Canon SX50 vs XS
The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel XS (labelled Canon 1000D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and June 2008. The SX50 is a fixed lens compact, while the XS is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and an APS-C (XS) sensor. The SX50 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the XS provides 10.1 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 SX50 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel XS? 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 SX50 and the Canon XS 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XS is notably larger (15 percent) than the Canon SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the XS 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 XS 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 XS 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. 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 SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|2.||Canon XS||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||n||Jun 2008||449|
|3.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|5.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|7.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|8.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|9.||Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429|
|10.||Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|11.||Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429|
|12.||Canon SX20||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Aug 2009||399|
|13.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon SX10||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Sep 2008||399|
|15.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|16.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|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 SX50 was launched at a lower price than the XS, despite having a lens built in. 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. 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 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 XS an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the XS is 1075 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 XS offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the SX50 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5) than the XS (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX50 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the Canon XS. 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 1.53μm versus 5.71μm for the XS). However, it should be noted that the SX50 is much more recent (by 4 years and 3 months) than the XS, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX50 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX50 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XS are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 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 EOS Rebel XS are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|7.||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. The SX50 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XS does not. The highest resolution format that the SX50 can use is 1080/24p.
Beyond 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 XS 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX50 and Canon XS in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon SX50||202||n||3.0 / 461||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.2||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon XS||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon T5||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon S120||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||Y||1/2000s||12.1||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon G15||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon SX40||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||10.3||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon T3||optical||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|11.||Canon SX30||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.6||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon SX20||202||n||2.5 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.7||Y||Y|
|13.||Canon T1i||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n|
|14.||Canon SX10||202||n||2.5 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.7||Y||Y|
|15.||Canon XSi||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|16.||Canon 40D||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.5||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
The SX50 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XS 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 SX50 HS and Canon EOS Rebel XS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon SX50||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon XS||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon T5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Canon S120||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon G15||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon SX40||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon T3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon SX30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon SX20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon T1i||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon SX10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon XSi||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Canon 40D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the SX50 and the XS have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX50 or the Canon XS – 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.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10.1MP) with a 7% higher linear resolution.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 3).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") 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 XS requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (123x87mm vs 126x98mm) 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: Reflects 4 years and 3 months of technical progress since the XS launch.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel XS:
- 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.
- 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 (500 versus 315) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2008).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX50 emerges as the winner of the contest (13 : 10 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Canon XS 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 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 SX50 and the XS 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 SX50||3/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|2.||Canon XS||..||82/100||..||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449|
|3.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|5.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|7.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|8.||Canon G15||4/5||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|9.||Canon SX40||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429|
|10.||Canon T3||..||80/100||..||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|11.||Canon SX30||3/5||+ +||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429|
|12.||Canon SX20||..||+ +||..||73/100||..||4/5||Aug 2009||399|
|13.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon SX10||..||+ +||..||..||..||4/5||Sep 2008||399|
|15.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|16.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|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 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. 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 SX50 vs Canon XS
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 XS|
|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||June 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX50||Canon XS|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||22.2 x 14.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||328.56 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||26.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||10.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||3888 x 2592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||5.71 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||3.07 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5||DIGIC 3|
|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 XS|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX50||Canon XS|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.2 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX50||Canon XS|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon SX50||Canon XS|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||315 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
123 x 87 x 106 mm
(4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
126 x 98 x 65 mm
(5.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||595 g (21.0 oz)||502 g (17.7 oz)|
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