Canon SX420 vs SX720
The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and February 2016. Both the SX420 and the SX720 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX420 has a resolution of 19.9 megapixels, whereas the SX720 provides 20.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon SX420||Canon SX720|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6||24-960mm f/3.3-6.9|
|19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|720/25p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-1,600||ISO 80-3,200|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0 LCD, 230k dots||3.0 LCD, 922k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|0.5 shutter flaps per second||5.9 shutter flaps per second|
|195 shots per battery charge||250 shots per battery charge|
|104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 g||110 x 64 x 36 mm, 270 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS? 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 SX420 and the Canon SX720. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, red).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX720 is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Canon SX420. Moreover, the SX720 is markedly lighter (17 percent) than the SX420. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX420 nor the SX720 are weather-sealed.
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, 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 SX420||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|Canon SX720||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|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 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.
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX420 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 21 percent) than the SX720, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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.
Technology-wise, the SX720 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the SX420 (DIGIC 4+), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX720 offers a slightly higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 19.9 MP of the SX420. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0.59999999999999 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX720 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.19μm for the SX420). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. 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 Canon PowerShot SX420 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.
|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 are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the SX720 provides a better video resolution than the SX420. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the SX420 is limited to 720/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The SX420 and the SX720 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX420, the Canon SX720, and comparable cameras.
|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|
Both the SX420 and the SX720 have zoom lenses built in. The SX420 has a 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 optic and the SX720 offers a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX420 and SX720 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the SX720 has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX720 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX420 and the SX720 write their files to SDXC cards. The SX720 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 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 PowerShot SX420 IS and Canon PowerShot SX720 HS 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||-|
The SX420 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX720 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX720 was succeeded by the Canon SX730. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX420 or the Canon SX720 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (21 percent cheaper at launch).
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 4+).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/25p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.3 vs f/3.5).
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 55g or 17 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (250 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX720 is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 3 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 SX420 and the Canon SX720 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX420 and the SX720 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|Canon SX720||+||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|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 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 ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. 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 2000D vs Canon SX720
- Canon 760D vs Canon SX420
- Canon 7D II vs Canon SX420
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Canon SX420
- Canon SX420 vs Canon T100
- Canon SX420 vs Fujifilm X-T20
- Canon SX420 vs Olympus E-M1X
- Canon SX420 vs Sony RX1R II
- Canon SX720 vs Nikon D3500
- Canon SX720 vs Nikon D7200
- Canon SX720 vs Nikon D90
- Canon SX720 vs Panasonic S1H
Specifications: Canon SX420 vs Canon SX720
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 SX420||Canon SX720|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6||24-960mm f/3.3-6.9|
|Launch Date||January 2016||February 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 299||USD 379|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX420||Canon SX720|
|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||19.9 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5152 x 3864 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.19 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||70.91 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/25p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4+||DIGIC 6|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX420||Canon SX720|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX420||Canon SX720|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||0.5 shutter flaps/s||5.9 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||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX420||Canon SX720|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX420||Canon SX720|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||195 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
104 x 69 x 85 mm
(4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
110 x 64 x 36 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||325 g (11.5 oz)||270 g (9.5 oz)|
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