Canon PowerShot SX520 HS Detailed Review

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS

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The PowerShot SX520 HS was presented by Canon in July 2014. It is a Superzoom Digital Camera.
Sensor Properties

In additional PowerShot SX520 HS has a Compact CMOS sensor with size of 6 x 5 mm² (0.24" x 0.18").

Also PowerShot SX520 HS's image sensor has an effective resolution of around 16 megapixel. The resolution is somewhat below average but will be sufficient for most purposes. Photos with this resolution can easily be printed to A3 size.

The Canon does not support recording RAW images. RAW images are stored as they come from the sensor, without any in-camera processing or sharpening. Converting to JPEG or other formats takes place on the computeand involves one extra processing step but will almost always result in superior image quality.

Sensor area6.17 x 4.55mm²
(0.24" x 0.18")
Resolution (physical)16.80 megapixel
Resolution (effective)16.00 megapixel
Pixel size1.79 µm²
Sensor cleaning
RAW support
Continuous 2 frames/second
Focal length (min)24mm
Focal length (max)1008mm
Aperture (max)3.4
Aperture (min)6.0
Viewfinder Properties

The PowerShot SX520 HS does not come with a built-in viewfinder. The camera's display is used to compose the photo. That can be cumbersome in broad daylight.


The PowerShot SX520 HS's shutter speed varies from 1/2000s to 15s.

The highest shutter speed of the Canon is just 1/2000s. That's no longer state of the art and may cause problems in challenging light conditions.

Max. shutter speed1/2000s
Min. shutter speed15s
Sensitivity Properties

The PowerShot SX520 HS's sensitivity goes from 100 ISO und 3200 ISO, a very useful and practical range.

Min. sensitivity100 ISO
Max. sensitivity3200 ISO
Exposure Modes

The PowerShot SX520 HS supports all general exposure modes.

The Canon allows spot exposure for the difficult occasion.

Center weight
Auto Focus Properties

The PowerShot SX520 HS's auto focus processor uses 9 AF points (or sensors). A basic rule of thumb says that the more AF points you have, the better. More AF points mean a better chance to have a point at the location of interest in a scene, a big plus in challenging situations (e.g. in low light).

The Canon doesn't support manual focussing. That can be an issue if the auto focus has problems with your subject or lighting.

AF points9
Manual focusing
Flash Specs

The PowerShot SX520 HS features a built-in flash with a range of up to 6m (18 ft.). That range will work for most situations.

A hotshoe is missing from the Canon.

(18 ft.)
Hot shoe
Display Specs
PowerShot SX520 HS display

The PowerShot SX520 HS features a monitor with a diagonal of 75.00mm (3.0 in.) and a resolution of c. 0.46 megapixel. That rather low resolution is no longer state of the art and will make it difficult to evaluate images on the display.

Unfortunately, the PowerShot SX520 HS's monitor is not articulated. That can make it tricky to frame your subject in some situations, e.g. when taking selfies.

The PowerShot SX520 HS does not feature a touch screen.

Display characteristics at a glance:

Size75.00mm (diagonal)
(3.0 in.)
Resolution0.46 megapixel
Touch screen
Video Specs

PowerShot SX520 HS video supported the resolution with 1920 x 1080 pixel.

ACamera is not equipped with an external microphone.

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS Video parameters:

Max. resolution1920 x 1080 pixel
...with frame rates30 frames/second
External microphone
Connectivity & Wireless Specs

Built-in wireless connectivity is not available with the Canon. You will need appropriate accessories to wirelessly transfer images between camera and smartphone.

Connect the Canon to a monitor or TV set over HDMI.

The Canon supports USB 2.0.

Connection parameters:

Remote (wired)
Remote (infrared)
HDMI (standard)
HDMI (mini)
HDMI (micro)
USB 2.0
USB 3.0
USB Micro
USB Mini

The camera supports SD HC and SD XC cards.

Memory cards characteristics:

Memory cardsSD

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS works with a NB-6LH LiIon battery. The battery lifetime is an average 210 shots. That's on the lower side of things for a full day, consider a spare battery for the PowerShot SX520 HS.

The PowerShot SX520 HS's battery battery parameters:

TypeNB-6LH LiIon
In-camera charging
Battery life210 photos

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS's dimensions are 120.0 x 81.7 x 91.9mm³. (4.7" x 3.2" x 3.6"). This includes the lens. The camera's weight is a reasonable 442 grams (14.3 oz.), lens included.

Here is front and top view of the PowerShot SX520 HS:

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS Dimensions (Width / Height)
Canon PowerShot SX520 HS Dimensions (Width / Depth)
Dimensions Comparison

For a better idea of the size of the camera, takes a look off camera and ID card comparison image.

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS size comparison

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