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Canon SX610 vs XT

The Canon PowerShot SX610 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel XT (labelled Canon 350D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2015 and February 2005. The SX610 is a fixed lens compact, while the XT is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX610) and an APS-C (XT) sensor. The SX610 has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the XT provides 8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX610 versus Canon XT
Canon SX610 Canon XT
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
25-450mm f/3.8-6.9 Canon EF mount lenses
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 8 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 100-1,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 1.8 LCD, 115k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
270 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
105 x 61 x 27 mm, 191 g 127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel XT? 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 SX610 and the Canon XT are illustrated 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX610 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the XT is available in two color-versions (black, silver).

Size Canon SX610 vs Canon XT
Compare SX610 versus XT top
Comparison SX610 or XT rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XT is considerably larger (86 percent) than the Canon SX610. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX610 nor the XT 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 XT 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 XT and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX610 gets 270 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the XT can take 400 images on a single charge of its NB-2LH power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249i
2.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
5.
 
Canon SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
6.
 
Canon SX620 97 mm 57 mm 28 mm 182 g 295 n May 2016 279 i
7.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
8.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
9.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
10.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
11.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
12.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
13.
 
Canon SX600 104 mm 61 mm 26 mm 188 g 290 n Jan 2014 249i
14.
 
Canon SX400 104 mm 69 mm 80 mm 313 g 190 n Jul 2014 249i
15.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
16.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
17.
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 XT, 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 XT an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the XT 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 XT offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the SX610 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the XT (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX610 and Canon XT sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX610 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 8 MP of the Canon XT. 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 6.41μm for the XT). However, it should be noted that the SX610 is much more recent (by 9 years and 10 months) than the XT, 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 XT are 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for good quality, 13.8 x 9.2 inches or 35.1 x 23.4 cm for very good quality, and 11.5 x 7.7 inches or 29.3 x 19.5 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 XT are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

SX610 versus XT MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.

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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
1.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
2.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
4.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
5.
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
6.
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
7.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
8.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
9.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
10.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
11.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
12.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
13.
 
Canon SX600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
14.
 
Canon SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
15.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
16.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
17.
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........

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 XT does not. The highest resolution format that the SX610 can use is 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the XT 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX610, the Canon XT, 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
1.
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
2.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX540none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX620none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
8.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
9.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
13.
 
Canon SX600none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 3.9 Y Y
14.
 
Canon SX400none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
15.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

The SX610 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XT uses Compact Flash cards.

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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 SX610 HS and Canon EOS Rebel XT 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
1.
 
Canon SX610-----micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX620-monomono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
12.
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Canon SX600-monomono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Canon SX400-stereomono---2.0---
15.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
16.
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
17.
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the SX610 offers wifi support, while the XT does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX610 and the XT have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XT was replaced by the Canon Xti, 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.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX610 and the Canon XT? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 8MP) with a 56% 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 II).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 115k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the XT requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (105x61mm vs 127x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the XT).
  • 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 10 months of technical progress since the XT launch.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XT:

  • 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 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 (400 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 February 2005).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX610 emerges as the winner of the contest (14 : 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 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.

SX610 14:12 XT

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX610 and the Canon XT 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX610 and the XT in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX610......4/54/5 Jan 2015 249i
2.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
5.
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 i
6.
 
Canon SX620........4/5 May 2016 279 i
7.
 
Canon SX720..+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
8.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
9.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
10.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
11.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279i
12.
 
Canon SX710..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
13.
 
Canon SX600..+..4/54/5 Jan 2014 249i
14.
 
Canon SX400..+...... Jul 2014 249i
15.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
16.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
17.
 
Sony H300..+..4.5/54/5 Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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 SX610:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XT:
Check Ebay offers

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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX610 vs Canon XT

    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 SX610 Canon XT
    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 February 2005
    Launch Price USD 249 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Canon SX610 Canon XT
    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 20.2 Megapixels 8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 3456 x 2304 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 6.41 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 2.42 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 II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 60
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 637
    Screen Specs Canon SX610 Canon XT
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 1.8inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 115k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX610 Canon XT
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX610 Canon XT
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX610 Canon XT
    Battery Type NB-6LH NB-2LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)270 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 105 x 61 x 27 mm
    (4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
    127 x 94 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 191 g (6.7 oz) 540 g (19.0 oz)

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