Ur-Leica Contax Camera Comparison
Leica 1600mm Vivitar Shutter count
A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Canon 7D vs SX540

The Canon EOS 7D and the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2009 and January 2016. The 7D is a DSLR, while the SX540 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (7D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX540) sensor. The 7D has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the SX540 provides 20.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 7D versus Canon SX540
Canon 7D Canon SX540
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 80-3,200
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 3.0 LCD, 461k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
8 shutter flaps per second 5.9 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
800 shots per battery charge205 shots per battery charge
148 x 111 x 74 mm, 860 g 120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 7D and the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS? 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 7D and the Canon SX540. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 7D vs Canon SX540
Compare 7D versus SX540 top
Comparison 7D or SX540 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX540 is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Canon 7D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 7D is splash and dust resistant, while the SX540 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX540 has a lens built in, whereas the 7D 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 7D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 7D gets 800 shots out of its LP-E6 battery, while the SX540 can take 205 images on a single charge of its NB-6LH power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

scroll hint
Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 7D 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699i
 
Canon SX540 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon T6 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX530 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon 7D II 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i
 
Canon 70D 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Canon 60D 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
 
Canon T2i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon T1i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 5D Mark II 6.0 in 4.5 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499i
 
Canon 50D 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Canon 30D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Nikon D7000 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 SX540 was launched at a lower price than the 7D, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 7D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX540 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX540 is 92 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 7D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX540 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 7D and Canon SX540 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX540 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the 7D. 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 1.18μm versus 4.31μm for the 7D). However, it should be noted that the SX540 is much more recent (by 6 years and 4 months) than the 7D, 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 SX540 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Canon EOS 7D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

7D versus SX540 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

scroll hint
Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon 5D Mark II Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the SX540 provides a faster frame rate than the 7D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the 7D is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 7D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX540 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 7D and Canon SX540 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

scroll hint
Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon 7Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Canon SX540none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon T6optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon 60Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon 5D Mark IIoptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 3.9 n n
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D7000optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n

One feature that is present on the 7D, but is missing on the SX540 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The 7D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the SX540 uses SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 7D and Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon 7DYmono-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon 7D IIYstereomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Canon 60DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 5D Mark IIYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 50DY----mini2.0---
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
 
Nikon D7000YmonomonoY-mini2.0---

It is notable that the 7D has a hotshoe, while the SX540 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 7D (unlike the SX540) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The SX540 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the 7D has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 7D was succeeded by the Canon 7D Mark II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 7D and the Canon SX540? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 7D:

  • 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.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 461k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5.9 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 (800 versus 205) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2009).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 7D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x82mm vs 148x111mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 7D).
  • 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 6 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 7D launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 7D is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 10 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

7D 17:10 SX540

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 7D and the Canon SX540 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 7D or the SX540 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

scroll hint
Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 7D+ +84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699i
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon T6o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX530+ +..4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon 7D II+84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i
 
Canon 70D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Canon 60D+79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
 
Canon T2i+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon T1i+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 5D Mark II91/10079/1004/55/5.. Sep 2008 3,499i
 
Canon 50D+ ++ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Canon 30D+ ++ +oo.. Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Nikon D7000..80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 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.

Canon 7D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX540:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

~

    Specifications: Canon 7D vs Canon SX540

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 7D Canon SX540
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date September 2009 January 2016
    Launch Price USD 1,699 USD 399
    Sensor Specs Canon 7D Canon SX540
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 1.18 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 71.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 (Dual) DIGIC 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 854 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 7D Canon SX540
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 7D Canon SX540
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s 5.9 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 7D Canon SX540
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon 7D Canon SX540
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type LP-E6 NB-6LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)800 shots per charge205 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 148 x 111 x 74 mm
    (5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in)
    120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    Camera Weight 860 g (30.3 oz) 442 g (15.6 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Canon 7D vs Canon SX540

    Thanks for your vote!

    You rated this page 4 out of 5.


    Rating

    Any additional comment or suggestion for improvement would be welcome.



    If you like it, make sure you share it.

    • Mention this page to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
    • Bookmark it in your browser for future reference by pressing "Crtl" + "D".
    • Create a hyperlink by copying the text below into your web-project or discussion forum entry.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to provide feedback.