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Canon SX50 vs T3

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (labelled Canon 1100D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and February 2011. The SX50 is a fixed lens compact, while the T3 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and an APS-C (T3) sensor. The SX50 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the T3 provides 12.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX50 VS Canon T3
Canon SX50 Canon T3
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Canon EF mount lenses
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/24p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 80-6400 ISO 100-6400
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 461k dots 2.7" LCD, 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.2 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
315 shots per battery charge700 shots per battery charge
123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g 130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel T3? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX50 and the Canon T3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX50 vs Canon T3
Compare SX50 versus T3 top
Comparison SX50 or T3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T3 is notably larger (21 percent) than the Canon SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the T3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX50 has a lens built in, whereas the T3 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 T3 and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX50 gets 315 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the T3 can take 700 images on a single charge of its LP-E10 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50» 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429iCanon SX50
 
Canon T3« 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449iCanon T3
 
Canon T100« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 iCanon T100
 
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549iCanon SX60
 
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449iCanon T5
 
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 iCanon G16
 
Canon S120« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.1 in 7.7 oz 230 n Aug 2013 449iCanon S120
 
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799iCanon G1 X
 
Canon G15« » 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499iCanon G15
 
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849iCanon T4i
 
Canon SX40« » 4.8 in 3.6 in 4.3 in 21.2 oz 380 n Sep 2011 429iCanon SX40
 
Canon SX30« » 4.8 in 3.6 in 4.3 in 21.2 oz 370 n Sep 2010 429iCanon SX30
 
Canon SX20« » 4.8 in 3.5 in 3.4 in 21.2 oz .. n Aug 2009 399iCanon SX20
 
Canon SX10« » 4.8 in 3.5 in 3.4 in 21.2 oz .. n Sep 2008 399iCanon SX10
 
Canon XS« » 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449iCanon XS
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499iPanasonic FZ150
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 SX50 was launched at a lower price than the T3, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX50 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon T3 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T3 is 1054 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 SX50 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the T3 offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the SX50 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5) than the T3 (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX50 and Canon T3 sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the T3 offers a higher resolution than the SX50 (12MP), but the T3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.15μm versus 1.53μm for the SX50) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX50 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the T3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T3 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

SX50 versus T3 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the T3 offers substantially better image quality than the SX50 (overall score 15 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.6 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon T100
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546Canon G15
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........Canon SX40
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........Canon SX30
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........Canon SX20
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........Canon SX10
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........Canon XS
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SX50 provides a higher video resolution than the T3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/24p, while the T3 is limited to 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX50 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the T3 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX50, the Canon T3, and comparable cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T3
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T100
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T5
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y Canon S120
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y Canon G15
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y Canon SX40
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y Canon SX30
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y Canon SX20
 
Canon SX10202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y Canon SX10
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon XS
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150
The SX50 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the T3 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX50 and the T3 write their files to SDXC cards.

 

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 SX50 HS and Canon EOS Rebel T3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T100
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T5
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon S120
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G15
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---Canon SX40
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---Canon SX30
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---Canon SX20
 
Canon SX10Ystereomono--none2.0---Canon SX10
 
Canon XSYnonenone--none2.0---Canon XS
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereonone--mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150

Both the SX50 and the T3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T3 was replaced by the Canon T5, while the SX50 was followed by the Canon SX60. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX50 or the Canon T3 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 4).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/24p vs 720/30p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 230k dots).
  • 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.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the T3 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x87mm vs 130x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 7 months after the T3).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.6 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.2 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 (700 versus 315) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2011).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SX50 emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 9 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.

SX50 12:09 T3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Canon T3 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 SX50 or the T3 perform in practice. 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 following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429iCanon SX50
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449iCanon T3
 
Canon T100o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 iCanon T100
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549iCanon SX60
 
Canon T5+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449iCanon T5
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 iCanon G16
 
Canon S120+ +..4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2013 449iCanon S120
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799iCanon G1 X
 
Canon G15+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499iCanon G15
 
Canon T4i+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849iCanon T4i
 
Canon SX40+..4.5/55/54/5 Sep 2011 429iCanon SX40
 
Canon SX30+ +..3.5/54.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429iCanon SX30
 
Canon SX20+ +73/100..4/54/5 Aug 2009 399iCanon SX20
 
Canon SX10+ +....4.5/54/5 Sep 2008 399iCanon SX10
 
Canon XS82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449iCanon XS
 
Panasonic FZ150+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499iPanasonic FZ150
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 SX50:
Check Ebay offers
Canon T3:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX50 vs Canon T3

    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 SX50 Canon T3
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 February 2011
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon SX50 Canon T3
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 22.0 x 14.7 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 323.4 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 26.5 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4272 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 5.15 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 3.76 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80-6400 ISO 100-6400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.3 21.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 179 755
    Screen Specs Canon SX50 Canon T3
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification ..x 0.50x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 2.7 inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX50 Canon T3
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 3 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 T3
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX50 Canon T3
    Battery Type NB-10L LP-E10
    Battery Life (CIPA)315 shots per charge700 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 595 g (21.0 oz) 495 g (17.5 oz)

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