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Canon SX500 vs SX60

The Canon PowerShot SX500 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2012 and September 2014. Both the SX500 and the SX60 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX500 has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the SX60 provides 14.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX500 versus Canon SX60
Canon SX500 Canon SX60
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 14.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 80-1,600 ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (922k dots)
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.8 shutter flaps per second 6.4 shutter flaps per second
195 shots per battery charge340 shots per battery charge
104 x 70 x 80 mm, 341 g 128 x 93 x 114 mm, 650 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX60 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX500 and the Canon SX60 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX500 vs Canon SX60
Compare SX500 versus SX60 top
Comparison SX500 or SX60 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX60 is considerably larger (64 percent) than the Canon SX500. Moreover, the SX60 is substantially heavier (91 percent) than the SX500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX500 nor the SX60 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX500 gets 195 shots out of its NB-6L battery, while the SX60 can take 340 images on a single charge of its NB-10L power pack.

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

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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
 
Canon SX500 4.1 in 2.8 in 3.1 in 12.0 oz 195 n Aug 2012 329i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX740 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX70 5.0 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 21.4 oz 325 n Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon SX420 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 i
 
Canon SX410 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX520 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX700 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX400 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.1 in 11.0 oz 190 n Jul 2014 249i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon SX510 4.1 in 2.8 in 3.1 in 12.3 oz 250 n Aug 2013 249i
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Nikon B600 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Panasonic FZ300 5.2 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 24.4 oz 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i
 
Sony WX800 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the SX60, 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.

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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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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.

Technology-wise, the SX60 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the SX500 (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX500 and Canon SX60 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX500 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 14.2 MP of the SX60. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX500 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 1.40μm for the SX60). Moreover, it should be noted that the SX60 is much more recent (by 2 years) than the SX500, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Canon PowerShot SX500 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

SX500 versus SX60 MP

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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Canon SX500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon SX70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Canon SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p........
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Panasonic FZ300 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........

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 SX60 provides a better video resolution than the SX500. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the SX500 is limited to 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX60 has an electronic viewfinder (922k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX500 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX500 and Canon SX60 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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
 
Canon SX500none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX702360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX400none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon SX510none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 Y Y
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ3001440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
The SX60 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the SX500 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the SX500 and the SX60 have zoom lenses built in. The SX500 has a 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 optic and the SX60 offers a 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX60 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the SX500. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX500 and the SX60 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 SX500 IS and Canon PowerShot SX60 HS 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
 
Canon SX500-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SX70-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX400-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic FZ300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the SX60 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the SX500 does not provide wifi capability.

Both the SX500 and the SX60 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX500 was replaced by the Canon SX510, while the SX60 was followed by the Canon SX70. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX500 or the Canon SX60 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS:

  • More compact: Is smaller (104x70mm vs 128x93mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 309g or 48 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2012).


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 4).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 461k 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/2000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.4 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • 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: Gets more shots (340 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • 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 modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the SX500 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX60 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 4 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.

SX500 04:16 SX60

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX500 and the Canon SX60 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX500 and the SX60 in practical situations. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX500+ +..4/5..4/5 Aug 2012 329i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX70+ +..3.5/5..3.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299 i
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX520+..3.5/5..3.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX700+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX400+........ Jul 2014 249i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon SX510+ +..4.5/5..4/5 Aug 2013 249i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Panasonic FZ300+ +..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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 SX500:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX60:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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.

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    Specifications: Canon SX500 vs Canon SX60

    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 SX500 Canon SX60
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date August 2012 September 2014
    Launch Price USD 329 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon SX500 Canon SX60
    Sensor Technology CCD BSI-CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 14.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4608 x 3072 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.40 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 50.42 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 39
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 19.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 127
    Screen Specs Canon SX500 Canon SX60
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 922k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX500 Canon SX60
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/1600s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 0.8 shutter flaps/s 6.4 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 SX500 Canon SX60
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX500 Canon SX60
    Battery Type NB-6L NB-10L
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge340 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 70 x 80 mm
    (4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
    128 x 93 x 114 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 4.5 in)
    Camera Weight 341 g (12.0 oz) 650 g (22.9 oz)

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