Gadgetslab: Canon PowerShot SX280 HS

Canon PowerShot


Sensor: 12.1 MP High-Sensitivity CMOS
Optical Zoom: 20X Optical Zoom Lens
Physical Dimension: 1 06.4mm (W) x 62.8mm (H) x32.6mm(D)
Weight Approx. 233g (including battery)
Estimated battery life: Approx. 210 min. playback
Memory used/internal capacity: SD/SDHC/SDXC


  • Has Wi-R and GPS capabilities
  • 20X zoom range
  • Has 1 080p60 video capture
  • Can zoom while recording HD video


  • Not the sharpest LCD
  • Short battery life
  • Quite hefty


The Canon PowerShot SX280 is an ideal travel companion, putting 20X zoom right inside your pocket, as well as Wi-Fi, GPS, and 1080p 60fps video capture. Be sure to fully charge though!


Wi-Fi proves to be an important selling point for digital cameras nowadays due to people’s inclination to constant connectivity. Shooting photos has become a tad bit boring without being able to share them to family and friends online and on-the-go. While typical smartphones are capable of doing the job, image quality still does not go up to par with that offered by good digital cameras, such as the Canon PowerShot SX280 HS right here.

The Canon PowerShot SX280 HS is a pocket-sized camera that comes as an update to its SX260 HS predecessor, having the addition of an extended zoom plus a build that appears more solid. Apart from its Wi-Fi capability, the PowerShot SX280 HS also has a 20x Optical Zoom Lens, the latest DIGIC 6 Image Processor from Canon, and a GPS receiver—all packed into its svelte frame.

Canon’s SX line has definitely been famed for its long zoom range. The PowerShot SX280 HS has 20x power zoom and a 25mm wide-angle lens-perfect for capturing quick snaps or artistic images. The new DIGIC 6 Image Processor from Canon definitely adds a good bit of speed to the camera overall, and with its ISO ranging from 80 all the way to 6400, there is a lot of added sensitivity to its low light performance. That being said, the SX280 HS feels quite heavy when carried, though not to an irksome degree. To me, it is not that big of a deal; its zoom capacity more than makes up for its extra of bulk.

On the back of the PowerShot SX280 HS is a smooth 3-inch LCD screen. Do not get taken aback with its lack of a touchscreen—this does not take away the SX280 HS’ cachet. If anything, it offers device familiarity that still provides ease of use.

The button layout of the PowerShot SX280 HS is pretty standard, with most of the buttons located on the right side of the device. On top, there are the usual on/off button, shutter button, and zoom dial. Beside the LCD is the mode dial, which lets you choose amongst a variety of menus. The mode dial rotates quite firmly that chances of accidentally turning it and changing the current mode are rather slim. Correspondingly, you can set basic functions by using the quick menu. There, you can play with GPS Settings, Light Metering, White Balance, ISO, Drive Mode, Continuous Shot (up to 4 frames per second), Aspect Ratio, Image Size, and Compression.

The screen menu on the PowerShot SX280 HS looks exactly the same as any other PowerShot digital camera. Find yourself au fait with most, if not all, of the camera functions and you will appreciably enjoy this camera. If not, don’t worry; this camera is extremely user-friendly.

The PowerShot SX280 HS is rather fast and snappy to operate. Starting up and shutting down the device takes under a second; no lag issue whatsoever. Playback is also quick, allowing you to zoom in at the photos with such fluidity. Video recording gives Full HD movie quality. It shoots with 1080p at 60 frames per second and the fact that you can zoom while recording HD videos is just terrific.

The battery and battery charger of the PowerShot SX280 HS look slim. Aesthetic-wise, both look good and easy to carry around, although that is not the main concern. My issue with the SX280 HS is that its battery does not last for a whole day, which comes as a hassle specially for very active users. For this, I find two solutions—either you invest on a spare battery or a power bank. Your choice.

All in all, the Canon PowerShot SX280 HS is a travel-zoom camera that you would probably think twice about purchasing, since smartphones already come as substitutes for cameras. Nonetheless, it swanks some features that might perhaps convince you to carry around another camera. If you want to shoot high quality images while traveling and easily share them online, then no doubt, the PowerShot SX280 HS is for you.

BuyMeter 4

Words by Janelle M. Bustilla
First published in Gadgets Magazine, August 2013