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Canon SX1 vs Panasonic FZ200

The Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2008 and July 2012. Both the SX1 and the FZ200 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX1 versus Panasonic FZ200
Canon SX1 Panasonic FZ200
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 25-600mm f/2.8
10 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1312k dots)
2.8 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
4 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
128 x 88 x 88 mm, 615 g 125 x 87 x 110 mm, 588 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200? 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 Panasonic FZ200. 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX1 vs Panasonic FZ200
Compare SX1 versus FZ200 top
Comparison SX1 or FZ200 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ200 is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon SX1. Moreover, the FZ200 is slightly lighter (4 percent) than the SX1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX1 nor the FZ200 are weather-sealed.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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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.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599i
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 SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
8.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
9.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
10.
 
Panasonic FZ300 132 mm 92 mm 117 mm 691 g 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 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 Panasonic FZ200 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the FZ200 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the SX1. This megapixels advantage translates into a 10 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the FZ200 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.53μm versus 1.67μm for the SX1). However, it should be noted that the FZ200 is much more recent (by 3 years and 10 months) than the SX1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 resolution advantage of the Panasonic FZ200 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the FZ200 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX1 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

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 corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

SX1 versus FZ200 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 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 SX1 1/2.3 10.0 3648 27361080/30p........
2.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
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 SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
8.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
9.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
10.
 
Panasonic FZ300 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738
11.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the FZ200 provides a faster frame rate than the SX1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the FZ200 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the SX1 (1312k vs 202k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX1 and Panasonic FZ200 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 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 SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX10202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
10.
 
Panasonic FZ3001440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
The FZ200 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the SX1 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the SX1 and the FZ200 have zoom lenses built in. The SX1 has a 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 optic and the FZ200 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Canon. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

The SX1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the FZ200 uses SDXC cards. The FZ200 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 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.
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX70-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX10Ystereomono---2.0---
10.
 
Panasonic FZ300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
11.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the FZ200 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The SX1 does not feature such a mic input.

Both the SX1 and the FZ200 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The FZ200 was replaced by the Panasonic FZ300, 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 and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX1 and the Panasonic FZ200? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2008).

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1312k vs 202k dots).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
  • 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 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 10 months of technical progress since the SX1 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the FZ200 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 1 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX1 01:13 FZ200

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX1 and the Panasonic FZ200 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX1 and the FZ200 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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 SX1..+ ++..3.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
2.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
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 SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
8.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
9.
 
Canon SX10..+ +....4/5 Sep 2008 399i
10.
 
Panasonic FZ300..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX1:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic FZ200:
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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon SX1 vs Panasonic FZ200

    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 Panasonic FZ200
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 25-600mm f/2.8
    Launch Date September 2008 July 2012
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon SX1 Panasonic FZ200
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    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 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.67 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 35.55 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 37
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 19.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 114
    Screen Specs Canon SX1 Panasonic FZ200
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 1312k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX1 Panasonic FZ200
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 4 shutter flaps/s 12 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX1 Panasonic FZ200
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port YES HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX1 Panasonic FZ200
    Battery Type 4xAA DMW-BLC12
    Body Dimensions 128 x 88 x 88 mm
    (5.0 x 3.5 x 3.5 in)
    125 x 87 x 110 mm
    (4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
    Camera Weight 615 g (21.7 oz) 588 g (20.7 oz)

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