Canon PowerShot SX60 HS vs SX50 vs SX520 vs Nikon P600

September 22, 2014

Superzoom photo of lion eating meat

In this article I’ll compare four superzoom cameras, the newly announced Canon Sx60 HS versus the SX50 HS (older model which the SX60 replaces), PowerShot SX520 and Nikon P600. If you are shopping for a new superzoom and focus on one of Canon’s finest ultrazooms and also looked at the Nikon P600, this comparison is definitely the perfect one for you. I’m pretty sure that by the end of this article, you’ll be familiar with the differences between the SX60, SX50 and SX520, and you’ll be able to make your final buying decision — so let’s get started.

I will start with a short introduction to each of the cameras and then continue to the comparison section.

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

Canon SX60 HS

Canon SX60 HS ultrazoom

Announced on September 15 2014, the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS is as of the time of writing, Canon’s latest superzoom/bridge camera This camera updated on the SX50 HS which was announced on September 17 2012,  two years ago. The SX50 HS was and still is a very popular travel camera. After two years, it’s certainly time to update this camera, as even at the SX50 HS time of launch, in was in some aspects behind the competition.  Image quality wide, the no other superzoom was able to beat the SX50 HS, and that’s one reason why so many photographers bought this camera.

The PowerShot SX60 HS was improved in many positive ways. It features a 16.1 (effective) megapixel sensor and Canon’s latest Digic 6 image processor. That’s quite a big leap from the SX50 12-megapixels, considering Canon’s intention to keep the resolution low and use larger pixels in order to promote a better image quality. The sensor size stayed the same, a 1/2.3″ (6.17×4.55mm), but it’s expected considering the huge 65x optical zoom of the SX60 lens.

Speaking about the lens, Canon did upgrade the lens, and it’s one of my personal favorite updated on the SX60. It’s now a 21-1365mm F3.4-6.5  (focal length in 35mm equivalent) lens, so it has a bigger zoom than its predecessor, but most important is that it features a 21mm equivalent wide-angle focal length. This is a very wide angle, allowing to capture more parts of the scene both horizontally and vertically, great for landscapes, indoors, group shots, etc.

For comparison, let’s take a look at the wide-angle of other popular superzooms:

  • Canon SX50 HS, Canon SX520 HS, Nikon P600, Nikon P510, Fujifilm S1, HX50V: 24mm
  • Panasonic FZ200: 25mm
  • Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72: 20mm

A short glimpse of some of the most popular superzooms shows us that most of them have a 24mm focal length at the wide-end, with the FZ70 the only model that actually have a wider angle than the SX60, and the widest angle of any superzoom camera on the market to date.

A 21mm equivalent lens will give you a 79° horizontal and 63° vertical field of view, compared to 24mm which gives you 71.6° horizontal and 56.8° vertical field of view, this is a significant difference that will allow you to capture unique wide angle shot and become more creative with your camera.  This is something that you don’t get to enjoy on any smartphone camera, and the combination of an interchangeable lens with that FOV and camera body is much more expensive — superb feature for your next travel camera.

The SX60 also uses Canon’s optical image stabilization like its predecessor. The SX60 HS has a bigger lens and an overall bigger body. Lets take a look at the differences between the SX50 and SX60.

SX60 vs SX50 – Differences, What’s Changed?

Here’s a list of the differences between the Canon SX60 HS and its predecessor, the SX50 HS.

