Canon SX400 vs SX420
The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2014 and January 2016. Both the SX400 and the SX420 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX400 has a resolution of 15.9 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.
|Canon SX400||Canon SX420|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|24-720mm f/3.4-5.8||24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6|
|15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|720/30p Video||720/25p Video|
|ISO 100-1,600||ISO 100-1,600|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0 LCD, 230k dots||3.0 LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|0.8 shutter flaps per second||0.5 shutter flaps per second|
|190 shots per battery charge||195 shots per battery charge|
|104 x 69 x 80 mm, 313 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 PowerShot SX400 IS 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 physical size and weight of the Canon SX400 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the SX400 is only available in black.
In this particular case, the Canon SX400 and the Canon SX420 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the SX420 is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the SX400. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX400 nor the SX420 are weather-sealed.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Canon SX400||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.1 in||11.0 oz||190||n||Jul 2014||249|
|Canon SX420||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|Canon SX730||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.6 oz||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon SX620||3.8 in||2.2 in||1.1 in||6.4 oz||295||n||May 2016||279|
|Canon SX410||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|Canon SX530||4.7 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||15.6 oz||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|Canon SX610||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.1 in||6.7 oz||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|Canon SX710||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|Canon SX700||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|Canon SX600||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.0 in||6.6 oz||290||n||Jan 2014||249|
|Canon SX60||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon SX510||4.1 in||2.8 in||3.1 in||12.3 oz||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|Nikon L840||4.4 in||3.1 in||3.8 in||19.0 oz||590||n||Feb 2015||299|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
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 SX400 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the SX420, 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. 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 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX420 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the SX400. This megapixels advantage translates into a 12 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX420 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.19μm versus 1.33μm for the SX400). However, it should be noted that the SX420 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the SX400, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the 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 SX400 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS offers exactly the same ISO settings.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.
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, but the SX400 provides a higher frame rate than the SX420. It can shoot video footage at 720/30p, while the SX420 is limited to 720/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The SX400 and the SX420 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX400 and Canon SX420 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
Both the SX400 and the SX420 have zoom lenses built in. The SX400 has a 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 optic and the SX420 offers a 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX400 and SX420 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the SX420 has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX400 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX400 and the SX420 write their files to SDXC 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 PowerShot SX400 IS and Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
It is notable that the SX420 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the SX400 does not provide wifi capability.
The SX420 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX400 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX400 was succeeded by the Canon SX410. 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX400 and the Canon SX420? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX400 IS:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (720/30p versus 720/25p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (0.8 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.4 vs f/3.5).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2014).
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- 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 modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 5 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX420 comes out slightly ahead of the SX400 (6 : 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 SX400 and the Canon SX420 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing 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 SX400 or the SX420. 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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Canon SX400||+||..||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|Canon SX730||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279|
|Canon SX410||o||..||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|Canon SX530||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|Canon SX610||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|Canon SX710||+||..||4/5||..||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|Canon SX700||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|Canon SX600||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jan 2014||249|
|Canon SX60||+ +||75/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon SX510||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|Nikon L840||+ +||..||3.5/5||..||4/5||Feb 2015||299|
|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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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.
- Canon 5D Mark II vs Canon SX420
- Canon 5DS R vs Canon SX420
- Canon 6D Mark II vs Canon SX420
- Canon SX420 vs Canon SX70
- Canon SX420 vs Canon SX710
- Canon SX420 vs Canon T5i
- Canon SX420 vs Canon XSi
- Canon SX420 vs Fujifilm X100
- Canon SX420 vs Leica M10-P
- Canon SX420 vs Nikon D2Xs
- Canon SX420 vs Panasonic G7
- Canon SX420 vs Sony A58
Specifications: Canon SX400 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 SX400||Canon SX420|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-720mm f/3.4-5.8||24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6|
|Launch Date||July 2014||January 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 249||USD 299|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX400||Canon SX420|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||19.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||5152 x 3864 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||1.19 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||70.91 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||720/25p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+||DIGIC 4+|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX400||Canon SX420|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX400||Canon SX420|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||0.8 shutter flaps/s||0.5 shutter flaps/s|
|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||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX400||Canon SX420|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||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 SX400||Canon SX420|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||190 shots per charge||195 shots per charge|
104 x 69 x 80 mm
(4.1 x 2.7 x 3.1 in)
104 x 69 x 85 mm
(4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
|Camera Weight||313 g (11.0 oz)||325 g (11.5 oz)|
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