Canon 350D vs SX420
The Canon EOS 350D (called Canon XT in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2005 and January 2016. The 350D is a DSLR, while the SX420 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (350D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX420) sensor. The 350D has a resolution of 8 megapixels, whereas the SX420 provides 19.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 350D and the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon 350D and the Canon SX420 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The 350D can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX420 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, red).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX420 is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Canon 350D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 350D nor the SX420 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX420 has a lens built in, whereas the 350D 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 350D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon 350D||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|2.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|3.||Canon SX430||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||323 g||195||n||Jan 2017||299|
|4.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|5.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|7.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|8.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|9.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|10.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|11.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|12.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|13.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|14.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|15.||Canon 400D||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|16.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|17.||Canon 300D||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. The SX420 was launched at a lower price than the 350D, 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 350D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX420 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX420 is 91 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 5.6. The sensor in the 350D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX420 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, the SX420 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the 350D (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX420 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 8 MP of the 350D. 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 1.19μm versus 6.41μm for the 350D). However, it should be noted that the SX420 is much more recent (by 10 years and 10 months) than the 350D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX420 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX420 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX420 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 350D are 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for good quality, 13.8 x 9.2 inches or 35.1 x 23.4 cm for very good quality, and 11.5 x 7.7 inches or 29.3 x 19.5 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 350D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS offers exactly the same ISO settings.
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The SX420 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 350D does not. The highest resolution format that the SX420 can use is 720/25p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 350D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX420 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 350D and Canon SX420 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
The 350D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the SX420 uses SDXC cards.
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 350D and Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the 350D has a hotshoe, while the SX420 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the 350D and the SX420 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 350D was replaced by the Canon 400D, while the SX420 was followed by the Canon SX430. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 350D or the Canon SX420 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 350D:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 0.5 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 (400 versus 195) 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 February 2005).
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 55%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4+ vs DIGIC II).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/25p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 115k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 350D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 127x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 350D).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 10 years and 10 months of technical progress since the 350D launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX420 emerges as the winner of the match-up (14 : 11 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 350D and the Canon SX420 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
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 350D or the SX420 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.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.
|1.||Canon 350D||..||80/100||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|2.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|3.||Canon SX430||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2017||299|
|4.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|5.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|7.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|8.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|9.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|10.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|11.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|12.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|13.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|14.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|15.||Canon 400D||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|16.||Canon 20D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|17.||Canon 300D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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.
Specifications: Canon 350D vs Canon SX420
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 Model||Canon 350D||Canon SX420|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6|
|Launch Date||February 2005||January 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 299|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 350D||Canon SX420|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.2 x 14.8 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||328.56 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.7 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8 Megapixels||19.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3456 x 2304 pixels||5152 x 3864 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.41 μm||1.19 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.42 MP/cm2||70.91 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||720/25p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC II||DIGIC 4+|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||60||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.8||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||637||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 350D||Canon SX420|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||115k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 350D||Canon SX420|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||0.5 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||Canon 350D||Canon SX420|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 350D||Canon SX420|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||195 shots per charge|
127 x 94 x 64 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
104 x 69 x 85 mm
(4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
|Camera Weight||540 g (19.0 oz)||325 g (11.5 oz)|
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