Sensor Resolution16.01 megapixels12.1 megapixels
Pixel Size~1.32 microns~1.54 microns
Lens21-1365 mm
65x optical zoom
24-1200 mm
50x optical zoom
ISO100 - 640080 - 6400
Exposure Compensation
±2 stops in 1/3-stop increments ±3 stops in 1/3-stop increments
Number of WB Settings12

Added Multi-area white balance and White balance correction
Continuous Shooting6.3 fps2.2 fps

13 fps in High-Speed burst HQ
Video Recording
(highest resolution)
1080p 60*/30 fps

*60p progressive frames
1080p60 24 fps
Battery Life (CIPA)340 shots315 shots
Dimensions128 x 93 x 114 mm (5.04 x 3.66 x 4.49″)123 x 87 x 106 mm (4.84 x 3.43 x 4.17″)
Weight650 g (1.43 lb / 22.93 oz)595 g (1.31 lb / 20.99 oz)
ProcessorDIGIC 6DIGIC 5
Built-in WirelessWi-Fi / NFCN/A

*Enhanced ergonomic design over it's predecessor both front for the hand and back for the thumb
Front DialYesN/A
Mic InputYes (3.5mm)No
Thumb WheelN/A

(use the top dial instead, better)

We cal clearly see that for extra $150 (difference in price between the SX60 and SX50, with the SX60 being more expensive) you get more in return, including higher resolution, bigger zoom, improved AF speed, better viewfinder, wider lens, larger LCD with higher resolution, faster burst, more video recording function (inc. 60p Full HD), new sensor with faster new-gen processor, improved grip, front-dial and mic input in most part. In my opinion that’s a very nice update.

Unfortunately, the SX60 doesn’t offer a faster optics and I personally would have preferred that Canon would have chosen to stay with the same resolution as the SX50 (= larger pixels).

I was quite surprised that Canon has decided not to release this camera a year ago. If I remember right, this is the first time we see this camera skipped a year. That aside, I think that Canon did improve in areas that expected from it, but as I mentioned, many people wanted a faster lens to compete well against some other superzooms, and that’s my main complain with this new camera. I had a change to shoot a lot with the SX50 HS and loved this camera so much. Image quality is excellent, it’s relatively compact and lightweight and fund to shoot with, the perfect travel camera for me.

The SX60 will have hard time to compete against some of the fast lens super-zoom lenses, but it’s important to understand that those cameras do have shorter zoom range to maintain a smaller cameras size and lower price. Ir certainly in a different category than cameras like the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III. I think that people expected Canon to use a faster lens in its superzoom flagship after seeing Panasonic launching the FZ70 with a 20-1200mm (60x zoom) F2.8-5.9 lens — if Panasonic can do it, can’t Canon do it?

I thought about it for a few moments and I think that Canon focused in making the lens with a bigger zoom while still maintaining a compact camera size, as well as relatively low price. If it had to go with a faster aperture at the wide-end (f/2.8), this would make the camera bigger (for the same optical zoom) and obviously much more expensive.  So that was a compromise, and I think that the target audience will prefer a bigger zoom and more compact body than a slightly faster lens – although I might be wrong here, but that’s just a hunch.

SX60 vs SX520 vs P600

Now that you understand the key differences between the SX60 and SX50, it’s time to see how the Canon SX60HS compared to two other excellent superzooms, the Nikon P600 and Canon PowerShot SX520. I know that making a decision can be sometimes hard and frustrating and over-analyzing  stuff can be very time consuming. I hope that the following side by side comparison table with my side notes will help you out.

I recommend emphasizing on the features that are the most important for your type of shooting style. For example, if you intend to but a superzoom camera for your next trip to Berlin for example and you care most about the lens attributes, focus on that and try to eliminate cameras that doesn’t fall into your specific needs, stay with those that do. Than do the same to the less important features until you have a winning camera in your hand.

Canon SX60 HS, SX520 HS and Nikon P600 size comparison

Canon SX60 HS, SX520 HS and Nikon P600 size comparison (via

SX60 HSSX520 HSP600
AnnouncedSeptember 15, 2014July 29, 2014February 7, 2014
Camera TypeBridge SuperzoomCompact SuperzoomBridge Superzoom
1/2.3-inch (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
(written as CMOS on some website, but on it says back-illuminated CMOS)
1/2.3-inch (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
1/2.3-inch (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Pixel Size
approx. 1.34 micronsapprox. 1.34 micronsapprox. 1.34 microns
Image ProcessorDIGIC 6

ISAPS technology
(improved AF speed based on previously stored scenes in a database inside the camera)
All three cameras feature the same maximum image resolution of 4608x3072 pixels and the same sensor size and sensor type.

