Canon G9 X Mark II vs SX540
The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II and the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2017 and January 2016. Both the G9X Mark II and the SX540 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (G9X Mark II) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX540) sensor. The G9X Mark II has a resolution of 20 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 G9 X Mark II 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 G9 X Mark II 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 views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The G9X Mark II can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX540 is only available in black.
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 larger (73 percent) than the Canon G9 X Mark II. Moreover, the SX540 is substantially heavier (115 percent) than the G9X Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G9X Mark II nor the SX540 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the G9X Mark II gets 235 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the SX540 can take 205 images on a single charge of its NB-6LH power pack. The power pack in the G9X Mark II can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||206 g||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|2.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|3.||Canon 2000D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|4.||Canon SX70||127 mm||91 mm||117 mm||608 g||325||n||Sep 2018||549|
|5.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|6.||Canon 200D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|7.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|8.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|9.||Canon 1300D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|10.||Canon SX620||97 mm||57 mm||28 mm||182 g||295||n||May 2016||279|
|11.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|12.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|13.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|14.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|15.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|16.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|17.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|Notes: 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 somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the G9X Mark II, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 G9 X Mark II features an one-inch sensor and the Canon SX540 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX540 is 76 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 5.6. The sensor in the G9X Mark II 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 G9X Mark II uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the SX540 (DIGIC 6), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX540 offers a slightly higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 20 MP of the G9X Mark II. 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 2.41μm for the G9X Mark II). Moreover, it should be noted that the G9X Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) 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 Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|12.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G9X Mark II and the SX540 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G9 X Mark II and Canon SX540 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G9X Mark II has a touchscreen, while the SX540 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The Canon G9 X Mark II 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 G9X Mark II and the SX540 have zoom lenses built in. The G9X Mark II has a 28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 optic and the SX540 offers a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX540 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the G9X Mark II. The G9X Mark II offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G9X Mark II 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 G9 X Mark II and Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Both the G9X Mark II and the SX540 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The SX540 replaced the earlier Canon SX530, while the G9X Mark II followed on from the Canon G9 X. 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 G9 X Mark II or the Canon SX540 – 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 PowerShot G9 X Mark II:
- 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).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.2 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/2.0 vs f/3.4).
- More compact: Is smaller (98x58mm vs 120x82mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 236g or 53 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (235 versus 205) on a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year after the SX540).
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (25 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 G9X Mark II is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 5 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 G9 X Mark II 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G9X Mark II and the SX540 in practical situations. 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 G9 X Mark II||4/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529|
|2.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|3.||Canon 2000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|4.||Canon SX70||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Sep 2018||549|
|5.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|6.||Canon 200D||4/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|7.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|8.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|9.||Canon 1300D||4/5||o||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|10.||Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279|
|11.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|12.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|13.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|14.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|15.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|16.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|17.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon G9 X Mark II 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 G9 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-84mm f/2.0-4.9||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||January 2017||January 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 529||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 12,800 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 7||DIGIC 6|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||65||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.9||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.5||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||522||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||8.2 shutter flaps/s||5.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|External Flash||no 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 G9 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||235 shots per charge||205 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
98 x 58 x 31 mm
(3.9 x 2.3 x 1.2 in)
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||206 g (7.3 oz)||442 g (15.6 oz)|
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