Canon SX610 vs XSi
The Canon PowerShot SX610 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi (labelled Canon 450D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2015 and January 2008. The SX610 is a fixed lens compact, while the XSi is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX610) and an APS-C (XSi) sensor. The SX610 has a resolution of 20.2 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX610 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon SX610 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX610 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the XSi 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 Canon XSi is considerably larger (97 percent) than the Canon SX610. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX610 nor the XSi are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX610 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.
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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|2.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|3.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|4.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|5.||Canon SX620||97 mm||57 mm||28 mm||182 g||295||n||May 2016||279|
|6.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|7.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|8.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|9.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|10.||Canon SX600||104 mm||61 mm||26 mm||188 g||290||n||Jan 2014||249|
|11.||Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249|
|12.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|13.||Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|14.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|15.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|16.||Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|17.||Sony H300||128 mm||89 mm||92 mm||590 g||350||n||Feb 2014||219|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX610 was launched at a lower price than the XSi, despite having a lens built in. 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 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 SX610 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 SX610 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 SX610 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the XSi (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX610 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 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 1.18μm versus 5.19μm for the XSi). However, it should be noted that the SX610 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 SX610 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX610 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX610 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 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 SX610 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel XSi are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|7.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The SX610 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XSi does not. The highest resolution format that the SX610 can use is 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the XSi has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX610 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX610 and Canon XSi in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|7.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
The SX610 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XSi uses SDHC 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 SX610 HS and Canon EOS Rebel XSi and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|7.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the SX610 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 SX610 and the XSi have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XSi was replaced by the Canon T1i, while the SX610 was followed by the Canon SX620. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX610 or the Canon XSi – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 12.2MP) with a 26% 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 (922k vs 230k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the XSi requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (105x61mm 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 2.5 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 270) 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 SX610 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX610 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 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 SX610 or the XSi perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
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], 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 SX610||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|2.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|3.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|4.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|5.||Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279|
|6.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|7.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|8.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|9.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|10.||Canon SX600||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2014||249|
|11.||Canon SX400||..||+||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|12.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|13.||Canon T3||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|14.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|15.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|16.||Canon XTi||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|17.||Sony H300||..||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2014||219|
|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. 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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon SX610 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 Model||Canon SX610||Canon XSi|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||25-450mm f/3.8-6.9||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2015||January 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 249||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX610||Canon XSi|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||4272 x 2848 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||5.19 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||3.70 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 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 SX610||Canon XSi|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX610||Canon XSi|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||3.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-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 SX610||Canon XSi|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon SX610||Canon XSi|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||270 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
105 x 61 x 27 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||191 g (6.7 oz)||524 g (18.5 oz)|
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