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Canon SX10 vs XS

The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS and the Canon EOS Rebel XS (labelled Canon 1000D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2008 and June 2008. The SX10 is a fixed lens compact, while the XS is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX10) and an APS-C (XS) sensor. The SX10 has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the XS provides 10.1 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 XS
Canon SX10 Canon XS
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 Canon EF mount lenses
10 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
480/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-800 (100 - 1,600)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.7 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
123 x 88 x 87 mm, 600 g 126 x 98 x 65 mm, 502 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS and the Canon EOS Rebel XS? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon SX10 and the Canon XS 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

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

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XS is notably larger (14 percent) than the Canon SX10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX10 nor the XS are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX10 has a lens built in, whereas the XS 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 XS 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. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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 XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
3.
 
Canon XC10 125 mm 102 mm 122 mm 1040 g 370 n Apr 2015 2,499i
4.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
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 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
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 T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
13.
 
Canon SX1 128 mm 88 mm 88 mm 615 g .. n Sep 2008 599i
14.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
15.
 
Canon 1000D 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
16.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
17.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
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 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 lower price than the XS, 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.

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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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX10 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon XS an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the XS is 1075 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.6. The sensor in the SX10 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the XS offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX10 and Canon XS sensor measures

With 10.1MP, the XS offers a higher resolution than the SX10 (10MP), but the XS nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.71μm versus 1.67μm for the SX10) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the XS, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 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 EOS Rebel XS are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

SX10 versus XS MP

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.

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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 XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
3.
 
Canon XC10 1-inch 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
4.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
5.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
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 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
10.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
11.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
12.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
13.
 
Canon SX1 1/2.3 10.0 3648 27361080/30p........
14.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
15.
 
Canon 1000D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
16.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
17.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX10 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XS does not. The highest resolution format that the SX10 can use is 480/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX10 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the XS has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX10, the Canon XS, 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 XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon XC10none n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 1/2000s 3.8 n Y
4.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 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 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
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 T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
13.
 
Canon SX1202 n 2.8 230 swivel n 1/3200s 4.0 Y Y
14.
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
15.
 
Canon 1000Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
17.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX10 and the XS 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 SX10 IS and Canon EOS Rebel XS 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 XSY-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon XC10YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
8.
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
12.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon SX1Ystereomono--YES2.0---
14.
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
15.
 
Canon 1000DY-----2.0---
16.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
17.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---

Both the SX10 and the XS have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, while the SX10 was followed by the Canon SX20. 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 XS or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 480/30p movies.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the XS requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x88mm vs 126x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 3 months after the XS).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel XS:

  • 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.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 0.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2008).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the XS comes out slightly ahead of the SX10 (10 : 9 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 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.

SX10 09:10 XS

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

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX10 and the XS in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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 SX10..+ +....4/5 Sep 2008 399i
2.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
3.
 
Canon XC10....80/100.... Apr 2015 2,499i
4.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
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 1100D..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
10.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +..3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
11.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
12.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
13.
 
Canon SX1..+ ++..3.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
14.
 
Canon 450D..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
15.
 
Canon 1000D..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
16.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
17.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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, 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 XS:
Check Ebay offers

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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX10 vs Canon XS

    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 XS
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2008 June 2008
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon SX10 Canon XS
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 10.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 3888 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.67 μm 5.71 μm
    Pixel Density 35.55 MP/cm2 3.07 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 480/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon SX10 Canon XS
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.51x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX10 Canon XS
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.7 shutter flaps/s 3 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 SX10 Canon XS
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX10 Canon XS
    Battery Type 4xAA LP-E5
    Body Dimensions 123 x 88 x 87 mm
    (4.8 x 3.5 x 3.4 in)
    126 x 98 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 600 g (21.2 oz) 502 g (17.7 oz)

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