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Canon SX420 vs Nikon W300

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Nikon Coolpix W300 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and May 2017. Both the SX420 and the W300 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 19.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 15.9 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 Nikon W300
Canon SX420 Nikon W300
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 24-120mm f/2.8-4.9
19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/25p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 125-1,600 (125 - 6,400)
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.5 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWaterproof body (30m)
195 shots per battery charge280 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 g 112 x 66 x 29 mm, 231 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Nikon Coolpix W300? 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 Nikon W300. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the W300 is available in three color-versions (black, orange, yellow).

Size Canon SX420 vs Nikon W300
Compare SX420 versus W300 top
Comparison SX420 or W300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon W300 is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Canon SX420. However, the W300 is markedly lighter (29 percent) than the SX420. It is noteworthy in this context that the W300 is splash and dust-proof, while the SX420 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the W300 is water-proof up to 30m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.

The power pack in the W300 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
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
 
Nikon W300 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i
 
Canon SX740 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 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
 
Olympus TG-5 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 8.8 oz 340 Y May 2017 449i
 
Panasonic TS7 4.6 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 11.3 oz 300 Y May 2018 449 i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
 
Ricoh WG-60 4.8 in 2.4 in 1.2 in 6.8 oz 300 Y Oct 2018 279 i
 
Sony WX800 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
 
Sony HX80 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 23 percent) than the W300, 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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.

Canon SX420 and Nikon W300 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX420 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the W300. This megapixels advantage translates into a 12 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX420 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.19μm versus 1.33μm for the W300). Moreover, it should be noted that the W300 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the SX420, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. 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 Nikon W300 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 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 Nikon Coolpix W300 are ISO 125 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 125-6400.

SX420 versus W300 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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........
 
Nikon W300 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
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........
 
Olympus TG-5 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
 
Panasonic TS7 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
 
Ricoh WG-60 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the W300 provides a better video resolution than the SX420. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 720/25p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX420 and the W300 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 Nikon W300, 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
 
Nikon W300none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
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
 
Olympus TG-5none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic TS71170 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/1300s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Ricoh WG-60none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

Both the SX420 and the W300 have zoom lenses built in. The SX420 has a 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 optic and the W300 offers a 24-120mm f/2.8-4.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Nikon provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Nikon has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The W300 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX420 and the W300 write their files to SDXC cards.

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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 Nikon Coolpix W300 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-
 
Nikon W300-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
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-
 
Olympus TG-5-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic TS7-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Ricoh WG-60-monomono--micro2.0---
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the W300 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

Both the SX420 and the W300 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The SX420 replaced the earlier Canon SX410, while the W300 followed on from the Nikon AW130. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX420 or the Nikon W300 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (19.9 vs 15.9MP) with a 12% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (23 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix W300:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/25p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.5).
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 94g or 29 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (280 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 30m).
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 4 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the W300 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. 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 06:13 W300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX420 and the Nikon W300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX420 or the W300. 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 expert reviews 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
 
Nikon W300+..4/5..4/5 May 2017 389 i
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 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
 
Olympus TG-5+ +..4/5o4/5 May 2017 449i
 
Panasonic TS7+......3.5/5 May 2018 449 i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
 
Ricoh WG-60.......... Oct 2018 279 i
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX420:
Check Amazon price
Nikon W300:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, 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: Canon SX420 vs Nikon W300

    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 Nikon W300
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 24-120mm f/2.8-4.9
    Launch Date January 2016 May 2017
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 389
    Sensor Specs Canon SX420 Nikon W300
    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 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5152 x 3864 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.19 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 70.91 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/25p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 125 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 125 - 6,400 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon SX420 Nikon W300
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX420 Nikon W300
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.5 shutter flaps/s 7 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 Nikon W300
    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 no NFC
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX420 Nikon W300
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWaterproof body (30m)
    Battery Type NB-11LH EN-EL12
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge280 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    112 x 66 x 29 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.1 in)
    Camera Weight 325 g (11.5 oz) 231 g (8.1 oz)

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