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Canon SX430 vs SX540

The Canon PowerShot SX430 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2017 and January 2016. Both the SX430 and the SX540 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX430 has a resolution of 19.9 megapixels, whereas the SX540 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 SX430 versus Canon SX540
Canon SX430 Canon SX540
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1080mm f/3.5-6.6 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5
19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/25p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 80-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 461k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.5 shutter flaps per second 5.9 shutter flaps per second
195 shots per battery charge205 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 323 g 120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX430 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX540 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX430 and the Canon SX540 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX430 vs Canon SX540
Compare SX430 versus SX540 top
Comparison SX430 or SX540 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX540 is notably larger (37 percent) than the Canon SX430. Moreover, the SX540 is substantially heavier (37 percent) than the SX430. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX430 nor the SX540 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX430 gets 195 shots out of its NB-11LH battery, while the SX540 can take 205 images on a single charge of its NB-6LH power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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
1.
 
Canon SX430 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 323 g 195 n Jan 2017 299 i
2.
 
Canon SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
3.
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX70 127 mm 91 mm 117 mm 608 g 325 n Sep 2018 549 i
5.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
6.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699i
7.
 
Canon T6 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449i
8.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
9.
 
Canon SX620 97 mm 57 mm 28 mm 182 g 295 n May 2016 279 i
10.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
11.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
12.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
13.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
14.
 
Panasonic ZS70 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 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.

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 SX430 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the SX540, 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 SX540 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the SX430 (DIGIC 4+), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX430 and Canon SX540 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX540 offers a slightly higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 19.9 MP of the SX430. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0.59999999999999 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX540 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 SX430). Moreover, it should be noted, that the SX430 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the SX540, 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 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 SX430 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

SX430 versus SX540 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.

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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
1.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
2.
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
3.
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
4.
 
Canon SX70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
5.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
6.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
7.
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
8.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
9.
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
10.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
11.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
12.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
13.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
14.
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the SX540 provides a better video resolution than the SX430. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the SX430 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 SX430 and the SX540 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 SX430, the Canon SX540, 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
1.
 
Canon SX430none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX540none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX702360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T6optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX620none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
13.
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

Both the SX430 and the SX540 have zoom lenses built in. The SX430 has a 24-1080mm f/3.5-6.6 optic and the SX540 offers a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX430 and SX540 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the SX540 has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX540 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX430 and the SX540 write their files to SDXC cards. The SX540 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX430 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 SX430 IS and Canon PowerShot SX540 HS 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
1.
 
Canon SX430-monomono---2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SX70-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX620-monomono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
12.
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
13.
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--

Both the SX430 and the SX540 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The SX540 replaced the earlier Canon SX530, while the SX430 followed on from the Canon SX420. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon SX430 better than the Canon SX540 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX430 IS:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 120x82mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 119g or 27 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year after the SX540).


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX540 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 (461k vs 230k dots).
  • 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/3.4 vs f/3.5).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX540 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 5 points). 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 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.

SX430 05:08 SX540

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX430 and the Canon SX540 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 SX430 and the SX540 in practical situations. 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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX430......3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2017 299 i
2.
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 i
3.
 
Canon SX740..+..4/54/5 Jul 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX70..+ +..3.5/53.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i
5.
 
Canon SX730..+..4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
6.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II4.5/5+ +81/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
7.
 
Canon T64/5o73/1004/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
8.
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
9.
 
Canon SX620........4/5 May 2016 279 i
10.
 
Canon SX720..+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
11.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279i
12.
 
Canon SX530..+ +..4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
13.
 
Canon SX710..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
14.
 
Panasonic ZS70..+ +..4/54/5 Apr 2017 449i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX430:
Check Amazon price
Canon SX540:
Check Amazon price

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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon SX430 vs Canon SX540

    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 SX430 Canon SX540
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1080mm f/3.5-6.6 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date January 2017 January 2016
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 399
    Sensor Specs Canon SX430 Canon SX540
    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 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ DIGIC 6
    Screen Specs Canon SX430 Canon SX540
    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 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX430 Canon SX540
    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 UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX430 Canon SX540
    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 SX430 Canon SX540
    Battery Type NB-11LH NB-6LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge205 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    Camera Weight 323 g (11.4 oz) 442 g (15.6 oz)

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