Canon SX500 vs Panasonic FZ82
The Canon PowerShot SX500 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ82 (labelled Panasonic FZ80 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2012 and January 2017. Both the SX500 and the FZ82 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 18 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 SX500 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ82? 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 SX500 and the Panasonic FZ82. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions 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 Panasonic FZ82 is considerably larger (68 percent) than the Canon SX500. Moreover, the FZ82 is substantially heavier (81 percent) than the SX500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX500 nor the FZ82 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the SX500 gets 195 shots out of its NB-6L battery, while the FZ82 can take 330 images on a single charge of its DMW-BMB9 power pack. The power pack in the FZ82 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 SX500||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||341 g||195||n||Aug 2012||329||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic FZ82||130 mm||94 mm||119 mm||616 g||330||n||Jan 2017||399||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic FT7||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony HX350||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||652 g||300||n||Dec 2016||449||ebay.com|
|Note: 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 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 somewhat lower price (by 18 percent) than the FZ82, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
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. 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 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the FZ82 offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the SX500. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the FZ82 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.25μm versus 1.33μm for the SX500). However, it should be noted that the FZ82 is much more recent (by 4 years and 4 months) than the SX500, 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic FZ82 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the FZ82 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 18.4 inches or 62.2 x 46.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 14.7 inches or 49.7 x 37.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 12.2 inches or 41.5 x 31.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX500 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX500 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ82 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
In terms of underlying technology, the SX500 is build around a CCD sensor, while the FZ82 uses a BSI-CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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 FZ82 provides a better video resolution than the SX500. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 720/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ82 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k 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 Panasonic FZ82 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon SX500||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/1600s||0.8/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Panasonic FZ82||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX740||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX420||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon SX410||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon SX520||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon SX700||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||8.5/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon SX400||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/1600s||0.8/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon SX510||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/1600s||3.8/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon 100D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9/s||Y||n|
|12.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Panasonic FT7||1170||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Panasonic TZ90||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony HX350||202||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The FZ82 has a touchscreen, while the SX500 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the FZ82 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Both the SX500 and the FZ82 have zoom lenses built in. The SX500 has a 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 optic and the FZ82 offers a 20-1200mm f/2.8-5.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Canon. The FZ82 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX500 and the FZ82 write their files to SDXC cards. The FZ82 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX500 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 SX500 IS and Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ82 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon SX500||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Panasonic FZ82||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX740||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX420||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon SX410||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon SX520||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon SX700||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon SX400||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon SX510||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Canon 100D||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic FT7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic TZ90||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Sony HX350||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the FZ82 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.
The FZ82 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the SX500 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX500 was succeeded by the Canon SX510. Further information on the features and operation of the SX500 and FZ82 can be found, respectively, in the Canon SX500 Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic FZ82 Manual.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX500 and the Panasonic FZ82? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS:
- More compact: Is smaller (104x70mm vs 130x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 275g or 45 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (18 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2012).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ82:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (18 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/2000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.4).
- 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 (330 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 4 months of technical progress since the SX500 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the FZ82 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 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 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 SX500 and the Panasonic FZ82 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX500 or the FZ82. 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], 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 SX500||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2012||329||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic FZ82||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||399||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||3.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SX520||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX700||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||349||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon SX400||..||+||..||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon SX510||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||249||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 100D||4/5||+||..||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic FT7||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||May 2018||449||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic TZ90||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony HX350||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Dec 2016||449||ebay.com|
|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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Panasonic FZ82
- Canon 5D vs Panasonic FZ82
- Canon SX410 vs Canon SX500
- Canon SX420 vs Canon SX500
- Canon SX500 vs Canon SX520
- Canon SX500 vs Canon SX740
- Canon SX500 vs Canon T6
- Canon SX500 vs Pentax K-3
- Fujifilm X-T20 vs Panasonic FZ82
- Leica S Typ 007 vs Panasonic FZ82
- Leica SL2 vs Panasonic FZ82
- Nikon D2X vs Panasonic FZ82
Specifications: Canon SX500 vs Panasonic FZ82
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 SX500||Panasonic FZ82|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-720mm f/3.4-5.8||20-1200mm f/2.8-5.9|
|Launch Date||August 2012||January 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 329||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX500||Panasonic FZ82|
|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||15.9 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||Venus|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX500||Panasonic FZ82|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1166k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX500||Panasonic FZ82|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/1600s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||0.8 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX500||Panasonic FZ82|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX500||Panasonic FZ82|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||195 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
104 x 70 x 80 mm
(4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
130 x 94 x 119 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 4.7 in)
|Camera Weight||341 g (12.0 oz)||616 g (21.7 oz)|
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