Canon 10D vs SX510
The Canon EOS 10D and the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2003 and August 2013. The 10D is a DSLR, while the SX510 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (10D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX510) sensor. The 10D has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the SX510 provides 15.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 10D||Canon SX510|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Canon EF mount lenses||24-720mm f/3.4-5.8|
|6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor||15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|no Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO 100-3200||ISO 80-3200|
|Optical viewfinder||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|1.8" LCD, 118k dots||3.0" LCD, 461k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||3.8 shutter flaps per second|
|500 shots per battery charge||250 shots per battery charge|
|150 x 107 x 75 mm, 850 g||104 x 70 x 80 mm, 349 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 10D and the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 10D and the Canon SX510. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX510 is considerably smaller (55 percent) than the Canon 10D.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX510 has a lens built in, whereas the 10D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 10D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon 10D»||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999||Canon 10D|
|Canon SX510«||4.1 in||2.8 in||3.1 in||12.3 oz||250||n||Aug 2013||249||Canon SX510|
|Canon SX420« »||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||195||n||Jan 2016||299||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX410« »||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||185||n||Feb 2015||279||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX520« »||4.7 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||15.6 oz||210||n||Jul 2014||399||Canon SX520|
|Canon SX600« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.0 in||6.6 oz||290||n||Jan 2014||249||Canon SX600|
|Canon SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549||Canon SX60|
|Canon T5« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449||Canon T5|
|Canon SL1« »||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||Canon SL1|
|Canon T4i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||Canon T4i|
|Canon 7D« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||30.3 oz||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699||Canon 7D|
|Canon 40D« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.9 in||27.7 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||Canon 20D|
|Canon Rebel« »||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||Canon Rebel|
|Canon D60« »||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.2 oz||620||n||Feb 2002||2,999||Canon D60|
|Nikon D100« »||5.7 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||27.5 oz||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999||Nikon D100|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX510 was launched at a lower price than the 10D, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 10D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX510 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX510 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 5.6. The sensor in the 10D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX510 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, the SX510 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the 10D (DIGIC), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX510 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the 10D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 7.38μm for the 10D). However, it should be noted that the SX510 is much more recent (by 10 years and 5 months) than the 10D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX510 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX510 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX510 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 10D are 15.4 x 10.2 inch or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inch or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inch or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 10D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon 10D||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||none||21.1||10.9||571||57||Canon 10D|
|Canon SX510||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX510|
|Canon SX420||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||720/25p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX410||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||720/25p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX520||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX520|
|Canon SX600||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX600|
|Canon SX60||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39||Canon SX60|
|Canon T5||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63||Canon T5|
|Canon SL1||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon SL1|
|Canon T4i||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon T4i|
|Canon 7D||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.0||11.7||854||66||Canon 7D|
|Canon 40D||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.1||11.3||703||64||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||none||21.5||10.8||736||59||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||none||21.9||11.0||721||62||Canon 20D|
|Canon Rebel||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||none||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon Rebel|
|Canon D60||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||none||..||..||..||..||Canon D60|
|Nikon D100||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||none||..||..||..||..||Nikon D100|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX510 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 10D does not. The highest resolution format that the SX510 can use is 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 10D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX510 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 10D and Canon SX510 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 10D||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 10D|
|Canon SX510||none||n||3.0||461||fixed||n||1/1600s||3.8||Y||Y||Canon SX510|
|Canon SX420||none||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX410||none||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX520||none||n||3.0||461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y||Canon SX520|
|Canon SX600||none||n||3.0||461||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.9||Y||Y||Canon SX600|
|Canon SX60||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Canon T5||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon T5|
|Canon SL1||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9||Y||n||Canon SL1|
|Canon T4i||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T4i|
|Canon 7D||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n||Canon 7D|
|Canon 40D||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.5||Y||n||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 20D|
|Canon Rebel||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Canon Rebel|
|Canon D60||optical||Y||1.8||114||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon D60|
|Nikon D100||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D100|
One feature that is present on the 10D, but is missing on the SX510 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The 10D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the SX510 uses SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 10D and Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 10D||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 10D|
|Canon SX510||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon SX510|
|Canon SX420||-||mono||mono||-||-||none||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX410||-||stereo||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX520||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX520|
|Canon SX600||-||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX600|
|Canon SX60||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon T5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5|
|Canon SL1||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T4i||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T4i|
|Canon 7D||Y||mono||none||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 40D||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon Rebel||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon Rebel|
|Canon D60||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon D60|
|Nikon D100||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Nikon D100|
It is notable that the 10D has a hotshoe, while the SX510 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 10D (unlike the SX510) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 10D and the SX510 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 10D was replaced by the Canon 20D, while the SX510 was followed by the Canon SX520. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 10D or the Canon SX510 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 10D:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2003).
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 56%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 118k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.8 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 10D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (104x70mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 10D).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 10 years and 5 months of technical progress since the 10D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX510 emerges as the winner of the match-up (15 : 13 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 10D and the Canon SX510 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 10D and the SX510 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 10D vs Canon G1 X Mark III
- Canon 10D vs Canon SX50
- Canon 10D vs Leica X2
- Canon 10D vs Sony A99
- Canon 10D vs Sony NEX-3N
- Canon SX510 vs Canon SX540
- Canon SX510 vs Leica C-LUX
- Canon SX510 vs Leica V-LUX 1
- Canon SX510 vs Panasonic FT7
- Canon SX510 vs Panasonic GH5s
- Canon SX510 vs Samsung NX1
- Canon SX510 vs Sony HX350
Specifications: Canon 10D vs Canon SX510
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 10D||Canon SX510|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||24-720mm f/3.4-5.8|
|Launch Date||February 2003||August 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 1999||USD 249|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 10D||Canon SX510|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||342.77 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.3 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.3 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3072 x 2048 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.38 μm||1.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.84 MP/cm2||56.73 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-3200 ISO||80-3200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||57||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.1||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.9||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||571||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 10D||Canon SX510|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||No viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 10D||Canon SX510|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3.8 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 10D||Canon SX510|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 10D||Canon SX510|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
150 x 107 x 75 mm
(5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
104 x 70 x 80 mm
(4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||850 g (30.0 oz)||349 g (12.3 oz)|
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