Canon SX520 HS

 
Canon PowerShot SX520 HS front
 
Portability
69
Imaging
42
Features
44
Overall
42

Canon SX520 HS overview

Canon SX520 HS is Canon's Small Sensor Superzoom camera first revealed on July of 2014. The camera comes with a 16MP, BSI-CMOS 1/2.3" size sensor with a maximum resolution of 4608 x 3456.

Canon released this camera as a way to improve the older Canon SX510 HS (Read Full Comparison) and afterwards launched the fresher Canon SX530 HS (Read Full Comparison) to improve this camera.

The SX520 HS is positioned #101 out of 243 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and all-around #599 out of 1428 for cameras in our database. Remember to test our Smart camera filter to get camera rankings based on your personal factors.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Below is a chart of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Canon SX520 HS family

The Canon SX520 HS comes with a history of related cameras. Here, you can look at all older and the latest models along with key specs.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Canon-PowerShot-SX70-HS front thumbnailCanon SX70 HS
SX520 HS vs SX70 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2018
Canon-PowerShot-SX740-HS front thumbnailCanon SX740 HS
SX520 HS vs SX740 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
21MP1/2.3"2018
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Canon-PowerShot-SX730-HS front thumbnailCanon SX730 HS
SX520 HS vs SX730 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2017
Canon-PowerShot-SX620-HS front thumbnailCanon SX620 HS
SX520 HS vs SX620 HS
25-625mm
F3.2-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX720-HS front thumbnailCanon SX720 HS
SX520 HS vs SX720 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX540-HS front thumbnailCanon SX540 HS
SX520 HS vs SX540 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2016
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Canon-PowerShot-SX420-IS front thumbnailCanon SX420 IS
SX520 HS vs SX420 IS
24-1008mm
F3.5-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX410-IS front thumbnailCanon SX410 IS
SX520 HS vs SX410 IS
24-960mm
F3.5-5.6
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX710-HS front thumbnailCanon SX710 HS
SX520 HS vs SX710 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX530-HS front thumbnailCanon SX530 HS
SX520 HS vs SX530 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX610-HS front thumbnailCanon SX610 HS
SX520 HS vs SX610 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
Canon-PowerShot-SX60-HS front thumbnailCanon SX60 HS
SX520 HS vs SX60 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX400-IS front thumbnailCanon SX400 IS
SX520 HS vs SX400 IS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX520-HS front thumbnailCanon SX520 HS24-1008mm
F3.4-6.0
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX700-HS front thumbnailCanon SX700 HS
SX520 HS vs SX700 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX600-HS front thumbnailCanon SX600 HS
SX520 HS vs SX600 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX170-IS front thumbnailCanon SX170 IS
SX520 HS vs SX170 IS
28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX510-HS front thumbnailCanon SX510 HS
SX520 HS vs SX510 HS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX160-IS front thumbnailCanon SX160 IS
SX520 HS vs SX160 IS
28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
Canon-PowerShot-SX280-HS front thumbnailCanon SX280 HS
SX520 HS vs SX280 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX270-HS front thumbnailCanon SX270 HS
SX520 HS vs SX270 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX50-HS front thumbnailCanon SX50 HS
SX520 HS vs SX50 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX500-IS front thumbnailCanon SX500 IS
SX520 HS vs SX500 IS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX260-HS front thumbnailCanon SX260 HS
SX520 HS vs SX260 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX150-IS front thumbnailCanon SX150 IS
SX520 HS vs SX150 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
14MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX240-HS front thumbnailCanon SX240 HS
SX520 HS vs SX240 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX40-HS front thumbnailCanon SX40 HS
SX520 HS vs SX40 HS
24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SD4500-IS front thumbnailCanon SD4500 IS
SX520 HS vs SD4500 IS
36-360mm
F3.4-5.6
10MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SX230-HS front thumbnailCanon SX230 HS
SX520 HS vs SX230 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
Canon-SX220-HS front thumbnailCanon SX220 HS
SX520 HS vs SX220 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SX30-IS front thumbnailCanon SX30 IS
SX520 HS vs SX30 IS
24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX130-IS front thumbnailCanon SX130 IS
SX520 HS vs SX130 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD4000-IS front thumbnailCanon SD4000 IS
SX520 HS vs SD4000 IS
28-105mm
F2.0-5.3
10MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX20-IS front thumbnailCanon SX20 IS
SX520 HS vs SX20 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX210-IS front thumbnailCanon SX210 IS
SX520 HS vs SX210 IS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD3500-IS front thumbnailCanon SD3500 IS
SX520 HS vs SD3500 IS
24-120mm
F2.8-5.9
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD1300-IS front thumbnailCanon SD1300 IS
SX520 HS vs SD1300 IS
28-112mm
F2.8-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD980-IS front thumbnailCanon SD980 IS
SX520 HS vs SD980 IS
24-120mm
F2.8-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX200-IS front thumbnailCanon SX200 IS
SX520 HS vs SX200 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.3
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX1-IS front thumbnailCanon SX1 IS
SX520 HS vs SX1 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD970-IS front thumbnailCanon SD970 IS
SX520 HS vs SD970 IS
37-185mm
F3.2-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD960-IS front thumbnailCanon SD960 IS
SX520 HS vs SD960 IS
28-112mm
F2.8-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD1200-IS front thumbnailCanon SD1200 IS
SX520 HS vs SD1200 IS
35-105mm
F2.8-4.9
10MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX10-IS front thumbnailCanon SX10 IS
SX520 HS vs SX10 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009

