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Canon SX530 vs Nikon D50

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Nikon D50 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2015 and April 2005. The SX530 is a fixed lens compact, while the D50 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX530) and an APS-C (D50) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 6 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 Nikon D50
Canon SX530 Nikon D50
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Nikon F mount lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 200-1,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 2.0 LCD, 130k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.6 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g 133 x 102 x 76 mm, 620 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Nikon D50? 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 Nikon D50 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX530 vs Nikon D50
Compare SX530 versus D50 top
Comparison SX530 or D50 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D50 is notably larger (38 percent) than the Canon SX530. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX530 nor the D50 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 D50 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 D50 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX530 gets 210 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the D50 can take 400 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3 power pack.

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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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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
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
 
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
 
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
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629i
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
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 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 SX530 was launched at a lower price than the D50, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX530 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Nikon D50 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D50 is 1221 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 SX530 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D50 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX530 and Nikon D50 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX530 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D50. 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 7.85μm for the D50). However, it should be noted that the SX530 is much more recent (by 9 years and 8 months) than the D50, 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 Nikon D50 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 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 Nikon D50 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

SX530 versus D50 MP

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.

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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........
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
 
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
 
Fujifilm X100T APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The SX530 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D50 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 D50 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 Nikon D50 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
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 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
 
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
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n

The SX530 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D50 uses SD 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 Nikon D50 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-
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
 
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---
 
Fujifilm X100TYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---

It is notable that the SX530 offers wifi support, while the D50 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX530 and the D50 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D50 was replaced by the Nikon D40, 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 and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX530 better than the Nikon D50 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 6MP) with a 59% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 130k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D50 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x82mm vs 133x102mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D50).
  • 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 9 years and 8 months of technical progress since the D50 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D50:

  • 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 (2.5 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 (400 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 April 2005).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX530 comes out slightly ahead of the D50 (13 : 12 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 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.

SX530 13:12 D50

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX530 and the Nikon D50 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX530 or the D50 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.

Expert reviews

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 (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
 
Nikon D5078/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
 
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
 
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
 
Nikon D6080/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
 
Nikon D4081/100+ +o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
 
Nikon D80++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D70s......o5/5 Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D70..+ +..o.. Jan 2004 999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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
Nikon D50:
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 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.

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    Specifications: Canon SX530 vs Nikon D50

    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 Nikon D50
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2015 April 2005
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon SX530 Nikon D50
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 20.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 560
    Screen Specs Canon SX530 Nikon D50
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX530 Nikon D50
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.6 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX530 Nikon D50
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX530 Nikon D50
    Battery Type NB-6LH EN-EL3
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    133 x 102 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 620 g (21.9 oz)

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