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Canon XC10 versus Sony A6500

The Canon XC10 and the Sony Alpha A6500 are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2015 and October 2016. The XC10 is a fixed lens compact, while the A6500 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (XC10) and an APS-C (A6500) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon XC10 vs Sony A6500

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon XC10 and the Sony A6500. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the XC10 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon XC10 vs Sony A6500
Compare XC10 versus A6500 top
Compare XC10 and A6500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6500 is considerably smaller (37 percent) than the Canon XC10. It is noteworthy in this context that the A6500 is splash and dust-proof, while the XC10 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the XC10 has a lens build in, whereas the A6500 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the A6500 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon XC10» 4.9 in 4.0 in 4.8 in 36.7 oz .. n Apr 2015 2,499- i
Sony A6500« 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.1 in 16.0 oz 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i
Leica X Typ 113« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Olympus PEN-F« » 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.5 in 15.1 oz 330 n Jan 2016 1,199 i i
Panasonic GX8« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i
Sony A9« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Sony A6300« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 14.3 oz 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i
Sony A7« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.7 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon XC10 vs Sony A6500

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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XC10 features an one-inch sensor and the Sony A6500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A6500 is 198 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.75 and 1.5. The sensor in the XC10 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A6500 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon XC10 and Sony A6500 sensor measures

With 24MP, the A6500 offers a higher resolution than the XC10 (12MP), but the A6500 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.20μm for the XC10) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A6500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the XC10, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

XC10 versus A6500 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon XC10» 1-inch 12.0 4000 30004K/30p----
Sony A6500« APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
Olympus PEN-F« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Canon XC10 vs Sony A6500

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A6500 has an electronic viewfinder (2300k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XC10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon XC10 and Sony A6500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon XC10»- n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 2000 3.8 n Y
Sony A6500«2300 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 11.0 Y Y
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Olympus PEN-F« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y
Sony A6300« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n

The A6500 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the XC10 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the XC10 was succeeded by the Canon XC20.

Review summary: Canon XC10 vs Sony A6500

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon XC10 better than the Sony A6500 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon XC10:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1030k vs 922k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the A6500 requires a separate lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2015).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A6500:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 44%.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 125x102mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 5 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6500 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 3 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.

XC10 03:10 A6500

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the XC10 and the A6500 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon XC10»-80/100--- Apr 2015 2,499- i
Sony A6500«HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Olympus PEN-F« »-82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199 i i
Panasonic GX8« »Rec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i
Sony A9« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Sony A6300« »Rec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i
Sony A7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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