It's interesting to see how the three performs in lab test considering very close sensor specs.

The SX60 uses a much more advanced new-generation sensor that improved in almost every aspect over the DIGIC 4+, including better noise reduction algorithms, faster processing power, aberration reduction, better sharpness algorithms and video performance.
LensCanon 21-1365mm (equiv.)
F3.4-6.5 aperture
65x optical zoom

Canon Optical Image Stabilization
Canon 24-1008mm (equiv.)
F3.4-6.0 aperture
42x optical zoom

Canon Optical Image Stabilization
Nikkor 24-1440mm (equiv.)
F3.3-6.5 aperture
60x optical zoom

Nikon VR lens-shift optical image stabilization
The SX60 features a brand new lens design with bigger zoom than the SX50 HS and a wider field of view at the wide-end.

21mm is significantly wider than the 24mm of the SX520 HS and P600. This allows you to capture more creative shots as ultra wide angle lenses give a different perspective and also allows more parts of the scene to be seen in the frame, great for landscapes, interiors, architectural, group shots, etc.

The SX60 is slightly slower at the wide-angle and slower than the SX520 at the tele-end, but it's not a big difference.

The SX60 HS also has better reach than the SX520 HS, so you can get closer to the subjects without walking towards it, but it has slightly less reach than the P600 (1365mm vs 1440 mm).

I in no doubt favor the SX60 HS for its 21mm, as at the tele-end the difference is certainly negligible compared to the P600.

Both Canons also enjoy a "Frame assist" feature with a button on the lens that saves the previous set focus, allowing you to zoom out searching for the subject in case you lost it, and in a press of a button zoom back where you were before. Neat feature that you don't have on the P600.
Macro Focus Range0cm0cm1cm
AF systemContrast-detect
9 AF points

Manual focus available
9 AF points

Manual focus available

Manual focus available
Shutter Speed15- 1/2000 sec15- 1/2000 sec15 - 1/4000 sec
The P600 feature twice as fast maximum shutter speed which helps to better freeze the action when shooting fast moving subjects. Great for shooting sports, birds, kids running. 1/2000 sec can do that job well, but sometimes you might feel that you get a blurry subject when 1/2000 sec is not fast enough (rarely for the amateur photographer I assume).

It also gives the camera more playing room to automatically adjust the exposure.
Vari-angle LCD (can face forward)
100% coverage
Fixed (not tiltable)
100% coverage
Vari-angle (can face forward)
100% coverage

Anti-reflective coating
The SX 520 is behind the other camera because it lacks an articulating arm for the screen and it has a lower-resolution panel.

I think that many people who buy these camera would love to have a tiltable display, especially one that has a 180 degrees articulating display that helps shooting selfied, so you can see how you look before capturing the image - the P600 and SX60 HS has it, the SX520 doesn't.

It's also improved the overall user experience when using a screen with higher resolution, as the camera manufacturer can put more info on the screen and it's more enjoyable watching photos and videos on a large screen, also helps to check focus and sharpness of images.

You'll also enjoy composing your videos with an articulating screen than a fixed screen.

For stills, it helps to compose high and low-angle shots and the same works for video recording.

