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.
Is the Canon SX420 a good camera? The SX420 has a Camera Elo of 1256. 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. – Well, the Canon SX420 is more than 4 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2016.
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 1 600|
|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|
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.
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.
|Canon SX420||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|Canon SX740||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|Canon SX730||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.6 oz||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||4.2 in||2.4 in||1.7 in||11.3 oz||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon SX620||3.8 in||2.2 in||1.1 in||6.4 oz||295||n||May 2016||279|
|Canon SX720||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|Canon G5 X||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon SX410||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|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|
|Panasonic ZS70||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.4 oz||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
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 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.
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.
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.
|Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
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.
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.
|Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
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.
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.
| WiFi |
|Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G5 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
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.
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).
|Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|Canon SX740||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|Canon SX730||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279|
|Canon SX720||+||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|Canon G5 X||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon SX410||o||..||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|Canon SX610||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|Canon SX710||+||..||4/5||..||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|Panasonic ZS70||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|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.
- Canon 1D C vs Canon SX420
- Canon G7 X vs Canon SX420
- Canon M200 vs Canon SX420
- Canon SX420 vs Canon SX530
- Canon SX420 vs Canon SX730
- Canon SX420 vs Fujifilm X-T1
- Canon SX420 vs Fujifilm X30
- Canon SX420 vs Panasonic FZ200
- Canon SX420 vs Panasonic FZ82
- Canon SX420 vs Panasonic ZS100
- Canon SX420 vs Ricoh WG-60
- Canon SX420 vs Sony H400
|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 Format||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||19.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5 152 x 3 864 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 - 1 600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||0.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in|
|Battery Type||NB-11LH power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||195 shots per charge|
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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