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Canon SX420 vs Sony H400

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and February 2014. Both the SX420 and the H400 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 19.9 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX420 versus Sony H400
Canon SX420 Sony H400
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 24.5-1550mm f/3.4-6.5
19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/25p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 80-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (210k dots)
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.5 shutter flaps per second 0.7 shutter flaps per second
195 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 g 130 x 95 x 122 mm, 628 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400? 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 Sony H400. 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 H400 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX420 vs Sony H400
Compare SX420 versus H400 top
Comparison SX420 or H400 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H400 is considerably larger (72 percent) than the Canon SX420. Moreover, the H400 is substantially heavier (93 percent) than the SX420. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX420 nor the H400 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.

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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
 
Sony H400 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.8 in 22.2 oz 300 n Feb 2014 319 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
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
 
Sony HX400V 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
 
Sony H300 5.0 in 3.5 in 3.6 in 20.8 oz 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
 
Sony H200 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX420 was somewhat cheaper (by 6 percent) than the H400 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensors.

Canon SX420 and Sony H400 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 19.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the SX420 and the H400 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the SX420 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the H400, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

SX420 versus H400 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........
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
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........
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

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 H400 provides a faster frame rate than the SX420. It can shoot movie footage at 720/30p, 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. For example, the H400 has an electronic viewfinder (210k dots), which can be very helpful 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 Sony H400, 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
 
Sony H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 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
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

Both the SX420 and the H400 have zoom lenses built in. The SX420 has a 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 optic and the H400 offers a 24.5-1550mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Sony, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The H400 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The SX420 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the H400 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 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-
 
Sony H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
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-
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---

Both the SX420 and the H400 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The H400 replaced the earlier Sony H200, while the SX420 followed on from the Canon SX410. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX420 or the Sony H400 – 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:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 130x95mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 303g or 48 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 10 months after the H400).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (720/30p versus 720/25p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (0.7 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.4 vs f/3.5).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (300 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the H400 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 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 06:08 H400

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX420 and the Sony H400 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 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 H400. 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
 
Sony H400o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2014 319 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
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
 
Sony HX400V+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 499 i
 
Sony H300+..4.5/5..4/5 Feb 2014 219 i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 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
Sony H400:
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 Sony H400

    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 Sony H400
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 24.5-1550mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date January 2016 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 319
    Sensor Specs Canon SX420 Sony H400
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    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 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5152 x 3864 pixels 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.19 μm 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 70.91 MP/cm2 70.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/25p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ BIONZ
    Screen Specs Canon SX420 Sony H400
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 210k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX420 Sony H400
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.5 shutter flaps/s 0.7 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX420 Sony H400
    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
    Body Specs Canon SX420 Sony H400
    Battery Type NB-11LH NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    130 x 95 x 122 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 4.8 in)
    Camera Weight 325 g (11.5 oz) 628 g (22.2 oz)

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