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Canon SX1 vs SX10

The Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public in September 2008. Both the SX1 and the SX10 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 10 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX1 versus Canon SX10
Canon SX1 Canon SX10
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7
10 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 10 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 480/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
2.8 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
4 shutter flaps per second 0.7 shutter flaps per second
128 x 88 x 88 mm, 615 g 123 x 88 x 87 mm, 600 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS? 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 SX1 and the Canon SX10. 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.

Size Canon SX1 vs Canon SX10
Compare SX1 versus SX10 top
Comparison SX1 or SX10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX10 is somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Canon SX1. Moreover, the SX10 is slightly lighter (2 percent) than the SX1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX1 nor the SX10 are weather-sealed.

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.

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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 SX1 128 mm 88 mm 88 mm 615 g .. n Sep 2008 599i
2.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
3.
 
Canon SX70 127 mm 91 mm 117 mm 608 g 325 n Sep 2018 549 i
4.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
6.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
7.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
8.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
9.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499i
10.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
11.
 
Canon 1000D 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX10 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the SX1, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon SX1 and Canon SX10 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 10 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the SX1 and the SX10 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Canon PowerShot SX1 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS offers exactly the same ISO settings.

SX1 versus SX10 MP

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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 SX1 1/2.3 10.0 3648 27361080/30p........
2.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
3.
 
Canon SX70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
4.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
5.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
6.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
7.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
8.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
9.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
10.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
11.
 
Canon 1000D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240

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 SX1 provides a higher video resolution than the SX10. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the SX10 is limited to 480/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX1 and the SX10 are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 202k dots. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX1, the Canon SX10, 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 SX1202 n 2.8 230 swivel n 1/3200s 4.0 Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX10202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX702360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
5.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
9.
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
11.
 
Canon 1000Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y

Both the SX1 and the SX10 have zoom lenses built in. Both optics have identical focal length range and aperture specifications (5-100mm f/2.8-5.7). Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX1 and the SX10 write their files to SDHC 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 PowerShot SX1 IS and Canon PowerShot SX10 IS 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 SX1Ystereomono--YES2.0---
2.
 
Canon SX10Ystereomono---2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX70-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
11.
 
Canon 1000DY-----2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---

Both the SX1 and the SX10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX10 was replaced by the Canon SX20, while the SX1 does not have a direct successor. 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 what is the bottom line? Is the Canon SX1 better than the Canon SX10 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 480/30p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.8" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 0.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS:

  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX1 emerges as the winner of the contest (3 : 1 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.

SX1 03:01 SX10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX1 and the Canon SX10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX1 or the SX10. 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 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.

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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 SX1..+ ++..3.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
2.
 
Canon SX10..+ +....4/5 Sep 2008 399i
3.
 
Canon SX70..+ +..3.5/53.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i
4.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
6.
 
Canon G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
7.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
8.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
9.
 
Canon G124/5+73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
10.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
11.
 
Canon 1000D..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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.

Canon SX1:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX10:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon SX1 vs Canon SX10

    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 SX1 Canon SX10
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7
    Launch Date September 2008 September 2008
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 399
    Sensor Specs Canon SX1 Canon SX10
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.67 μm 1.67 μm
    Pixel Density 35.55 MP/cm2 35.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 480/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon SX1 Canon SX10
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.8inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX1 Canon SX10
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 4 shutter flaps/s 0.7 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX1 Canon SX10
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port YES HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX1 Canon SX10
    Battery Type 4xAA 4xAA
    Body Dimensions 128 x 88 x 88 mm
    (5.0 x 3.5 x 3.5 in)
    123 x 88 x 87 mm
    (4.8 x 3.5 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 615 g (21.7 oz) 600 g (21.2 oz)

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