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Canon SX500 vs SX740

The Canon PowerShot SX500 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2012 and July 2018. Both the SX500 and the SX740 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX500 has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the SX740 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 SX500 versus Canon SX740
Canon SX500 Canon SX740
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 80-1,600 ISO 100-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.8 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
195 shots per battery charge265 shots per battery charge
104 x 70 x 80 mm, 341 g 110 x 64 x 40 mm, 299 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX740 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 SX500 and the Canon SX740 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX740 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX500 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX500 vs Canon SX740
Compare SX500 versus SX740 top
Comparison SX500 or SX740 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX740 is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon SX500. Moreover, the SX740 is markedly lighter (12 percent) than the SX500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX500 nor the SX740 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX500 gets 195 shots out of its NB-6L battery, while the SX740 can take 265 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack. The power pack in the SX740 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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 SX500 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 341 g 195 n Aug 2012 329i
2.
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
3.
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 111 mm 61 mm 46 mm 340 g 230 n Jul 2019 899 i
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 105 mm 61 mm 41 mm 304 g 235 n Jul 2019 749 i
5.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
6.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
7.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399i
9.
 
Canon SX700 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 250 n Feb 2014 349i
10.
 
Canon SX400 104 mm 69 mm 80 mm 313 g 190 n Jul 2014 249i
11.
 
Canon SX510 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 349 g 250 n Aug 2013 249i
12.
 
Canon 100D 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
13.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
14.
 
Panasonic TZ95 112 mm 69 mm 42 mm 327 g 380 n Feb 2019 449 i
15.
 
Panasonic TZ90 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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 SX500 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 18 percent) than the SX740, 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.

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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. 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, the SX740 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the SX500 (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX500 and Canon SX740 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX740 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the SX500. This megapixels advantage translates into a 13 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX740 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.33μm for the SX500). However, it should be noted that the SX740 is much more recent (by 5 years and 11 months) than the SX500, 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Canon SX740 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX740 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 SX500 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX500 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

SX500 versus SX740 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
1.
 
Canon SX500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
2.
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
3.
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
5.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
6.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
7.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
8.
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
9.
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
10.
 
Canon SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
11.
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p........
12.
 
Canon 100D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
13.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
14.
 
Panasonic TZ95 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
15.
 
Panasonic TZ90 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SX740 provides a better video resolution than the SX500. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the SX500 is limited to 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX500 and the SX740 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 SX500 and Canon SX740 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 SX500none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon G5 X Mark II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark IIInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX400none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX510none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 Y Y
12.
 
Canon 100Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
13.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic TZ952330 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic TZ901166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
The SX740 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 SX500 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Canon SX740 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Both the SX500 and the SX740 have zoom lenses built in. The SX500 has a 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 optic and the SX740 offers a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX500 and SX740 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the SX740 has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX740 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX500 and the SX740 write their files to SDXC cards. The SX740 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX500 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 SX500 IS and Canon PowerShot SX740 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 SX500-stereomono---2.0---
2.
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
3.
 
Canon G5 X Mark II-stereomono--micro3.1Y-Y
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III-stereomonoY-micro3.1Y-Y
5.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX400-stereomono---2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
12.
 
Canon 100DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
14.
 
Panasonic TZ95-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
15.
 
Panasonic TZ90-stereomono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the SX740 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the SX500 does not provide wifi capability.

The SX740 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX500 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX500 was succeeded by the Canon SX510. 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 SX500 and the Canon SX740? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS:

  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (18 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2012).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 13%.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 8 vs DIGIC 4).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 461k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.3 vs f/3.4).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 42g or 12 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (265 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
  • 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 wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 11 months of technical progress since the SX500 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX740 is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 2 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.

SX500 02:18 SX740

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX500 and the Canon SX740 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX500 or the SX740. 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 SX500..+ +..4/54/5 Aug 2012 329i
2.
 
Canon SX740..+..4/54/5 Jul 2018 399 i
3.
 
Canon G5 X Mark II4/5+82/100..4/5 Jul 2019 899 i
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III..+ +81/1004/5.. Jul 2019 749 i
5.
 
Canon SX730..+..4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
6.
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
7.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX520..+..3.5/53.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
9.
 
Canon SX700..+ +..4/54/5 Feb 2014 349i
10.
 
Canon SX400..+...... Jul 2014 249i
11.
 
Canon SX510..+ +..4.5/54/5 Aug 2013 249i
12.
 
Canon 100D4/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
13.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
14.
 
Panasonic TZ95..+ +..4.5/5.. Feb 2019 449 i
15.
 
Panasonic TZ90..+ +..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 are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX500:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX740:
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon SX500 vs Canon SX740

    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 SX500 Canon SX740
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9
    Launch Date August 2012 July 2018
    Launch Price USD 329 USD 399
    Sensor Specs Canon SX500 Canon SX740
    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 15.9 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.18 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 71.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC 8
    Screen Specs Canon SX500 Canon SX740
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX500 Canon SX740
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.8 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    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 SX500 Canon SX740
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX500 Canon SX740
    Battery Type NB-6L NB-13L
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge265 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 104 x 70 x 80 mm
    (4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
    110 x 64 x 40 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 341 g (12.0 oz) 299 g (10.5 oz)

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