materials for a detailed comparison with the Canon SX50HS and Sony Hx400V, but it will have to wait until the weather in Maine clears. The P900 edges out the Sony HX400V for IQ in good light. The jury is still out on higher ISOs. The Nikon is dauntingly big…huge…compared to the Sony…but it would have to be to house the 83x zoom, and keep it as fast (f2.8-f6.5) as it is. More coming, I promise.

  43. Thanks for the review. Are there any difference between Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V and Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300 other then wifi. I want to compromise about wifi, nfc but I dont want to compromise with picture quality as Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V. if the picture quality is same i will go for Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300 because of budget. please help.

  44. hi steve,

    which dail mode is better to take picture outside and indoor picture on sony hx400. can you please advise.

  45. hi Aisse,

    i am very new on hx400. can you please advise me shoud i choose auto iso. and when i snap the picture all the picture are not clear. i saw your photos there they are very clear and nice. advise me for camera setting please,

    1. Auto ISO works fine. Set your sharpening in Creative Styles to -1 or -2…that will clean up some of the jpeg artifacts. However all my posted pics are post-processed in Lightroom. They do not look like this straight from the camera. Some adjustment of highlights and shadows is needed, as well as some added clarity and sharpening. 🙂

      1. thanks steve,

        for outside photography and indoor which dial mode should i choose? there is p a s m 1 2 intl auto and supr auto..

  46. SX50 is discontinued hete in India. So my only options are SX60, Sony and P600/P610.
    I have read a lot of negative reviews about the SX60. Would you recommend SX60 for a beginner (it would be my first camera). Or should I wait few more months for the SX70? Or should I get an entry-level DSLR or a mirrorless (Sony A6000) but I won’t be able to do bird photography – 500mm / 600mm zoom lenses are currently out of budget.

    1. I did not like the image quality on the SX60HS, but I had one of the first ones at retail…maybe they have tweaked it since. Aside from that, it is a great camera. I would not wait for the SX70. It took them 2 years between 50 and 60. My current pick would be the Nikon P610, unless you need the 2000mm zoom, then the P900. Both excellent cameras. If money is a object, you can find a deal on the Sony these days, and I have gotten some amazingly good images with it. If birds are your subject, you are better off with a superzoom than an entry level DSLR or Mirrorless…as the lenses are too expensive…or non-existent in the case of mirrorless. That is my take on it.

  47. Hey Steve…I finally bought the Sony Hx400v because the p900 has not yet released here in my country (and I didn’t have any more patience left)….can you pls tell me the settings you used on your Sony Hx400v (now that you use the p900) for all your awesome bird shots and the amazing HDR images….If possible pls tell me everything including-sharpness,saturation,mode,noise reduction,and stuff…..thanks again for your time…:)

  48. I’ reading this helpful blog on may 6 2015. Checking next, Alfa series but since I was in love of my hx100v, I’m still thanking on the hx400v. The question is, Do you think that Sony will update the hx400v soon on this 2015?
    Many thanks

  49. Can you please suggest which is better Sony hx100v or Nikon P900.

    In one article apart from zoom capability (nikon best) Sony hx100v is the best one to buy. Any suggestions on this?

    Thanks
    Praneeth Reddy.P

    1. If zoom reach is not an issue, then there is not much to choose between them. Focus and image stabilization and the optical quality of the lens are better on the P900. Controls and features are better implemented on the Sony. Things like Anti-motion blur, in-camera HDR, etc are much better on the Sony. I find that I use the extra reach of the P900 a lot! It makes the difference for me.

  50. Hi Steve,

    Besides the great image quality of the Sony, did you also test the video options? I also read online that it might be a good choice in its class. Video is what I’m looking for as well. Thanks!

  51. I think that along with the Nikon P610, Sony HX400 are the two best options in this price range. Image quality.
    Canon lost with the SX60. I do not believe SX50 owners change.
    New users perhaps by name. But there’s something better for the same money.

  52. A very interesting and useful review. Unfortunately I only discovered it AFTER purchasing the SX60. I’d owned the SX50 for 2 years and have been stunned by some of the results – my main interest is bird photography – the quality of the image under ideal conditions was very impressive. The ‘optical unit’ died in the SX50 so I went right out and bought the SX60. The eyelevel viewfinder is much improved as you’ve mentioned, but the image quality is definitely ‘soft’ compared to what I’d got used to, disappointingly so I’m afraid. I naively assumed the 60 would just be an improved 50!! There is a chance my 50 will get repaired, if it does I might just sell the 60. I have learnt that it is worth reading a few reviews before making a purchase though. I always find it difficult as none of the models have it all – I’d really miss RAW now, so the Sony would be off my list.
    Thanks again for the review.

