Canon M50 vs SX510
The Canon EOS M50 and the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2018 and August 2013. The M50 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the SX510 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (M50) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX510) sensor. The M50 has a resolution of 24 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 M50 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon M50 and the Canon SX510 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.
The M50 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the SX510 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX510 is notably smaller (29 percent) than the Canon M50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M50 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 M50 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779|
|2.||Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||387 g||305||n||Oct 2020||599|
|4.||Canon G5 X Mark II||111 mm||61 mm||46 mm||340 g||230||n||Jul 2019||899|
|5.||Canon M6 Mark II||120 mm||70 mm||49 mm||408 g||305||n||Aug 2019||849|
|6.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|7.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|8.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|9.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|10.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|11.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|12.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399|
|13.||Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249|
|14.||Canon SX500||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||341 g||195||n||Aug 2012||329|
|15.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|16.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|17.||Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995|
|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 SX510 was launched at a lower price than the M50, 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 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. 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 M50 features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX510 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX510 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 M50 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX510 offers a 4:3 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the M50 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the SX510 (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 24MP, the M50 offers a higher resolution than the SX510 (15.9MP), but the M50 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 1.33μm for the SX510) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M50 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 6 months) than the SX510, 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 SX510 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon M50 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M50 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX510 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The M50 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS M50 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Canon G5 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Canon M6 Mark II||APS-C||32.3||6960||4640||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|10.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
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, but the M50 provides a higher video resolution than the SX510. It can shoot video footage at 4K/24p, while the SX510 is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the M50 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX510 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon M50 and Canon SX510 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon M50||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|2.||Canon SX510||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/1600s||3.8||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon G5 X Mark II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon M6 Mark II||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||14.0||Y||n|
|6.||Canon 77D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|7.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|8.||Canon M100||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n|
|9.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|10.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|12.||Canon SX520||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y|
|13.||Canon SX400||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/1600s||0.8||Y||Y|
|14.||Canon SX500||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/1600s||0.8||Y||Y|
|15.||Canon M||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3||n||n|
|16.||Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n|
|17.||Leica X2||optional||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M50 has a touchscreen, while the SX510 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The M50 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the SX510 does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon M50 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M50 and the SX510 write their files to SDXC cards. The M50 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX510 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 M50 and Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon M50||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Canon SX510||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon G5 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Canon M6 Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Canon 77D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon M100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Canon SX520||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon SX400||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon SX500||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon M||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|17.||Leica X2||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the M50 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 M50 and the SX510 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX510 was replaced by the Canon SX520, while the M50 was followed by the Canon M50 Mark II. 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 M50 better than the Canon SX510 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M50:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 15.9MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 8 vs DIGIC 4).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/24p vs 1080/24p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 6 months of technical progress since the SX510 launch.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the M50 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (104x70mm vs 116x88mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the M50).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2013).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M50 is the clear winner of the match-up (23 : 7 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 M50 and the Canon SX510 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 M50 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 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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 M50||..||+||4/5||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779|
|2.||Canon SX510||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||4/5||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||3.5/5||Oct 2020||599|
|4.||Canon G5 X Mark II||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||..||4/5||Jul 2019||899|
|5.||Canon M6 Mark II||..||+||4.5/5||85/100||4/5||4/5||Aug 2019||849|
|6.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|7.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|8.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|9.||Canon M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|10.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|11.||Canon M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|12.||Canon SX520||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399|
|13.||Canon SX400||..||+||..||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|14.||Canon SX500||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2012||329|
|15.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|16.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|17.||Leica X2||3/5||..||..||..||3/5||4/5||May 2012||1,995|
|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.
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Canon SX510
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Canon SX510
- Canon 1D vs Canon M50
- Canon M50 vs Fujifilm X-Pro3
- Canon M50 vs Fujifilm X20
- Canon M50 vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109
- Canon M50 vs Panasonic LX10
- Canon M50 vs Panasonic S1R
- Canon SX50 vs Canon SX510
- Canon SX510 vs Leica V-LUX Typ 114
- Canon SX510 vs Nikon D1X
- Canon SX510 vs Sony RX10 IV
Specifications: Canon M50 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 M50||Canon SX510|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||24-720mm f/3.4-5.8|
|Launch Date||February 2018||August 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 779||USD 249|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M50||Canon SX510|
|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||24 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||1.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||56.73 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/24p Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 51,200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||DIGIC 4|
|Screen Specs||Canon M50||Canon SX510|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M50||Canon SX510|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||3.8 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|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||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M50||Canon SX510|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon M50||Canon SX510|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||235 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
116 x 88 x 59 mm
(4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3 in)
104 x 70 x 80 mm
(4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||390 g (13.8 oz)||349 g (12.3 oz)|
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