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Canon Power Shot SX50 HS.


Hello All,


I am a new member on the message boards.  Owner of a Canon Power Shot SX50 HS.


I enjoy nature and take lots of bird, butterfly, deer, etc. shots.  Also scenery shots.  


I do not understand the setting on this camera and I only use the auto mode.  


Question:  What are the best settings (Apature and ISO) for the type of pictures I take.   Some come out sharp but lots have a blur.    Suggestions wlecome.......Thanks!



I'm also an amature photographer, but I've learned that there are hardly hard and fast settings. Take a look at this to help you understand how it all works together:‎  . Work towards getting out of "Auto" and have fun playing with your camera, you're goin' to get blurs, underexposed, over exposed shots, and sometimes some really great shots but the only one who makes no mistakes, is the one who does nothing, and therefore makes the biggest mistake of all! Good luck.

You may want to read this older thread & follow the links as you get more curious.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Thanks for your reply.

Thank you for your reply!


Gloria S

Go to  this you tube website  (  this photographer from South African has lessons on how to use this camera Canon SX 50HS.   I too had all the same problems and he gives step by step instructions on how to use it.   He is now up to episode 8 or 9.   All of the episodes are posted and he is very willing to take questions.  He is prompt and concise.  Good luck.   Pass the good word.


Thank you so much! I will check it out.


Hello GloriaS,


I'm a new member and long time Canon point-and-shoot user. I currently own the G11, SX40 and SX50. I primarily photograph birds & wildlife. All of my nature photos are taken hand-held with the majority taken at or near maximum zoom. I've never had issues with camera or motion blur as long as the shutter speeds are fast enough. That's why I prefer to shoot in Shutter Priority and Manual Modes. I also have an external flash that I even use outdoors if needed. I enjoy sharing hints & tips with forum members and if you'd like to see what I get with my SX40 & SX50 please visit my photography website. Canon makes superb cameras and a little practice & patience has served me well.


By the way, the "Framing Assist - Lock" located ON the SX50 is really fantastic! Along with the excellent image stabilization performance of the camera pressing this button when composing a shot really gives you that extra bit of clarity in an image, especially at or near the long end of the zoom. This feature is explained on page 57 of the manual.


Here's my main SX50 gallery:Canon SX50 HS


I even have a SX50 gallery that contains straight-out-of-the-camera (SOOC) examples. That is, zero internal camera setting changes and zero post-processing of any kind, including cropping.




Although I don't have a deep technical camera background, through pratice & experimentation I've learned which buttons to push and which dials to spin on my SX40 & SX50 that alow me to consistently capture images I'm very happy with. I'd certainly like to share what I've learned with you and the rest of this forum!


Best regards,





Tony, thank you for your reply on the Canon PowerShot SX50.   I do not have a manual, so, I can not refer to page 57.   Where would I find the "Framing Assist - Lock"?   What shutter speed should I be using on the SX50 for birds and wildlife?  Also settings for scenery shots?    In Manual mode I have ISO set at 160,  1/800 and F5.6.    My screen goes black in Manual Mode and I have -2 showing in red.


I am going to look at your gallery as soon as I post this.   Thanks for any expaining and help you can offer.  I do appreciate it.



Hi GloriaS,


First, I’m the quintessential button pusher and experimenter when it comes to camera settings. I’ve never taken a photography class so my level of “technical” knowledge will be rather limited. The following information is as deep as I can go with regard to offering advice and is based upon what I’ve experienced through observation, practice and experimentation. Therefore, perhaps some of the more technically savvy forum members should always feel free to spackle over some glaring holes I may have missed! I’m as eager to learn as much as you are about the art and science of photography and shared information is certainly the currency of any thriving forum!


The “manual” is on the CD that came with the camera.  For convenience, here’s a link to Canon’s online version of the manual:Canon SX50 HS Manual

To see the location of the Framing Assist-Lock scroll down to page 4 and look for the circled number 11. As you press and hold down this button while composing the shot the icon for the Framing Assist-Lock you see pictured on page 4 appears in the viewfinder / LCD to confirm it’s been activated. Be sure to keep the button pressed until you’ve finished taking the shot! 

There isn’t a definitive or default shutter speed or aperture setting I use for birds & wildlife or any subject, for that matter. It depends more on things like the available amount of sunlight and if the subject is moving or not and how much depth of field I’m interested in capturing in the image. I think in these simple terms; shutter speed settings determine how long the shutter remains open and aperture settings determine how wide the lens opens when taking the photo and also affects depth of field. Both affect the amount of light entering the camera and these two factors ultimately influence exposure. When I’m shooting in Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority Modes, I also adjust Exposure Compensation levels to further affect exposure.  For example, if I’m composing the shot and the image on my LCD looks too dark, I’ll try decreasing the shutter speed or adjusting the aperture value. I might also need to increase the Exposure Compensation levels until I achieve the overall level of brightness or darkness I want for that particular photo. Then I’ll take the shot. I’ll try this before I increase the ISO in order to keep overall visible “noise” to a minimum. The higher the ISO, the brighter the image, but the potential for "noisy" or grainy images escalates. I haven’t shot any images above ISO 400 so I’ve no idea how well this camera would do noise wise in this case. One benefit though for increasing the ISO in situations of low-light is that it allows you to increase the shutter speed! This fact alone can help minimize hand-held camera shake!  Although I’ve never used it, apparently Sports Mode is popular for capturing moving subjects.

Even for photographing birds not in flight I always use the fastest (highest) shutter speed possible given the amount of sunlight I have to work with primarily to reduce hand-held camera shake. Also, when the angle of lighting is favorable and a bird is in a position where there’s plenty of direct sunlight on it yet the background is fairly dim, then one of my favorite techniques appears in any of my images where the background is black although the bird, for example, remains well lighted. Please see my Canon SOOC Gallery to see how close I get to blackening the background without losing much brightness on the bird, before I do any post-processing to further darken the background. This is a result of controlling the amount of light I want to enter the camera by manipulating shutter speed, aperture, and exposure compensation settings. I intentionally steer the settings toward the direction I want in order to create the mood I want. I love visual contrast in my bird photos. By using this method I can “vanish” unsightly and distracting objects such as branches, signs, and even a section of a bridge in a couple of my pigeon photos! All by simply manipulating the settings. It’s more important to me to have fun and create the image I desire rather than settle for what the original scene presents.

I believe it’s extremely important to develop a certain style and approach to photography. Ask three people to photograph the same rose and more than likely each will approach the rose from a completely different angle and with a completely different artistic vision. I value more drama and visual impact in my bird & wildlife photos than I do accuracy. I’m not interested in creating a bird guide or accurate visual “document” of the encounter.


If I were to photograph scenery I’d most likely try using Aperture Priority Mode or Manual Modes since I’d have greater control over the depth of field in the shot. Depending on whether (or weather!) or not I wanted objects in the distance to be in better focus I’d adjust the aperture values accordingly. The closer to f/8, the more in focus the background is, the further away from f/8, the less in focus the background would be. The actual distance between the foreground subject and the background also factors in, as well.

If I were in a situation where in Manual Mode the ISO was set at 160, shutter speed at 1/800 and aperture at 5.6 as you described and my screen went black, first I’d try decreasing the shutter speed or adjusting the aperture setting to see if this solved the problem and or then I’d try to further increase the ISO or Exposure Compensation levels. Unless I'm mistaken, in Manual mode you don’t have access to change exposure compensation settings, so one or a combination of these other strategies should brighten the image on the screen. To be sure, indoors and even outdoors the camera’s flash or an external flash can really help, as well.

Best regards,




Tony Britton Photography

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