Canon SX520 HS Pros and Cons

Here is a collection of positives and negatives of the Canon SX520 HS based on factors that are generally viewed as important in a camera.

built in image stabilization (Optical)
comes with HDMI support
flash built-in
good min ISO (100)
good MP (16MP)
great reach (1008mm)
great video quality (1920 x 1080 pixels)
has manual focus
includes face detect autofocus
includes tracking focus
incredible zoom range (24-1008mm 42.0 x zoom)
relatively wide (24mm)
screen size is good (3 inch)
can't switch lens (fixed lens mount)
continuous shooting slow (2.0 frames per second)
doesn't contain selfie friendly display
does not have headphone jack
does not have mic jack
does not have Time Lapse function
external flash not possible
lack of phase detect autofocus
lack of RAW support
low battery (210 shots)
screen has low resolution (461 k dot)
screen is fixed
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
sluggish at full zoom (f6.0)
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.4)
Instagram's $20 billion Ad success

Canon SX520 HS Sensor features

The Canon SX520 HS houses the Digic 4+ chip. The size of the sensor on the Canon SX520 HS is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the capability to resolve 4608 x 3456 pixels with aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera includes Image Stabilization (Optical). Sensor stabilization is more effective than digital stabilization since the latter can easily lead to cropping.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

The BSI-CMOS sensor boasts 16MP and gives a native ISO range of 100 to 3200. Sadly, RAW format is not saved therefore you have less room to maneuver in post.

The graphic below shows the SX520 HS's sensor size when compared to other common sizes. The SX520 HS sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is outlined in green.

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS sensor size Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

To get an idea of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon SX520 HS dimensions

Canon SX520 HS is 0.97 lb (441 gr or 15.56 oz) and features exterior dimensions of 120mm x 82mm x 92mm (4.7" x 3.2" x 3.6"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 gr and the Canon SX520 HS is weightier than various competitors.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

Below is a pic of the Canon SX520 HS beside a soft drink so you're able to have a feel for its size.

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS dimensions scale

The top view below will show you the button layout on the SX520 HS.

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS topview buttons dials

Canon SX520 HS Lens features

The SX520 HS houses a built in lens with a focal range of 24-1008mm making it a 42.0 x zoom which is perfect and will let you zoom right in.

At it's widest 24mm, it offers an aperture of f3.4 and that is pretty sluggish and not very good in low light events and you will probably find it difficult to capture a shallow depth of field. You will probably also have to increase your ISO setting which results in noisy files. With the long end, 1008mm is phenomenal zoom and comes with f6.0 making it pretty sluggish and you may have to apply slow shutter speeds.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

Canon SX520 HS Connectivity

The SX520 HS has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras which include NFC or Bluetooth support are able to be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You are able to send pictures and sometimes adjust camera settings without connecting physically with the camera.

Some apps also allow a Liveview and click the shutter when you aren't close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI out, it can easily be hooked up to an external screen. A good number of cameras will allow you to charge the battery with the USB socket.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Canon SX520 HS Video features

The maximum video quality on the Canon SX520 HS is 1920 x 1080 and it can save in MPEG-4 and H.264 format. 1080p quality can provide a good balance between quality and file size but FULL HD will not leave you with much room to crop. The body doesn't feature a mic or headphone socket which means that you get zero control over your sound. It is probably a better idea to look into an alternative camera if you want decent sound in your video clips.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Canon SX520 HS Weather Sealing

There is no weather proofing on the Canon SX520 HS so you have to be cautious in rainy and dusty conditions.

Canon SX520 HS Display and Viewfinder

The Canon SX520 HS comes with a 3" fixed display with a resolution of 461k dots.

Please be aware that the display screen offers no touch support.

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS screen and viewfinder 400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

The ViewFinder specs regarding Canon SX520 HS are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders are quite handy during bright outdoor conditions which might make the camera display washed out and difficult to view.

Canon SX520 HS Shutter features

Canon SX520 HS continuous shooting speed is 2.0 frames per second. The max shutter speed is 1/2000 seconds.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

Canon SX520 HS Flash and Hot shoe features

Canon SX520 HS includes just in-built flash with missing external flash ability.

Canon SX520 HS Autofocus features

Canon SX520 HS includes only Contrast Based AF and lacks Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot faster and accurate than Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera comes with Face detect which makes it valuable for people photography.

