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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.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX20
versus
Canon SX60
Canon SX20   Canon SX60
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5
12 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 14.2 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
720/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (922k dots)
2.5" LCD – 230k dots 2.5" LCD – 922k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.7 shutter flaps per second 6.4 shutter flaps per second
123 x 88 x 87 mm, 600 g 128 x 93 x 114 mm, 650 g
Canon SX20:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX60:
Check Ebay offers

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.

Body comparison

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.

Size Canon SX20 vs Canon SX60
Compare SX20 versus SX60 top
Comparison SX20 or SX60 rear

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.

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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 SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
2.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
3.
 
Canon SX70 127 mm 91 mm 117 mm 608 g 325 n Sep 2018 549 i
4.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
6.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
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 SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429i
10.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
11.
 
Canon SX1 128 mm 88 mm 88 mm 615 g .. n Sep 2008 599i
12.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ300 132 mm 92 mm 117 mm 691 g 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
Note: 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.

Sensor comparison

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.

Canon SX20 and Canon SX60 sensor measures

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.

SX20 versus SX60 MP

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.

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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 SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p19.210.522537
2.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
3.
 
Canon SX70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.612.1106351
4.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.511.992450
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
6.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
7.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
8.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.610.940941
9.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p19.410.732039
10.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p19.010.314435
11.
 
Canon SX1 1/2.3 10.0 3648 27361080/30p19.010.314435
12.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.478364
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i19.410.732139
14.
 
Panasonic FZ300 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i19.410.730639
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

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.

Feature comparison

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.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon SX20202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7/s Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX702360 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX730none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX40202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX30202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX10202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7/s Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX1202 n2.8 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 4.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Canon XSoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic FZ3001440 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The SX60 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 SX20 does not have a selfie-screen.

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.

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 SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX60 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon SX20Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
2.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon SX70-stereo / monoY-micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SX730-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX40Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX30Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX10Ystereo / mono---2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX1Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
12.
 
Canon XSY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic FZ300Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

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.

Review summary

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.

SX20 04:14 SX60

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.

Expert reviews

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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX20..+ +..73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
2.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
3.
 
Canon SX70..+ +3.5/5..3.5/53.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i
4.
 
Canon SX730..+....4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
6.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
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 SX303/5+ +....3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
10.
 
Canon SX10..+ +......4/5 Sep 2008 399i
11.
 
Canon SX1..+ +..+..3.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
12.
 
Canon XS..82/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 2............ Sep 2010 849i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ300..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
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.

Canon SX20:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX60:
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. 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 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 Specifications
    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 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 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 Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/3200s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 0.7 shutter flaps/s 6.4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-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
    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 Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX20 Canon SX60
    Battery Type 4xAA NB-10L
    Body Dimensions 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)
    Canon SX20:
    Check Ebay offers
    Canon SX60:
    Check Ebay offers

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