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Canon SX430 vs SX720

The Canon PowerShot SX430 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2017 and February 2016. Both the SX430 and the SX720 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 SX720 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 SX720
Canon SX430 Canon SX720
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1080mm f/3.5-6.6 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9
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, 922k 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 charge250 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 323 g 110 x 64 x 36 mm, 270 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX430 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX720 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 SX720 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX720 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the SX430 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX430 vs Canon SX720
Compare SX430 versus SX720 top
Comparison SX430 or SX720 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX720 is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Canon SX430. Moreover, the SX720 is markedly lighter (16 percent) than the SX430. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX430 nor the SX720 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX430 gets 195 shots out of its NB-11LH battery, while the SX720 can take 250 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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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 SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
3.
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779i
4.
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 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 SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
8.
 
Canon SX620 97 mm 57 mm 28 mm 182 g 295 n May 2016 279 i
9.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
10.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
11.
 
Panasonic TZ90 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 449i
12.
 
Sony RX100 VI 102 mm 58 mm 43 mm 301 g 240 n Jun 2018 1,199i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The SX430 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 21 percent) than the SX720, 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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 SX720 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 SX720 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX720 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 SX720 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 10 months) than the SX720, 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 SX720 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

SX430 versus SX720 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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
1.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
2.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
3.
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
4.
 
Canon SX740 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 SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
8.
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
9.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
10.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
11.
 
Panasonic TZ90 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
12.
 
Sony RX100 VI 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the SX720 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 SX720 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 SX430 and Canon SX720 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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 SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
3.
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 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 SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX620none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic TZ901166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
12.
 
Sony RX100 VI2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting Y 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y

Both the SX430 and the SX720 have zoom lenses built in. The SX430 has a 24-1080mm f/3.5-6.6 optic and the SX720 offers a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX430 and SX720 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the SX720 has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX720 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX430 and the SX720 write their files to SDXC cards. The SX720 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 SX720 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 SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX620-monomono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Panasonic TZ90-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
12.
 
Sony RX100 VI-stereomono--micro2.0YYY

The SX430 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX720 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX720 was succeeded by the Canon SX730. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX430 and the Canon SX720? Which camera is better? 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 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (21 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 10 months after the SX720).


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX720 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 (922k 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/3.3 vs f/3.5).
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 53g or 16 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (250 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 on the market for longer (launched in February 2016).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX720 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 4 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX430 04:09 SX720

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX430 and the Canon SX720 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 SX720 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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 SX720..+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
3.
 
Canon M50..+79/100..3.5/5 Feb 2018 779i
4.
 
Canon SX740..+..4/54/5 Jul 2018 399 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 SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
8.
 
Canon SX620........4/5 May 2016 279 i
9.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279i
10.
 
Canon SX710..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
11.
 
Panasonic TZ90..+ +..4/54/5 Apr 2017 449i
12.
 
Sony RX100 VI4.5/5+ +83/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2018 1,199i
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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX430:
Check Amazon price
Canon SX720:
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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX430 vs Canon SX720

    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 SX720
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1080mm f/3.5-6.6 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9
    Launch Date January 2017 February 2016
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 379
    Sensor Specs Canon SX430 Canon SX720
    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 SX720
    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 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX430 Canon SX720
    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 SX720
    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 NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX430 Canon SX720
    Battery Type NB-11LH NB-13L
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    110 x 64 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 323 g (11.4 oz) 270 g (9.5 oz)

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