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Canon 500D vs SX60

The Canon EOS 500D (called Canon T1i in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2009 and September 2014. The 500D is a DSLR, while the SX60 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (500D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX60) sensor. The 500D has a resolution of 15.1 megapixels, whereas the SX60 provides 14.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 500D versus Canon SX60
Canon 500D Canon SX60
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5
15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 14.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/20p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (922k dots)
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.4 shutter flaps per second 6.4 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge340 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g 128 x 93 x 114 mm, 650 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 500D and the Canon PowerShot SX60 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 500D and the Canon SX60. 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.

Size Canon 500D vs Canon SX60
Compare 500D versus SX60 top
Comparison 500D or SX60 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX60 is notably smaller (6 percent) than the Canon 500D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 500D nor the SX60 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX60 has a lens built in, whereas the 500D 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 500D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 500D gets 400 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the SX60 can take 340 images on a single charge of its NB-10L power pack.

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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX70 127 mm 91 mm 117 mm 608 g 325 n Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon 600D 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Panasonic FZ330 132 mm 92 mm 117 mm 691 g 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 SX60 was launched at a lower price than the 500D, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 500D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX60 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX60 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 500D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX60 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, the SX60 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the 500D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 500D and Canon SX60 sensor measures

With 15.1MP, the 500D offers a slightly higher resolution than the SX60 (14.2MP), but the 500D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.69μm versus 1.40μm for the SX60) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX60 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 5 months) than the 500D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX60 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Canon EOS 500D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

500D versus SX60 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the 500D provides substantially higher image quality than the SX60, with an overall score that is 24 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.5 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon SX70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Panasonic FZ330 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the SX60 provides a faster frame rate than the 500D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the 500D is limited to 1080/20p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SX60 has an electronic viewfinder (922k dots), while the 500D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 500D and Canon SX60 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon SX702360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ3301440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
The SX60 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 500D does not have a selfie-screen.

The 500D writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the SX60 uses SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 500D and Canon PowerShot SX60 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX70-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ330YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--

It is notable that the SX60 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 500D does not provide wifi capability.

Both the 500D and the SX60 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 500D was replaced by the Canon 550D, while the SX60 was followed by the Canon SX70. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 500D better than the Canon SX60 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 500D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (24 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.5 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 340) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2009).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS:

  • 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 6 vs DIGIC 4).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/20p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.4 vs 3.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 500D requires a separate lens.
  • 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.
  • 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 5 years and 5 months of technical progress since the 500D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SX60 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 10 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.

500D 10:14 SX60

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 500D and the Canon SX60 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 500D and the SX60 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.

Expert reviews

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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 500D+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX70+ +..3.5/5..3.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon 750D..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon 1200D+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon 700D..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon 600Do77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon 550D+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon 450D+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Panasonic FZ330+ +..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 500D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX60:
Check Ebay offers

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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 500D vs Canon SX60

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 500D Canon SX60
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date March 2009 September 2014
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon 500D Canon SX60
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.1 Megapixels 14.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4752 x 3168 pixels 4608 x 3072 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.69 μm 1.40 μm
    Pixel Density 4.53 MP/cm2 50.42 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/20p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 39
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 19.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 663 127
    Screen Specs Canon 500D Canon SX60
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    Viewfinder Resolution 922k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 500D Canon SX60
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 3.4 shutter flaps/s 6.4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 500D Canon SX60
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon 500D Canon SX60
    Battery Type LP-E5 NB-10L
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge340 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    128 x 93 x 114 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 4.5 in)
    Camera Weight 520 g (18.3 oz) 650 g (22.9 oz)

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