Canon SX520 vs Panasonic LX10
The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 (labelled Panasonic LX15 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2014 and September 2016. Both the SX520 and the LX10 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX520) and an one-inch (LX10) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 20 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon SX520 and the Panasonic LX10 are illustrated 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The LX10 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 Panasonic LX10 is considerably smaller (35 percent) than the Canon SX520. Moreover, the LX10 is markedly lighter (30 percent) than the SX520. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX520 nor the LX10 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the SX520 gets 210 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the LX10 can take 260 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLH7 power pack. The power pack in the LX10 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. 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.||Panasonic LX10||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699|
|3.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|4.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|6.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|7.||Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|8.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|9.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|10.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|11.||Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|12.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349|
|13.||Panasonic ZS200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799|
|14.||Panasonic ZS100||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|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.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 markedly lower price (by 43 percent) than the LX10, 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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX520 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic LX10 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the LX10 is 314 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.7. The sensor in the SX520 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the LX10 offers a 3:2 aspect. The LX10 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
With 20MP, the LX10 offers a higher resolution than the SX520 (15.9MP), but the LX10 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.33μm for the SX520) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the LX10 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 1 month) than the SX520, and its sensor will 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 the SX520 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic LX10 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the LX10 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX520 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 SX520 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.
|4.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||227||61|
|8.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|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. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the LX10 provides a better video resolution than the SX520. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The SX520 and the LX10 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. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX520, the Panasonic LX10, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon SX520||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y|
|2.||Panasonic LX10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX540||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX530||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon SX700||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||8.5||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon T5||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|11.||Canon SX510||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/1600s||3.8||Y||Y|
|12.||Nikon B600||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y|
|13.||Panasonic ZS200||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Panasonic ZS100||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||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 differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The LX10 has a touchscreen, while the SX520 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The LX10 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 LX10 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 Panasonic LX10 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.
Both the SX520 and the LX10 have zoom lenses built in. The SX520 has a 24-1008mm f/3.4-6 optic and the LX10 offers a 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Panasonic provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Panasonic has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX10 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX520 and the LX10 write their files to SDXC cards. The LX10 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 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.||Panasonic LX10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX540||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon SX530||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon SX700||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon T5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon SX510||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Nikon B600||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|13.||Panasonic ZS200||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|14.||Panasonic ZS100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||-||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 LX10 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.
The LX10 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the SX520 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX520 was succeeded 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 Panasonic websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX520 or the Panasonic LX10 – 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.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (43 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in July 2014).
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- 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.
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- 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 (10 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/1.4 vs f/3.4).
- More compact: Is smaller (106x60mm vs 120x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 131g or 30 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (260 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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: Reflects 2 years and 1 month of technical progress since the SX520 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the LX10 is the clear winner of the contest (24 : 4 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 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 Panasonic LX10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom 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 LX10 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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|
|2.||Panasonic LX10||..||+ +||..||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699|
|3.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|4.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|6.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|7.||Canon SX700||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|8.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|9.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|10.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|11.||Canon SX510||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|12.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349|
|13.||Panasonic ZS200||..||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799|
|14.||Panasonic ZS100||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|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.|
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.
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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1Ds Mark II vs Panasonic LX10
- Canon SX510 vs Canon SX520
- Canon SX520 vs Leica V-LUX Typ 114
- Canon SX520 vs Panasonic G2
- Canon SX520 vs Panasonic GX8
- Canon SX520 vs Ricoh WG-60
- Canon SX520 vs Sony RX0 II
- Panasonic GM5 vs Panasonic LX10
- Panasonic LX10 vs Pentax K-5
- Panasonic LX10 vs Sony A7R III
- Panasonic LX10 vs Sony A7R IV
- Panasonic LX10 vs Sony NEX-3N
Specifications: Canon SX520 vs Panasonic LX10
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||Panasonic LX10|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1008mm f/3.4-6||24-72mm f/1.4-2.8|
|Launch Date||July 2014||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX520||Panasonic LX10|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||125 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+||Venus|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX520||Panasonic LX10|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|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||Panasonic LX10|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||1.6 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|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||Panasonic LX10|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX520||Panasonic LX10|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||210 shots per charge||260 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)
106 x 60 x 42 mm
(4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||441 g (15.6 oz)||310 g (10.9 oz)|
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