Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X70
The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and the Fujifilm X70 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2014 and January 2016. Both the SX520 and the X70 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX520) and an APS-C (X70) 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 X70? 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 X70 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 X70 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 X70 is notably smaller (27 percent) than the Canon SX520. Moreover, the X70 is markedly lighter (23 percent) than the SX520. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX520 nor the X70 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the SX520 gets 210 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the X70 can take 330 images on a single charge of its NP-95 power pack. The power pack in the X70 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|1.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399||ebay.com|
|2.||Fujifilm X70||113 mm||64 mm||44 mm||340 g||330||n||Jan 2016||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 4000D||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 1300D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249||ebay.com|
|14.||Fujifilm XF10||113 mm||64 mm||41 mm||279 g||330||n||Jul 2018||499||ebay.com|
|15.||Fujifilm X-E2S||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|17.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349||amazon.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 50 percent) than the X70, 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. 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. 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 more expensive and 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 X70 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X70 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 X70 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 16MP, the X70 offers a higher resolution than the SX520 (15.9MP), but the X70 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 1.33μm for the SX520) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X70 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the SX520, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further 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 X70 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 X70 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
In terms of underlying technology, the SX520 is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the X70 uses a CMOS imager. Like most digital cameras, the SX520 uses a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. In contrast, the X70 employs a more randomized X-Trans layout of photosites, which according to Fujifilm helps to minimize moiré.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|5.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||260||62|
|7.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||227||61|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the X70 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. The SX520 and the X70 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the X70 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-X21. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX520 and Fujifilm X70 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/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Fujifilm X70||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon 4000D||optical||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Canon 1300D||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon SX540||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon SX530||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon SX700||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||8.5/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon 1200D||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Canon SX510||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/1600s||3.8/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Fujifilm XF10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Fujifilm X-E2S||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|17.||Nikon B600||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The X70 has a touchscreen, while the SX520 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The X70 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the SX520 does not have a selfie-screen.
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 X70 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 X70 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.
The SX520 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X70 comes with a built-in prime. The SX520 has a 24-1008mm f/3.4-6 optic and the X70 offers a 28mm f/2.8 (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 X70 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX520 and the X70 write their files to SDXC cards. The X70 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 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 X70 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 X70||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon 4000D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon 1300D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon SX540||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon SX530||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon SX700||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon 1200D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Canon SX510||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Fujifilm XF10||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Fujifilm X-E2S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Nikon B600||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
It is notable that the X70 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.
Both the SX520 and the X70 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The SX520 was replaced by the Canon SX530, while the X70 was followed by the Fujifilm XF10. Further information on the features and operation of the SX520 and X70 can be found, respectively, in the Canon SX520 Manual (free pdf) or the online Fujifilm X70 Manual.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX520 and the Fujifilm X70? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS:
- 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 (50 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2014).
Advantages of the Fujifilm X70:
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- 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.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- 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.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- 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.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.4).
- More compact: Is smaller (113x64mm vs 120x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 101g or 23 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (330 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 5 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X70 is the clear winner of the contest (25 : 4 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 X70 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 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 SX520 or the X70. 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 following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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||ebay.com|
|2.||Fujifilm X70||4.5/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 4000D||..||o||3/5||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 1300D||4/5||o||4/5||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon SX700||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||349||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon SX510||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||249||ebay.com|
|14.||Fujifilm XF10||..||..||4/5||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499||ebay.com|
|15.||Fujifilm X-E2S||4.5/5||..||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|17.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349||amazon.com|
|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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 30D vs Fujifilm X70
- Canon SX520 vs Canon SX530
- Canon SX520 vs Canon T3
- Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X-E3
- Canon SX520 vs Olympus E-600
- Canon SX520 vs Panasonic ZS80
- Canon SX520 vs Sony H300
- Fujifilm X-M1 vs Fujifilm X70
- Fujifilm X70 vs Leica S3
- Fujifilm X70 vs Panasonic GX800
- Fujifilm X70 vs Pentax K-3 II
- Fujifilm X70 vs Sony A6400
Specifications: Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X70
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 X70|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1008mm f/3.4-6||28mm f/2.8-16|
|Launch Date||July 2014||January 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X70|
|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||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+||EXR Processor II|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X70|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|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|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X70|
|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||up to 1/32000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|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||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X70|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX520||Fujifilm X70|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||210 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
113 x 64 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 2.5 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||441 g (15.6 oz)||340 g (12.0 oz)|
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