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Canon SX530 vs SX720

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2015 and February 2016. Both the SX530 and the SX720 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 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 SX530 versus Canon SX720
Canon SX530 Canon SX720
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9
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, 922k 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 charge250 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 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 SX530 HS 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

The physical size and weight of the Canon SX530 and the Canon SX720 are illustrated 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.

The SX720 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the SX530 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX530 vs Canon SX720
Compare SX530 versus SX720 top
Comparison SX530 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 notably smaller (28 percent) than the Canon SX530. Moreover, the SX720 is substantially lighter (39 percent) than the SX530. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX530 nor the SX720 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX530 gets 210 shots out of its NB-6LH 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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX530 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX740 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon T6 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon SX540 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon SX410 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon SX520 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX700 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon T5 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Nikon L840 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
 
Panasonic FZ100 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499i
 
Sony HX90V 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 SX720 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 12 percent) than the SX530, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 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 SX530 (DIGIC 4+), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX530 and Canon SX720 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX720 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 SX720 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 SX720 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) 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 SX720 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX720 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 SX720 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

SX530 versus SX720 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the SX720 provides a faster frame rate than the SX530. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the SX530 is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX530 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX530, the Canon SX720, 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
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon T6optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon SX540none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

Both the SX530 and the SX720 have zoom lenses built in. The SX530 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the SX720 offers a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX530 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 SX530 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 SX530 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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 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
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

Both the SX530 and the SX720 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX530 was replaced by the Canon SX540, while the SX720 was followed 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX530 or the Canon SX720 – 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 SX530 HS:

  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2015).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX720 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).
  • 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 1.6 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 120x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 172g or 39 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (250 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (12 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 1 month) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX720 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 2 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.

SX530 02:13 SX720

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX530 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX530 and the SX720 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX530+ +..4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon T6o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon SX520+..3.5/5..3.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX700+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon T5+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
 
Panasonic FZ100+..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
 
Sony HX90V+ +..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX530:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX720:
Check Ebay offers

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX530 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 SX530 Canon SX720
    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 January 2015 February 2016
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 379
    Sensor Specs Canon SX530 Canon SX720
    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 SX720
    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 Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX530 Canon SX720
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.6 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 SX530 Canon SX720
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX530 Canon SX720
    Battery Type NB-6LH NB-13L
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    110 x 64 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 270 g (9.5 oz)

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