Canon SX610 vs Sony RX10
The Canon PowerShot SX610 HS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2015 and October 2013. Both the SX610 and the RX10 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX610) and an one-inch (RX10) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 20 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX610 and the Sony RX10 is provided 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX610 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the RX10 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 Sony RX10 is considerably larger (77 percent) than the Canon SX610. Moreover, the RX10 is substantially heavier (326 percent) than the SX610. It is noteworthy in this context that the RX10 is splash and dust-proof, while the SX610 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
Concerning battery life, the SX610 gets 270 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the RX10 can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the RX10 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. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony RX10||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX620||97 mm||57 mm||28 mm||182 g||295||n||May 2016||279||amazon.com|
|6.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G3 X||123 mm||77 mm||105 mm||733 g||300||Y||Jun 2015||999||amazon.com|
|8.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon SX600||104 mm||61 mm||26 mm||188 g||290||n||Jan 2014||249||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199||ebay.com|
|14.||Nikon D7100||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony H300||128 mm||89 mm||92 mm||590 g||350||n||Feb 2014||219||ebay.com|
|Note: 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 markedly lower price (by 81 percent) than the RX10, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. 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. 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. 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 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 Sony RX10 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX10 is 314 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.7. The sensor in the SX610 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX10 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX610 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 20 MP of the Sony RX10. 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 2.41μm for the RX10). However, it should be noted that the SX610 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the RX10, 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 Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.
|7.||Canon G3 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63|
|8.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the RX10 provides a faster frame rate than the SX610. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX10 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX610 and Sony RX10 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon SX610||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.5/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony RX10||1440||Y||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX420||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX540||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX620||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.5/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G3 X||optional||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon SX410||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon SX600||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.9/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon SX400||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/1600s||0.8/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Canon 70D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon D7100||optical||Y||3.2 / 1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Panasonic FZ1000||2359||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||14.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony H300||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/1500s||0.8/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that is present on the RX10, but is missing on the SX610 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
Both the SX610 and the RX10 have zoom lenses built in. The SX610 has a 25-450mm f/3.8-6.9 optic and the RX10 offers a 24-200mm f/2.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Canon, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX10 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The SX610 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX10 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The RX10 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon SX610||-||- / -||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Sony RX10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon SX420||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon SX540||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon SX620||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon G3 X||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon SX410||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon SX600||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Canon SX400||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon 70D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Nikon D7100||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic FZ1000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony H300||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the RX10 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The SX610 does not feature such a mic input.
Both the SX610 and the RX10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The RX10 was replaced by the Sony RX10 II, while the SX610 was followed by the Canon SX620. Further information on the features and operation of the SX610 and RX10 can be found, respectively, in the Canon SX610 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony RX10 Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX610 or the Sony RX10 – 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:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More compact: Is smaller (105x61mm vs 129x88mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 622g or 77 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (81 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 2 months after the RX10).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10:
- 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 (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 922k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.8).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 270) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2013).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 is the clear winner of the contest (22 : 6 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 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 Sony RX10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX610 and the RX10 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
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], 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.
|1.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony RX10||5/5||+||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279||amazon.com|
|6.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G3 X||3.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999||amazon.com|
|8.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon SX600||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2014||249||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon SX400||..||+||..||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon 70D||5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199||ebay.com|
|14.||Nikon D7100||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic FZ1000||4/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony H300||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2014||219||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon SX610 vs Sony RX10
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||Sony RX10|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-450mm f/3.8-6.9||24-200mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||January 2015||October 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 249||USD 1,299|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX610||Sony RX10|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||125 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||69|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||474|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX610||Sony RX10|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX610||Sony RX10|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/3200s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX610||Sony RX10|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX610||Sony RX10|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||270 shots per charge||420 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)
129 x 88 x 102 mm
(5.1 x 3.5 x 4.0 in)
|Camera Weight||191 g (6.7 oz)||813 g (28.7 oz)|
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