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Canon XS vs Sony RX100

The Canon EOS Rebel XS (called Canon 1000D in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2008 and June 2012. The XS is a DSLR, while the RX100 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (XS) and an one-inch (RX100) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon XS
versus
Sony RX100
Canon XS   Sony RX100
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
no Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-800 (100 - 1,600) ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 25,600)
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
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 10 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge330 shots per battery charge
126 x 98 x 65 mm, 502 g 102 x 58 x 36 mm, 240 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-RX100? 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 XS and the Sony RX100 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon XS vs Sony RX100
Compare XS versus RX100 top
Comparison XS or RX100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 is considerably smaller (52 percent) than the Canon XS. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XS nor the RX100 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX100 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 RX100 can take 330 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX100 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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 XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
2.
 
Sony RX100 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 240 g 330 n Jun 2012 649i
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 G9 X Mark II 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i
6.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
7.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
8.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
10.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
12.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
13.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
14.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
15.
 
Sony RX100 III 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799i
16.
 
Sony RX10 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299i
17.
 
Sony RX100 II 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 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 RX100 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 is 65 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.7. 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 RX100 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the RX100 offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the XS. 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 2.41μm versus 5.71μm for the XS). However, it should be noted that the RX100 is much more recent (by 3 years and 11 months) than the XS, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Sony RX100 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX100 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 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-RX100 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

XS versus RX100 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 RX100 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066
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 G9 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
6.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
7.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
8.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p19.210.522537
10.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
11.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p19.010.314435
12.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
13.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
14.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
15.
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
16.
 
Sony RX10 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469
17.
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
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 RX100 indeed provides for movie recording, while the XS does not. The highest resolution format that the RX100 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the XS has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX100 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 XS, the Sony RX100, 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 XSoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Sony RX100none n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
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 G9 X Mark IInone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 8.2 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon SX20202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
10.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
11.
 
Canon SX10202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
12.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
13.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
14.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
16.
 
Sony RX101440 Y3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
17.
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

The XS writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the RX100 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-RX100 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 RX100-stereo / mono--micro2.0---
3.
 
Canon T7Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon G9 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX20Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX10Ystereo / mono---2.0---
12.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Sony RX100 III-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony RX10Ystereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-
17.
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the XS has a hotshoe, while the RX100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the XS and the RX100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, while the RX100 was followed by the Sony RX100 II. 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 the Canon XS better than the Sony RX100 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XS:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2008).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 41%.
  • 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 (10 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 (102x58mm 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.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 11 months of technical progress since the XS launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX100 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 6 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 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.

XS 06:11 RX100

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XS and the Sony RX100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom 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 RX100 perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 RX1005/5+ +..78/1004/55/5 Jun 2012 649i
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 G9 X Mark II4/5..4/575/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i
6.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
7.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
8.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon SX20..+ +..73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
10.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon SX10..+ +......4/5 Sep 2008 399i
12.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
13.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
14.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
15.
 
Sony RX100 III5/5+ +..82/1004.5/55/5 May 2014 799i
16.
 
Sony RX105/5+..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299i
17.
 
Sony RX100 II5/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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 RX100:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon XS vs Sony RX100

    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 RX100
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9
    Launch Date June 2008 June 2012
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 649
    Sensor Specs Canon XS Sony RX100
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 800 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 390
    Screen Specs Canon XS Sony RX100
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    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 RX100
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 10 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 RX100
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XS Sony RX100
    Battery Type LP-E5 NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge330 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)
    102 x 58 x 36 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 502 g (17.7 oz) 240 g (8.5 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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