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Canon SX420 vs SX730

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and April 2017. Both the SX420 and the SX730 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 SX730 provides 20.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX420 VS Canon SX730
Canon SX420 Canon SX730
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 100-1600 ISO 80-3200
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.5 shutter flaps per second 5.9 shutter flaps per second
195 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 g 110 x 64 x 40 mm, 300 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX730 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX420 and the Canon SX730. 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.

The SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the SX730 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).

Size Canon SX420 vs Canon SX730
Compare SX420 versus SX730 top
Comparison SX420 or SX730 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX730 is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Canon SX420. Moreover, the SX730 is markedly lighter (8 percent) than the SX420. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX420 nor the SX730 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.

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)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX420» 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 iCanon SX420
 
Canon SX730« 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399iCanon SX730
 
Canon SX740« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 iCanon SX740
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699iCanon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX540« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 205 n Jan 2016 399 iCanon SX540
 
Canon SX620« » 3.8 in 2.2 in 1.1 in 6.4 oz 295 n May 2016 279 iCanon SX620
 
Canon SX720« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379iCanon SX720
 
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799iCanon G5 X
 
Canon SX410« » 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279iCanon SX410
 
Canon SX610« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 6.7 oz 270 n Jan 2015 249iCanon SX610
 
Canon SX710« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349iCanon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449iPanasonic ZS70
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 25 percent) than the SX730, 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.

 

Sensor comparison

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 SX730 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the SX420 (DIGIC 4+), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX420 and Canon SX730 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX730 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 SX730 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). However, it should be noted that the SX730 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the SX420, 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 Canon PowerShot SX420 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

SX420 versus SX730 MP

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.

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 SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........Canon SX730
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........Canon SX740
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........Canon SX540
 
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 3864720/30p........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 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 SX730 provides a better video resolution than the SX420. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the SX420 is limited to 720/25p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The SX420 and the SX730 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 SX730, and comparable cameras.

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 SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX420
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX540none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX540
 
Canon SX620none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y Canon SX620
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX720
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX410
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y Canon SX610
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS70
The SX730 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the SX420 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the SX420 and the SX730 have zoom lenses built in. The SX420 has a 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 optic and the SX730 offers a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX420 and SX730 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the SX730 has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX730 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX420 and the SX730 write their files to SDXC cards.

 

Connectivity 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 Canon PowerShot SX730 HS 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
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX420-monomono--none2.0YY-Canon SX420
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon SX540
 
Canon SX620-monomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX620
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX720
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G5 X
 
Canon SX410-stereomono--none2.0---Canon SX410
 
Canon SX610-nonenone--micro2.0YY-Canon SX610
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic ZS70

The SX420 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX730 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX730 was succeeded by the Canon SX730 HS. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX420 or the Canon SX730 – 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 (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX730 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).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • 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).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (250 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX730 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 4 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.

SX420 04:10 SX730

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX420 and the Canon SX730 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 SX730 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.

Expert reviews

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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299 iCanon SX420
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399iCanon SX730
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 iCanon SX740
 
Canon G7 X Mark II+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699iCanon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 iCanon SX540
 
Canon SX620........4/5 May 2016 279 iCanon SX620
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379iCanon SX720
 
Canon G5 X+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799iCanon G5 X
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279iCanon SX410
 
Canon SX610....4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 249iCanon SX610
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349iCanon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449iPanasonic ZS70
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.

Canon SX420:
Check Amazon price
Canon SX730:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon SX420 vs Canon SX730

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon SX420 Canon SX730
    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 April 2017
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 399
    Sensor Specs Canon SX420 Canon SX730
    Sensor Technology CCD BSI-CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    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 100-1600 ISO 80-3200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ DIGIC 6
    Screen Specs Canon SX420 Canon SX730
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX420 Canon SX730
    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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX420 Canon SX730
    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
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX420 Canon SX730
    Battery Type NB-11LH NB-13L
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    110 x 64 x 40 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 325 g (11.5 oz) 300 g (10.6 oz)

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