Canon SX420 vs T1i
The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i (labelled Canon 500D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and March 2009. The SX420 is a fixed lens compact, while the T1i is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX420) and an APS-C (T1i) sensor. The SX420 has a resolution of 19.9 megapixels, whereas the T1i provides 15.1 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 SX420 IS and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i? 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 SX420 and the Canon T1i. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the T1i 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 T1i is considerably larger (76 percent) than the Canon SX420. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX420 nor the T1i are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX420 has a lens built in, whereas the T1i 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 T1i and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|1.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX430||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||323 g||195||n||Jan 2017||299||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon T6||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SX620||97 mm||57 mm||28 mm||182 g||295||n||May 2016||279||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|14.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849||ebay.com|
|15.||Canon T2i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic ZS70||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449||ebay.com|
|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 SX420 was launched at a lower price than the T1i, 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.
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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX420 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon T1i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T1i is 1086 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 SX420 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the T1i offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the SX420 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the T1i (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX420 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 15.1 MP of the Canon T1i. 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 1.19μm versus 4.69μm for the T1i). However, it should be noted that the SX420 is much more recent (by 6 years and 9 months) than the T1i, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX420 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX420 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX420 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon T1i are 23.8 x 15.8 inches or 60.4 x 40.2 cm for good quality, 19 x 12.7 inches or 48.3 x 32.2 cm for very good quality, and 15.8 x 10.6 inches or 40.2 x 26.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T1i are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.
In terms of underlying technology, the SX420 is build around a CCD sensor, while the T1i uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.
|5.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||260||62|
|9.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||471||62|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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 T1i provides a better video resolution than the SX420. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/20p, while the SX420 is limited to 720/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the T1i has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX420 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX420 and Canon T1i in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon SX420||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon T1i||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon SX430||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon T6||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Canon SX620||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.5/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon T6i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Canon SX410||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon SX610||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.5/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Canon T4i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Canon T2i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7/s||Y||n|
|16.||Canon XSi||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic ZS70||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The SX420 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the T1i uses SDHC 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 SX420 IS and Canon EOS Rebel T1i and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon SX420||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Canon T1i||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX430||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon T6||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon SX620||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon T6i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon SX410||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon SX610||-||- / -||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Canon T4i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon T2i||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Canon XSi||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic ZS70||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the SX420 offers wifi support, while the T1i does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the SX420 and the T1i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The T1i was replaced by the Canon T2i, while the SX420 was followed by the Canon SX430. Further information on the features and operation of the SX420 and T1i can be found, respectively, in the Canon SX420 Manual (free pdf) or the online Canon T1i Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX420 and the Canon T1i? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (19.9 vs 15.1MP) with a 13% 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 4).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the T1i requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 129x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the T1i).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- 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 affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 9 months of technical progress since the T1i launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T1i:
- 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.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/20p vs 720/25p).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.4 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2009).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T1i emerges as the winner of the match-up (13 : 11 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX420 and the Canon T1i 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 SX420 or the T1i 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.
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], 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.
|1.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX430||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2017||299||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon T6||4/5||o||4/5||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon T6i||5/5||..||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|14.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||ebay.com|
|15.||Canon T2i||..||+ +||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic ZS70||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449||ebay.com|
|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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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 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 SX420 vs Canon T1i
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 SX420||Canon T1i|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2016||March 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 299||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX420||Canon T1i|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||19.9 Megapixels||15.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5152 x 3864 pixels||4752 x 3168 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.19 μm||4.69 μm|
|Pixel Density||70.91 MP/cm2||4.53 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/25p Video||1080/20p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||63|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||663|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX420||Canon T1i|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX420||Canon T1i|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||0.5 shutter flaps/s||3.4 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX420||Canon T1i|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon SX420||Canon T1i|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||195 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
104 x 69 x 85 mm
(4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||325 g (11.5 oz)||520 g (18.3 oz)|
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