Canon SX400 vs SX600
The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2014 and January 2014. Both the SX400 and the SX600 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels.
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 SX400 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX600 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 SX400 and the Canon SX600. 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.
The SX600 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the SX400 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX600 is notably smaller (12 percent) than the Canon SX400. Moreover, the SX600 is substantially lighter (40 percent) than the SX400. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX400 nor the SX600 are weather-sealed.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249|
|2.||Canon SX600||104 mm||61 mm||26 mm||188 g||290||n||Jan 2014||249|
|3.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|4.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|7.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|8.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|9.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|10.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|11.||Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|12.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|13.||Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|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 two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the SX400 and the SX600 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the SX400 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the SX600, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 Canon PowerShot SX400 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|4.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the SX600 provides a better video resolution than the SX400. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the SX400 is limited to 720/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The SX400 and the SX600 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX400 and Canon SX600 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|4.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
Both the SX400 and the SX600 have zoom lenses built in. The SX400 has a 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 optic and the SX600 offers a 25-450mm f/3.8-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX400 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the SX600. The SX400 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX400 and the SX600 write their files to 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 SX400 IS and Canon PowerShot SX600 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|4.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the SX600 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the SX400 does not provide wifi capability.
Both the SX400 and the SX600 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX600 was replaced by the Canon SX610, while the SX400 was followed by the Canon SX410. 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 how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX400 or the Canon SX600 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX400 IS:
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.4 vs f/3.8).
- 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: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the SX600).
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 230k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/2000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.9 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (104x61mm vs 104x69mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 125g or 40 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (290 versus 190) out of a single battery charge.
- 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 heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2014).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX600 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX400 and the Canon SX600 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX400 and the SX600 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 SX400||..||+||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|2.||Canon SX600||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2014||249|
|3.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|4.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|7.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|8.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|9.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|10.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|11.||Canon SX700||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|12.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|13.||Canon SX510||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 SX400 vs Canon SX600
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 SX400||Canon SX600|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-720mm f/3.4-5.8||25-450mm f/3.8-6.9|
|Launch Date||July 2014||January 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 249||USD 249|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX400||Canon SX600|
|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||15.9 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||1.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||56.73 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+||DIGIC 4+|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX400||Canon SX600|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX400||Canon SX600|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||0.8 shutter flaps/s||3.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX400||Canon SX600|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX400||Canon SX600|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||190 shots per charge||290 shots per charge|
104 x 69 x 80 mm
(4.1 x 2.7 x 3.1 in)
104 x 61 x 26 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.0 in)
|Camera Weight||313 g (11.0 oz)||188 g (6.6 oz)|
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