Ur-Leica Contax Camera Comparison
Leica 1600mm Vivitar Shutter count
A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Canon SX420 vs Panasonic GF6

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and April 2013. The SX420 is a fixed lens compact, while the GF6 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX420) and a Four Thirds (GF6) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 19.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.8 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 Panasonic GF6
Canon SX420 Panasonic GF6
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 Micro Four Thirds lenses
19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
720/25p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 160-12,800 (160 - 25,600)
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
0.5 shutter flaps per second 4.2 shutter flaps per second
195 shots per battery charge340 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 g 111 x 65 x 38 mm, 323 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6? 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 Panasonic GF6. 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the GF6 is available in four color-versions (black, brown, red, white).

Size Canon SX420 vs Panasonic GF6
Compare SX420 versus GF6 top
Comparison SX420 or GF6 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX420 and the Panasonic GF6 are of equal size. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX420 nor the GF6 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 GF6 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 GF6 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds 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.

scroll hint
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 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299 i
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499i
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon SX620 97 mm 57 mm 28 mm 182 g 295 n May 2016 279 i
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249i
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Panasonic GF7 107 mm 65 mm 33 mm 266 g 230 n Jan 2015 499i
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499i
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699i
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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 GF6, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX420 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic GF6 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF6 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon SX420 and Panasonic GF6 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX420 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 15.8 MP of the Panasonic GF6. 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 3.77μm for the GF6). However, it should be noted that the SX420 is much more recent (by 2 years and 8 months) than the GF6, 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 Panasonic GF6 are 23 x 17.2 inches or 58.3 x 43.8 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.7 x 35 cm for very good quality, and 15.3 x 11.5 inches or 38.9 x 29.2 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 160-25600.

SX420 versus GF6 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

scroll hint
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........
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
 
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........
 
Panasonic GF7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p........
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the GF6 provides a better video resolution than the SX420. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 720/25p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX420 and the GF6 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX420 and Panasonic GF6 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

scroll hint
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
 
Panasonic GF6none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 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
 
Panasonic GF7none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 5.8 Y n
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GF5none n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GX1optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GF6 has a touchscreen, while the SX420 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The GF6 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.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX420 and the GF6 write their files to SDXC cards. The GF6 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.

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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
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-
 
Panasonic GF6-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M100-stereomono--mini2.0YYY
 
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-
 
Panasonic GF7-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GF5-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereomono--mini2.0---

The SX420 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the GF6 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GF6 was succeeded by the Panasonic GF7. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX420 better than the Panasonic GF6 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

ilogo

Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (19.9 vs 15.8MP) with a 12% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the GF6 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the GF6 launch.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6:

  • 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 definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/25p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.2 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (340 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2013).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GF6 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 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 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 06:15 GF6

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX420 and the Panasonic GF6 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX420 or the GF6 perform in practice. 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 why expert reviews are important. 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.

scroll hint
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
 
Panasonic GF6+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
 
Canon M6..80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
 
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
 
Panasonic GF7+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499i
 
Panasonic G6+ +..5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GF5....4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
 
Panasonic G3+ +75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
 
Panasonic GX1+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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
Panasonic GF6:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

~

    Specifications: Canon SX420 vs Panasonic GF6

    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 Panasonic GF6
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 April 2013
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon SX420 Panasonic GF6
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 19.9 Megapixels 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5152 x 3864 pixels 4592 x 3448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.19 μm 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 70.91 MP/cm2 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/25p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 160 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 160 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 20.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 622
    Screen Specs Canon SX420 Panasonic GF6
    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 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX420 Panasonic GF6
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.5 shutter flaps/s 4.2 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 Panasonic GF6
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX420 Panasonic GF6
    Battery Type NB-11LH DMW-BLG10
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge340 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    111 x 65 x 38 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 325 g (11.5 oz) 323 g (11.4 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Canon SX420 vs Panasonic GF6

    Thanks for your vote!

    You rated this page 4 out of 5.


    Rating

    Any additional comment or suggestion for improvement would be welcome.



    If you like it, make sure you share it.

    • Mention this page to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
    • Bookmark it in your browser for future reference by pressing "Crtl" + "D".
    • Create a hyperlink by copying the text below into your web-project or discussion forum entry.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to provide feedback.