Canon M5 vs SX730
The Canon EOS M5 and the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2016 and April 2017. The M5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the SX730 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (M5) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX730) sensor. The M5 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the SX730 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 EOS M5 and the Canon PowerShot SX730 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon M5 and the Canon SX730 are illustrated 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX730 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the M5 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 SX730 is considerably smaller (32 percent) than the Canon M5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M5 nor the SX730 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX730 has a lens built in, whereas the M5 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
Concerning battery life, the M5 gets 295 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the SX730 can take 250 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack. The power pack in the SX730 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|2.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|3.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779|
|4.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|5.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|6.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|7.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|8.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|9.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|10.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|11.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|12.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|13.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|14.||Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|15.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|16.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|17.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||470 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|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 SX730 was launched at a lower price than the M5, 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 M5 features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX730 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX730 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 M5 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX730 offers a 4:3 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the M5 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the SX730 (DIGIC 6), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 24MP, the M5 offers a higher resolution than the SX730 (20.2MP), but the M5 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 1.18μm for the SX730) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX730 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the M5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX730 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon M5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M5 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 SX730 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 M5 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS M5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. 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).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the M5 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX730 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon M5 and Canon SX730 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|2.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon M50||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon SX740||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon 77D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|6.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|7.||Canon M100||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n|
|8.||Canon SL2||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|9.||Canon SX420||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon SX540||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|13.||Canon M10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6||Y||n|
|14.||Canon T6i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|15.||Canon T6s||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|16.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M5 has a touchscreen, while the SX730 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M5 and the SX730 write their files to SDXC cards. The M5 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX730 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 M5 and Canon PowerShot SX730 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon M50||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon SX740||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Canon 77D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon M100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon SL2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon SX420||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon SX540||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Canon M10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Canon T6i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Canon T6s||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Nikon D5500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the M5 has a hotshoe, while the SX730 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The M5 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX730 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX730 was succeeded by the Canon SX730 HS. 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 what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M5 or the Canon SX730 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M5:
- 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 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 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.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 922k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 5.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (295 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the M5 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 116x89mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the M5).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (6 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M5 is the clear winner of the match-up (20 : 8 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M5 and the Canon SX730 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the M5 and the SX730 in practical situations. 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 why expert reviews 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 M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|2.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|3.||Canon M50||..||+||4/5||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779|
|4.||Canon SX740||..||+||3.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|5.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|6.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|7.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|8.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||4/5||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|9.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|10.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|11.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|12.||Canon M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|13.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|14.||Canon T6i||5/5||..||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|15.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|16.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|17.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted 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 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon M5 vs Canon SX730
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 M5||Canon SX730|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||24-960mm f/3.3-6.9|
|Launch Date||September 2016||April 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 979||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M5||Canon SX730|
|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|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||77||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.4||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.4||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1262||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon M5||Canon SX730|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Magnification||.. x|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1620k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M5||Canon SX730|
|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|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M5||Canon SX730|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon M5||Canon SX730|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||295 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
116 x 89 x 61 mm
(4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in)
110 x 64 x 40 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||427 g (15.1 oz)||300 g (10.6 oz)|
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