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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.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX400 versus Canon SX600
Canon SX400 Canon SX600
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 25-450mm f/3.8-6.9
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 461k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.8 shutter flaps per second 3.9 shutter flaps per second
190 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 80 mm, 313 g 104 x 61 x 26 mm, 188 g

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.

Body comparison

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.

Size Canon SX400 vs Canon SX600
Compare SX400 versus SX600 top
Comparison SX400 or SX600 rear

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.

Concerning battery life, the SX400 gets 190 shots out of its NB-11LH battery, while the SX600 can take 290 images on a single charge of its NB-6LH power pack.

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.

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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 SX400 104 mm 69 mm 80 mm 313 g 190 n Jul 2014 249i
2.
 
Canon SX600 104 mm 61 mm 26 mm 188 g 290 n Jan 2014 249i
3.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
4.
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799i
5.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
6.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
7.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
9.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249i
10.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
11.
 
Canon SX700 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 250 n Feb 2014 349i
12.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
13.
 
Canon SX510 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 349 g 250 n Aug 2013 249i
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.

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Sensor comparison

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.

Canon SX400 and Canon SX600 sensor measures

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).

SX400 versus SX600 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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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 SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
2.
 
Canon SX600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
3.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
4.
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
5.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
6.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
7.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
8.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
9.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
10.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
11.
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
12.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
13.
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p........

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.

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Feature comparison

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.

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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 SX400none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX600none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 3.9 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
5.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
6.
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
7.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
13.
 
Canon SX510none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 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.

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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 SX400 IS and Canon PowerShot SX600 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon SX400-stereomono---2.0---
2.
 
Canon SX600-monomono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX610-----micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
13.
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--

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.

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Review summary

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.

SX400 04:10 SX600

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.

Expert reviews

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.

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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 SX400..+...... Jul 2014 249i
2.
 
Canon SX600..+..4/54/5 Jan 2014 249i
3.
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
4.
 
Canon G5 X5/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
5.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
6.
 
Canon M10........4/5 Oct 2015 499i
7.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX530..+ +..4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
9.
 
Canon SX610......4/54/5 Jan 2015 249i
10.
 
Canon SX710..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
11.
 
Canon SX700..+ +..4/54/5 Feb 2014 349i
12.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
13.
 
Canon SX510..+ +..4.5/54/5 Aug 2013 249i
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.

Canon SX400:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX600:
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 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 Specifications
    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 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 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
    Viewfinder Magnification
    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 Type NB-11LH NB-6LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)190 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 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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