Canon Powershot SX530: A Comprehensive Product Review

Canon Powershot SX530

With so many cameras on the market, it can be not only difficult but also incredibly time-consuming to go through each one to find your perfect match. To save time and frustration, we dug into the Canon PowerShot SX530 and some of its competitors to see what gaps this mode can fill and where it fits perfectly in the photography world. 

Preview Product
Canon PowerShot SX530 Digital Camera w/ 50X Optical Zoom - Wi-Fi & NFC Enabled (Black)

Canon PowerShot SX530 Digital Camera w/ 50X Optical Zoom - Wi-Fi & NFC Enabled (Black)

Nikon D3400 w/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (Black)

Nikon D3400 w/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (Black)

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera with 14-42mm EZ Lens (Black) US Only

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera with 14-42mm EZ Lens (Black) US Only

Sony RX100 20.2 MP Premium Compact Digital Camera w/ 1-inch sensor, 28-100mm ZEISS zoom lens, 3” LCD

Sony RX100 20.2 MP Premium Compact Digital Camera w/ 1-inch sensor, 28-100mm ZEISS zoom lens, 3”...

What Is Canon PowerShot SX530?

The Canon Powershot SX530 is a bridge camera, made by Canon to compete against other models in the field of high powered optical zoom especially. As a bridge camera, it aims to fill the gap between an SLR or point and shoot camera, and a DSLR, which is the model that offers interchangeable lenses and manual shooting modes.

Product Specs

This model offers 16 megapixels, which will work well for casual shooting that does not require moderate to heavy image editing or large printouts. One of its predominant features though is its 50x optical zoom, which is complemented by a 100x digital zoom plus. This added feature helps push the camera completely into the “bridge” genre.

The zoom allows users to capture subjects in a way that DSLR cameras need to, so the Canon PowerShot SX530 has the simplicity and ease of use of an SLR camera but is pushing into DSLR territory. 

Also aiding in its “bridge” title is the ability for full manual shooting, which DLSRs are known for. This feature cannot be overlooked, as it can make or break a photo. Having the ability to make small or large changes to the way an image is captured in-camera is a feature that is both incredibly useful and very defining of a bridge camera.

The Canon PowerShot SX530 also have Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities, so you do not have to compromise technology as you often do when buying a simpler model than a DSLR. This is also incredibly useful for on-the-go users who need something to bring along on adventures that will not falter when called upon.

With a shutter speed range of 15 seconds to 1/2000 as well as many shooting modes, GPS, and of course manual mode and that added 50x optical zoom, we can say with full confidence that the Canon PowerShot SX530 indeed fulfills its role as a bridge camera – and even adds a few extra perks as well.

Pricing

With prices on the market always changing, we have provided an estimate for the cost of this model based on an average price across the market. You can find the Canon PowerShot SX530 for around $230 to 270, which is a well-rounded price for a bridge camera with these specs. If you are looking for less expensive options, we recommend exploring Amazon.com as that is where you will probably find the best prices without compromising the integrity of the camera.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare. With so many options on the market right now, it is important to know just where the Canon PowerShot SX530 stands among the other options you have available.

Our goal here is to show you what this model has to offer, but also to bring to light other options that may fit your needs better. Regarding cameras, it is hard to know just what you want until you see what exactly is out there.    

  • Nikon D3400
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
  • Sony RX100

Canon Powershot SX530

Sale

Canon PowerShot SX530 Digital Camera w/ 50X Optical Zoom - Wi-Fi & NFC Enabled (Black)

  • Equipped with built-in Wi Fi and NFC to make wireless sharing of photos between compatible devices easy and convenient
  • 16.0 Megapixel High Sensitivity CMOS sensor delivers state of the art imaging performance
  • Powerful 50x Optical Zoom lets you capture the details that make your photography stand out
  • Full HD video at 30p for notably smooth and lifelike quality
  • Fully compatible with Canon's photo and video storage device: The Canon Connect Station CS100. Focal Length 4.3(W) 215.0(T) millimeter (35 millimeter film equivalent: 24 1200 millimeter). Normal: 2.0 inch (5 centimeter) - infinity (W), 4.3 feet (1.3 meter) infinity (T). Auto or Manual: 0.0 inche (0 centimeter) infinity (W), 4.3 feet (1.3 meter) infinity (T). Macro AF: 0.0 inch 16 feet. (0 50 centimeter) (W)

  • ease of use
  • performance
  • design quality
  • warranty  

Overall, the Canon Powershot SX530 handled great and had well thought out design and setup. Buttons and dials were in intuitive places and were easy to use, and the grip was well designed to complement the 50x zoom, as it takes two hands to steady the zoom for a clear picture. 

