Canon SX20 vs SX60
The Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2009 and September 2014. Both the SX20 and the SX60 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX20 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the SX60 provides 14.2 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 PowerShot SX20 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX60 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX20 and the Canon SX60. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX60 is notably larger (10 percent) than the Canon SX20. Moreover, the SX60 is markedly heavier (8 percent) than the SX20. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX20 nor the SX60 are weather-sealed.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.
|1.||Canon SX20||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Aug 2009||399|
|2.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|3.||Canon SX70||127 mm||91 mm||117 mm||608 g||325||n||Sep 2018||549|
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|5.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|7.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|8.||Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429|
|9.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|10.||Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429|
|11.||Canon SX10||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Sep 2008||399|
|12.||Canon SX1||128 mm||88 mm||88 mm||615 g||..||n||Sep 2008||599|
|13.||Canon 1000D||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||n||Jun 2008||449|
|14.||Panasonic FZ330||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||Y||Jul 2015||599|
|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 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 SX20 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the SX60, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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.
Technology-wise, the SX60 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the SX20 (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX60 offers a higher resolution of 14.2 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the SX20. This megapixels advantage translates into a 15 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX60 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.40μm versus 1.53μm for the SX20). However, it should be noted that the SX60 is much more recent (by 5 years) than the SX20, 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 Canon SX60 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX60 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 15.4 inches or 58.5 x 39 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 12.3 inches or 46.8 x 31.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX20 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX20 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.
| DXO |
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|6.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
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 SX60 provides a better video resolution than the SX20. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the SX20 is limited to 720/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the SX60 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the SX20 (922k vs 202k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX20 and Canon SX60 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
Both the SX20 and the SX60 have zoom lenses built in. The SX20 has a 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 optic and the SX60 offers a 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX60 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the SX20. The SX20 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The SX20 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the SX60 uses SDXC 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 PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX60 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the SX60 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the SX20 does not provide wifi capability.
Both the SX20 and the SX60 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX20 was replaced by the Canon SX30, while the SX60 was followed by the Canon SX70. 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 there a clear favorite between the Canon SX20 and the Canon SX60? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS:
- 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 affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2009).
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (14.2 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 4).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (922k vs 202k dots).
- 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 (922k vs 230k dots).
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.4 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.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years of technical progress since the SX20 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX60 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 4 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX20 and the Canon SX60 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX20 or the SX60. 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.
This is where reviews by experts come in. 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.
|1.||Canon SX20||..||+ +||73/100||..||4/5||Aug 2009||399|
|2.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|3.||Canon SX70||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Sep 2018||549|
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|5.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|7.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|8.||Canon SX40||..||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429|
|9.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|10.||Canon SX30||3/5||+ +||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429|
|11.||Canon SX10||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||Sep 2008||399|
|12.||Canon SX1||..||+ +||+||..||3.5/5||Sep 2008||599|
|13.||Canon 1000D||..||82/100||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449|
|14.||Panasonic FZ330||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||599|
|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 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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon SX20 vs Canon SX60
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 SX20||Canon SX60|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-560mm f/2.8-5.7||21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||August 2009||September 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX20||Canon SX60|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||14.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4608 x 3072 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||1.40 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||50.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC 6|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||39|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||19.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||127|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX20||Canon SX60|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX20||Canon SX60|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/3200s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||0.7 shutter flaps/s||6.4 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 SX20||Canon SX60|
|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||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX20||Canon SX60|
123 x 88 x 87 mm
(4.8 x 3.5 x 3.4 in)
128 x 93 x 114 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 4.5 in)
|Camera Weight||600 g (21.2 oz)||650 g (22.9 oz)|
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