Canon 400D vs SX510
The Canon EOS 400D (called Canon XTi in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2006 and August 2013. The 400D is a DSLR, while the SX510 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (400D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX510) sensor. The 400D has a resolution of 10.1 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 400D 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 400D and the Canon SX510 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 (32 percent) than the Canon 400D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 400D nor the SX510 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX510 has a lens built in, whereas the 400D 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 400D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 400D||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|2.||Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|3.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|4.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|5.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|6.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|7.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399|
|8.||Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249|
|9.||Canon SX500||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||341 g||195||n||Aug 2012||329|
|10.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|12.||Canon 550D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|13.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|15.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|16.||Canon 350D||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|17.||Nikon D40X||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The SX510 was launched at a lower price than the 400D, 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 400D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX510 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX510 is 91 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 400D 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 400D (DIGIC II), 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 10.1 MP of the 400D. 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 5.71μm for the 400D). However, it should be noted that the SX510 is much more recent (by 7 years) than the 400D, 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 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 400D are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 400D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX510 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 400D 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 range of features. For example, the 400D 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 400D and Canon SX510 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
The 400D 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 400D and Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the 400D has a hotshoe, while the SX510 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the 400D and the SX510 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 400D and the Canon SX510? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 400D:
- 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.
- 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 (370 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 23%.
- 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 II).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 230k 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 400D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (104x70mm vs 127x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 400D).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- 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 7 years of technical progress since the 400D 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 (14 : 11 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 400D 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 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 400D and the SX510 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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 400D||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|2.||Canon SX510||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|3.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|4.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|5.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|6.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|7.||Canon SX520||..||+||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399|
|8.||Canon SX400||..||+||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|9.||Canon SX500||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2012||329|
|10.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|12.||Canon 550D||..||+ +||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|13.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|15.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|16.||Canon 350D||..||80/100||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|17.||Nikon D40X||..||79/100||+ +||4/5||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon 400D 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 400D||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||August 2006||August 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 249|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 400D||Canon SX510|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.2 x 14.8 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||328.56 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.7 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3888 x 2592 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.71 μm||1.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.07 MP/cm2||56.73 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC II||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||62||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.0||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||664||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 400D||Canon SX510|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 400D||Canon SX510|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3.8 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 400D||Canon SX510|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 400D||Canon SX510|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
127 x 84 x 65 mm
(5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
104 x 70 x 80 mm
(4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||556 g (19.6 oz)||349 g (12.3 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.