Updated (February 2012): Compare the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS vs Nikon Coolpix P510

Nikon Coolpix P500 vs Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

Winner
Nikon Coolpix P500

56

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

48

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon Coolpix P500

High resolution screen
Screen resolution
920k dots
High speed movies
High-speed framerate
240 fps
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
10 fps
In-camera panoramas
Panorama
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
 

Reasons to buy the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Lens
External flash
External flash
Better lighting

Items often bought with the Nikon P500 or Canon SX20 IS

galleries

Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon Coolpix P500.

differences

Advantages of the Canon SX20 IS

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Aperture
Significantly wider aperture
f/2.8 vs f/3.5
Help
At its widest zoom, the SX20 IS's lens captures slightly more light (0.6 f-stops)
Battery life
Significantly longer battery life
340 shots vs 220 shots
Help
More than 50% more shots per battery charge
Image stabilization
Better image stabilization
  1. Lens
vs
  1. Sensor shift
Help
Less risk of blur
External flash
Supports an external flash
Yes vs No
Help
An external flash often produces better looking flash images
Macro focus
Better macro capability
0.0 cm vs 1.0 cm
Help
Almost the same
Thickness
Thinner
3.4" vs 4.1"
Help
Around 20% thinner
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
15s vs 2s
Help
7.5x longer exposures
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Learn more about
the Canon SX20 IS

Advantages of the Nikon P500

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High-speed framerate
Records high-speed movies
240 fps vs None
Help
Capture events too fast for the naked eye and play them back in super-slow motion
Screen size
Much larger screen
3" vs 2.5"
Help
More than 20% larger screen
Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 230k dots
Help
4x higher resolution screen
Wide angle
Better wide angle
23 mm vs 28 mm
Help
Around 20% better wide angle
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
10 fps vs 0.7 fps
Help
Around 14.5x faster continuous shooting
Zoom
More zoom
36x vs 20x
Help
More than 3x more zoom
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
3,200 ISO vs 1,600 ISO
Help
The P500's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Weight
Lighter
481 g vs 600 g
Help
Around 20% lighter
Fastest shutter speed
Faster max shutter speed
1/5000s vs 1/3200s
Help
Around 40% faster max shutter speed
Lowest price
Slightly cheaper
$399.99 vs $489.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $89 cheaper (around 20% less)
Nikon Coolpix P500 Learn more about
the Nikon P500
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent super zooms, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Canon PowerShot SX20 IS 48
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        56 Nikon Coolpix P500 Nikon Coolpix P500
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent digicams

              Common Strengths
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Macro focus Good macro capabilities Help
              SX20 IS0.0 cm
              P5001.0 cm
              Viewfinder Both have digital viewfinders Help
              Digital
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              SX20 IS1/3200s
              P5001/5000s
              Common Weaknesses
              Light sensitivity (boost) No boost ISO Help
              Lacks boost light sensitivity
              Waterproof Not waterproof Help
              Stay on land
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              SX20 IS3.4"
              P5004.1"
              Weight Heavy Help
              SX20 IS600 g
              P500481 g
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Supports RAW No RAW support Help
              Less editing fidelity
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              SX20 IS1,600 ISO
              P5003,200 ISO
              Size Large Help
              SX20 IS128×88×87 mm
              P500116×84×103 mm

              Compared to recent super zooms

              Common Strengths

              Snapsort is not aware of any interesting strengths shared by these two products.

              Common Weaknesses
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              SX20 IS1/2.3" 6.16x4.62mm
              P5001/2.3" 6.18x4.55mm
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Movie format Poor movies Help
              SX20 IS720p @ 30fps
              P5001080p @ 30fps

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon Coolpix P100

              Nikon Coolpix P100

              Super zoom

              $485

              Shutter lag Has much less shutter lag
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Macro focus Slightly worse macro focusing
              Canon PowerShot SX30 IS

              Canon PowerShot SX30 IS

              Super zoom

              $444

              Shutter lag Has much less shutter lag
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Powershot SX40

              Canon Powershot SX40

              Super zoom

              $400

              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Shutter lag Has much less shutter lag
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
              Image stabilization Doesn't have image stabilization
              Canon Kiss X5

              Canon Kiss X5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,299 body only

              True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Image stabilization Doesn't have image stabilization
              Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

              Super zoom

              $300 - $350

              Zoom Has significantly more zoom
              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon PowerShot SX400 IS

              Canon PowerShot SX400 IS

              Super zoom

              $149 - $616

              Size Is slightly smaller
              Weight Is slightly lighter
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Viewfinder Doesn't have a viewfinder

              Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

              Super zoom

              $394 - $480

              Zoom Much more zoom
              High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
              Aperture Narrower aperture
              Size Larger
              Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

              Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

              Super zoom

              $700

              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Lowest price More expensive
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $325 body only

              $360 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Screen size Much larger screen
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Canon PowerShot SX500 IS

              Canon PowerShot SX500 IS

              Super zoom

              $166

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Wide angle Better wide angle
              Aperture Narrower aperture
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $332 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Battery life Much longer battery life
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out

              Nikon Coolpix P500 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon Coolpix P530

              Nikon Coolpix P530

              Super zoom

              $199 - $297

              Aperture Wider aperture
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              High-speed framerate Lower speed movies
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Nikon Coolpix P610

              Nikon Coolpix P610

              Super zoom

              $374 - $427

              Zoom Significantly more zoom
              Image stabilization Better image stabilization
              Continuous shooting Shoots slower
              Size Slightly larger
              Nikon Coolpix P510

              Nikon Coolpix P510

              Super zoom

              $385

              3D Takes 3D photos
              Aperture Wider aperture
              High-speed framerate Lower speed movies
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Nikon Coolpix P900

              Nikon Coolpix P900

              Super zoom

              $597

              Zoom Much more zoom
              Aperture Significantly wider aperture
              High-speed framerate Doesn't record high-speed movies
              Size Much larger
              Nikon Coolpix P600

              Nikon Coolpix P600

              Super zoom

              $250

              Zoom Significantly more zoom
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              High-speed framerate Lower speed movies
              Continuous shooting Shoots slower

              appearance

              Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Nikon Coolpix P500
              Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Nikon Coolpix P500
              Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Nikon Coolpix P500

              discussion

              Canon PowerShot SX20 IS
              PowerShot SX20 IS
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon Coolpix P500
              Coolpix P500
              Nikon

              Report a correction

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