Canon G1 X Mark III vs SX540
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III and the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in October 2017 and January 2016. Both the G1X Mark III and the SX540 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an APS-C (G1X Mark III) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX540) sensor. The G1X Mark III has a resolution of 24 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X Mark III and the Canon SX540 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX540 is notably larger (10 percent) than the Canon G1 X Mark III. Moreover, the SX540 is markedly heavier (11 percent) than the G1X Mark III. It is worth mentioning in this context that the G1X Mark III is splash and dust resistant, while the SX540 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark III||115 mm||78 mm||51 mm||399 g||200||Y||Oct 2017||1,299||amazon.com|
|2.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||144 mm||111 mm||75 mm||765 g||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon 80D||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon T6||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm X100V||128 mm||75 mm||53 mm||478 g||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,399||amazon.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T3||133 mm||93 mm||59 mm||539 g||390||Y||Sep 2018||1,499||ebay.com|
|12.||Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D7500||136 mm||104 mm||73 mm||720 g||950||Y||Apr 2017||1,299||amazon.com|
|14.||Sony A6300||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony A6500||120 mm||67 mm||53 mm||453 g||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX10 III||133 mm||94 mm||127 mm||1051 g||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX540 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 69 percent) than the G1X Mark III, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G1 X Mark III 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, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the G1X Mark III has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX540 offers a 4:3 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the G1X Mark III uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the SX540 (DIGIC 6), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 24MP, the G1X Mark III offers a higher resolution than the SX540 (20.2MP), but the G1X Mark III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 1.18μm for the SX540) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the G1X Mark III is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the SX540, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 resolution advantage of the Canon G1 X Mark III implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G1X Mark III for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX540 are 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The G1X Mark III has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
In terms of underlying technology, the G1X Mark III is build around a CMOS sensor, while the SX540 uses a BSI-CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||13.2||1649||81|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85|
|16.||Sony RX10 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G1X Mark III has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX540 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G1 X Mark III and Canon SX540 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark III||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||9.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon SX540||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.5/s||n||n|
|4.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon 80D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Canon T6||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon SX530||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Fujifilm X100V||3690||n||3.0 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T3||3690||n||3.0 / 1040||full-flex||Y||1/8000s||11.0/s||n||n|
|12.||Fujifilm X100F||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon D7500||optical||Y||3.2 / 922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Sony A6300||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Sony A6500||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony RX10 III||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||14.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G1X Mark III has a touchscreen, while the SX540 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The G1X Mark III has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the SX540 does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon G1 X Mark III has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Both the G1X Mark III and the SX540 have zoom lenses built in. The G1X Mark III has a 24-72mm f/2.8-5.6 optic and the SX540 offers a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G1X Mark III and SX540 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the SX540 has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The G1X Mark III offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X Mark III and the SX540 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 PowerShot G1 X Mark III and Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark III||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon SX540||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon 80D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon T6||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon SX530||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Fujifilm X100V||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|12.||Fujifilm X100F||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D7500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|14.||Sony A6300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony A6500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony RX10 III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the G1X Mark III has a hotshoe, while the SX540 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The G1X Mark III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX540 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the SX540 from Canon. Further information on the features and operation of the G1X Mark III and SX540 can be found, respectively, in the Canon G1 X Mark III Manual (free pdf) or the online Canon SX540 Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G1 X Mark III 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 PowerShot G1 X Mark III:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 20.2MP) with a 11% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 7 vs DIGIC 6).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 5.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.4).
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 43g or 10 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- 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.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 9 months after the SX540).
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (69 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1X Mark III is the clear winner of the match-up (21 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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 G1 X Mark III and the Canon SX540 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G1X Mark III or the SX540. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 G1 X Mark III||5/5||+||4/5||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2017||1,299||amazon.com|
|2.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||4/5||+||4/5||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon 80D||4/5||+ +||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon T6||4/5||o||4/5||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm X100V||5/5||+ +||4.5/5||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2020||1,399||amazon.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T3||5/5||+ +||4.5/5||88/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2018||1,499||ebay.com|
|12.||Fujifilm X100F||5/5||+||3.9/5||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D7500||4.5/5||+ +||4.5/5||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2017||1,299||amazon.com|
|14.||Sony A6300||4.5/5||+||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony A6500||5/5||+ +||3.5/5||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||1,399||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX10 III||5/5||+||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2016||1,499||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 2000D vs Canon G1 X Mark III
- Canon 250D vs Canon SX540
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Nikon B700
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Olympus E-620
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Olympus TG-4
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Panasonic ZS100
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Sony RX10 II
- Canon SX540 vs Canon SX610
- Canon SX540 vs Canon T1i
- Canon SX540 vs Nikon D1X
- Canon SX540 vs Panasonic TZ200
- Canon SX540 vs Pentax KP
Specifications: Canon G1 X Mark III 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 Model||Canon G1 X Mark III||Canon SX540|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-72mm f/2.8-5.6||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||October 2017||January 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G1 X Mark III||Canon SX540|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 7||DIGIC 6|
|Screen Specs||Canon G1 X Mark III||Canon SX540|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G1 X Mark III||Canon SX540|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||9 shutter flaps/s||5.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G1 X Mark III||Canon SX540|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon G1 X Mark III||Canon SX540|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||200 shots per charge||205 shots per charge|
115 x 78 x 51 mm
(4.5 x 3.1 x 2.0 in)
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||399 g (14.1 oz)||442 g (15.6 oz)|
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