Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X-T1
The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and the Fujifilm X-T1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2014 and January 2014. The SX520 is a fixed lens compact, while the X-T1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX520) and an APS-C (X-T1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Fujifilm provides 16 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 SX520 HS and the Fujifilm X-T1? 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 SX520 and the Fujifilm X-T1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-T1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX520 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-T1 is notably larger (18 percent) than the Canon SX520. It is noteworthy in this context that the X-T1 is splash and dust-proof, while the SX520 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX520 has a lens built in, whereas the X-T1 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 X-T1 and their specifications in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399|
|2.||Fujifilm X-T1||129 mm||90 mm||47 mm||440 g||350||Y||Jan 2014||1,299|
|3.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|4.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|5.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|6.||Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|7.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|8.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|9.||Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|10.||Fujifilm X-T2||133 mm||92 mm||49 mm||507 g||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599|
|11.||Fujifilm X100T||127 mm||74 mm||52 mm||440 g||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299|
|12.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299|
|13.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|14.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|15.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349|
|16.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|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 SX520 was launched at a lower price than the X-T1, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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. 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 SX520 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Fujifilm X-T1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X-T1 is 1214 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the SX520 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the X-T1 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 16MP, the X-T1 offers a higher resolution than the SX520 (15.9MP), but the X-T1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 1.33μm for the SX520) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX520 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the X-T1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 X-T1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Fujifilm X-T1 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
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.
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X-T1 provides a faster frame rate than the SX520. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-T1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX520 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX520 and Fujifilm X-T1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon SX520||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y|
|2.||Fujifilm X-T1||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0||n||n|
|3.||Canon SX540||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX530||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon SX700||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||8.5||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon T5||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|9.||Canon SX510||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/1600s||3.8||Y||Y|
|10.||Fujifilm X-T2||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||n||1/8000s||8.0||n||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X100T||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|12.||Fujifilm X100S||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|13.||Fujifilm X-E2||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n|
|14.||Fujifilm X-M1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|15.||Nikon B600||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony HX90V||638||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony H200||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/1500s||0.8||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The SX520 has one, while the X-T1 does not. While the built-in flash of the SX520 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X-T1 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm X-T1 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 SX520 and the X-T1 write their files to SDXC cards. The X-T1 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the SX520 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 SX520 HS and Fujifilm X-T1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon SX520||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Fujifilm X-T1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX540||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon SX530||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon SX700||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon T5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon SX510||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Fujifilm X-T2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X100T||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Fujifilm X100S||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Fujifilm X-E2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Fujifilm X-M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Nikon B600||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|16.||Sony HX90V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony H200||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the X-T1 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the SX520 does not provide wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Fujifilm X-T1 (unlike the SX520) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the SX520 and the X-T1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X-T1 was replaced by the Fujifilm X-T2, while the SX520 was followed by the Canon SX530. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Fujifilm websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX520 or the Fujifilm X-T1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS:
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the X-T1 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x82mm vs 129x90mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the X-T1).
Advantages of the Fujifilm X-T1:
- 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 (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 1.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 210) 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.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-II standard.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2014).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X-T1 is the clear winner of the contest (22 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. 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 SX520 and the Fujifilm X-T1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX520 and the X-T1 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 expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 SX520||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399|
|2.||Fujifilm X-T1||5/5||+ +||..||84/100||5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||1,299|
|3.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|4.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|5.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|6.||Canon SX700||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|7.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|8.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|9.||Canon SX510||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|10.||Fujifilm X-T2||5/5||+ +||..||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2016||1,599|
|11.||Fujifilm X100T||5/5||+||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,299|
|12.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299|
|13.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|14.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|15.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349|
|16.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|17.||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 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 your choice using the following search menu. 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 50D vs Canon SX520
- Canon 77D vs Fujifilm X-T1
- Canon 800D vs Fujifilm X-T1
- Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X-E2
- Canon SX520 vs Nikon D1H
- Canon SX520 vs Olympus E-PL1
- Canon SX520 vs Olympus E-PL3
- Canon SX520 vs Sony RX1
- Fujifilm X-T1 vs Leica Q2
- Fujifilm X-T1 vs Nikon D1X
- Fujifilm X-T1 vs Sony A6000
- Fujifilm X-T1 vs Sony NEX-7
Specifications: Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X-T1
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 SX520||Fujifilm X-T1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1008mm f/3.4-6||Fujifilm X mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2014||January 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 1,299|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X-T1|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.6 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||368.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4896 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||4.80 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||4.34 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||200 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+||EXR Processor II|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X-T1|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X-T1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||1.6 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||YES|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X-T1|
|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|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X-T1|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||210 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
129 x 90 x 47 mm
(5.1 x 3.5 x 1.9 in)
|Camera Weight||441 g (15.6 oz)||440 g (15.5 oz)|
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