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Canon PowerShot SX280HS - Image Quality and Verdict

By Paul Nuttall



  • Recommended by TR
Canon PowerShot SX280HS 13


Our Score:


Canon PowerShot SX280HS – Image Quality

Although the size of the SX280HS’s sensor has remained the same as on the SX260HS, the ISO range has increased by a stop. As a result, you could be forgiven for thinking that there might be issues with noise at the higher of those settings.

Canon PowerShot SX280HS

The good news is that the ISO control is generally good. Noise is kept to a minimum up to ISO 800, and even then it's managed well. Between ISO 1,600 and 3,200 noise does become an issue and begins to hamper fine detail, with ISO 6,400 really proving problematic

With that in mind you do have to question why Canon would choose to add that top ISO considering its lack of usefulness.

Canon PowerShot SX280HS

Other elements of the model's image quality generally impress. The SX280HS produces an excellent colour palette with bright and well-saturated colours in evidence in a range of images and shooting situations.

The Auto White Balance also performs well, although in mixed and tungsten lighting it did offer something of an orange cast to certain images.

The metering system, meanwhile, offers a range of functions from which you can pick to suit the scene, and on the whole they offer a good level of performance.

Canon PowerShot SX280HS 13

Should I buy the Canon PowerShot SX280HS?

The Canon PowerShot SX280HS features a full specification and ticks all of the boxes for a travel zoom.

At its current price it's not cheap, with competing models like Fujifilm F800 EXR and Nikon S9500 available for less. It's not without its issues either, as its battery life is disappointing and there are a few design flaws.

But the positives far outweigh the negatives and the PowerShot SX280HS is certainly one of the best travel compacts on the market.

For more alternatives, read our best cameras of 2013 round-up.


The Canon PowerShot SX280HS is one of the best travel compacts on the market. The only real issues are with the camera's battery life and a few elements of the design, however on the whole it's an impressive model that's well worthy of consideration.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design 7
  • Features 9
  • Image Quality 9
  • Performance 7
  • Value 8


October 13, 2013, 6:30 pm

Well, I bought one of these and initially I was impressed. However, I am now very disappointed. The battery just keeps going flat all the time EVEN WHEN I AM NOT USING THE CAMERA!!! I charge it one night and have it on my belt in the official Canon case and when I go to use it, I often find it says that the battery is flat or it is just completely dead. What use is a camera if it won't work when you need it? I have ended up using my iPhone camera on several occasions because of Canon's cr*p battery life.

I updated the firmware after speaking to Canon's tech support, but it is no better.

My advice is DO NOT BUY THIS CAMERA!!!!!!


March 3, 2014, 1:07 am

Did you try using another battery? Maybe that one is spoilt? or does all your batteries are dead or just that particular one?


May 5, 2017, 5:16 pm

The reviewer skims over the issue of the popup flash location, which somewhat lets the camera off the hook. In practice the flash gets in the way every time you pick up the camera and point it - rather a disadvantage for a compact action camera since you end up juggling with the thing before taking a photo. Inevitably this means missed shots. Unfortunately or fortunately the zoom switch on my camera packed up after about 100 photos, which at least gave me the satisfaction of chucking the camera into the Atlantic.
Don't buy this camera.

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