Canon PowerShot SX30 IS vs. Canon PowerShot SX500 IS

Comparison

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PowerShot SX30 IS image
vs
PowerShot SX500 IS image
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Canon PowerShot SX500 IS
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Megapixels
14.10
16.00
Max. image resolution
4320 x 3240
4608 x 3456

Sensor

Sensor type
CCD
CCD
Sensor size
1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
Sensor resolution
4330 x 3256
4612 x 3468
Diagonal
7.70 mm
7.70 mm
Sensor size comparison
Sensor size is generally a good indicator of the quality of the camera. Sensors can vary greatly in size. As a general rule, the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality.

Bigger sensors are more effective because they have more surface area to capture light. An important factor when comparing digital cameras is also camera generation. Generally, newer sensors will outperform the older.

Learn more about sensor sizes »

Actual sensor size

Note: Actual size is set to screen → change »
vs
1 : 1
(ratio)
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Canon PowerShot SX500 IS
Surface area:
28.46 mm² vs 28.46 mm²
Difference: 0 mm² (0%)
SX30 IS and SX500 IS sensors are the same size.
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 2 year gap between Canon SX30 IS (2010) and Canon SX500 IS (2012). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
1.42 µm
1.34 µm
Pixel pitch tells you the distance from the center of one pixel (photosite) to the center of the next. It tells you how close the pixels are to each other.

The bigger the pixel pitch, the further apart they are and the bigger each pixel is. Bigger pixels tend to have better signal to noise ratio and greater dynamic range.
Difference: 0.08 µm (6%)
Pixel pitch of SX30 IS is approx. 6% higher than pixel pitch of SX500 IS.
Pixel area
2.02 µm²
1.8 µm²
Pixel or photosite area affects how much light per pixel can be gathered. The larger it is the more light can be collected by a single pixel.

Larger pixels have the potential to collect more photons, resulting in greater dynamic range, while smaller pixels provide higher resolutions (more detail) for a given sensor size.
Relative pixel sizes:
vs
Pixel area difference: 0.22 µm² (12%)
A pixel on Canon SX30 IS sensor is approx. 12% bigger than a pixel on Canon SX500 IS.
Pixel density
49.41 MP/cm²
56.06 MP/cm²
Pixel density tells you how many million pixels fit or would fit in one square cm of the sensor.

Higher pixel density means smaller pixels and lower pixel density means larger pixels.
Difference: 6.65 µm (13%)
Canon SX500 IS has approx. 13% higher pixel density than Canon SX30 IS.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.

Specs

Canon SX30 IS
Canon SX500 IS
Crop factor
5.62
5.62
Total megapixels
16.60
Effective megapixels
14.10
16.00
Optical zoom
35x
30x
Digital zoom
Yes
Yes
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Auto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
35 cm
Macro focus range
1 cm
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
24 - 840 mm
24 - 720 mm
Aperture priority
Yes
Yes
Max. aperture
f2.7 - f5.8
f3.4 - f5.8
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
f15.2 - f32.6
f19.1 - f32.6
Metering
Centre weighted, Multi-segment, Spot
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
Yes
Yes
Min. shutter speed
15 sec
15 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/3200 sec
1/1600 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
Electronic
None
White balance presets
7
5
Screen size
2.7"
3"
Screen resolution
230,000 dots
461,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
1280x720 (25p)
Storage types
SDHC, SDXC, Secure Digital
SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Lithium-Ion NB-7L rechargeable battery
Lithium-Ion NB-6L rechargeable battery
Weight
601 g
341 g
Dimensions
123 x 92 x 108 mm
104.0 x 69.5 x 80.2 mm
Year
2010
2012



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Diagonal

Diagonal is calculated by the use of Pythagorean theorem:
Diagonal =  w² + h²
where w = sensor width and h = sensor height

Canon SX30 IS diagonal

The diagonal of SX30 IS sensor is not 1/2.3 or 0.43" (11 mm) as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value - 7.7 mm. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 6.16 mm
h = 4.62 mm
Diagonal =  6.16² + 4.62²   = 7.70 mm

Canon SX500 IS diagonal

The diagonal of SX500 IS sensor is not 1/2.3 or 0.43" (11 mm) as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value - 7.7 mm. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 6.16 mm
h = 4.62 mm
Diagonal =  6.16² + 4.62²   = 7.70 mm


Surface area

Surface area is calculated by multiplying the width and the height of a sensor.

