Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X100
The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and the Fujifilm FinePix X100 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2014 and September 2010. Both the SX520 and the X100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX520) and an APS-C (X100) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Fujifilm provides 12.2 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 FinePix X100? 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 SX520 and the Fujifilm X100. 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 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 Fujifilm X100 is somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Canon SX520. However, the X100 is slightly heavier (1 percent) than the SX520. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX520 nor the X100 are weather-sealed.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 X100||126 mm||75 mm||54 mm||445 g||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199|
|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 X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|11.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299|
|12.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349|
|13.||Nikon D3100||124 mm||96 mm||75 mm||505 g||550||n||Aug 2010||599|
|14.||Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599|
|15.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|16.||Sony H200||123 mm||83 mm||87 mm||530 g||240||n||Jan 2013||249|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The SX520 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 67 percent) than the X100, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX520 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Fujifilm X100 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X100 is 1232 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 X100 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX520 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the Fujifilm X100. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 5.53μm for the X100). However, it should be noted that the SX520 is much more recent (by 3 years and 10 months) than the X100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX520 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX520 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX520 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X100 are 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.5 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.2 x 11.4 inches or 43.6 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.3 x 9.5 inches or 36.3 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Fujifilm FinePix X100 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
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 SX520 provides a higher video resolution than the X100. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 720/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X100 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX520, the Fujifilm X100, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon SX520||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y|
|2.||Fujifilm X100||1440||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||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 X100F||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X100S||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|12.||Nikon B600||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y|
|13.||Nikon D3100||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon D3000||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|15.||Sony HX90V||638||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony H200||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/1500s||0.8||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
The SX520 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X100 comes with a built-in prime. The SX520 has a 24-1008mm f/3.4-6 optic and the X100 offers a 35mm f/2.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Fujifilm. The X100 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX520 and the X100 write their files to SDXC 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 FinePix X100 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 X100||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|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 X100F||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X100S||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Nikon B600||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|13.||Nikon D3100||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Nikon D3000||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Sony HX90V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony H200||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the X100 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The SX520 does not feature such an accessory-socket.
Both the SX520 and the X100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X100 was replaced by the Fujifilm X100S, 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 conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX520 or the Fujifilm X100 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 12.2MP) with a 12% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (67 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 10 months of technical progress since the X100 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm FinePix X100:
- 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.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 1.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/3.4).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (300 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2010).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X100 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 8 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 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 SX520 and the Fujifilm X100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX520 or the X100 perform in practice. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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 X100||3/5||..||..||75/100||4/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,199|
|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 X100F||5/5||+||3.9/5||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|11.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299|
|12.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349|
|13.||Nikon D3100||5/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599|
|14.||Nikon D3000||..||+||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599|
|15.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|16.||Sony H200||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2013||249|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted 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, 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 60D vs Fujifilm X100
- Canon 70D vs Canon SX520
- Canon SX520 vs Canon T4i
- Canon SX520 vs Leica CL
- Canon SX520 vs Leica V-LUX 1
- Canon SX520 vs Leica V-LUX 2
- Canon SX520 vs Sony HX400V
- Fujifilm X100 vs Fujifilm X100T
- Fujifilm X100 vs Nikon D40
- Fujifilm X100 vs Nikon Z7
- Fujifilm X100 vs Olympus E-M1 III
- Fujifilm X100 vs Sony RX100 VI
Specifications: Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X100
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 X100|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1008mm f/3.4-6||35mm f/2.0|
|Launch Date||July 2014||September 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 1,199|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X100|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||372.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4288 x 2848 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||5.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||3.28 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||200 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+||EXR Processor|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||73|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1001|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X100|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X100|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||1.6 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X100|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||210 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
126 x 75 x 54 mm
(5.0 x 3.0 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||441 g (15.6 oz)||445 g (15.7 oz)|
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