There is a live view mode, which is great for those just starting in photography who may not understand exactly what every feature or adjustment does. This mode shows you in real time what the picture would look like as you explore different settings. This addition is crucial for that “bridge” title and bolsters its ease of use as well.

We only had a couple of suggestions that may help round out this model. First, the shutter button is stiffer than other models, which means that the added force needed can jolt, blur, or jar the actual shot – especially if the zoom is used. Second, there is no touchscreen. This does not detract greatly from its ease of use, but we do feel that this addition could make small adjustments much easier and more quickly accessible.

Overall, this model performs well and measures up to all of its features and specs given good lighting and a steady hand. There is noise within different ISO ranges, which is to be expected and can be exacerbated by the 16-megapixel limit. For the price point though, this is a firm contender for bridge cameras regarding performance. 

While it does not have any revolutionary programs or features, it does include a couple of creative shooting modes that help it stand out amid the rest. Hybrid Auto is one such mode that will take a few seconds of video before each shot and compile it to give you a type of memory snapshot of each shooting scene.

While this is a creative addition, we do wish that this capability would transfer over into other shooting modes. Currently, there is a compromise that has to be made between wanting the video snapshot and being able to have a say in spec adjustment, as it does not include the specs of other modes.

We found the sports snapshot feature especially useful. This feature tracks a moving subject to ensure clearer images. There is also a useful framing feature that the optical use can use to frame a subject well at a distance automatically.

The biggest let down we experienced is the poor quality of the digital zoom plus. It affected the quality of each image we shot with it and was a little bit of a disappointment. However, we will say that the 50x zoom worked well on its own and is a fair amount of zoom – so hopefully, the 100x digital zoom is not a necessary feature you need to shoot with.

The Canon Powershot SX530 is well designed, as we have mentioned before. Thought went into the grip needed to counterbalance the zoom range and still get clear pictures. There is a wrap-around grooved grip to help stabilize the camera while shooting, and while it is not compact enough to fit in your pocket, it is still a small camera that is easily portable. 

Regarding menu access and design, this model is simple to navigate and to understand. It is broken up into two menus – one for shooting and one for camera settings, and there are shortcut buttons on the camera body so easy access to video mode or other features are readily accessible. 

The only real drawback we could see presenting itself in the types of environments this model would likely be shooting in would be its lack of weatherproofing. By no means does this need to be a rugged camera, but it is built to work well as a travel camera – and those who travel know that a little waterproofing or shock resistance goes a long way.

Canon offers a 1-year warranty that covers parts and labor for manufacturer errors. If this were a more expensive or more rugged type of camera, this would simply not be enough, but given the price point and diversity of use, we find this warranty fair.

PROS

  • Affordable  
  • 50x optical zoom
  • Manual mode
  • Easy to use
  • Creative shooting modes
  • Wi-fi and NFC abilities

CONS

  • Digital zoom is useless
  • No rugged features
  • No touchscreen

Nikon D3400

Sale

Nikon D3400 w/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (Black)

  • Native ISO 100 25600; 5 fps shooting. Compatibility information: c firmware v. 1.10 and later ( released august 31, 2016 )
  • Snap Bridge Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 24.2mp dx format CMOS sensor
  • Expeed 4 image processor
  • No optical low pass filter. Bluetooth specification version 4.1. Wi-Fi functionality eye fi compatible

This camera offers an entry-level DSLR option for those wanting to have the freedom and options a DSLR provides but also wanting the simplicity an SLR is built off of. Nikon takes their model a step further than the Canon bridge camera and offers 24 megapixels as well, which is a solid amount for those just getting into photography or those needing the camera for non-specialized shooting.This model also has Nikon’s Snapbridge feature, which makes sharing photos on the go much easier. It is Bluetooth enabled, and with the addition of Snapbridge, you can share albums and pictures much faster.It can shoot 1080p full HD video and boasts of a high tech internal mic as well. With a large ISO range of 200-25,600, this model also competes in low-light environments where pictures and videos struggle.