SX30 IS sensor area

Width = 6.16 mm
Height = 4.62 mm

Surface area = 6.16 × 4.62 = 28.46 mm²

SX500 IS sensor area

Width = 6.16 mm
Height = 4.62 mm

Surface area = 6.16 × 4.62 = 28.46 mm²


Pixel pitch

Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next measured in micrometers (µm). It can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel pitch =   sensor width in mm  × 1000
sensor resolution width in pixels

SX30 IS pixel pitch

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4330 pixels
Pixel pitch =   6.16  × 1000  = 1.42 µm
4330

SX500 IS pixel pitch

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4612 pixels
Pixel pitch =   6.16  × 1000  = 1.34 µm
4612


Pixel area

The area of one pixel can be calculated by simply squaring the pixel pitch:
Pixel area = pixel pitch²

You could also divide sensor surface area with effective megapixels:
Pixel area =   sensor surface area in mm²
effective megapixels

SX30 IS pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.42 µm

Pixel area = 1.42² = 2.02 µm²

SX500 IS pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.34 µm

Pixel area = 1.34² = 1.8 µm²


Pixel density

Pixel density can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel density =  ( sensor resolution width in pixels )² / 1000000
sensor width in cm

One could also use this formula:
Pixel density =   effective megapixels × 1000000  / 10000
sensor surface area in mm²

SX30 IS pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4330 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

Pixel density = (4330 / 0.616)² / 1000000 = 49.41 MP/cm²

SX500 IS pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4612 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

Pixel density = (4612 / 0.616)² / 1000000 = 56.06 MP/cm²


Sensor resolution

Sensor resolution is calculated from sensor size and effective megapixels. It's slightly higher than maximum (not interpolated) image resolution which is usually stated on camera specifications. Sensor resolution is used in pixel pitch, pixel area, and pixel density formula. For sake of simplicity, we're going to calculate it in 3 stages.

1. First we need to find the ratio between horizontal and vertical length by dividing the former with the latter (aspect ratio). It's usually 1.33 (4:3) or 1.5 (3:2), but not always.

2. With the ratio (r) known we can calculate the X from the formula below, where X is a vertical number of pixels:
(X × r) × X = effective megapixels × 1000000    →   
X =  effective megapixels × 1000000
r
3. To get sensor resolution we then multiply X with the corresponding ratio:

Resolution horizontal: X × r
Resolution vertical: X

SX30 IS sensor resolution

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor height = 4.62 mm
Effective megapixels = 14.10
r = 6.16/4.62 = 1.33
X =  14.10 × 1000000  = 3256
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3256 × 1.33 = 4330
Resolution vertical: X = 3256

Sensor resolution = 4330 x 3256

SX500 IS sensor resolution

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor height = 4.62 mm
Effective megapixels = 16.00
r = 6.16/4.62 = 1.33
X =  16.00 × 1000000  = 3468
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3468 × 1.33 = 4612
Resolution vertical: X = 3468

Sensor resolution = 4612 x 3468


Crop factor

Crop factor or focal length multiplier is calculated by dividing the diagonal of 35 mm film (43.27 mm) with the diagonal of the sensor.
Crop factor =   43.27 mm
sensor diagonal in mm


SX30 IS crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 7.70 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 5.62
7.70

SX500 IS crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 7.70 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 5.62
7.70

35 mm equivalent aperture

Equivalent aperture (in 135 film terms) is calculated by multiplying lens aperture with crop factor (a.k.a. focal length multiplier).

SX30 IS equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f2.7 - f5.8

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2.7 - f5.8) × 5.62 = f15.2 - f32.6

SX500 IS equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f3.4 - f5.8

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f3.4 - f5.8) × 5.62 = f19.1 - f32.6

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