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Canon Rebel vs SX420

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel (called Canon 300D in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2003 and January 2016. The Rebel is a DSLR, while the SX420 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (Rebel) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX420) sensor. The Rebel has a resolution of 6.3 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon Rebel
versus
Canon SX420
Canon Rebel   Canon SX420
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6
6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor 19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
no Video 720/25p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
1.8 LCD, 118k dots 3.0 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 0.5 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge195 shots per battery charge
142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g 104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Digital Rebel 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon Rebel 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 SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the Rebel is only available in silver.

Size Canon Rebel vs Canon SX420
Compare Rebel versus SX420 top
Comparison Rebel or SX420 rear

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 (49 percent) than the Canon Rebel. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Rebel 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 Rebel 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 Rebel and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the Rebel gets 400 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the SX420 can take 195 images on a single charge of its NB-11LH power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
2.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
3.
 
Canon SX430 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 323 g 195 n Jan 2017 299 i
4.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
5.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749i
6.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
7.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249i
9.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
10.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
11.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
12.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
13.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
14.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
15.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
16.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
17.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 SX420 was launched at a lower price than the Rebel, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon Rebel features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX420 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX420 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 Rebel has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX420 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon Rebel and Canon SX420 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX420 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the Rebel. 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 7.38μm for the Rebel). However, it should be noted that the SX420 is much more recent (by 12 years and 4 months) than the Rebel, 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 Rebel are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS offers exactly the same ISO settings.

Rebel versus SX420 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
2.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
3.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
4.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
5.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
6.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
7.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
8.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
9.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
10.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
11.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
12.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
13.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
14.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
15.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
16.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
17.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX420 indeed provides for movie recording, while the Rebel does not. The highest resolution format that the SX420 can use is 720/25p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the Rebel 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon Rebel and Canon SX420 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
2.
 
Canon SX420none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX430none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX730none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
5.
 
Canon T7ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon SX410none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX610none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
10.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
12.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
13.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
16.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n

The Rebel writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the SX420 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 Digital Rebel and Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
2.
 
Canon SX420-mono / mono---2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon SX430-mono / mono---2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX730-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon T7iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX410-stereo / mono---2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX610-- / ---micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Canon 20DY- / ----1.1---
16.
 
Canon 10DY- / ----1.1---
17.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---

It is notable that the Rebel 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 Rebel and the SX420 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Rebel was replaced by the Canon XT, 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.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon Rebel and the Canon SX420? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon EOS Digital Rebel:

  • 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 (2.5 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 August 2003).


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 74%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • 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 118k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the Rebel requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 142x99mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the Rebel).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • 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 12 years and 4 months of technical progress since the Rebel launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX420 emerges as the winner of the match-up (14 : 11 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.

Rebel 11:14 SX420

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon Rebel 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 Rebel or the SX420 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
2.
 
Canon SX420..........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
3.
 
Canon SX430........3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2017 299 i
4.
 
Canon SX730..+....4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
5.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..3.5/580/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
6.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
7.
 
Canon SX410..o........ Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX610........4/54/5 Jan 2015 249i
9.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
10.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
11.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
12.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
13.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
14.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
15.
 
Canon 20D......+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
16.
 
Canon 10D......+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
17.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon Rebel:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX420:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon Rebel 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon Rebel 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 August 2003 January 2016
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 299
    Sensor Specs Canon Rebel Canon SX420
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 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
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 544 ..
    Screen Specs Canon Rebel Canon SX420
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon Rebel Canon SX420
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 0.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon Rebel Canon SX420
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 1.1 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 Rebel Canon SX420
    Battery Type BP-511 NB-11LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge195 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 142 x 99 x 72 mm
    (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
    104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 649 g (22.9 oz) 325 g (11.5 oz)

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