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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
|1.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|2.||Canon XT||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|3.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|4.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|5.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|6.||Canon SX620||97 mm||57 mm||28 mm||182 g||295||n||May 2016||279|
|7.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|8.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|9.||Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|10.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|11.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|12.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|13.||Canon SX600||104 mm||61 mm||26 mm||188 g||290||n||Jan 2014||249|
|14.||Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249|
|15.||Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|16.||Canon Rebel||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|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 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.
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.
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).
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.
| DXO |
|8.||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 XT does not. The highest resolution format that the SX610 can use is 1080/30p.
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.
|8.||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 XT uses Compact Flash 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 XT and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|8.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
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.
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.
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.
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.
|1.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|2.||Canon XT||..||80/100||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|3.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|4.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|5.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|6.||Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279|
|7.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|8.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|9.||Canon T6i||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|10.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|11.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|12.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|13.||Canon SX600||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2014||249|
|14.||Canon SX400||..||+||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|15.||Canon XTi||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|16.||Canon Rebel||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|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 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.
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.
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 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 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||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%|
|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 Life (CIPA)||270 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
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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