Canon SX50 vs SX730
The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and April 2017. Both the SX50 and the SX730 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX50 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the SX730 provides 20.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX730 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX50 and the Canon SX730. 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.
The SX730 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX50 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX730 is considerably smaller (34 percent) than the Canon SX50. Moreover, the SX730 is substantially lighter (50 percent) than the SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the SX730 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the SX50 gets 315 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the SX730 can take 250 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack. The power pack in the SX730 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|2.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|5.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|6.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|7.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|8.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|9.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|10.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|11.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|12.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|13.||Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429|
|14.||Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429|
|15.||Canon SX20||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Aug 2009||399|
|16.||Canon SX10||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Sep 2008||399|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|Note: 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX730 was somewhat cheaper (by 7 percent) than the SX50 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 SX730 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the SX50 (DIGIC 5), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX730 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the SX50. This megapixels advantage translates into a 30 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX730 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.53μm for the SX50). However, it should be noted that the SX730 is much more recent (by 4 years and 6 months) than the SX50, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX730 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX730 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX730 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX50 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.
|11.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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 SX730 provides a faster frame rate than the SX50. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the SX50 is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX50 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX730 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 SX50, the Canon SX730, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon SX50||202||n||3.0 / 461||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX740||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX420||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX540||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon S120||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||Y||1/2000s||12.1/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon G15||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Canon SX40||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||10.3/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Canon SX30||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.6/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Canon SX20||202||n||2.5 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.7/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Canon SX10||202||n||2.5 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.7/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
Both the SX50 and the SX730 have zoom lenses built in. The SX50 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the SX730 offers a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX50 and SX730 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the SX730 has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX730 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX50 and the SX730 write their files to SDXC cards.
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 SX50 HS and Canon PowerShot SX730 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon SX50||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX740||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon SX420||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon SX540||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Canon S120||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon G15||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon SX40||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon SX30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon SX20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Canon SX10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the SX50 has a hotshoe, while the SX730 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the SX50 and the SX730 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX50 was replaced by the Canon SX60, while the SX730 was followed by the Canon SX730 HS. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX50 or the Canon SX730 – 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.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (315 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2012).
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 30%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 5).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 461k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.3 vs f/3.4).
- More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 123x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 295g or 50 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 6 months of technical progress since the SX50 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX730 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 7 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Canon SX730 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX50 or the SX730 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.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.
|1.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|2.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||3.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|5.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|6.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|7.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|8.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|9.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|10.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|11.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|12.||Canon G15||4/5||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|13.||Canon SX40||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429|
|14.||Canon SX30||3/5||+ +||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429|
|15.||Canon SX20||..||+ +||..||73/100||..||4/5||Aug 2009||399|
|16.||Canon SX10||..||+ +||..||..||..||4/5||Sep 2008||399|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon SX50 vs Canon SX730
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 Model||Canon SX50||Canon SX730|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5||24-960mm f/3.3-6.9|
|Launch Date||September 2012||April 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX50||Canon SX730|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 6,400 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5||DIGIC 6|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||47||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.3||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||179||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX50||Canon SX730|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX50||Canon SX730|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.2 shutter flaps/s||5.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-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 SX50||Canon SX730|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX50||Canon SX730|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||315 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
123 x 87 x 106 mm
(4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
110 x 64 x 40 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||595 g (21.0 oz)||300 g (10.6 oz)|
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