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Canon SX530 vs SX540

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2015 and January 2016. Both the SX530 and the SX540 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX530 has a resolution of 15.9 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 SX530
versus
Canon SX540
Canon SX530   Canon SX540
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5
15.9 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 20.2 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 80-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 461k dots 3.0" LCD – 461k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.6 shutter flaps per second 5.9 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge205 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g 120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS 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.

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Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX530 and the Canon SX540. 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.

Size Canon SX530 vs Canon SX540
Compare SX530 versus SX540 top
Comparison SX530 or SX540 rear

In this particular case, the Canon SX530 and the Canon SX540 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. Moreover, the two cameras also share the same weight. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX530 nor the SX540 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, 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 SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429ebay.com
2.
 
Canon SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 399ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399ebay.com
4.
 
Canon T6 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449ebay.com
5.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX700 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 250 n Feb 2014 349ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549ebay.com
10.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499ebay.com
13.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
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The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX540 was somewhat cheaper (by 7 percent) than the SX530 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.

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. 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 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 SX540 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the SX530 (DIGIC 4+), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX530 and Canon SX540 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX540 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the SX530. This megapixels advantage translates into a 13 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 1.33μm for the SX530). However, it should be noted that the SX540 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the SX530, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly 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 SX540 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX540 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 SX530 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 SX530 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

SX530 versus SX540 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 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 SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.211.671247
2.
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.311.780648
3.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.511.992450
4.
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.778166
5.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.311.881748
6.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.211.671247
7.
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.111.567246
8.
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.111.462945
9.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
10.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
11.
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i20.211.672147
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i19.410.730639
13.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p20.211.673847
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
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Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the SX540 provides a faster frame rate than the SX530. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the SX530 is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The SX530 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX530 and Canon SX540 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
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon SX530none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6/s Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX540none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX730none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon T6optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon SX720none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX520none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX700none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon L840none n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4/s Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Sony HX90V638 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
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Both the SX530 and the SX540 have zoom lenses built in. Both optics have identical focal length range and aperture specifications (4.3-215mm f/3.4-6.5). Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX530 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 SX530 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 SX530 HS 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon SX530-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon SX540-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon SX730-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon T6Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX720-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX520-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon L840-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Sony HX90V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
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Both the SX530 and the SX540 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The SX530 was replaced by the Canon SX540, while the SX540 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the SX530 and SX540 can be found, respectively, in the Canon SX530 Manual (free pdf) or the online Canon SX540 Manual.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX530 better than the Canon SX540 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2015).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX540 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 6 vs DIGIC 4+).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 1.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX540 is the clear winner of the contest (6 : 1 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX530 01:06 SX540

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX530 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX530 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 expert reviews 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], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX530..+ +....4/54/5 Jan 2015 429ebay.com
2.
 
Canon SX540............ Jan 2016 399ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX730..+....4/54/5 Apr 2017 399ebay.com
4.
 
Canon T64/5o4/573/1004/54/5 Mar 2016 449ebay.com
5.
 
Canon SX720..+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX520..+....3.5/53.5/5 Jul 2014 399ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX700..+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 349ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549ebay.com
10.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon L840..+ +....3.5/54/5 Feb 2015 299ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499ebay.com
13.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +....4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.
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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. 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.

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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 use the search menu below. 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 SX530 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 SX530 Canon SX540
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date January 2015 January 2016
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 399
    Sensor Specs Canon SX530 Canon SX540
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS 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 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ DIGIC 6
    Screen Specs Canon SX530 Canon SX540
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX530 Canon SX540
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.6 shutter flaps/s 5.9 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX530 Canon SX540
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX530 Canon SX540
    Battery Type NB-6LH NB-6LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge205 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 442 g (15.6 oz)
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    Check SX540 offers at
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