Canon D60 vs SX520
The Canon EOS-D60 and the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2002 and July 2014. The D60 is a DSLR, while the SX520 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D60) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX520) sensor. The D60 has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the SX520 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-D60 and the Canon PowerShot SX520 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 physical size and weight of the Canon D60 and the Canon SX520 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. 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 SX520 is considerably smaller (39 percent) than the Canon D60. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D60 nor the SX520 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX520 has a lens built in, whereas the D60 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 D60 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 D60||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||855 g||620||n||Feb 2002||2,999|
|2.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399|
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499|
|4.||Canon 1300D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|5.||Canon XC10||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||370||n||Apr 2015||2,499|
|6.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|7.||Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|8.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|9.||Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|10.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|11.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|12.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|13.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|14.||Canon 300D||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|15.||Canon D30||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||750 g||540||n||May 2000||2,999|
|16.||Contax N Digital||152 mm||138 mm||80 mm||990 g||100||n||Feb 2002||7,399|
|17.||Nikon D100||144 mm||116 mm||81 mm||780 g||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999|
|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 SX520 was launched at a lower price than the D60, 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 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 D60 features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX520 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX520 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 D60 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX520 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX520 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the D60. 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 7.38μm for the D60). However, it should be noted that the SX520 is much more recent (by 12 years and 5 months) than the D60, 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 SX520 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX520 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX520 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 D60 are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS-D60 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX520 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91|
|16.||Contax N Digital||Full Frame||6.1||3040||2008||none||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The SX520 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D60 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX520 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D60 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX520 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon D60 and Canon SX520 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||7.0||n||n|
|16.||Contax N Digital||optical||Y||2.0||200||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n|
One feature that is present on the D60, but is missing on the SX520 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 D60 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the SX520 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-D60 and Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Contax N Digital||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
It is notable that the D60 has a hotshoe, while the SX520 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 D60 (unlike the SX520) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the D60 and the SX520 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D60 was replaced by the Canon 10D, while the SX520 was followed by the Canon SX530. 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 the Canon D60 better than the Canon SX520 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-D60:
- 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 (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 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 (620 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 February 2002).
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 56%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- 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 114k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D60 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x82mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D60).
- 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).
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 12 years and 5 months of technical progress since the D60 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D60 emerges as the winner of the contest (14 : 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 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 D60 and the Canon SX520 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D60 and the SX520 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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 D60||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||2,999|
|2.||Canon SX520||..||+||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399|
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||4.5/5||+ +||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499|
|4.||Canon 1300D||4/5||o||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|5.||Canon XC10||..||..||80/100||..||..||Apr 2015||2,499|
|6.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|7.||Canon SX700||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|8.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|9.||Canon SX510||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|10.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|11.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|12.||Canon 20D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|13.||Canon 10D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|14.||Canon 300D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|15.||Canon D30||..||..||+ +||..||..||May 2000||2,999|
|16.||Contax N Digital||..||..||..||..||..||Feb 2002||7,399|
|17.||Nikon D100||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||1,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon D60 vs Canon SX520
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 D60||Canon SX520|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||24-1008mm f/3.4-6|
|Launch Date||February 2002||July 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 2,999||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon D60||Canon SX520|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||342.77 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.3 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.3 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3072 x 2048 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.38 μm||1.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.84 MP/cm2||56.73 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,000 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Canon D60||Canon SX520|
|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||114k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon D60||Canon SX520|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 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 D60||Canon SX520|
|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||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon D60||Canon SX520|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||620 shots per charge||210 shots per charge|
150 x 107 x 75 mm
(5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||855 g (30.2 oz)||441 g (15.6 oz)|
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