Canon SX510 vs Nikon D610
The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and the Nikon D610 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2013 and October 2013. The SX510 is a fixed lens compact, while the D610 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX510) and a full frame (D610) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon SX510||Nikon D610|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|24-720mm f/3.4-5.8||Nikon F mount lenses|
|15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||24.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|1080/24p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 80-3,200||ISO 100-6,400 (50 - 25,600)|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 461k dots||3.2 LCD, 921k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3.8 shutter flaps per second||6 shutter flaps per second|
|not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|250 shots per battery charge||900 shots per battery charge|
|104 x 70 x 80 mm, 349 g||141 x 113 x 82 mm, 850 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and the Nikon D610? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX510 and the Nikon D610 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D610 is considerably larger (119 percent) than the Canon SX510. It is noteworthy in this context that the D610 is splash and dust-proof, while the SX510 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX510 has a lens built in, whereas the D610 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D610 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
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, just select a new right or left 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 camera comparisons there.
|Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|Nikon D610||141 mm||113 mm||82 mm||850 g||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999|
|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|
|Nikon D500||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||860 g||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999|
|Nikon D750||141 mm||113 mm||78 mm||750 g||1230||Y||Sep 2014||2,299|
|Nikon D810||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299|
|Nikon D7100||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199|
|Nikon D600||141 mm||113 mm||82 mm||850 g||900||Y||Sep 2012||2,099|
|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.
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 SX510 was launched at a lower price than the D610, despite having a lens built in. 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.
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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX510 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Nikon D610 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D610 is 2979 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.0. The sensor in the SX510 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D610 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24.2MP, the D610 offers a higher resolution than the SX510 (15.9MP), but the D610 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 1.33μm for the SX510) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX510 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon D610 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D610 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.1 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX510 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 SX510 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D610 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-25600.
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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Nikon D610||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94|
|Nikon D750||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/60p||24.8||14.5||2956||93|
|Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|Nikon D600||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.2||2980||94|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D610 provides a faster frame rate than the SX510. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D610 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX510 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX510 and Nikon D610 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One feature that is present on the D610, but is missing on the SX510 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The Nikon D610 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX510 and the D610 write their files to SDXC cards. The D610 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the SX510 only has one slot. The D610 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX510 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 SX510 HS and Nikon D610 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, while the D610 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D610 (unlike the SX510) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The D610 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the SX510 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX510 was succeeded by the Canon SX520. 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.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon SX510 better than the Nikon D610 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D610 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (104x70mm vs 141x113mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D610).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
Advantages of the Nikon D610:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.2 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 461k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (900 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D610 is the clear winner of the contest (23 : 7 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX510 and the Nikon D610 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX510 or the D610 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|Canon SX510||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|Nikon D610||+ +||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,999|
|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|
|Nikon D500||+ +||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999|
|Nikon D750||+ +||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||2,299|
|Nikon D810||..||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299|
|Nikon D7100||+ +||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199|
|Nikon D600||+ +||87/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099|
|Sony H200||..||..||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||Jan 2013||249|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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.
- Canon G7 X vs Canon SX510
- Canon SX510 vs Canon SX530
- Canon SX510 vs Canon T5
- Canon SX510 vs Leica SL
- Canon SX510 vs Leica TL2
- Canon SX510 vs Olympus E-450
- Canon SX510 vs Panasonic GF1
- Contax N Digital vs Nikon D610
- Leica Q2 vs Nikon D610
- Leica TL2 vs Nikon D610
- Leica V-LUX 5 vs Nikon D610
- Nikon D610 vs Panasonic ZS80
Specifications: Canon SX510 vs Nikon D610
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 SX510||Nikon D610|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-720mm f/3.4-5.8||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2013||October 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 249||USD 1,999|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX510||Nikon D610|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||35.9 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||861.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||24.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||6016 x 4016 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||5.97 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||2.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||EXPEED 3|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||94|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||25.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||2925|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX510||Nikon D610|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX510||Nikon D610|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3.8 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX510||Nikon D610|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon SX510||Nikon D610|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||900 shots per charge|
104 x 70 x 80 mm
(4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
141 x 113 x 82 mm
(5.6 x 4.4 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||349 g (12.3 oz)||850 g (30.0 oz)|
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