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Canon SX510 vs Sony H400

The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2013 and February 2014. Both the SX510 and the H400 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 Sony provides 19.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX510 versus Sony H400
Canon SX510 Sony H400
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 24.5-1550mm f/3.4-6.5
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/24p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 80-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (210k dots)
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.8 shutter flaps per second 0.7 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
104 x 70 x 80 mm, 349 g 130 x 95 x 122 mm, 628 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX510 and the Sony H400. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX510 vs Sony H400
Compare SX510 versus H400 top
Comparison SX510 or H400 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H400 is considerably larger (70 percent) than the Canon SX510. Moreover, the H400 is substantially heavier (80 percent) than the SX510. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX510 nor the H400 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX510 gets 250 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the H400 can take 300 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

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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
1.
 
Canon SX510 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 349 g 250 n Aug 2013 249i
2.
 
Sony H400 130 mm 95 mm 122 mm 628 g 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
3.
 
Canon SX430 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 323 g 195 n Jan 2017 299 i
4.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
5.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
6.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
7.
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399i
8.
 
Canon SX700 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 250 n Feb 2014 349i
9.
 
Canon SX600 104 mm 61 mm 26 mm 188 g 290 n Jan 2014 249i
10.
 
Canon SX400 104 mm 69 mm 80 mm 313 g 190 n Jul 2014 249i
11.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
12.
 
Canon SX500 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 341 g 195 n Aug 2012 329i
13.
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
14.
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
15.
 
Sony H200 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 240 n Jan 2013 249 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX510 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 22 percent) than the H400, 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. 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. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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.

Canon SX510 and Sony H400 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the H400 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the SX510. This megapixels advantage translates into a 12 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the H400 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.19μm versus 1.33μm for the SX510). However, it should be noted that the H400 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the SX510, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly 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 Sony H400 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H400 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

SX510 versus H400 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 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
1.
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p........
2.
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
3.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
4.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
5.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
6.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
7.
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
8.
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
9.
 
Canon SX600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
10.
 
Canon SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
11.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
12.
 
Canon SX500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
13.
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
14.
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
15.
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SX510 provides a higher video resolution than the H400. It can shoot video footage at 1080/24p, while the Sony is limited to 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the H400 has an electronic viewfinder (210k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX510 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX510 and Sony H400 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
1.
 
Canon SX510none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 Y Y
2.
 
Sony H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX430none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX600none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 3.9 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX400none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX500none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
13.
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
14.
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
15.
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

Both the SX510 and the H400 have zoom lenses built in. The SX510 has a 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 optic and the H400 offers a 24.5-1550mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Sony, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

The SX510 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the H400 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 SX510 HS and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 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
1.
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
2.
 
Sony H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon SX430-monomono---2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX600-monomono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX400-stereomono---2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
12.
 
Canon SX500-stereomono---2.0---
13.
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---

The H400 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. 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 Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX510 better than the Sony H400 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/24p vs 720/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.8 vs 0.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x70mm vs 130x95mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 279g or 44 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (22 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2013).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/2000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (300 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SX510 comes out slightly ahead of the H400 (7 : 6 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX510 07:06 H400

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX510 and the Sony H400 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX510 and the H400 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX510..+ +..4.5/54/5 Aug 2013 249i
2.
 
Sony H400..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
3.
 
Canon SX430......3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2017 299 i
4.
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
5.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279i
6.
 
Canon SX710..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
7.
 
Canon SX520..+..3.5/53.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
8.
 
Canon SX700..+ +..4/54/5 Feb 2014 349i
9.
 
Canon SX600..+..4/54/5 Jan 2014 249i
10.
 
Canon SX400..+...... Jul 2014 249i
11.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
12.
 
Canon SX500..+ +..4/54/5 Aug 2012 329i
13.
 
Sony HX400V4/5+ +..4/54/5 Feb 2014 499 i
14.
 
Sony H300..+..4.5/54/5 Feb 2014 219 i
15.
 
Sony H200......3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX510:
Check Ebay offers
Sony H400:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon SX510 vs Sony H400

    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 SX510 Sony H400
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 24.5-1550mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date August 2013 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 249 USD 319
    Sensor Specs Canon SX510 Sony H400
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    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 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 70.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 BIONZ
    Screen Specs Canon SX510 Sony H400
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 210k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX510 Sony H400
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.8 shutter flaps/s 0.7 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX510 Sony H400
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX510 Sony H400
    Battery Type NB-6LH NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 70 x 80 mm
    (4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
    130 x 95 x 122 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 4.8 in)
    Camera Weight 349 g (12.3 oz) 628 g (22.2 oz)

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