Canon 550D vs SX60
The Canon EOS 550D (called Canon T2i in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2010 and September 2014. The 550D is a DSLR, while the SX60 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (550D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX60) sensor. The 550D has a resolution of 17.9 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 550D 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 550D and the Canon SX60 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 SX60 is notably smaller (6 percent) than the Canon 550D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 550D 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 550D 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 550D 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. 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 550D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|2.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|3.||Canon 4000D||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX70||127 mm||91 mm||117 mm||608 g||325||n||Sep 2018||549|
|5.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|6.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|8.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|9.||Canon 700D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|10.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|11.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|12.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|13.||Canon 600D||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|14.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|15.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|16.||Nikon D5100||128 mm||97 mm||79 mm||560 g||660||n||Apr 2011||749|
|17.||Panasonic FZ330||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||Y||Jul 2015||599|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 SX60 was launched at a lower price than the 550D, 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 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 550D 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 550D 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 550D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 17.9MP, the 550D offers a higher resolution than the SX60 (14.2MP), but the 550D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.40μm for the SX60) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX60 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 7 months) than the 550D, 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 resolution advantage of the Canon 550D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 550D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX60 are 23 x 15.4 inches or 58.5 x 39 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 12.3 inches or 46.8 x 31.2 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 550D 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.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the 550D provides substantially higher image quality than the SX60, with an overall score that is 27 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.9 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|8.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SX60 provides a faster frame rate than the 550D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the 550D is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX60 has an electronic viewfinder (922k dots), while the 550D 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 550D and Canon SX60 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|8.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 550D and the SX60 write their files to 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 550D and Canon PowerShot SX60 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|8.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
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 550D does not provide wifi capability.
Both the 550D and the SX60 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 550D was replaced by the Canon 600D, 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 550D and the Canon SX60? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 550D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 14.2MP) with a 12% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (27 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.9 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 (2.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- 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 (440 versus 340) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2010).
Advantages 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 1080/30p).
- 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 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 550D 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 4 years and 7 months of technical progress since the 550D launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SX60 comes out slightly ahead of the 550D (13 : 12 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 550D 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 550D or the SX60 perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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 550D||..||+ +||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|2.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|3.||Canon 4000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX70||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Sep 2018||549|
|5.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|6.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|8.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|9.||Canon 700D||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|10.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|11.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|12.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|13.||Canon 600D||3/5||o||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|14.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|15.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|16.||Nikon D5100||5/5||+ +||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749|
|17.||Panasonic FZ330||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. 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 550D 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 Model||Canon 550D||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||February 2010||September 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 550D||Canon SX60|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||14.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||4608 x 3072 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||1.40 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||50.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p 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)||66||39|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||19.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||784||127|
|Screen Specs||Canon 550D||Canon SX60|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||922k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 550D||Canon SX60|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.7 shutter flaps/s||6.4 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 550D||Canon SX60|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 550D||Canon SX60|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||440 shots per charge||340 shots per charge|
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||530 g (18.7 oz)||650 g (22.9 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.