  53. Hi Steve,
    I’m using the Sony Hx400, thinking of getting another camera with more zoom power and better image quality in the future. Would the Nikon P610 or Nikon P900 have better image quality than the Sony HX400? My main use is for bird photography. Thanks,
    Lynn

  54. Sony dsc hx 400v seems to be beter than Nikon Coolpix P900.
    I checked some sites and their reviews .
    http://snapsort.com/compare/Nikon-Coolpix-P900-vs-Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX400V

    Its a tie !! And one more thing Sony 400v scored a point more than Nikon P900 !!

    When a 50x zoom camera ties with a 83x zoom camera just imagine which camera is better.

    http://cameradecision.com/compare/Nikon-Coolpix-P900-vs-Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX400V

    Sony 400v is the clear winner. Even with such a great zoom(83x) Nikon p900 got beaten . Why?

    Is this because Sony hx400v is very good? No thats not the reason. 🙂

    Why there is no noise reduction option in Sony 400v? I saw this feature in Sony Dsc HX50v (30x zoom) and found that option very useful.

    My point and shoot camera usage decreased much after i purchased and started using an SLR camera 🙂

    1. Both of those sites base there ratings entirely on published specifications. No actual testing is done. 🙂
      There is NO comparison between results at 1200mm (Sony) vs. results at 2000mm (Nikon). The P900 has the sharpest, best stabilized, lens out there.

  55. So The Nikon P900 would be a much better upgrade from the Sony HX400 then? I’m thinking of getting another camera in the future with longer zoom than the Sony HX400 for taking bird pictures. Have you heard when the Canon SX70 is supposed to come out? I’m waiting to see which one is better to get.

    1. At the moment there is noting that matches the lens and superior stabilization on the P900…however if close focus matters to you, the P610 might be a better choice.

  56. I’ve been looking into my first bridge camera for a few months now, and was thinking about the Canon SX60 but after reading this review (more than once! LOL) I;ve plumped for the Sony instead. I don’t need the ability to work with RAW and the other drawbacks you highlighted about the SX60 simply meant that the Sony was the best choice. It should be here tomorrow for me to start to play with.

    Thanks for your great insights into the cameras 🙂

  57. Hi Steve
    Thanks for the brilliant review. I have the HX400v, but cannot find a ball head that will fit the 7/32″ screw hole. Can you help?

  58. Hi Steve, thank you! After weeks of debating whether to get the Canon SX60 or Sony HX400V you have just helped me make the decision to go with the Sony. Excellent comparisons and examples, many thanks.

  59. Thanks for this review – really helpful. I was thinking about changing from SX50 to SX60, mainly because of the increased zoom which would be great for birds. However, your comments about picture quality make me think it’s not worth the outlay and I’ll stick to the 50.

  60. Hi sir. I have a different dilemma, going on a holiday in a few days and I already ordered a sony hx400v which waits me to be collected in the shop, but I have discovered a review where sony get’s it’s ass kicked by Nikon p600, fujifilm s1 and sx50. http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/best-superzoom-2014/best-superzoom-2014-A.HTM
    Now I think about the Nikon p610. Would it be better than the sony? Is the articulated screen a much better advantage then the hotshoe? Honestly don’t know, can you please help?

    1. While I have some issues with that review, given my experiences with the HX400V, I would have to agree that right now the Nikon P610 would be my choice. Slightly better IQ. Longer zoom. Lighter weight. Personally I never use a flash on the camera so the hotshoe is not important to me. Both have articulated screens…the Nikon just as a wider range of movement.

      1. So now for wildlife photography [moving animals, like flying birds, running deers] you’d recommend Nikon P610? Is it taking a very good images even using maximal zoom? Have you ever tried it?

        1. I use both the Nikon P610 and P900 for birds in flight and actively feeding birds. Both are super-sharp at full zoom…but action shots at full zoom are a challenge. The problem is keeping the bird or animal in the frame at that much magnification. I get better results backing off on the zoom…unless the bird or animal is very far away.

  61. Which one of the P610 and HX400 would you think is better for everyday use like shooting buildingis, landscapes, people?
    And which one needs less post edit.

    1. Hard choice! Both cameras are excellent. Neither requires a lot of post, but both benefit from some basic sharpening and highlight/shadow adjustment. The Sony has maybe slightly more impressive results straight out to the camera. The Nikon has a longer reach and better image stabilization. Like I say…hard choice.

