Nikon D70s vs Canon SX50
The Nikon D70s and the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2005 and September 2012. The D70s is a DSLR, while the SX50 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D70s) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 12 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Nikon D70s||Canon SX50|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Nikon F mount lenses||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5|
|6 MP, APS-C Sensor||12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|no Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO 200-1600||ISO 80-6400|
|Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)|
|2.0" LCD, 130k dots||3.0" LCD, 461k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||2.2 shutter flaps per second|
|500 shots per battery charge||315 shots per battery charge|
|140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g||123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D70s vs Canon SX50
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D70s and the Canon SX50. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX50 is considerably smaller (31 percent) than the Nikon D70s. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D70s nor the SX50 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX50 has a lens built in, whereas the D70s 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 D70s and their specifications in the Nikon 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.
|Nikon D70s»||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||500||n||Apr 2005||899||-||Nikon D70s|
|Canon SX50«||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.1 in||7.7 oz||230||n||Aug 2013||449||-||Canon S120|
|Canon G15« »||4.2 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.4 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||499||-||Canon G15|
|Canon Rebel« »||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D5500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5100« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.8 oz||660||n||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000« »||5.0 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||20.8 oz||510||n||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40« »||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||470||n||Nov 2006||499||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||21.9 oz||400||n||Apr 2005||749||-||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70« »||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||n||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
|Nikon D100« »||5.7 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||27.5 oz||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999||-||Nikon D100|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||410||n||Aug 2011||499||-||Panasonic FZ150|
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. The SX50 was launched at a lower price than the D70s, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Nikon D70s vs Canon SX50
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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D70s features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX50 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX50 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the D70s has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX50 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX50 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the D70s. 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 1.53μm versus 7.85μm for the D70s). However, it should be noted that the SX50 is much more recent (by 7 years and 4 months) than the D70s, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The Nikon D70s has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Nikon D70s»||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70s|
|Canon SX50«||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||20.3||11.2||179||47||Canon SX50|
|Canon SX60« »||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.3||11.9||246||56||Canon S120|
|Canon G15« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||19.9||11.5||165||46||Canon G15|
|Canon Rebel« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5100« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.5||13.6||1183||80||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||868||72||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||21.0||11.0||561||56||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.9||10.8||560||55||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70|
|Nikon D100« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D100|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.4||10.9||132||40||Panasonic FZ150|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The SX50 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D70s does not. The highest resolution format that the SX50 can use is 1080/24p.
Feature comparison: Nikon D70s vs Canon SX50
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX50 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the D70s has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D70s, the Canon SX50, and comparable cameras.
|Nikon D70s»||optical||n||2.0||130||fixed||n||8000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70s|
|Canon SX50«||202||n||3.0||461||swivel||n||2000||2.2||Y||Y||Canon SX50|
|Canon SX60« »||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||2000||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||-||n||3.0||922||fixed||Y||2000||12.1||Y||Y||Canon S120|
|Canon G15« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||2.1||Y||Y||Canon G15|
|Canon Rebel« »||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D5500« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5100« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000« »||optical||n||2.7||230||full-flex||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||optical||n||2.0||130||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70« »||optical||n||1.8||130||fixed||n||8000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70|
|Nikon D100« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D100|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||2000||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ150|
The D70s writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the SX50 uses SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D70s vs Canon SX50
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 Nikon D70s and Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D70s»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70s|
|Canon SX50«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon SX60« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon S120|
|Canon G15« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G15|
|Canon Rebel« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D5500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5100« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70|
|Nikon D100« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Nikon D100|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ150|
Both the D70s and the SX50 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D70s was replaced by the Nikon D80, while the SX50 was followed by the Canon SX60. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Nikon and Canon websites.
Review summary: Nikon D70s vs Canon SX50
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D70s or the Canon SX50 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D70s:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 315) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2005).
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 38%.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 130k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D70s requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (123x87mm vs 140x111mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D70s).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D70s launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX50 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 7 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D70s or the SX50 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: Nikon D70s vs Canon SX50
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Nikon D70s»||-||-||-||o||5/5||Apr 2005||899||-||Nikon D70s|
|Canon SX50«||++||72/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon SX60« »||++||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||+||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||++||-||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449||-||Canon S120|
|Canon G15« »||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499||-||Canon G15|
|Canon Rebel« »||-||++||-||o||-||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D5500« »||+||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||++||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5100« »||++||76/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000« »||++||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40« »||81/100||++||o||5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2006||499||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||+||++||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||78/100||++||4/5||o||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749||-||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70« »||-||++||-||o||-||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
|Nikon D100« »||-||++||o||o||-||Feb 2002||1,999||-||Nikon D100|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||++||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499||-||Panasonic FZ150|
|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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 77D vs Canon G7 X Mark II
- Canon 800D vs Sony RX100 IV
- Canon 80D vs Panasonic TZ100
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Pentax 645Z
- Leica M Typ 262 vs Nikon D750
- Nikon D610 vs Nikon D5000
- Nikon D750 vs Nikon D200
- Nikon D850 vs Pentax K-70
- Olympus E-M5 II vs Leica CL
- Olympus E-P1 vs Olympus E-M10
- Panasonic GX850 vs Sony A5100
- Sony HX400V vs Canon G9 X Mark II
Specifications: Nikon D70s vs Canon SX50
|Camera Model||Nikon D70s||Canon SX50|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||April 2005||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 429|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D70s||Canon SX50|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||6.17 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3008 x 2000 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.85 μm||1.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.63 MP/cm2||42.74 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-1600 ISO||80-6400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||50||47|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.4||20.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.3||11.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||529||179|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D70s||Canon SX50|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||130k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D70s||Canon SX50|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||2.2 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D70s||Canon SX50|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon D70s||Canon SX50|
|Battery Type||EN-EL3a power pack||NB-10L power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||315 shots per charge|
140 x 111 x 78 mm
(5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
123 x 87 x 106 mm
(4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
|Camera Weight||679 g (24.0 oz)||595 g (21.0 oz)|
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