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Canon SX420 vs T3

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (labelled Canon 1100D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and February 2011. The SX420 is a fixed lens compact, while the T3 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX420) and an APS-C (T3) sensor. The SX420 has a resolution of 19.9 megapixels, whereas the T3 provides 12.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX420 versus Canon T3
Canon SX420 Canon T3
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 Canon EF mount lenses
19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/25p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-6,400
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
195 shots per battery charge700 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 g 130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Canon EOS Rebel T3? 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 T3. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear 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 T3 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX420 vs Canon T3
Compare SX420 versus T3 top
Comparison SX420 or T3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T3 is considerably larger (81 percent) than the Canon SX420. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX420 nor the T3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX420 has a lens built in, whereas the T3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the T3 and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX420 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 i
 
Canon T3 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon SX740 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon T100 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon SX620 3.8 in 2.2 in 1.1 in 6.4 oz 295 n May 2016 279 i
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon G5 X 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon SX410 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX610 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 6.7 oz 270 n Jan 2015 249i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon T5 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon T4i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon XS 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
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 SX420 was launched at a lower price than the T3, despite having a lens built in. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX420 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon T3 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T3 is 1054 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.6. The sensor in the SX420 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the T3 offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the SX420 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the T3 (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX420 and Canon T3 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX420 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the Canon T3. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.19μm versus 5.15μm for the T3). However, it should be noted that the SX420 is much more recent (by 4 years and 10 months) than the T3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX420 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its 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 T3 are 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T3 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

SX420 versus T3 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the T3 provides a faster frame rate than the SX420. It can shoot movie footage at 720/30p, 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. For example, the T3 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX420 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX420, the Canon T3, and comparable cameras.

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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
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX620none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX420 and the T3 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 EOS Rebel T3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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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
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX620-monomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX610-----micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the SX420 offers wifi support, while the T3 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The SX420 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the T3 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the T3 was succeeded by the Canon T5. 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX420 and the Canon T3? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (19.9 vs 12.2MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4+ vs DIGIC 4).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the T3 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 130x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the T3).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • 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 affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 10 months of technical progress since the T3 launch.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (720/30p versus 720/25p).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (700 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2011).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (12 points each). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX420 12:12 T3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX420 and the Canon T3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX420 or the T3 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299 i
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon T100o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon SX620........4/5 May 2016 279 i
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon G5 X+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX610....4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 249i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon T5+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon T4i+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon XS82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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. 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 T3:
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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~

    Specifications: Canon SX420 vs Canon T3

    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 T3
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 February 2011
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon SX420 Canon T3
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 22.0 x 14.7 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 323.4 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 26.5 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 19.9 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5152 x 3864 pixels 4272 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.19 μm 5.15 μm
    Pixel Density 70.91 MP/cm2 3.76 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/25p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 755
    Screen Specs Canon SX420 Canon T3
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX420 Canon T3
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.5 shutter flaps/s 3 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 T3
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX420 Canon T3
    Battery Type NB-11LH LP-E10
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge700 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 325 g (11.5 oz) 495 g (17.5 oz)

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