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Canon SX530 vs Ricoh GR

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Ricoh GR are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2015 and April 2013. Both the SX530 and the GR are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX530) and an APS-C (GR) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Ricoh provides 16.1 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 Ricoh GR
Canon SX530 Ricoh GR
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 28mm f/2.8
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-25,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 1230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.6 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g 117 x 61 x 35 mm, 245 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Ricoh GR? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX530 and the Ricoh GR 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.

Size Canon SX530 vs Ricoh GR
Compare SX530 versus GR top
Comparison SX530 or GR rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Ricoh GR is notably smaller (27 percent) than the Canon SX530. Moreover, the GR is substantially lighter (45 percent) than the SX530. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX530 nor the GR are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX530 gets 210 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the GR can take 290 images on a single charge of its DB65 power pack. The power pack in the GR can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jan 2015 429i
 
Ricoh GR 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 290 n Apr 2013 799i
 
Canon T6 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon SX540 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX520 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX700 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon T5 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Nikon L840 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Nikon Coolpix A 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
 
Panasonic GM1 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 749i
 
Panasonic FZ100 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499i
 
Ricoh GR II 4.6 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 8.9 oz 320 n Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony HX90V 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
 
Sony NEX-5T 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.7 oz 330 n Aug 2013 699i
 
Sony NEX-5R 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.7 oz 330 n Aug 2012 749i
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 markedly lower price (by 46 percent) than the GR, 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.

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 Ricoh GR an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the GR 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 GR offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX530 and Ricoh GR sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the GR offers a higher resolution than the SX530 (15.9MP), but the GR nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 1.33μm for the SX530) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX530 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 8 months) than the GR, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that 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 Canon PowerShot SX530 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

SX530 versus GR MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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........
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
 
Panasonic GM1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony NEX-5T APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60p23.613.0101578
 
Sony NEX-5R APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.191078

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX530 and the GR 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 GR can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX530, the Ricoh GR, 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
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Canon T6optical 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 SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GM1none n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony NEX-5Toptional n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n
 
Sony NEX-5Roptional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n

The Ricoh GR 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 SX530 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the GR comes with a built-in prime. The SX530 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the GR 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 Ricoh. The GR offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX530 and the GR write their files to SDXC cards. The GR supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX530 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed 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 Ricoh GR 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-
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono---2.0---
 
Panasonic GM1-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony NEX-5TYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Sony NEX-5RYstereomono--mini2.0Y--

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

Both the SX530 and the GR have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GR was replaced by the Ricoh GR II, 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 Ricoh websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon SX530 better than the Ricoh GR or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS:

  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • 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 into a lower priced category (46 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 8 months after the GR).

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Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR:

  • 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.
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 461k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 1.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • 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 (117x61mm vs 120x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 197g or 45 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (290 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.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2013).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GR is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 6 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.

SX530 06:16 GR

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX530 and the Ricoh GR 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 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 GR 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 why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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
 
Ricoh GR..79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
 
Canon T6o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX520+..3.5/5..3.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX700+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon T5+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Nikon Coolpix A+75/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
 
Panasonic GM1+78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749i
 
Panasonic FZ100+..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
 
Ricoh GR II....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony HX90V+ +..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
 
Sony NEX-5T....4.5/5..4.5/5 Aug 2013 699i
 
Sony NEX-5R....4.5/5..4.5/5 Aug 2012 749i
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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX530:
Check Ebay offers
Ricoh GR:
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 Ricoh GR

    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 Ricoh GR
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 28mm f/2.8
    Launch Date January 2015 April 2013
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon SX530 Ricoh GR
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    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 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 972
    Screen Specs Canon SX530 Ricoh GR
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX530 Ricoh GR
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.6 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-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 SX530 Ricoh GR
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX530 Ricoh GR
    Battery Type NB-6LH DB65
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    117 x 61 x 35 mm
    (4.6 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 245 g (8.6 oz)

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