Canon SX610 vs Panasonic TZ90
The Canon PowerShot SX610 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 (labelled Panasonic ZS70 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2015 and April 2017. Both the SX610 and the TZ90 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20.2 megapixels.
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 Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90? 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 Panasonic TZ90 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 TZ90 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 Panasonic TZ90 is notably larger (17 percent) than the Canon SX610. Moreover, the TZ90 is substantially heavier (69 percent) than the SX610. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX610 nor the TZ90 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the SX610 gets 270 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the TZ90 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLG10 power pack. The power pack in the TZ90 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.||Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|3.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|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 SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|10.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|11.||Canon SX600||104 mm||61 mm||26 mm||188 g||290||n||Jan 2014||249|
|12.||Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249|
|13.||Fujifilm XF10||113 mm||64 mm||41 mm||279 g||330||n||Jul 2018||499|
|14.||Panasonic TZ95||112 mm||69 mm||42 mm||327 g||380||n||Feb 2019||449|
|15.||Panasonic FT7||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449|
|16.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|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 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 SX610 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 45 percent) than the TZ90, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around BSI-CMOS sensors.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20.2 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the SX610 and the TZ90 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the TZ90 is much more recent (by 2 years and 3 months) than the SX610, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 SX610 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|8.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the TZ90 provides a better video resolution than the SX610. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the TZ90 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX610 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX610 and Panasonic TZ90 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|8.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The TZ90 has a touchscreen, while the SX610 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The TZ90 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the SX610 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the TZ90 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Both the SX610 and the TZ90 have zoom lenses built in. The SX610 has a 25-450mm f/3.8-6.9 optic and the TZ90 offers a 24-720mm f/3.3-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Canon. The TZ90 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX610 and the TZ90 write their files to SDXC cards. The TZ90 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX610 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 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||-|
Both the SX610 and the TZ90 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX610 was replaced by the Canon SX620, while the TZ90 was followed by the Panasonic TZ95. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX610 or the Panasonic TZ90 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS:
- More compact: Is smaller (105x61mm vs 112x67mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 131g or 41 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (45 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2015).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.3 vs f/3.8).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (380 versus 270) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 3 months of technical progress since the SX610 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the TZ90 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 5 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 Panasonic TZ90 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX610 or the TZ90. 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.||Panasonic TZ90||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|3.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|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 SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|10.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|11.||Canon SX600||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2014||249|
|12.||Canon SX400||..||+||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|13.||Fujifilm XF10||..||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499|
|14.||Panasonic TZ95||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||Feb 2019||449|
|15.||Panasonic FT7||..||+||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||May 2018||449|
|16.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|17.||Sony H300||..||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2014||219|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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, 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, 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 Panasonic TZ90
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||Panasonic TZ90|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-450mm f/3.8-6.9||24-720mm f/3.3-6.4|
|Launch Date||January 2015||April 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 249||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX610||Panasonic TZ90|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+||Venus|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||36|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||19.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||106|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX610||Panasonic TZ90|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1166k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX610||Panasonic TZ90|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|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 SX610||Panasonic TZ90|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon SX610||Panasonic TZ90|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||270 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
105 x 61 x 27 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
112 x 67 x 41 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||191 g (6.7 oz)||322 g (11.4 oz)|
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