Canon SX400 vs Sony WX800
The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2014 and October 2018. Both the SX400 and the WX800 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 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 SX400 IS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX400 and the Sony WX800 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 WX800 can be obtained in two different colors (black, 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 Sony WX800 is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Canon SX400. Moreover, the WX800 is markedly lighter (26 percent) than the SX400. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX400 nor the WX800 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the SX400 gets 190 shots out of its NB-11LH battery, while the WX800 can take 370 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the WX800 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|3.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|4.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|5.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|6.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|7.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|8.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|9.||Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|10.||Canon SX600||104 mm||61 mm||26 mm||188 g||290||n||Jan 2014||249|
|11.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|12.||Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|13.||Nikon L840||113 mm||78 mm||96 mm||538 g||590||n||Feb 2015||299|
|14.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|15.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|16.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349|
|17.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|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 SX400 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the WX800, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the WX800 offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the SX400. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the WX800 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.25μm versus 1.33μm for the SX400). However, it should be noted that the WX800 is much more recent (by 4 years and 2 months) than the SX400, 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 Sony WX800 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the WX800 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 18.4 inches or 62.2 x 46.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 14.7 inches or 49.7 x 37.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 12.2 inches or 41.5 x 31.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX400 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the WX800 provides a better video resolution than the SX400. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 720/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX400 and the WX800 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 Sony WX800 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The WX800 has a touchscreen, while the SX400 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The WX800 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 SX400 does not have a selfie-screen.
Both the SX400 and the WX800 have zoom lenses built in. The SX400 has a 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 optic and the WX800 offers a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). The SX400 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The SX400 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the WX800 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the WX800 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.
The WX800 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the SX400 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX400 was succeeded 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 and Sony websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX400 and the Sony WX800? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX400 IS:
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.4 vs f/3.5).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in July 2014).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (18 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/30p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/2000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 104x69mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 80g or 26 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (370 versus 190) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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 4 years and 2 months of technical progress since the SX400 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the WX800 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 3 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 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 SX400 and the Sony WX800 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX400 and the WX800 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 hands-on reviews by experts 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.
|1.||Canon SX400||..||+||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|2.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|3.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|4.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|5.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|6.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|7.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|8.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|9.||Canon SX700||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|10.||Canon SX600||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2014||249|
|11.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|12.||Canon SX510||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|13.||Nikon L840||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||299|
|14.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|15.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|16.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349|
|17.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon SX400 vs Sony WX800
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||Sony WX800|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-720mm f/3.4-5.8||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||July 2014||October 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 249||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX400||Sony WX800|
|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||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+||BIONZ X|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX400||Sony WX800|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX400||Sony WX800|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||0.8 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX400||Sony WX800|
|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||Sony WX800|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||190 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
104 x 69 x 80 mm
(4.1 x 2.7 x 3.1 in)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||313 g (11.0 oz)||233 g (8.2 oz)|
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