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Canon SX510 Comparison Review

The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in August 2013 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.9 megapixel.

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Is the Canon SX510 a good camera? The SX510 has a Camera Elo of 1338. This rating puts the SX510 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the SX510 also ranks below average. – Well, the Canon SX510 is more than 6 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2013.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX510
Fixed lens compact camera
24-720mm f/3.4-5.8
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/24p Video
ISO 80-3200
No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 461k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.8 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge
104 x 70 x 80 mm, 349 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Canon SX510 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon SX510 vs credit card front
SX510 versus credit card top view
SX510 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon SX510 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX510 4.1 in 2.8 in 3.1 in 12.3 oz 250 n Aug 2013 249- i Canon SX510
 
Canon SX740« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon SX420« » 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 i i Canon SX420
 
Canon SX410« » 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279- i Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jan 2015 429- i Canon SX530
 
Canon SX520« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jul 2014 399- i Canon SX520
 
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Nikon A1000« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i i Nikon A1000
 
Ricoh WG-60« » 4.8 in 2.4 in 1.2 in 6.8 oz 300 Y Oct 2018 279 i i Ricoh WG-60
 
Sony H200« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 i i Sony H200
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon SX510 was launched in the US market at a price of $249. 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.

Canon SX510:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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.

The Canon SX510 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon SX510 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Canon SX510 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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.

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 SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p----Canon SX510
 
Canon SX740« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
 
Canon SX420« » 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p----Canon SX420
 
Canon SX410« » 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p----Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Canon SX530
 
Canon SX520« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Canon SX520
 
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
 
Nikon A1000« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon A1000
 
Ricoh WG-60« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----Ricoh WG-60
 
Sony H200« » 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p----Sony H200

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX510 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the SX510 can use is 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX510 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 SX510- n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 Y Y Canon SX510
 
Canon SX740« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Canon SX420« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX420
 
Canon SX410« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530« »- n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y Canon SX530
 
Canon SX520« »- n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y Canon SX520
 
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
 
Nikon A1000« »1166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon A1000
 
Ricoh WG-60« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Ricoh WG-60
 
Sony H200« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y Sony H200

One convenient feature of the SX510 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection 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 SX510 HS 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
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon SX510
 
Canon SX740« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Canon SX420« »-monomono---2.0YY-Canon SX420
 
Canon SX410« »-stereomono---2.0---Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon SX530
 
Canon SX520« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX520
 
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
 
Nikon A1000« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon A1000
 
Ricoh WG-60« »-monomono--micro2.0---Ricoh WG-60
 
Sony H200« »-monomono---2.0---Sony H200

It is notable that the SX510 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

 

The SX510 has a zoom lens built in (4.3-129mm f/3.4-5.8), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 720mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the SX510 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. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX510+ +-4.5/5-4/5 Aug 2013 249- i Canon SX510
 
Canon SX740« »+-4/5-4/5 Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »+-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon SX420« »----- Jan 2016 299 i i Canon SX420
 
Canon SX410« »o---- Feb 2015 279- i Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Jan 2015 429- i Canon SX530
 
Canon SX520« »+-3.5/5-3.5/5 Jul 2014 399- i Canon SX520
 
Canon SX60« »+ +75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Nikon A1000« »--3.5/5-3/5 Jan 2019 429 i i Nikon A1000
 
Ricoh WG-60« »----- Oct 2018 279 i i Ricoh WG-60
 
Sony H200« »--3.5/5-3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i i Sony H200
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX510 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the SX510.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the SX510?

The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the SX510 with the DIGIC 4 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the SX510?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200.

Does the Canon SX510 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Which battery does the SX510 use?

The camera gets its power from the NB-6LH (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An 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 Summary
    Camera Model Canon SX510
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8
    Launch Date August 2013
    Launch Price USD 249
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video
    ISO Setting 80-3200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/1600s
    Continuous Shooting 3.8 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NB-6LH power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 70 x 80 mm
    (4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 349 g (12.3 oz)

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