Unleash Your Creativity with the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS Camera

Whether you're a beginner or a professional, the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS camera is the perfect tool for capturing stunning photos and videos. With its impressive zoom range, high-resolution sensor, and advanced features, this camera will help you unleash your creativity and capture every moment in stunning detail.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS article cover photo

Key Features

Jul 29 2014


16 megapixels


Sensor Type1/2.3'

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Overview of the PowerShot SX520 HS

If you're in the market for a new camera, look no further than the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS. This powerful device offers exceptional zooming capabilities and advanced features that will help you take your photography to the next level. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced photographer, the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS has something to offer. So why wait? Start exploring your creativity and capture every moment in stunning detail with the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS camera.

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


42x optical zoom
16 megapixel CMOS sensor
Full HD 1080p video recording
Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
Image stabilization technology
Built-in flash
Multiple shooting modes
Artistic filters available
Compact and lightweight
Affordable price


Lack of manual control
Limited low-light performance
Relatively small sensor size
Limited battery life
Some users report slow autofocus
No touchscreen
No viewfinder
No manual focus ring
Some users report difficulty with flash settings
Limited aperture range

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS

Weather sealed
Dimensions120 x 82 x 92mm

Weather Sealing

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderNone
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution461k dots
Body typeCompact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 461k dots. This makes the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


Canon PowerShot SX520 HS does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the PowerShot SX520 HS camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS has a 16MP sized BSI-CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 16 pixels. Canon PowerShot SX520 HS has a native ISO range of 100 - 3200 which can be boosted to null - null.

Key Features

Jul 29 2014


100 - 3200

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4608 x 3456 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the PowerShot SX520 HS is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: 1/2.3'



Connectivity, storage, battery

Battery Life210 shots
Battery ModelNB-6LH
Wireless Connectivity


The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS supports SD/SDHC/SDXC with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS uses the NB-6LH model of battery pack. This is rated for 210 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. However it lacks an external flash shoe, which limits you to using the built-in flash.


The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/2000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 9 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS?

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS features a BSI-CMOS sensor

Is the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS weather sealed?

No the PowerShot SX520 HS does not have weather sealing.

When was the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS announced?

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS was announced on Jul 29 2014

Does the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the PowerShot SX520 HS does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS?

The PowerShot SX520 HS has a native ISO range of 100-3200, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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