Canon SX510 vs Sony HX90V
The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2013 and April 2015. Both the SX510 and the HX90V 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 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 SX510 HS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V? 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 SX510 and the Sony HX90V. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures 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 Sony HX90V is notably smaller (19 percent) than the Canon SX510. Moreover, the HX90V is markedly lighter (30 percent) than the SX510. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX510 nor the HX90V are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the SX510 gets 250 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the HX90V can take 360 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the HX90V can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|2.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|3.||Canon SX430||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||323 g||195||n||Jan 2017||299|
|4.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|5.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|6.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|7.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399|
|8.||Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|9.||Canon SX600||104 mm||61 mm||26 mm||188 g||290||n||Jan 2014||249|
|10.||Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249|
|11.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|12.||Canon SX500||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||341 g||195||n||Aug 2012||329|
|13.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|14.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|15.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|16.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|17.||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.|
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 markedly lower price (by 42 percent) than the HX90V, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 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 HX90V offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the SX510. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the HX90V 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 SX510). However, it should be noted that the HX90V is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 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 HX90V implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX90V 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 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
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 HX90V provides a faster frame rate than the SX510. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the HX90V has an electronic viewfinder (638k 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX510, the Sony HX90V, and comparable cameras.
Both the SX510 and the HX90V have zoom lenses built in. The SX510 has a 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 optic and the HX90V offers a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). The SX510 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The SX510 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX90V uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The HX90V 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the HX90V has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
The HX90V 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.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon SX510 better than the Sony HX90V or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS:
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.4 vs f/3.5).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (42 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2013).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (18 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 461k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/2000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 104x70mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 104g or 30 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (360 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 7 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the HX90V is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 3 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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 SX510 and the Sony HX90V 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 SX510 or the HX90V. 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 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.
|1.||Canon SX510||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|2.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|3.||Canon SX430||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2017||299|
|4.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|5.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|6.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|7.||Canon SX520||..||+||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399|
|8.||Canon SX700||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|9.||Canon SX600||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2014||249|
|10.||Canon SX400||..||+||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|11.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|12.||Canon SX500||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2012||329|
|13.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|14.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|15.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|16.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|17.||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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Canon SX510 vs Sony HX90V
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||Sony HX90V|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-720mm f/3.4-5.8||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||August 2013||April 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 249||USD 429|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX510||Sony HX90V|
|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||1080/24p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||BIONZ X|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX510||Sony HX90V|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||638k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX510||Sony HX90V|
|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||3.8 shutter flaps/s||10 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||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX510||Sony HX90V|
|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|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Geotagging||no internal GPS||GPS built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX510||Sony HX90V|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||360 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)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||349 g (12.3 oz)||245 g (8.6 oz)|
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