  • ease of use
  • performance
  • design quality
  • warranty  

This model is well known for its simple interface and easy-to-understand navigation. As a beginner’s DSLR, both of those are crucial. The Snapbridge feature was where our initial worry was about ease of use. However, it was simple and easy to navigate. Our only concern in terms of simplicity and ease of use is the lack of a touchscreen. Many users are more familiar with this feature, and it cuts down navigation time significantly.

In terms of performance, this model seems to have users swinging both ways. Some say that the upgrade from Nikon’s 3300 was unnoticeable and not worth the extra cash. However, there are also many reviewers saying that the added ISO range and creative features make a big enough difference in shooting to be worth every penny. In our experience, we find it hard to fault this model. It does perform well in low-light, as it advertises – which is a welcome addition to a beginner’s DLSR. The flash is mediocre, though in our experience most on-camera flash systems do not live up to the features of the rest of the camera anyways.For what this camera is built for – beginner’s photography that dabbles in a little bit of every genre of photography – it does well at matching its specs and getting full use out of its features.

This model is small and lightweight, which is great for traveling photographers and those who cannot afford or do not want to lug around endless camera supplies as well as a hefty camera body. The grip works well for the body, and it is designed well for quick shots and photographers who need to be moving around a lot to get good shots. Our biggest disappointment was the lack of any sort of weatherproofing. A little shock resistance goes a long way, and because this camera is so easily marketable to traveling photographers, we feel that some rugged or durable feature is needed.

Nikon has a limited warranty for parts for this model in case of manufacturer error. For this price point, a warranty like this is expected and typically all that is needed. However, they did not specify labor as included in the warranty.

PROS

  • 24 megapixels
  • Good low-light shooting
  • Bluetooth and Snapbridge
  • Lightweight
  • Good ISO range

CONS

  • No touchscreen
  • Mediocre flash
  • No weatherproofing

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera with 14-42mm EZ Lens (Black) US Only

  • Silent mode (disables all shutter sounds)
  • Fast touch auto focus from camera or phone
  • 2.3 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.62X magnification
  • Builtin 5 Axis image stabilization for sharper images
  • 8.5 frames per second burst shooting

The Olympus offers 16 megapixels and high tech shooting options in a sleek, modern body. This model is Wi-fi enabled, so you can shoot via your smartphone, and even use touchscreen focusing to customize your image. With 8.5 frames per second shooting speed, this is the fastest on the list so far. This model is also compact, but still adds an electronic viewfinder that can show changes made by different features and adjustments live and in the perfect color.Olympus has also added a silent shutter option so those needing a silent presence can shoot with ease, making it great for photojournalism especially.

  • ease of use
  • performance
  • design quality
  • warranty  

We can happily say that this camera was easy to navigate and use. However, we do say this with the disclaimer that this is not necessarily a beginner’s DLSR camera. If you are new to DLSRs, we will not dissuade you from this option, as it is still simple to use, but it may take just a little more time to explore and understand everything.The touchscreen helps navigation much more than a traditional four corner nav-pad and gives you a little more freedom in shooting too. The electronic viewfinder is wonderful as well (both for those experienced and those just starting) as it shows you what the final image will look like before you take the picture.

In both our experience and through other users’ reviews, the performance of this model has lived up to the features and specs it offers. Due to its compact build, it works well as a travel camera. Its performance can back up that fast-paced shooting environment with good shutter speeds and image stabilization.In researching this model and going through various reviews, we found that many users have kept this model as their side-by-side camera. Meaning that despite its average megapixels, the camera can hold its own against more complex cameras without compromising too much in terms of quality.

