Ur-Leica Tamron Camera Ranking
Leica 1600mm Soligor Shutter count
A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Canon SX20 vs XS

The Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and the Canon EOS Rebel XS (labelled Canon 1000D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2009 and June 2008. The SX20 is a fixed lens compact, while the XS is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX20) and an APS-C (XS) sensor. The SX20 has a resolution of 12 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 SX20 versus Canon XS
Canon SX20 Canon XS
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 Canon EF mount lenses
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/30p Video no Video
ISO 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 SX20 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 SX20 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX20 vs Canon XS
Compare SX20 versus XS top
Comparison SX20 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 SX20. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX20 nor the XS are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX20 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

scroll hint
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 XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
3.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
4.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 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 T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429i
10.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
12.
 
Canon SX1 128 mm 88 mm 88 mm 615 g .. n Sep 2008 599i
13.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
14.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
16.
 
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX20 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.

ad

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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX20 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 SX20 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the XS offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the SX20 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the XS (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX20 and Canon XS sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX20 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the Canon XS. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.53μm versus 5.71μm for the XS). However, it should be noted that the SX20 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the XS, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX20 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Canon SX20 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX20 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 XS are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 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 EOS Rebel XS are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

SX20 versus XS MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

scroll hint
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 3000720/30p........
2.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
3.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
4.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
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 T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
10.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
11.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
12.
 
Canon SX1 1/2.3 10.0 3648 27361080/30p........
13.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
14.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
16.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX20 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XS does not. The highest resolution format that the SX20 can use is 720/30p.

ad

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SX20 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX20 and Canon XS in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

scroll hint
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 SX20202 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 SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
5.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
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 T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
10.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
11.
 
Canon SX10202 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 XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
14.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
16.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX20 and the XS write their files to SDHC cards.

ad

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 EOS Rebel XS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
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 SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
2.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX10Ystereomono---2.0---
12.
 
Canon SX1Ystereomono--YES2.0---
13.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---

Both the SX20 and the XS have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, while the SX20 was followed by the Canon SX30. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

ad

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon SX20 better than the Canon XS or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10.1MP) with a 7% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC 3).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/30p 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 1 year and 2 months after the XS).


Advantages of 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 number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX20 comes out slightly ahead of the XS (11 : 10 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.

SX20 11:10 XS

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX20 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX20 or the XS perform in practice. 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 why expert reviews 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.

scroll hint
Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 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 XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
3.
 
Canon SX730..+..4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
4.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 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 T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +..3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
10.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon SX10..+ +....4/5 Sep 2008 399i
12.
 
Canon SX1..+ ++..3.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
13.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
14.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849i
16.
 
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 assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX20:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XS:
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.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Canon SX20 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 SX20 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 August 2009 June 2008
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon SX20 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 12 Megapixels 10.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 3888 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 5.71 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 3.07 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC 3
    Screen Specs Canon SX20 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 SX20 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 SX20 Canon XS
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port YES HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX20 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)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Canon SX20 vs Canon XS

    Thanks for your vote!

    You rated this page 4 out of 5.


    Rating

    Any additional comment or suggestion for improvement would be welcome.


    If you like it, make sure you share it:

    • Mention this page to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
    • Bookmark it in your browser for future reference by pressing "Crtl" + "D".
    • Create a hyperlink by copying the text below into your web-project or discussion forum entry.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to provide feedback. I appreciate it.