Canon PowerShot SX600 HS: Design, Features, Performance, Price & Review

Are you looking to buy Canon PowerShot SX600 HS? Canon has brought a new camera- PowerShot SX600 HS with greater optical zoom (18x optical zoom lens) & compactness than any other point-and-shoot camera. Read the article to know its design, features, performance, price & our detailed review before you buy one.

We are always looking for something more, something extra. Keeping this human psychology in mind, Canon has brought a new camera- PowerShot SX600 HS with greater optical zoom (18x optical zoom lens) & compactness than any other point-and-shoot camera. I have been desperately looking for a new camera since my family planned a vacation to Ooty this month. So, I tried and tested many. This Canon camera looked most stunning out of all on the counter but the question in my mind was- Does it perform equally stunning? I used it and quite liked the new SX600 HS. I then thought that I must bring out a review on it. Continue reading the article to know more.


As I said before, the new Canon PowerShot SX600 HS looks stunning. The camera is available in red, black and silver color options but I like this red one the most. It has a fine glossy plastic body that measures 103.8 x 61.0 x 26.0mm only. It can fit easily in my jeans pocket. Clearly, the size is very less for a point-and-shoot camera and it is unbelievable that Canon has managed to cram a big 18x optical zoom lens into it. There is also a microphone in front. It also weighs less- only 188 grams including the memory card & battery. It is convenient to use the SX600 HS with only one hand as the angular ridge with rubber strip beside the lens ensures good grip.

On the top, you see the power button, the shutter button release with zoom ring around it (for extending & retracting lens) and a speaker. On the left, there is a trigger that can be used to raise flash and on the right, there are some holes for lanyard loop, A/V out and micro-HDMI ports. Function buttons for playback, video record and mode switch are also on the right. Tripod socket and slots for memory card & battery are provided on the bottom. There is also one four-way navigation pad that doubles up as shortcuts to macro mode, Wi-Fi settings, flash, exposure & display. The well designed body is sturdy but not enough to withstand falls.



Screen, lens & aperture

The SX600 HS has a 461,000 dot fixed, non-touch sensitive rear LCD screen. It measures 3 inches which is fairly large. The 461,000 pixel dots do not lend too sharp images but the bright & accurate colors make up for this low resolution to an extent.
There is an 18x optical zoom lens- biggest ever. But if you still think that the 18x optical reach isn't enough, you can use the option to use Canon's digital zoom technology, ZoomPlus which allows boosting the digital zoom up to 36x and 72x. The 18x optical zoom has a focal length of 4.5mm (Wide end) to 81mm (Telephoto end).
Starting at just f/3.8 at the widest point & rising to f/6.3 at the optic's telephoto end, the lens lacks a wide maximum aperture.

Sensor & image processor

With the zoom lens, there is a big 16 million-pixel 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor. Clearly, this back illuminated sensor is also much bigger than a typical smartphone sensor.
There is a Digic 4+ image processor which is an archaic but a great performance feature. This Canon's proprietary image processor is also present in the higher end G1 X Mark II and Canon swears by its high performance delivered in past.


Most of the modes are automatic and thus, the SX600 HS will not appeal professional photographers. There are so many modes. Auto, Hybrid Auto, Program, Creative Shot, Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, Smart Shutter, High speed Burst, Low Light, Miniature Effect, Fish eye Effect, Monochrome, Toy, Poster Effect, Camera Effect, Super Vivid, Fireworks, Snow and Long Shutter are just to name a few.

Out of these, it is the 'P' (Program) mode that gives maximum flexibility or control in choosing ISO settings. It also allows for parameters like meter control, exposure levels & white balance but not for aperture or shutter speed. You can even experiment with 'My Colors' to get different effects here.

The Creative Shot mode applies different digital filters to your images and adds variety. In the standard Automatic mode, there are some other filters which give more specific control over filter usage.

The Hybrid Auto setting feature is present on many other Canon compacts and thus you might have used it before. It films a short video of two seconds before any shot is taken and then splices all these videos together to give a recap at the end of your day. I found this very interesting as I am always looking to make short memoirs of all birthday parties, get-togethers & special occasions.

Video recording

The SX600 HS records full HD videos, each with a maximum duration of 10 minutes. This is a bit disappointing as the SX280's allows you to record a video of much longer duration- up to 29 minutes & 59 seconds at a time.

Data sharing

There is built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity which means that if you have a compatible device, then you can start an instant connection by just touching the two devices together. This allows you to send images on camera to your smartphone or tablet and share them on social networking sites in no time. I transferred some images to my Samsung Galaxy S5 & it worked flawlessly.


Image & video quality

Here, the performance is just average. The results of ISO/noise test showed that it captures decent images till IS0 800 and I think this should be good enough for most occasions. Pictures clicked in low light were also decent but nothing great. In macro mode, the camera goes as close as 1cm to a subject but then fails to focus properly, so no use. The flash was impressive in terms of power but casts a bit artificial light. Use it only when necessary. Videos played so smoothly that I did not run any screen tearing.

Battery life

The company claims that the SX600 HS battery delivers 290 shots in high-performance mode but I when I used it, I saw that it went down from 50 percent to zero after taking only 80 shots. This is quite low if compared with the other options in market.

Price & verdict

The Canon SX600 HS is not a very rugged camera and offers decent zoom range & quality images. If you get 18x optical zoom, Wi-Fi / NFC connectivity and creative filters for just Rs. 15,995, I think it is a good option to buy.

Read Review of Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Digital Camera – Black

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