      1. Thank you for the response.
        I searched on the internet and find that Sony has the E62:10 error. It is often this error, it can be repaired? Do Nikon have errors like this?
        The extra reach of the Nikon is not so important for me.

    1. As far as I know there is no way to do that…though you could create your own sports mode settings and save those.

  62. Hi Steve,

    just want to know if you tried the new release of the sx60. Did the performance improve? Or would you suggest for me to pick, instead, sony hx400 (which is an older version of hx400V)? Some reviews lately about sx60 favor the performance of the camera.

    Thanks 🙂

    1. I have seen no improvement in the SX60 but I have not tired a recent sample. Right now I would get either the Nikon P610 (soon to be replaced by the Nikon B700) or the P900.

  63. I have the Sony HX400v for awile now, but currently thinking of getting another camera that is better in image quality and faster than my current Sony HX400v for my upcoming Panama birding trip this summer. Between Nikon P610 and Nikon P900, which one fo you think is better, or is there another camera that you woukd recommend? Thanks.
    Lynn

    1. The P610 and P900 are essentially the same camera in two different bodies and with different lenses. P610 is smaller and reaches 1440mm…P900 is bigger and reaches 2000mm. Both are currently best in class in my opinion. The B700 is due out in July. New sensor, same lens and similar body to the P610. Unknown? The new Sony RX10 M3 is also interesting. Huge (bigger than the P900) and only reaches 600mm, but with a 1in sensor and amazing image quality. Of course you could buy both the P610 and P900 and have enough left over for a third camera for the price of the RX10 M3. 🙂

  64. Thanks Steve for your prompt response.
    The Sony RX10 M3 photo image is definitely nice. However it lacks the zoom that I want in bird photography. I will look into the Nikon P610 and the P900. I have been waiting for a new Canon superzoom camera, but nothing has come out yet.
    What do you recommend to bring for camera protection when I go to Panama during the rainy season?
    Lynn

    1. First off bring a large umbrella. Totes makes one that folds twice and will fit in luggage but is big enough to shoot from underneath. Most camera bags are waterproof enough not to worry. A couple of shower caps for emergency cover (downpour). I bought one of those camera sleeve things once but did not like it. I may look again before my Honduras trip next month. 🙂 Where are you going in Panama?

  65. My husband and I will be going to the Canopy Lodge and Tower (our dream trip). First time going to Panama, so we’re very excited! We’re going in early July during the green season, so the rates are lower than the dry season. I enjoyed reading many of your articles and the places you have visited. I will follow your instructions on the camera settings for wildlife photos when i get the new camera, not sure what yet. But most likely will be the point and shoot camera, since I can’t afford the long zoom lenses on the DSLR cameras. I have the HX400v, but wants to bring a 2nd camera in case one breaks down or something. 🙂
    Thanks for creating such a great website!
    Lynn

  66. I just picked up the Nikon P900. What is the size of the UV filter should i get for this camera, can you recommend one that is not too expensive? Also what type of SD card do you use on your Nikon P900?
    Thank you,
    Lynn

    1. It take a 67mm filter but I do not use one. Unless you get an expensive multicolored, optical glass filter it will degrade the image, and digital sensors do not “see” UV. I have all kinds of “brand name” Class 10 SD cards. Sony. SanDisk. Lexar. Etc.

  67. I didn’t know about that. Thanks for letting me know.
    I will pick up a good size SD card to accomodate all the pictures i will take! 🙂

    1. I bought 4 or 5 lens hoods before I found one that works. Vello Snap On. Sometimes available on Amazon. I got mine from B&H.

  68. Do you always use the lens hood with your Nikon P900 or only during sunny days? I was wondering if it’s needed when i go to Panama in July-green season.

  69. Useful, I’ll stay with my sx50 – though I am slightly tempted to buy an sx60 and check for myself . . . RAW is best so Sony and Nikon are out. RAW converted to .jpg by Canon’s DPP is superior to .jpg produced in camera – the processing power of a pc is way ahead of the camera. EVF is ropey so made a loupe that fits on the screen. (Found a guide on YouTube.) Panoramas I do with the camera vertical using a special (homemade) bracket to allow pivoting about the nodal point. Microsoft ICE for stitching. Recently tried D5100 and D5200, super kit but I missed the versatility of the SX50.

  70. If considering the Nikon P900 and B700 for taking video, one should know that those cameras do not allow any kind (before or during the shoot) of user adjustment to shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. For example, stopping wing action is entirely dependent on the how much sunlight is available. So, hummingbirds and passerines in flight are usually blurred.

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