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Canon SX530 vs Panasonic G3

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2015 and May 2011. The SX530 is a fixed lens compact, while the G3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX530) and a Four Thirds (G3) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.8 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 Panasonic G3
Canon SX530 Panasonic G3
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 160-6,400
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel touchscreen
1.6 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge270 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g 115 x 84 x 47 mm, 336 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX530 and the Panasonic G3. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The G3 can be obtained in four different colors (black, brown, red, white), while the SX530 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX530 vs Panasonic G3
Compare SX530 versus G3 top
Comparison SX530 or G3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G3 is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Canon SX530. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX530 nor the G3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX530 has a lens built in, whereas the G3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the G3 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX530 gets 210 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the G3 can take 270 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLD10 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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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
 
Panasonic G3 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599i
 
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 SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
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 G6 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic G5 4.7 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic GX1 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 11.2 oz 320 n Nov 2011 699i
 
Panasonic FZ100 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499i
 
Panasonic G2 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599i
 
Panasonic GH2 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 899i
 
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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX530 was launched at a lower price than the G3, despite having a lens built in. 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX530 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic G3 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G3 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon SX530 and Panasonic G3 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX530 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 15.8 MP of the Panasonic G3. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 3.77μm for the G3). However, it should be noted that the SX530 is much more recent (by 3 years and 7 months) than the G3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX530 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 are ISO 160 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

SX530 versus G3 MP

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.

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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........
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX720 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 G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........

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 G3 provides a faster frame rate than the SX530. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G3 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX530 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX530 and Panasonic G3 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
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
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 SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 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 G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Panasonic G51440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GX1optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
Panasonic GH21534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G3 has a touchscreen, while the SX530 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The G3 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 SX530 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX530 and the G3 write their files to SDXC 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 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-
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX720-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 G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic G5Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GH2YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the SX530 offers wifi support, while the G3 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX530 and the G3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G3 was replaced by the Panasonic G5, while the SX530 was followed by the Canon SX540. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX530 and the Panasonic G3? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the G3 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • 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.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 7 months of technical progress since the G3 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • 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.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 1.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (270 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in May 2011).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G3 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 7 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.

SX530 07:16 G3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX530 and the Panasonic G3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 G3 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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
 
Panasonic G3+ +75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
 
Canon T6o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
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 G6+ +..5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic G5+ +..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic GX1+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
 
Panasonic FZ100+..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
 
Panasonic G2..72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
 
Panasonic GH2+ +79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899i
 
Sony HX90V+ +..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX530:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic G3:
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.

~

    Specifications: Canon SX530 vs Panasonic G3

    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 Panasonic G3
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2015 May 2011
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon SX530 Panasonic G3
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4592 x 3448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 160 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 56
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 667
    Screen Specs Canon SX530 Panasonic G3
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX530 Panasonic G3
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.6 shutter flaps/s 4 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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX530 Panasonic G3
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX530 Panasonic G3
    Battery Type NB-6LH DMW-BLD10
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge270 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    115 x 84 x 47 mm
    (4.5 x 3.3 x 1.9 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 336 g (11.9 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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