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Canon SX420 Comparison Review

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in January 2016 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 19.9 megapixel.

camera

Is the Canon SX420 a good camera? The SX420 has a Camera Elo of 1215. This rating puts the SX420 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the SX420 also ranks below average.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX420
Fixed lens compact camera
24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6
19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/25p Video
ISO 100-1600
No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.5 shutter flaps per second
195 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Canon SX420 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon SX420 vs credit card front
SX420 versus credit card top view
SX420 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon SX420 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX420 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 i i Canon SX420
 
Canon SX740« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699- i Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX620« » 3.8 in 2.2 in 1.1 in 6.4 oz 295 n May 2016 279 i i Canon SX620
 
Canon SX720« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379- i Canon SX720
 
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799- i Canon G5 X
 
Canon SX410« » 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279- i Canon SX410
 
Canon SX610« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 6.7 oz 270 n Jan 2015 249- i Canon SX610
 
Canon SX710« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349- i Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic ZS70
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon SX420 was launched in the US market at a price of $299. 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.

Canon SX420:
Check Amazon price

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Canon SX420 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon SX420 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Canon SX420 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p----Canon SX420
 
Canon SX740« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX620« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p----Canon SX620
 
Canon SX720« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX720
 
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
 
Canon SX410« » 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p----Canon SX410
 
Canon SX610« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p----Canon SX610
 
Canon SX710« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic ZS70

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

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Canon SX420 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('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
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX420- n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX420
 
Canon SX740« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX620« »- n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y Canon SX620
 
Canon SX720« »- n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX720
 
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
 
Canon SX410« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX410
 
Canon SX610« »- n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y Canon SX610
 
Canon SX710« »- n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS70

One convenient feature of the SX420 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection 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 PowerShot SX420 IS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-Canon SX420
 
Canon SX740« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX620« »-monomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX620
 
Canon SX720« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX720
 
Canon G5 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G5 X
 
Canon SX410« »-stereomono---2.0---Canon SX410
 
Canon SX610« »-----micro2.0YY-Canon SX610
 
Canon SX710« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic ZS70

It is notable that the SX420 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

 

The SX420 has a zoom lens built in (4.3-180.6mm f/3.5-6.6), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 1008mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of 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 summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX420----- Jan 2016 299 i i Canon SX420
 
Canon SX740« »+-4/5-4/5 Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »+-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699- i Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX620« »----4/5 May 2016 279 i i Canon SX620
 
Canon SX720« »+-4/5-4.5/5 Feb 2016 379- i Canon SX720
 
Canon G5 X« »+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799- i Canon G5 X
 
Canon SX410« »o---- Feb 2015 279- i Canon SX410
 
Canon SX610« »--4/5-4/5 Jan 2015 249- i Canon SX610
 
Canon SX710« »+-4/5-3.5/5 Jan 2015 349- i Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic ZS70
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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.

Canon SX420 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the SX420.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the SX420?

The camera features a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the SX420 with the DIGIC 4+ image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the SX420?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.

Does the Canon SX420 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Which battery does the SX420 use?

The camera gets its power from the NB-11LH, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Canon SX420
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6
    Launch Date January 2016
    Launch Price USD 299
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 70.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/25p Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 0.5 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NB-11LH power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 325 g (11.5 oz)

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