Body-wise, the design is modern and sleek and well as functional. Those used to shooting with bigger bodies and lenses may find this to be a bit of an adjustment as it is much more compact than many DLSRs. Overall, it is hard to fault the build of this camera. It works well to be quiet and discreet but with some style in the mix too. The addition of a 3-inch touchscreen aids in its use and quality as well.Our only issue with this model were the dials. There were too many, too close together. Given that it is such a compact camera, the proximity of the dials made it difficult to use them quickly. There also was not any type of weatherproofing or shock resistance for the body of the camera.

There used to be a world-wide warranty for Olympus cameras that allows you to get repairs on manufacturer errors anytime anywhere essentially. However, Olympus has moved to a regional warranty only, though it does still cover manufacturer errors.

PROS

  • Sleek, functional design
  • Touchscreen
  • Bluetooth and Snapbridge
  • Wi-fi enabled
  • Compact

CONS

  • Too many dials
  • No weatherproofing
  • Body-only

Sony RX100

Sony RX100 20.2 MP Premium Compact Digital Camera w/ 1-inch sensor, 28-100mm ZEISS zoom lens, 3” LCD

  • Burst Mode (shots)-Approx10 fps,(VGA) Moving Image Size -640x480 30fps Approx3Mbps. Flash range:ISO Auto: approximately 0.3 meter to 17.1 meter (W), approximately 0.55 meter to 6.3 meter (T)
  • 3-Inch Xtra Fine LCD display with bright whites & true blacks
  • Operating temperature:Approx. 0°C to 40°C (32F° to 104F°).1080p video, Steady-Shot image stabilization,Rear control dial and customizable front control ring
  • Dimension: 1016 mm x 581 mm x 359 mm, Weight: 213g (75 oz). Exposure Compensation: +/- 3.0 EV, 1/3 EV step
  • Bright F18 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with 36x zoom, Full HD 1080/60p video with manual control and dual record, ,Ultra-slim, sophisticated aluminum body. Extensive features in a sleek camera

In terms of point and shoot cameras, Sony has had some top contenders – including this model. This is a compact camera that offers 20 megapixels and can shoot around 10 frames per second – which overtakes the Olympus. It also has some temperature durability, being able to perform comfortably between 32 degrees and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. This model also has a control ring to change things like aperture, and there are various shooting modes as well to further creative ability. Add in video capability and a RAW shooting format, and you pretty much have a compact multi-functional camera that can hold its own in many shooting environments.

  • ease of use
  • performance
  • design quality
  • warranty  

As a point and shoot camera, this model is based on simplicity and ease. Not only can it shoot in manual, but full auto as well, and switching between the two is easy. Activating video mode or switching between shooting modes is simple, and the large anti-glare screen makes editing easy.The only thing this camera is missing is a touchscreen, but the full rotating navigation dial aids in cutting down menu searching time.

For a point and shoot camera, this model excels in performance. The high megapixel count and lots of shooting options combine to make a great shooting experience for on the go users. The battery life is great as well, which traveling users will need. Our only disappointment in this model was its low-light shooting abilities. This model advertises a great ISO range for low-lighting, but we found the range lacking at 125-6400. It just was not quite a big enough range for us to feel that it really lived up to its hype.

With a small, lightweight body, it is easy to fit this camera into a pocket or bag. The temperature resistance is an unexpected plus as well. However, as with the other models, we really want to see some weatherproofing on these travel cameras.

There is a limited warranty included for issues dealing with manufacturer error, and for this price point, we cannot fault the coverage.

PROS

  • Compact
  • Good megapixels
  • Manual and auto shooting modes
  • Lots of creative shooting options
  • Temperature resistance

CONS

  • No weatherproofing
  • ISO does not work well in low-light
  • No touchscreen

Conclusion

Going back to our original model, the Canon PowerShot SX530, it is probably easy to see now that there are some things to consider before buying. There are some good models out there that each offer something different to the shooting scene.

As for the Canon though, after reviewing these other models, we can happily give this model 4 out of 5 stars. It does have good features that make it a decent option for those looking for a bridge or beginners camera, but there is a definite lack of ground-breaking features for the price point.

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