The AF system comes with 9 focus points to pick from. It also boasts Tracking AF for subjects on the move. Canon SX520 HS boasts manual focusing if required during low light conditions or you need to have more accurate control on focusing.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Canon SX520 HS Battery life

The battery (NB-6LH) on the Canon SX520 HS is designed to last for 210 shutters based on the CIPA standards which is lower than its competition. The general Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR comes with the highest possible (600) battery life within this kind of cameras.

Underneath is a collection of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras with the best battery life:

Canon SX520 HS for specific categories of photography

The following diagram shows a analysis of the Canon SX520 HS for specific categories of photography. To see more, have a look at the specific section below.

Portrait photography with Canon SX520 HS

The Canon SX520 HS gets a points total of 45 which is subpar, and means the camera is not really good for portrait photos. Shooting portraits leans greatly towards sensor dimensions, support for RAW photos in addition to the potential to use off-camera flash.

Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
focusing manually
good megapixels (16MP)
features face detect focusing
external flash not possible
very small sensor (1/2.3")
no RAW support

Canon SX520 HS Street photography details

Getting a modest score of 47, the Canon SX520 HS is relatively appropriate to use in street photography. A good street photography camera has a good balance of image quality plus portability.

Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
has image stabilization (Optical)
screen is fixed
small sensor (1/2.3")
no RAW support

Canon SX520 HS Sports photography details

A modest sports photography points tally of 46 suggests the Canon SX520 HS is relatively appropriate for taking photos of sports. A camera needs to have great tracking plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
incredible zoom range (24-1008mm 42.0 x zoom)
image stabilization (Optical)
good resolution (16MP)
features tracking focus
slow fps (2.0 fps)
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
bad battery pack (210 per charge)
has no phase detect autofocus

Canon SX520 HS Travel photography information

Size is extremely crucial when choosing a travel camera. On the whole, the Canon SX520 HS gets a average 56 as a travel camera which is relatively suitable to take with you on your vacations.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
sensor resolution is decent (16MP)
built-in flash
rather wide (24mm)
great zoom (1008mm)
missing Time Lapse mode
terrible battery (210 CIPA)
doesn't offer selfie friendly screen
slow maximum aperture (f3.4)

Canon SX520 HS Landscape photography advice

For anyone who is looking to choose a camera for landscape pictures, the most vital aspect is going to be image quality. The Canon SX520 HS at it's average rating of 46 as a landscape camera is fairly appropriate among it's rivals.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
you can focus manually
decently wide (24mm)
good sized screen (3 inch)
has image stabilization (Optical)
good resolution (16 megapixels)
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.4)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
lack of RAW support
low battery life (210 CIPA)
does not have Timelapse function

Canon SX520 HS Vlogging highlights

A camera for vlogging ought to have a moving display, mic port and if possible image stabilization. Considering all things, the Canon SX520 HS is not really good as a vlog camera as it receives a subpar rating of 29.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
reasonably wide (24mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
comes with face detection focusing
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
sluggish max aperture (f3.4)
doesn't contain selfie friendly screen
does not have external mic port

Canon SX520 HS Alternatives

If you are interested in replacements to the SX520 HS, here is a list of the highest rated cameras which fall into the family of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The line chart here offers you an overview of the SX520 HS versus it's highest rated competitors suggested earlier.

There are a bunch of cameras you might consider as alternatives. To browse through a extensive comparison, simply click on the "compare" link.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Specifications

General Information
Manufacturer
Canon
Model type
Canon PowerShot SX520 HS
Category
Small Sensor Superzoom
Announced
2014-07-29
Body design
Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
BSI-CMOS
Processor Chip
Digic 4+
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
16MP
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Full resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW support
Max native ISO
3200
Min native ISO
100
Autofocusing
Focus manually
AF touch
AF continuous
Single AF
AF tracking
Selective AF
AF center weighted
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detect AF
Contract detect AF
Phase detect AF
Total focus points
9
Lens
Lens support
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
24-1008mm (42.0x)
Maximum aperture
f/3.4-6.0
Macro focusing range
0cm
Focal length multiplier
5.8
Screen
Display type
Fixed Type
Display diagonal
3 inch
Resolution of display
461k dot
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch display
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
None
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Features
Slowest shutter speed
15s
Maximum shutter speed
1/2000s
Continuous shooting speed
2.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Yes
Change WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
5.50 m
Flash settings
Auto, on, off, slow synchro
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Exposure
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max video resolution
1920x1080
Video data format
MPEG-4, H.264
Mic input
Headphone input
Connectivity
Wireless
None
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
None
Physical
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight
441 grams (0.97 lb)
Dimensions
120 x 82 x 92mm (4.7" x 3.2" x 3.6")
Other
Battery life
210 images
Battery format
Battery Pack
Battery ID
NB-6LH
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage slots
1
Retail price
$219