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Along with their highly anticipated EOS 6D, Canon is updated their flagship ultra-zoom with the Canon Powershot SX50 HS. This bridge camera features the long optical zoom of any digital camera with a 50X range, equivalent to 24 – 1200mm in 35mm-equivalent terms.

Let us take it in for a moment: 50X optical zoom, from an ultra-wide 24mm to a super-telephoto 1200mm. At the wide-end, this gives a diagonal viewing angle of 84°. At the long end, it gives a viewing angle of only 2°. This is so small in our field of vision that it is difficult to point a 1200mm lens! Luckily, Canon knows this and has implemented a zoom-assist feature to temporarily zoom-out while framing distant subjects.

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

This extraordinary zoom is bound to be popular with amateur wildlife and bird photographers, particularly considering that the SX50 HS weights in at 545g (2.2 lbs). Compare this with the fact that there are no 1200mm lenses! Knowing that a Sigma 800mm F5.6 lens – to get the equivalent field-of-view from an APS-C DSLR – costs $6599 USD and weighs 4.7kg (10 lbs) makes advantage of a $479 USD digital camera quite clear.

The rest of the SX50 HS is comparable to other high-end ultra-zooms, including its predecessor, the SX40 HS. It has full manual-controls, including manual focus and custom white-balance. It can also focus to down to 0cm (yes, zero) from the lens.

The Canon Powershot SX50 IS is expected to ship next month for $479 USD. is already taking preorders.

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