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Canon SX530 vs Olympus E-510

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Olympus E-510 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2015 and March 2007. The SX530 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-510 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX530) and a Four Thirds (E-510) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 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 Olympus E-510
Canon SX530 Olympus E-510
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 10 MP, Four Thirds 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 2.5 LCD, 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.6 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
210 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g 136 x 92 x 68 mm, 538 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Olympus E-510? 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 Olympus E-510 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX530 vs Olympus E-510
Compare SX530 versus E-510 top
Comparison SX530 or E-510 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-510 is notably larger (27 percent) than the Canon SX530. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX530 nor the E-510 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 E-510 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 E-510 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX530 gets 210 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the E-510 can take 750 images on a single charge of its BLM-1 power pack.

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, 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
 
Olympus E-510 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 538 g 750 n Mar 2007 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
 
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
 
Olympus E-600 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 535 g 500 n Aug 2009 449i
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699i
 
Olympus E-30 142 mm 108 mm 75 mm 701 g 750 n Nov 2008 1,299i
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699i
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699i
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.

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 SX530 was launched at a lower price than the E-510, 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 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. 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 SX530 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Olympus E-510 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-510 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon SX530 and Olympus E-510 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX530 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Olympus E-510. 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 4.74μm for the E-510). However, it should be noted that the SX530 is much more recent (by 7 years and 10 months) than the E-510, 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 Olympus E-510 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 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 Olympus E-510 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

SX530 versus E-510 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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........
 
Olympus E-510 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.210.044252
 
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........
 
Olympus E-600 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.510.354155
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.353655
 
Olympus E-30 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.453055
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The SX530 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-510 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 E-510 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX530, the Olympus E-510, and comparable cameras.

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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
 
Olympus E-510optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
 
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
 
Olympus E-600optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-620optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-30optical Y 2.7 230 swivel n 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-520optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y Y
 
Olympus E-410optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

The SX530 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-510 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-510 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the SX530 only has one slot.

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 Olympus E-510 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-
 
Olympus E-510Y-----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---
 
Olympus E-600Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-620Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-30Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-520Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-410Y-----2.0---

It is notable that the SX530 offers wifi support, while the E-510 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX530 and the E-510 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-510 was replaced by the Olympus E-520, 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 Olympus websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon SX530 better than the Olympus E-510 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 10MP) with a 26% 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 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 215k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the E-510 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x82mm vs 136x92mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the E-510).
  • 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 7 years and 10 months of technical progress since the E-510 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-510:

  • 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 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 (750 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2007).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-510 comes out slightly ahead of the SX530 (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 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.

SX530 12:13 E-510

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX530 and the Olympus E-510 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX530 or the E-510 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 expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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
 
Olympus E-51089/100+ +3.5/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 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
 
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
 
Olympus E-600........4.5/5 Aug 2009 449i
 
Olympus E-62088/10072/1004.5/5o5/5 Feb 2009 699i
 
Olympus E-30..71/1004.5/5..4/5 Nov 2008 1,299i
 
Olympus E-52087/100+ +4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699i
 
Olympus E-41086/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
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. 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.

Canon SX530:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-510:
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon SX530 vs Olympus E-510

    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 Olympus E-510
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2015 March 2007
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon SX530 Olympus E-510
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 4.44 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+ TruePic III
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 52
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 442
    Screen Specs Canon SX530 Olympus E-510
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX530 Olympus E-510
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.6 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX530 Olympus E-510
    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 Olympus E-510
    Battery Type NB-6LH BLM-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    136 x 92 x 68 mm
    (5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 538 g (19.0 oz)

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