Canon 20D vs SX530
The Canon EOS 20D and the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2004 and January 2015. The 20D is a DSLR, while the SX530 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (20D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX530) sensor. The 20D has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the SX530 provides 15.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 20D and the Canon PowerShot SX530 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 20D and the Canon SX530. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth 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 SX530 is considerably smaller (36 percent) than the Canon 20D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 20D nor the SX530 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX530 has a lens built in, whereas the 20D 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 20D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|2.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|3.||Canon 1300D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|4.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|5.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399|
|6.||Canon 7D II||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|7.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|8.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|9.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|10.||Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|11.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|12.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|13.||Canon 350D||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|14.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|15.||Canon 300D||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|16.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|17.||Nikon D200||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 SX530 was launched at a lower price than the 20D, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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 20D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX530 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX530 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 20D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX530 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, the SX530 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the 20D (DIGIC 2), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX530 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 8.2 MP of the 20D. 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 6.42μm for the 20D). However, it should be noted that the SX530 is much more recent (by 10 years and 4 months) than the 20D, 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 SX530 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX530 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX530 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 20D are 17.5 x 11.7 inches or 44.5 x 29.7 cm for good quality, 14 x 9.3 inches or 35.6 x 23.7 cm for very good quality, and 11.7 x 7.8 inches or 29.7 x 19.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 20D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS are ISO 100 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.
| DXO |
|6.||Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|16.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX530 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 20D does not. The highest resolution format that the SX530 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 20D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX530 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 20D and Canon SX530 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|6.||Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
|16.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
One feature that is present on the 20D, but is missing on the SX530 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 20D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the SX530 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 20D and Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|6.||Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the 20D has a hotshoe, while the SX530 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 20D (unlike the SX530) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 20D and the SX530 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 20D was replaced by the Canon 30D, while the SX530 was followed by the Canon SX540. 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 20D or the Canon SX530 – 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 20D:
- 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 (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 1.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 210) 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 August 2004).
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 37%.
- 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 2).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p 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).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 20D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x82mm vs 144x106mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 20D).
- 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.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 10 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 20D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX530 comes out slightly ahead of the 20D (15 : 14 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 20D and the Canon SX530 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 20D and the SX530 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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Canon 20D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|2.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|3.||Canon 1300D||4/5||o||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|4.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|5.||Canon SX520||..||+||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399|
|6.||Canon 7D II||4.5/5||+||84/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|7.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|8.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|9.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|10.||Canon 50D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|11.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|12.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|13.||Canon 350D||..||80/100||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|14.||Canon 10D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|15.||Canon 300D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|16.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|17.||Nikon D200||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Nov 2005||1,699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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.
Specifications: Canon 20D vs Canon SX530
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 20D||Canon SX530|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||August 2004||January 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 1,499||USD 429|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 20D||Canon SX530|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8.2 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3504 x 2336 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.42 μm||1.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.43 MP/cm2||56.73 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 2||DIGIC 4+|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||62||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.9||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.0||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||721||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 20D||Canon SX530|
|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||1.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 20D||Canon SX530|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||1.6 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 20D||Canon SX530|
|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|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 20D||Canon SX530|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||700 shots per charge||210 shots per charge|
144 x 106 x 72 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.8 in)
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||770 g (27.2 oz)||442 g (15.6 oz)|
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