So all in all, having an articulating display is a useful feature to have. Especially for cameras that don't have a very high-quality / high-res viewfinder or doesn't have an EVF at all, and that's the case of the SX520.
ViewfinderElectronic Viewfinder
Not AvailableElectronic Viewfinder
It's great to see that Canon equipped the PowerShot SX60 HS with a high-res LCD. I's not very high, but much better than the 201K one of of the P600, and will give you sharper view of the scene. This is especially useful for people who love composing their shots via the eye-level viewfinder than the rear LCD when shooting stills, and it's easier to compose your shot in bright daylight, as you get better visibility compared to the rear LCD.
Full Manual ControlYesYesYes
Built-in FlashPop-up (5.5m)Pop-up (5.5m)Pop-up (7.5m)
Burst Shooting Speed6.4 fps1.6 fps

10 fps in High-Speed burst (lock focus in first frame, not good for moving subjects that move forward or back from the camera)
7.0 fps

(up to 7 sequence shots)
Exposure Compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
RAW12bit RAWNot availableNot available
One of the two features that enthusiast will love about the SX60 HS is that it feature both a hot-shoe for connecting an external flash and also support raw shooting mode (digital negative), the SX520 and P600 doesn't have those two features.

Having the ability to shoot RAW can help you make your photos looks better by utilizing the processing power of your home computer and better algorithms to process the image. You can then apply any settings later, like White Balance, Sharpness, etc - and not rely on the camera to apply it in a destructive way.

If you love editing your photos in photo editing software, you'll love this Raw feature, although the file size is considerably larger and takes processing in order to view on your computer. You do have the option to shoot at RAW+JPEG mode so the camera captures both, but again, it takes much more room on the memory card, so it can fill up pretty fast (depends on its size of course and how much you shoot).
Video Recording
MP4 H.264


Super slow-motion
640x480 120 fps
320x240 240 fps

Miniature effect
720p 6/3/1.5 fps
480p 6/3/1.5 fps

Digest movie

MOV H.264


Miniature effect
720p 6/3/1.5 fps
480p 6/3/1.5 fps

Slow motion possible on the computer

MP4 H.264
480p 120/30

External Mic InputYes (3.5mm)NoNo
The SX60 leads the pack with 1080p 60 fps (progressive frames, not interlaced as the P600 - which means better quality videos at 60 fps), it has super-fast slow motion and a 3.5mm mic input. A clear winner in the video category. Video quality not compared though, but I assume that the SX60 won't disappoint.
Battery Life (CIPA)340 shots

NB-10L battery
210 shots

N8-6LH battery
330 shots

EN-EL23 battery
Dimensions128 x 93 x 114 mm (5.04 x 3.66 x 4.49″)120 x 82 x 92 mm (4.72 x 3.23 x 3.62″)125 x 85 x 107 mm (4.92 x 3.35 x 4.21″)
Weight650 g (1.43 lb / 22.93 oz)441 g (0.97 lb / 15.56 oz)565 g (1.25 lb / 19.93 oz)
The SX520 is the smallest among the three but it's not pocketable either. It might be easier to put it in a women carrying bag than the other two, but I think that you should based your buying decision on that factor along, as you won't be able to put it in your pocket anyway.
WirelessWi-Fi / NFC

(sharing/remote shooting using your mobile device on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Google Drive, printing with a wireless printer, uploading/backup images )
The SX60 also leads here with both WiFi and NFC. NFC allows easier binding by just touching your camera with your mobile phone or tablet device. With just Wi-Fi it's slightly more complicated.

You can use
Built-in GPSNoNoNo
Built-in HDRYes

(3 exposures)

(3 exposures)

(2 exposures)


The Canon PowerShot Sx60 is certainly the most attractive camera among the three, but the most expensive one too. It costs around $150 than the SX520 and $120 than the P600. You need to ask yourself if you are willing to pay extra for this camera in order to enjoy its more advanced features. The SX60 HS has the biggest zoom among the three with 21mm ultra wide-angle lens, high-res LCD and by far the best viewfinder experience. It’s the only camera among the three to offer RAW and have a hot-shoe connector, it offers the most versatile video recording functions and 1080p60 (progressive) video recording mode. It has a very good battery life, front-top dial, best of the three and the only one with WiFi plus NFC and you can even attach filter adapter and lens hoods to optimize your results in the field and become even more creative with your camera.

On the downside, it lacks built-in GPS, but neither offer that. It’s larger than the other cameras, but as I mentioned, the difference is not big and none of the cameras is pocketable either, you’ll need a camera bag anyway — and it’s more expensive.

