Canon SX50 vs SX610
The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and January 2015. Both the SX50 and the SX610 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX50 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the SX610 provides 20.2 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 SX50 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX610 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 SX50 and the Canon SX610. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX610 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the SX50 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 SX610 is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Canon SX50. Moreover, the SX610 is substantially lighter (68 percent) than the SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the SX610 are weather-sealed.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|2.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|3.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|4.||Canon SX620||97 mm||57 mm||28 mm||182 g||295||n||May 2016||279|
|5.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|7.||Canon SX600||104 mm||61 mm||26 mm||188 g||290||n||Jan 2014||249|
|8.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|9.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|10.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|11.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|12.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|13.||Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429|
|14.||Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429|
|15.||Canon SX20||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Aug 2009||399|
|16.||Canon SX10||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Sep 2008||399|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 SX610 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 42 percent) than the SX50, which puts it into a different 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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. 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.
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.
In terms of chip-set technology, the SX50 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5) than the SX610 (DIGIC 4+), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX610 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the SX50. This megapixels advantage translates into a 30 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX610 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.53μm for the SX50). However, it should be noted that the SX610 is much more recent (by 2 years and 3 months) than the SX50, 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 the SX610 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX610 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX610 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX50 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
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 |
|5.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|11.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SX610 provides a faster frame rate than the SX50. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the SX50 is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SX50 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX610 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX50 and Canon SX610 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|5.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
Both the SX50 and the SX610 have zoom lenses built in. The SX50 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the SX610 offers a 25-450mm f/3.8-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX50 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the SX610. The SX50 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX50 and the SX610 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 SX50 HS and Canon PowerShot SX610 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|5.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the SX50 has a hotshoe, while the SX610 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the SX50 and the SX610 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX50 was replaced by the Canon SX60, while the SX610 was followed by the Canon SX620. 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 what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX50 or the Canon SX610 – 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 SX50 HS:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 4+).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- 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.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (315 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2012).
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 30%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 461k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (105x61mm vs 123x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 404g or 68 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- 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 into a lower priced category (42 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 3 months of technical progress since the SX50 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (11 points each). 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 SX50 and the Canon SX610 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX50 or the SX610 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|2.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|3.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|4.||Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279|
|5.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|7.||Canon SX600||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2014||249|
|8.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|9.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|10.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|11.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|12.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|13.||Canon SX40||..||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429|
|14.||Canon SX30||3/5||+ +||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429|
|15.||Canon SX20||..||+ +||73/100||..||4/5||Aug 2009||399|
|16.||Canon SX10||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||Sep 2008||399|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon SX50 vs Canon SX610
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 SX50||Canon SX610|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5||25-450mm f/3.8-6.9|
|Launch Date||September 2012||January 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 249|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX50||Canon SX610|
|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||12 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 6,400 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5||DIGIC 4+|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||47||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.3||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||179||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX50||Canon SX610|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX50||Canon SX610|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.2 shutter flaps/s||2.5 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 SX50||Canon SX610|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX50||Canon SX610|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||315 shots per charge||270 shots per charge|
123 x 87 x 106 mm
(4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
105 x 61 x 27 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
|Camera Weight||595 g (21.0 oz)||191 g (6.7 oz)|
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