Conclusion: For under $500 the Canon Powershot SX260 does more than you’d expect. It has many unique features that set it aside from other similar priced models such as GPS and iFrame Video. It has the highest build quality and the highest quality materials. It does everything you’d expect a more expensive model to do but at the cheaper price. If you’re ready for the next step in photography but not quite ready for the big step to DSLR then this camera is for you.
Summary: Canon's PowerShot SX260 HS is a well-designed compact travel zoom that produces photos that hold up well against the competition. It has a solid set of features for the point-and-shoot crowd, though serious photographers may find some annoyances. The SX260 isn't the most responsive camera out there, but as long as you avoid fast-moving subjects, it'll serve you well.
Pros: Very good photo quality for the compact ultra zoom category, Packs a 20X, 25 - 500 mm lens into a compact and stylish body, Optical image stabilization; camera will select the appropriate IS mode for the situation, High resolution 3-inch LCD with very good outdoor and low light visibility, Built-in GPS doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but gets the job done, Good set of manual controls, Smart Auto mode picks one of 58 scene modes for you; plenty of other point...
Cons: Critical image quality somewhat lacking at 100%, Some highlight clipping and purple fringing (try using i-Contrast to reduce the former), Redeye a problem (though it can be removed in playback mode), Autofocus performance lags behind the competition; camera struggled to focus in low light at times, ISO locked at 100 at shutter speeds below 1 second, Enthusiasts will bemoan lack of RAW support, bracketing, white balance fine-tuning, and a live histogram, Video quality ...
Conclusion: The SX260 HS fills a very small niche. Yes, it’s a point-and-shoot, but its $350 price tag means that the extras you’re paying for have to be specifically worth it to the buyer. It’s a great travel cam: It’s sturdy but (relatively) small, and the GPS feature is a great addition to travel photography. The 20x zoom is a pretty compelling sell as well, especially given the fact that it’s in such a small, convenient package compared to other superzooms out there.
Pros: Great, Solid, Good-looking build, Easy to navigate physical and in-camera user interface, Loaded with features: filters, GPS, manual, presets, pop-up flash, etc.
Cons: Expensive, Image quality isn’t the best for the price
Summary: The Canon PowerShot SX260 HS' wider, longer lens, a few much-needed design tweaks, and excellent photo quality add up to one pretty great compact megazoom.
Pros: The Canon PowerShot SX260 HS has shooting modes for every type of photographer from casual to advanced, a useful long zoom lens with excellent image stabilization, and overall excellent photo and video quality for a compact megazoom.
Cons: The SX260 HS' menus and controls can take some getting used to, it's got a short battery life, and photos get noticeably softer-looking indoors or in low light.
Conclusion: The Canon PowerShot SX260 HS delivers an impressive 20x zoom ratio and very good image quality in a compact package. Integrated GPS is a boon for geotaggers, but the camera's video prowess and high ISO performance aren't best in class.
Pros: Compact. Sharp, long zoom lens. Integrated GPS.
Cons: 1080p video captured limited to 24fps. Loss of detail at high ISOs. Priced on the high side.
Summary: Despite fierce competition, the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS is one of the best travel zoom cameras on the market. Although the resolution may not quite match either the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30 or the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V, those thinking of purchasing the camera shouldn't be put off. The image quality is more than a match for both these higher resolution models.
Conclusion: The SX260 HS is small, well designed and, for point and shoot snappers, performs a treat too. But in such a hotly contested market place it could do with that little bit more oomph to really take it to the next level: we’d like to see a touchscreen with edge-to-edge focus control in the future. But image quality is among the best you’ll find in such a camera.
Pros: Among the best/most detailed shots in its class, big zoom in a small body, well priced for a Canon (often holds a price premium), ease of use
Cons: Limited AF selection in manual modes, no touchscreen, chromatic aberrations visible (colour fringing), 500mm max aperture is f/6.8, no raw files