In my opinion, the SX60 is one of the best superzooms this year, and the one that I highly recommend. That said, I hope that Canon will release a new version next year with a faster lens.  The SX520 is more affordable, smaller, has a smaller zoom range, inferior battery life but all in all it’s a very good camera for its price. Let’s not forget that the Canon SX510 was one of Canon’s most popular superzooms, and people love it because of its small size, great advanced controls, manual focusing, big zoom and the excellent image quality. So if you are on a tighter budget, the SX520 is an excellent alternative to the SX60 HS, and a great camera in its own right.

The Nikon P600 has also gotten very positive reviews and it’s a very versatile camera, and probably a good choice for those who can’t give up on an articulating display and EVF (both are missing on the SX520) and built-in wireless networking capability. BTW, None of the three cameras have a touchscreen. So in some aspects, the P600 wins against the SX520 and it’s only $30 more expensive (the last time I checked). So the P600 is certainly a good option as well. So do your own calculations whether the SX520 is the right camera for you. The SX520 will certainly have inner competition from its predecessor, because the SX510 HS sells for almost half the price – something to keep in mind if you are on a limited budget.

Remember, you are not buying a camera everyday, and if this is your primary camera, I think that you’ll enjoy better shooting with the SX60 HS and it might worth the extra money your pay for it. I would buy the SX60 HS mainly for its 21mm focal length, big zoom, 1080p60 video recording, great ergonomic design and front dial and wireless capability.

What’s your opinion, have questions.. don’t hesitate and drop me a question in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and please don’t forget to LIKE this article and our Facebook page to get updated when a new comparison article is published.

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  • Steve

    Would you say the canon sx60 have better image quality than the sx50 or the sx50 maybe a better low light performer. If you already have a sx50 would the sx60 be really an upgrade? It sounds like the older sx50 still competes well against all the other models – Nikon p600, 520, sx520

    • cameradebate

      Hi Steve,
      First of all the image quality is still in question as the camera will ship on October 20th. For many people, the SX50 HS is still an excellent alternative for a cheaper price. It really comes to individual preferences. I personally would get the SX60 HS everyday for its RAW shooting support, better EVF, better rear LCD and 21mm focal length, that alone has convinced me to upgrade.

      But again, this is my opinion and the features that convinced me to upgrade from my SX50 HS, especially the 21mm wide-angle to be honest.

      So in general the SX50 HS does compete well if the added features are not of high importance to your personal shooting habits. So for me it’s certainly worth it, for you it might not.

      Any other question, I’m here to answer.

      • Steve

        How does the Nikon p600 compare with the canon sx50 in image quality?

        • cameradebate

          Hey there.

          The SX50 HS has much better high ISO performance than the P600, i would say about 2EV steps. The dynamic range is also better. The P600 produced sharper images due to stronger in-camera sharpening (based on my observation), stronger contrast and higher saturated colors.

          Up to ISO 200 (included), it’s hard to notice any noise on both cameras. Starting from ISO 400 you can see that the P600 stars to get noisy, while the SX50 still looks MUCH cleaner. So in short, SX50 HS has better image quality than the P600 in my sample image analysis, and the difference is certainly in favor of the SX50 HS (love this camera!)

          Hope that helps Steve. Any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


          • Steve

            I just bought the sx50 at an amazing price of $299 AUS. Can you sharpen up the image and increase contrast to match the Nikon P600. Would it equal the Nikon P600 in detail too. Whats the difference between dynamic range vs contrast and higher saturated colours. I am just starting to use the camera, Do you mainly shoot in auto or use other settings. The manual is so big is their a simpler summary manual or tips sheet. Sorry for all these questions. Thanks.

          • Tharindu Dananjaya

            what is the best camara?

  • David

    Like the way you present the comparision with table and mainly: the comment and explaination of these characteristics.Thanks!