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.
Is the Canon SX510 a good camera? The SX510 has a Camera Elo of 1344. 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 7 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2013.
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|ISO 80 - 3 200|
|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|
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.
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.
|Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399|
|Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|Canon SX600||104 mm||61 mm||26 mm||188 g||290||n||Jan 2014||249|
|Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249|
|Canon SX500||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||341 g||195||n||Aug 2012||329|
|Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995|
|Sony H200||123 mm||83 mm||87 mm||530 g||240||n||Jan 2013||249|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
| WiFi |
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.
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).
|Canon SX510||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|Canon SX520||+||..||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399|
|Canon SX700||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|Canon SX600||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jan 2014||249|
|Canon SX400||+||..||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|Canon SX500||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Aug 2012||329|
|Canon G15||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|Canon M||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Leica X2||..||..||3/5||..||4/5||May 2012||1,995|
|Sony H200||..||..||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||Jan 2013||249|
|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.
- Canon 50D vs Canon SX510
- Canon 5DS vs Canon SX510
- Canon R vs Canon SX510
- Canon SX510 vs Fujifilm XQ1
- Canon SX510 vs Leica X2
- Canon SX510 vs Nikon D300S
- Canon SX510 vs Panasonic G10
- Canon SX510 vs Panasonic GH3
- Canon SX510 vs Panasonic L1
- Canon SX510 vs Panasonic ZS70
- Canon SX510 vs Sony A7 III
- Canon SX510 vs Sony NEX-3
|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 Format||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 608 x 3 456 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 - 3 200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/1600s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.8 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Battery Type||NB-6LH power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge|
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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