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Canon 550D vs SX620

The Canon EOS 550D (called Canon T2i in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2010 and May 2016. The 550D is a DSLR, while the SX620 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (550D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX620) sensor. The 550D has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the SX620 provides 20.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 550D
versus
Canon SX620
Canon 550D Canon SX620
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 25-625mm f/3.2-6.6
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 80-3,200
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge295 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g 97 x 57 x 28 mm, 182 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 550D and the Canon PowerShot SX620 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 550D and the Canon SX620. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX620 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, red), while the 550D is only available in black.

Size Canon 550D vs Canon SX620
Compare 550D versus SX620 top
Comparison 550D or SX620 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX620 is considerably smaller (56 percent) than the Canon 550D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 550D nor the SX620 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX620 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.

Concerning battery life, the 550D gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the SX620 can take 295 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack.

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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
2.
 
Canon SX620 97 mm 57 mm 28 mm 182 g 295 n May 2016 279 i
3.
 
Canon 4000D 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX430 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 323 g 195 n Jan 2017 299 i
5.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299 i
6.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749 i
7.
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
8.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529 i
9.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279 i
10.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249 i
11.
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449 i
12.
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649 i
13.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
14.
 
Canon 600D 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599 i
15.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
16.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799 i
17.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749 i
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 SX620 was launched at a lower price than the 550D, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 550D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX620 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX620 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 SX620 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, the SX620 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the 550D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 550D and Canon SX620 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX620 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the 550D. 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 1.18μm versus 4.31μm for the 550D). However, it should be noted that the SX620 is much more recent (by 6 years and 3 months) than the 550D, 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 SX620 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

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 SX620 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

550D versus SX620 MP

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 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
1.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66
2.
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p...... ..
3.
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.4695 63
4.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p...... ..
5.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p...... ..
6.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.0919 71
7.
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
8.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.3495 63
9.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p...... ..
10.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p...... ..
11.
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.3724 63
12.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2681 61
13.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
14.
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5793 65
15.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
16.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.5663 63
17.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.61183 80

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 550D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX620 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 550D, the Canon SX620, and comparable cameras.

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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
1.
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
2.
 
Canon SX620none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
3.
 
Canon 4000Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon SX430none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
6.
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
11.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Canon 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
15.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D5100optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 550D and the SX620 write their files to SDXC cards.

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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 550D and Canon PowerShot SX620 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
1.
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon SX620-monomono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon 4000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX430-monomono---2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX610-----micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D5100YmonomonoY-mini2.0---

It is notable that the 550D has a hotshoe, while the SX620 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The SX620 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the 550D has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 550D was succeeded by the Canon 600D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 550D or the Canon SX620 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 550D:

  • 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.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 2.5 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 (440 versus 295) 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 February 2010).


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX620 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 4+ vs DIGIC 4).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 550D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (97x57mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 550D).
  • 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 6 years and 3 months of technical progress since the 550D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 550D is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 10 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.

550D 14:10 SX620

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 550D and the Canon SX620 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 550D or the SX620. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 550D..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
2.
 
Canon SX620........4/5 May 2016 279 i
3.
 
Canon 4000D..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX430......3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2017 299 i
5.
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299 i
6.
 
Canon 750D5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749 i
7.
 
Canon 760D5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
8.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529 i
9.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279 i
10.
 
Canon SX610......4/54/5 Jan 2015 249 i
11.
 
Canon 1200D3/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449 i
12.
 
Canon 700D....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649 i
13.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
14.
 
Canon 600D3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599 i
15.
 
Canon 1100D..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
16.
 
Canon 500D..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799 i
17.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 550D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX620:
Check Amazon price

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 550D vs Canon SX620

    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 550D Canon SX620
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 25-625mm f/3.2-6.6
    Launch Date February 2010 May 2016
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 279
    Sensor Specs Canon 550D Canon SX620
    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 17.9 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 1.18 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 71.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC 4+
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 784 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 550D Canon SX620
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 550D Canon SX620
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-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 SX620
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon 550D Canon SX620
    Battery Type LP-E8 NB-13L
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge295 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    97 x 57 x 28 mm
    (3.8 x 2.2 x 1.1 in)
    Camera Weight 530 g (18.7 oz) 182 g (6.4 oz)

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