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Canon SX50 vs Nikon P7800

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Nikon Coolpix P7800 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2013. Both the SX50 and the P7800 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and a 1/1.7-inch (P7800) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX50 versus Nikon P7800
Canon SX50 Nikon P7800
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 6,400)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (921k dots)
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.2 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
315 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g 119 x 78 x 50 mm, 399 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Nikon Coolpix P7800? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX50 and the Nikon P7800. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX50 vs Nikon P7800
Compare SX50 versus P7800 top
Comparison SX50 or P7800 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon P7800 is notably smaller (13 percent) than the Canon SX50. Moreover, the P7800 is markedly lighter (33 percent) than the SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the P7800 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX50 gets 315 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the P7800 can take 350 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
2.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
3.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
7.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
8.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
9.
 
Canon SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429i
10.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
11.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
12.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 116 mm 87 mm 57 mm 402 g 410 n Oct 2013 699i
13.
 
Panasonic LF1 103 mm 62 mm 28 mm 192 g 250 n Apr 2013 499 i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
15.
 
Pentax MX-1 122 mm 61 mm 51 mm 391 g 290 n Jan 2013 499i
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 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 somewhat lower price (by 22 percent) than the P7800, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and 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 Nikon P7800 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the P7800 is 54 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 4.5. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon SX50 and Nikon P7800 sensor measures

Even though the P7800 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixels. This implies that the P7800 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 1.89μm versus 1.53μm for the SX50), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the P7800 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the SX50, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix P7800 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.

SX50 versus P7800 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the P7800 has a markedly higher DXO score than the SX50 (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
2.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
3.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
4.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
5.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
6.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
7.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
8.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
9.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
10.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
11.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
12.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.711.617951
13.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
15.
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.320849

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the P7800 provides a faster frame rate than the SX50. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the P7800 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the SX50 (921k vs 202k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX50, the Nikon P7800, and comparable cameras.

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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
1.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
2.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
7.
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX10202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
12.
 
Olympus Stylus 11440 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0 Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
15.
 
Pentax MX-1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0 Y Y
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The Nikon P7800 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Both the SX50 and the P7800 have zoom lenses built in. The SX50 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the P7800 offers a 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Nikon. The P7800 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX50 and the P7800 write their files to SDXC cards.

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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 Nikon Coolpix P7800 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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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
1.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX10Ystereomono---2.0---
12.
 
Olympus Stylus 1Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
13.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
15.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the P7800 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The SX50 does not feature such a mic input.

Both the SX50 and the P7800 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX50 was replaced by the Canon SX60, while the P7800 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX50 or the Nikon P7800 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:

  • 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.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (22 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix P7800:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (921k vs 202k dots).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 461k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/3.4).
  • More compact: Is smaller (119x78mm vs 123x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 196g or 33 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 315) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the P7800 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 4 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 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.

SX50 04:13 P7800

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Nikon P7800 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom 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 P7800 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
2.
 
Nikon P78003/5....4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
3.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
4.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
7.
 
Canon G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
8.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
9.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +..3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
10.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
11.
 
Canon SX10..+ +....4/5 Sep 2008 399i
12.
 
Olympus Stylus 1..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 699i
13.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+..4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499 i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
15.
 
Pentax MX-13/5..74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 499i
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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX50:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon P7800:
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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon SX50 vs Nikon P7800

    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 Nikon P7800
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0
    Launch Date September 2012 September 2013
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon SX50 Nikon P7800
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 4.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 1.89 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 27.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.3 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 179 200
    Screen Specs Canon SX50 Nikon P7800
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 921k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX50 Nikon P7800
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    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 Nikon P7800
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX50 Nikon P7800
    Battery Type NB-10L EN-EL14
    Battery Life (CIPA)315 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    119 x 78 x 50 mm
    (4.7 x 3.1 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 595 g (21.0 oz) 399 g (14.1 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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