Canon RP vs SX420
The Canon EOS RP and the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2019 and January 2016. The Canon RP is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the SX420 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (Canon RP) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX420) sensor. The Canon RP has a resolution of 26.2 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS RP 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon RP and the Canon SX420. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the Canon RP 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 SX420 is considerably smaller (37 percent) than the Canon RP. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Canon RP 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 Canon RP 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 Canon RP gets 250 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the SX420 can take 195 images on a single charge of its NB-11LH power pack. The power pack in the Canon RP can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along 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 RP||133 mm||85 mm||70 mm||485 g||250||n||Feb 2019||1,299|
|2.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|3.||Canon T8i||131 mm||103 mm||76 mm||515 g||800||n||Feb 2020||749|
|4.||Canon SL3||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599|
|5.||Canon T7||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|6.||Canon R||139 mm||98 mm||84 mm||660 g||370||Y||Sep 2018||2,299|
|7.||Canon SX430||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||323 g||195||n||Jan 2017||299|
|8.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|9.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|10.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|11.||Canon T7i||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|12.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|13.||Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|14.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|15.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|16.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|17.||Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|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 SX420 was launched at a lower price than the Canon RP, 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.
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. 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 RP features a full frame sensor and the Canon SX420 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX420 is 97 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 5.6. The sensor in the Canon RP has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX420 offers a 4:3 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the Canon RP uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the SX420 (DIGIC 4+), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 26.2MP, the Canon RP offers a higher resolution than the SX420 (19.9MP), but the Canon RP nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.74μm versus 1.19μm for the SX420) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the Canon RP is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 1 month) than the SX420, and its sensor will 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 SX420 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon RP implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Canon RP for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 31.2 x 20.8 inches or 79.2 x 52.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25 x 16.6 inches or 63.4 x 42.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.8 x 13.9 inches or 52.8 x 35.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX420 are 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm for good quality, 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm for very good quality, and 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon RP has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS RP has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 40000, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon RP||Full Frame||26.2||6240||4160||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Canon R||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.5||13.5||2742||89|
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, but the Canon RP provides a higher video resolution than the SX420. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the SX420 is limited to 720/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the Canon RP has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX420 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon RP and Canon SX420 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The Canon RP has a touchscreen, while the SX420 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The Canon RP 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 SX420 does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon RP 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Canon RP and the SX420 write their files to SDXC cards. The Canon RP supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the SX420 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 RP and Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the Canon RP has a hotshoe, while the SX420 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The Canon RP is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX420 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX420 was succeeded 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.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon RP better than the Canon SX420 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon EOS RP:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (26.2 vs 19.9MP) with a 16% 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 8 vs DIGIC 4+).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/25p).
- 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.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k 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 (5 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (250 versus 195) on a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II) SDXC cards.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 1 month of technical progress since the SX420 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the Canon RP necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 133x85mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the Canon RP).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- 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 heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2016).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the Canon RP is the clear winner of the match-up (25 : 9 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. 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 RP and the Canon SX420 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 Canon RP and the SX420 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], 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 RP||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||1,299|
|2.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|3.||Canon T8i||4.5/5||+||80/100||4/5||3.5/5||Feb 2020||749|
|4.||Canon SL3||..||o||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2019||599|
|5.||Canon T7||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|6.||Canon R||4/5||o||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2018||2,299|
|7.||Canon SX430||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2017||299|
|8.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|9.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|10.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|11.||Canon T7i||4.5/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|12.||Canon M5||4/5||+||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|13.||Canon T6i||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|14.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|15.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|16.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|17.||Leica TL2||3.5/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon RP 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 Model||Canon RP||Canon SX420|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon RF mount lenses||24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6|
|Launch Date||February 2019||January 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 299|
|Sensor Specs||Canon RP||Canon SX420|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 24.0 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||861.6 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||26.2 Megapixels||19.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6240 x 4160 pixels||5152 x 3864 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.74 μm||1.19 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.01 MP/cm2||70.91 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||720/25p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 40,000 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 102,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||DIGIC 4+|
|Screen Specs||Canon RP||Canon SX420|
|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||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon RP||Canon SX420|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||0.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon RP||Canon SX420|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon RP||Canon SX420|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||195 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
133 x 85 x 70 mm
(5.2 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)
104 x 69 x 85 mm
(4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
|Camera Weight||485 g (17.1 oz)||325 g (11.5 oz)|
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