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Canon SX10 vs SX50

The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2008 and September 2012. Both the SX10 and the SX50 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX10 has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the SX50 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 SX10 versus Canon SX50
Canon SX10 Canon SX50
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5
10 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
480/30p Video 1080/24p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 80-6,400
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 461k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.7 shutter flaps per second 2.2 shutter flaps per second
123 x 88 x 87 mm, 600 g 123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX50 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 SX10 and the Canon SX50. 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 SX10 vs Canon SX50
Compare SX10 versus SX50 top
Comparison SX10 or SX50 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX50 is somewhat smaller (1 percent) than the Canon SX10. Moreover, the SX50 is slightly lighter (1 percent) than the SX10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX10 nor the SX50 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 SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
2.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
3.
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX70 127 mm 91 mm 117 mm 608 g 325 n Sep 2018 549 i
5.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
6.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
7.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
8.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
9.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
10.
 
Canon SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429i
11.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
12.
 
Canon SX1 128 mm 88 mm 88 mm 615 g .. n Sep 2008 599i
13.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
14.
 
Nikon B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
15.
 
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 obviously take relative prices into account. 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 somewhat cheaper (by 7 percent) than the SX50 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 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.

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 SX10 and Canon SX50 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX50 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the SX10. This megapixels advantage translates into a 10 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX50 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 SX10). However, it should be noted that the SX50 is much more recent (by 4 years) than the SX10, 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 the SX10 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Canon SX50 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX50 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 SX10 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 SX10 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 Canon PowerShot SX50 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

SX10 versus SX50 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 SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
2.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
3.
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
4.
 
Canon SX70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
5.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
6.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
7.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
8.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
9.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
10.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
11.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
12.
 
Canon SX1 1/2.3 10.0 3648 27361080/30p........
13.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
14.
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
15.
 
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. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the SX50 provides a better video resolution than the SX10. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/24p, 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 SX10 and the SX50 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 SX10, the Canon SX50, 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 SX10202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX702360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
7.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
8.
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX1202 n 2.8 230 swivel n 1/3200s 4.0 Y Y
13.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
The SX50 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 SX10 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the SX10 and the SX50 have zoom lenses built in. The SX10 has a 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 optic and the SX50 offers a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX50 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the SX10. The SX10 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The SX10 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the SX50 uses 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 PowerShot SX10 IS and Canon PowerShot SX50 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 SX10Ystereomono---2.0---
2.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SX70-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
12.
 
Canon SX1Ystereomono--YES2.0---
13.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
15.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---

Both the SX10 and the SX50 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX10 was replaced by the Canon SX20, while the SX50 was followed by the Canon SX60. 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 SX10 better than the Canon SX50 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.4).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2008).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/24p vs 480/30p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 230k dots).
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.2 vs 0.7 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.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the SX10 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX50 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 4 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 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.

SX10 04:10 SX50

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX10 and the Canon SX50 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 SX10 or the SX50. 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 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.

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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 SX10..+ +....4/5 Sep 2008 399i
2.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
3.
 
Canon SX740..+..4/54/5 Jul 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX70..+ +..3.5/53.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i
5.
 
Canon SX730..+..4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
6.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
7.
 
Canon S120..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
8.
 
Canon G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
9.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
10.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +..3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
11.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
12.
 
Canon SX1..+ ++..3.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
13.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
14.
 
Nikon B600..+..3.5/53/5 Jan 2019 349 i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX10:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX50:
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 SX10 vs Canon SX50

    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 SX10 Canon SX50
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date September 2008 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Canon SX10 Canon SX50
    Sensor Technology CCD 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 Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 480/30p Video 1080/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 47
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 20.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 179
    Screen Specs Canon SX10 Canon SX50
    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 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX10 Canon SX50
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.7 shutter flaps/s 2.2 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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX10 Canon SX50
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX10 Canon SX50
    Battery Type 4xAA NB-10L
    Body Dimensions 123 x 88 x 87 mm
    (4.8 x 3.5 x 3.4 in)
    123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    Camera Weight 600 g (21.2 oz) 595 g (21.0 oz)

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