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Canon SX610 vs Sony A58

The Canon PowerShot SX610 HS and the Sony Alpha SLT-A58 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2015 and February 2013. The SX610 is a fixed lens compact, while the A58 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX610) and an APS-C (A58) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 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
Sony A58
Canon SX610   Sony A58
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
25-450mm f/3.8-6.9 Sony A mount lenses
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 100-16,000 (100 - 25,600)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 2.7 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
270 shots per battery charge690 shots per battery charge
105 x 61 x 27 mm, 191 g 129 x 95 x 78 mm, 492 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS and the Sony Alpha SLT-A58? 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 Sony A58 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX610 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the A58 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX610 vs Sony A58
Compare SX610 versus A58 top
Comparison SX610 or A58 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A58 is considerably larger (91 percent) than the Canon SX610. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX610 nor the A58 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 A58 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

Concerning battery life, the SX610 gets 270 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the A58 can take 690 images on a single charge of its NP-FM500H power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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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.
 
Sony A58 129 mm 95 mm 78 mm 492 g 690 n Feb 2013 599i
3.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
4.
 
Canon SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
5.
 
Canon SX620 97 mm 57 mm 28 mm 182 g 295 n May 2016 279 i
6.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
7.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
8.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
9.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
10.
 
Canon SX600 104 mm 61 mm 26 mm 188 g 290 n Jan 2014 249i
11.
 
Canon SX400 104 mm 69 mm 80 mm 313 g 190 n Jul 2014 249i
12.
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599i
13.
 
Sony A68 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 610 g 540 n Nov 2015 699i
14.
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
15.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
16.
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
17.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX610 was launched at a lower price than the A58, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 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 Sony A58 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A58 is 1211 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 SX610 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A58 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX610 and Sony A58 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX610 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 19.8 MP of the Sony A58. 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 4.31μm for the A58). However, it should be noted that the SX610 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the A58, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. 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 Canon PowerShot SX610 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha SLT-A58 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

SX610 versus A58 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.
 
Sony A58 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.312.575374
3.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
4.
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
5.
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
6.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
7.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
8.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
9.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
10.
 
Canon SX600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
11.
 
Canon SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
12.
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
13.
 
Sony A68 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.570179
14.
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
15.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
16.
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
17.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the A58 provides a faster frame rate than the SX610. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A58 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX610, the Sony A58, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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 n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
2.
 
Sony A581440 n2.7 / 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX420none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX540none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX620none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX720none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
7.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX410none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX600none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 3.9 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX400none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
12.
 
Nikon D3200optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
13.
 
Sony A681440 Y2.7 / 460 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
14.
 
Sony A5100none n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony A60001440 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
16.
 
Sony H300none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
17.
 
Sony A3000202 n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n

The SX610 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A58 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 SX610 HS and Sony Alpha SLT-A58 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon SX610-- / ---micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Sony A58Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX420-mono / mono---2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX540-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX620-mono / mono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX720-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon G9 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX410-stereo / mono---2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX600-mono / mono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX400-stereo / mono---2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D3200Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Sony A68Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0---
14.
 
Sony A5100-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony A6000Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony H300-mono / mono--micro2.0Y--
17.
 
Sony A3000Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the SX610 offers wifi support, while the A58 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX610 and the A58 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A58 was replaced by the Sony A68, 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 and Sony websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX610 and the Sony A58? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the A58 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (105x61mm vs 129x95mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A58).
  • 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: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 10 months after the A58).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha SLT-A58:

  • 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.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (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 (690 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 on the market for longer (launched in February 2013).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A58 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 10 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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 10:15 A58

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX610 and the Sony A58 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 A58 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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX610........4/54/5 Jan 2015 249i
2.
 
Sony A583/5......4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 599i
3.
 
Canon SX420..........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
4.
 
Canon SX540............ Jan 2016 399 i
5.
 
Canon SX620..........4/5 May 2016 279 i
6.
 
Canon SX720..+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
7.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
8.
 
Canon SX410..o........ Feb 2015 279i
9.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
10.
 
Canon SX600..+....4/54/5 Jan 2014 249i
11.
 
Canon SX400..+........ Jul 2014 249i
12.
 
Nikon D32005/5+ +..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599i
13.
 
Sony A683/5......4/54/5 Nov 2015 699i
14.
 
Sony A51004.5/5+....4.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
15.
 
Sony A60005/5+4.5/580/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
16.
 
Sony H300..+....4.5/54/5 Feb 2014 219 i
17.
 
Sony A30003/5+....4/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
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
Sony A58:
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 make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX610 vs Sony A58

    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 Sony A58
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 25-450mm f/3.8-6.9 Sony A mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2015 February 2013
    Launch Price USD 249 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon SX610 Sony A58
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 4.31 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 5.41 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 16,000 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 74
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 753
    Screen Specs Canon SX610 Sony A58
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX610 Sony A58
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX610 Sony A58
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX610 Sony A58
    Battery Type NB-6LH NP-FM500H
    Battery Life (CIPA)270 shots per charge690 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 105 x 61 x 27 mm
    (4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
    129 x 95 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 191 g (6.7 oz) 492 g (17.4 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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