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Canon XS vs Sony RX1

The Canon EOS Rebel XS (called Canon 1000D in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2008 and September 2012. The XS is a DSLR, while the RX1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (XS) and a full frame (RX1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon XS
versus
Sony RX1
Canon XS   Sony RX1
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-800 (100 - 1,600) ISO 100-25,600 (50 - 102,400)
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 1229k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge270 shots per battery charge
126 x 98 x 65 mm, 502 g 113 x 65 x 70 mm, 482 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon XS and the Sony RX1. 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon XS vs Sony RX1
Compare XS versus RX1 top
Comparison XS or RX1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1 is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Canon XS. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XS nor the RX1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1 has a lens built in, whereas the XS 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 XS and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the XS gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the RX1 can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX1 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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 XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
2.
 
Sony RX1 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Sep 2012 2,799i
3.
 
Canon T7 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
4.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
8.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
10.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799i
14.
 
Sony RX1R II 113 mm 65 mm 72 mm 507 g 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 i
15.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329i
16.
 
Sony RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
17.
 
Sony NEX-7 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 400 g 430 n Aug 2011 1,349i
Notes: 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 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. 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.

Sensor comparison

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 XS features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX1 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1 is 159 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon XS and Sony RX1 sensor measures

With 24MP, the RX1 offers a higher resolution than the XS (10.1MP), but the RX1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.96μm versus 5.71μm for the XS) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX1 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 3 months) than the XS, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Sony RX1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XS are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel XS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 100-1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.

XS versus RX1 MP

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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.478364
2.
 
Sony RX1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493
3.
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p23.813.3168481
4.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
7.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p19.210.522537
8.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
9.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p19.010.314435
10.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
11.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
14.
 
Sony RX1R II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497
15.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
16.
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
17.
 
Sony NEX-7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681
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. The RX1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the XS does not. The highest resolution format that the RX1 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the XS has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the RX1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon XS and Sony RX1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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 XSoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Sony RX1optional n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T7optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon SX20202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
8.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
9.
 
Canon SX10202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
10.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D5300optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Sony RX1R II2360 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
15.
 
Sony A3000202 n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
16.
 
Sony RX1Roptional n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony NEX-72359 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n

The XS writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the RX1 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 EOS Rebel XS and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 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 XSY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Sony RX1Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T7Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX20Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
8.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX10Ystereo / mono---2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D5300Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
14.
 
Sony RX1R IIYstereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony A3000Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Sony RX1RYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
17.
 
Sony NEX-7Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---

Both the XS and the RX1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, while the RX1 was followed by the Sony RX1R. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon XS and the Sony RX1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XS:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2008).

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 54%.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the XS requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 126x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the XS).
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 3 months of technical progress since the XS launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX1 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 4 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.

XS 04:14 RX1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XS and the Sony RX1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the XS or the RX1 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. 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.

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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 XS..82/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
2.
 
Sony RX15/5....79/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799i
3.
 
Canon T7..o....3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
4.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
5.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon SX20..+ +..73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
8.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon SX10..+ +......4/5 Sep 2008 399i
10.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
14.
 
Sony RX1R II5/5....82/100..4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i
15.
 
Sony A30003/5+....4/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
16.
 
Sony RX1R5/5......4/54.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799i
17.
 
Sony NEX-75/5+ +..81/1004.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon XS:
Check Ebay offers
Sony RX1:
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 XS vs Sony RX1

    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 XS Sony RX1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
    Launch Date June 2008 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 2,799
    Sensor Specs Canon XS Sony RX1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 35.8 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 852.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 5.96 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 2.82 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 800 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 1,600 ISO 50 - 102,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 93
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 25.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 14.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 2534
    Screen Specs Canon XS Sony RX1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XS Sony RX1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon XS Sony RX1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XS Sony RX1
    Battery Type LP-E5 NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge270 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 126 x 98 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 in)
    113 x 65 x 70 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 502 g (17.7 oz) 482 g (17.0 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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