The PowerShot SX60 HS has a 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensor that offers 16-megapixels of resolution. This image sensor size is something you'd expect to find in a camera that costs far less than the SX60 HS. The image sensor has a 4:3 native aspect ratio.
Canon included its Intelligent IS and its HS (High Sensitivity) technology with this model, where the image sensor's performance improves in low light scenes. This model includes the latest Canon image processor, too, the DIGIC 6, which provides better performance speeds and image quality versus older image processors.
The star feature of this model is its 65x optical zoom lens, which is one of the largest zoom lens ranges in a fixed lens camera currently on the market. The camera's zoom range has an equivalent measurement of 21 - 1,365 mm. This is an impressive zoom range that you'll surely appreciate when shooting photos of sporting events or of animals in nature. The zoom lens moves quickly through its entire range, requiring only about 2.5 seconds.
This is not the type of camera that will fit in a pocket, thanks to its large zoom lens. When the camera is powered down, it measures about 4.25 inches in thickness. When you press the power button, the lens extends another one-half inch. And when the telephoto setting on the zoom lens is fully enabled, as shown in the photo here, the SX60 HS measures about 6.75 inches in thickness.
While the current focal length and optical zoom measurement is displayed on the SX60's LCD screen, you also can see the current focal length, which is printed on the top of the lens in white, as shown in this photo.
You also can see the zoom framing assist buttons on the far right of this photo. Because it can be difficult to keep a moving subject in the frame when using a large zoom lens, these buttons will make the process easier.
When you press the upper button, the Framing Assist Seek button, the camera's screen will appear to "zoom out" of the frame, allowing you to reacquire the subject. The screen will display a white box that indicates the portion of the frame that's visible in the current zoom setting. Then release the Framing Assist Seek button, and the screen view will return to the originally selected zoom. If you ever lose sight of the subject, this button can help you.
The lower button is the Framing Assist Lock button, which makes use of the optical stabilization system on the SX60 HS to help keep the scene steady, making it easier to keep the subject inside the frame. If you've used a large zoom lens in the past, you've probably discovered how difficult it is to keep the camera from appearing to bounce around with the large telephoto setting enabled.
At the full wide-angle setting, the PowerShot SX60 HS lens offers a maximum aperture setting of f/3.4. The maximum aperture at the maximum telephoto setting is f/6.5. The SX60's autofocus range is:
Canon included a manual focus mode with this model, where you'll use the four-way button to dial in the manual focus. You likely won't use this function very often because it's an extremely awkward way to dial in the manual focus.
- Normal: 0 in. (0 cm) - infinity (W); 5.9 ft. (1.8 m) - infinity) (T)
- Macro: 0 in. - 1.6 ft. (0 - 50 cm) (W)
The SX60 HS has a popup flash unit that's centered directly over the lens. You'll have to lift the flash unit manually before you can begin using it or before you can see the flash modes on the screen.
Canon offers four flash modes with this model are: On, Off, Auto, and Slow Synchro. The flash range for this model is:
- Wide: 1.6 - 18 ft. (50 - 550 cm)
- Tele: 5.9 - 9.8 ft. (180 - 300 cm)
You can use the camera's on-screen menus to adjust the flash exposure in 1/3 increments between +2 and -2.
Canon placed a hot shoe on this camera, which is visible in the photo below, allowing you to add an external flash unit if you want.
As with most big cameras with large optical zoom lenses, the PowerShot SX60 HS contains a large right-hand grip, making it easier to hold the camera steady when shooting in low light or with the telephoto setting enabled. (You still will want to use a tripod when possible with this camera, though.)
The control buttons on the top panel of the camera are easy to reach, as the designers did a good job with the placement of them. At the end of the right-hand grip is the shutter button, which is surrounded by the zoom ring. Just below that in this photo is a command dial, which allows you to scroll through some menus and stored images more quickly. You also can change the shutter speed or aperture setting in advanced shooting modes using the command dial.
The mode dial is in the lower right corner of this photo, and it's a good size to use comfortably. The white mark on the left side of the mode dial indicates the currently selected mode. The 13 modes are:
- Auto - Fully automatic shooting
- Hybrid Auto - (camera and filmstrip icon) Automatic shooting with short clips recorded before the image is recorded to create a still image/video hybrid
- P - Program Auto
- Tv - Shutter Priority
- Av - Aperture Priority
- M - Manual
- C1 - Custom 1
- C2 - Custom 2
- Movie - (movie camera icon) Video recording mode
- Creative Filters - (interlocking rings) Special effects shooting modes
- SCN - Scene modes
- Sports - (running man icon)
- Creative shot - (interlocking rectangles icon)
Directly to the left of the mode dial is the power button. Above the power button is the S button, which gives you the ability to gain access to a command shortcut that you can create. On the far left of this photo is the camera's hot shoe.
The SX60 HS LCD screen looks like the display screens offered on quite a few Canon PowerShot cameras, measuring 3.0 inches diagonally and offering 922,000 pixels of resolution. It's a sharp display screen.
Canon did give the SX60 an articulated LCD that can swivel and tilt away from the camera body. This is a great feature for shooting self portraits or for using this camera with a tripod.
Canon included an electronic viewfinder with the SX60 HS, which can be helpful for holding the camera steady when trying to shoot while hand-holding it. You also can use the viewfinder when shooting in bright sunlight where glare makes it difficult to see the LCD.
The electronic viewfinder contains 922,000 pixels of resolution, providing an extremely sharp view. To switch from LCD view to viewfinder view, you can just twist the LCD screen toward the back of the camera and "close" the screen. Or you can just press the Disp button on the back of the camera to switch between LCD view and viewfinder view. (You may have to press Disp twice, depending on the settings you've enabled.)
Just to the left of the viewfinder is the diopter adjustment dial.
Most of the camera's control buttons are to the right of the LCD screen. Just above the top right corner of the LCD is the Playback button, through which you can see the images stored on the memory card. To the left of the Playback button is the green indicator light.
On the far top right corner of the back panel of the PowerShot SX60 HS is the video record button. You can start and stop video using this button from any shooting mode. Just below the video button is the AF frame selector button.
The exposure compensation button is marked with a +/- icon. It's just above the four-way button, which unfortunately is too small and too tightly set to the camera body to be used comfortably. Unless you have extremely small fingers, you'll make quite a few mistakes when trying to press the edges of this button. The size and positioning of the four-way button is an extremely poor design decision by Canon. which could have been easily fixed by raising the button a fraction of an inch from the camera body or by replacing the button with a spinnable ring.
Press the top of the four-way button to open the drive menu (or the Wi-Fi menu when you're using Playback mode). The right side of the button opens the flash menu (but only when the flash unit has been manually opened). The lower button changes the display mode, including switching from the LCD to the EVF, and the left side of the four-way button opens the focus menu.
The middle of the four-way button is the Func/Set button, which allows you to make menu selections and which opens the popup menu along the left side of the LCD screen, where you can make changes to the camera's settings.
Along the bottom of the panel are the Mobile Device Connection button on the left and the Menu button on the right.
You'll find the SX60's ports behind a soft plastic cover with a flexible hinge on the right side of the camera body. This area contains a remote terminal, a USB port, and an HDMI port.
The microphone port is on the left side of the camera, also located behind a soft plastic, flexible hinged cover.
Canon included a separate battery charger with the PowerShot SX60 kit, so you can charge one battery while using a second battery, allowing you to always have a fresh battery available. Canon estimates this battery's lifespan for about 340 shots per charge, which is pretty good performance. My tests showed that number is close to accurate, and you'll even gain more battery life by using the electronic viewfinder more often than the LCD to frame photos.