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Canon SX530 vs XSi

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi (labelled Canon 450D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2015 and January 2008. The SX530 is a fixed lens compact, while the XSi is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX530) and an APS-C (XSi) sensor. The SX530 has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the XSi provides 12.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX530 versus Canon XSi
Canon SX530 Canon XSi
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Canon EF mount lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-1,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.6 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g 129 x 98 x 62 mm, 524 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi? 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon SX530 and the Canon XSi are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX530 vs Canon XSi
Compare SX530 versus XSi top
Comparison SX530 or XSi rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XSi is notably larger (28 percent) than the Canon SX530. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX530 nor the XSi are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX530 has a lens built in, whereas the XSi 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 XSi and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX530 gets 210 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the XSi can take 500 images on a single charge of its LP-E5 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon 4000D 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon 1300D 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
 
Fujifilm X100T 127 mm 74 mm 52 mm 440 g 330 n Sep 2014 1,299i
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 SX530 was launched at a lower price than the XSi, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 SX530 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon XSi an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the XSi is 1075 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.6. The sensor in the SX530 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the XSi offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the SX530 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the XSi (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX530 and Canon XSi sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX530 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the Canon XSi. 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 5.19μm for the XSi). However, it should be noted that the SX530 is much more recent (by 6 years and 11 months) than the XSi, 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 SX530 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Canon SX530 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX530 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 Canon XSi are 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel XSi are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

SX530 versus XSi MP

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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
 
Canon 1300D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
 
Fujifilm X100T APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX530 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XSi does not. The highest resolution format that the SX530 can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the XSi has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX530 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX530 and Canon XSi along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Canon 4000Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 1300Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon SX540none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X100T2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n

The SX530 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XSi uses SDHC cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 SX530 HS and Canon EOS Rebel XSi and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
 
Canon 4000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 1300DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
 
Fujifilm X100TYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the SX530 offers wifi support, while the XSi does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX530 and the XSi have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XSi was replaced by the Canon T1i, while the SX530 was followed by the Canon SX540. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX530 and the Canon XSi? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX530 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 jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4+ vs DIGIC 3).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 230k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the XSi requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x82mm vs 129x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the XSi).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 11 months of technical progress since the XSi launch.


Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XSi:

  • 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 optical 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 (3.5 vs 1.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 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 January 2008).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX530 comes out slightly ahead of the XSi (13 : 12 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX530 13:12 XSi

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX530 and the Canon XSi place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR 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 SX530 and the XSi in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX530+ +..4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon XSi+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon 4000Do..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon 1300Do73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon M10......o4/5 Oct 2015 499i
 
Canon SX520+..3.5/5..3.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon 1200D+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon T4i+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T1i+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon XTi+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799i
 
Fujifilm X100T+81/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2014 1,299i
 
Leica X Typ 113....3.5/5..4/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX530:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XSi:
Check Ebay offers

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX530 vs Canon XSi

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon SX530 Canon XSi
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2015 January 2008
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon SX530 Canon XSi
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4272 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 5.19 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 3.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ DIGIC 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 61
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 692
    Screen Specs Canon SX530 Canon XSi
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX530 Canon XSi
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.6 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX530 Canon XSi
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX530 Canon XSi
    Battery Type NB-6LH LP-E5
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 524 g (18.5 oz)

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