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Canon SX540 vs SX600

The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and January 2014. Both the SX540 and the SX600 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX540 has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the SX600 provides 15.9 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX540 versus Canon SX600
Canon SX540 Canon SX600
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 25-450mm f/3.8-6.9
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 100-3,200
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)
5.9 shutter flaps per second 3.9 shutter flaps per second
205 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g 104 x 61 x 26 mm, 188 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX600 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 SX540 and the Canon SX600 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX600 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the SX540 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX540 vs Canon SX600
Compare SX540 versus SX600 top
Comparison SX540 or SX600 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX600 is considerably smaller (36 percent) than the Canon SX540. Moreover, the SX600 is substantially lighter (57 percent) than the SX540. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX540 nor the SX600 are weather-sealed.

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 SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
2.
 
Canon SX600 104 mm 61 mm 26 mm 188 g 290 n Jan 2014 249i
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark III 115 mm 78 mm 51 mm 399 g 200 Y Oct 2017 1,299 i
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i
7.
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
8.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
9.
 
Canon 1300D 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449i
10.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
11.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
12.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
13.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
14.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249i
15.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
16.
 
Canon SX400 104 mm 69 mm 80 mm 313 g 190 n Jul 2014 249i
17.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX600 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the SX540, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 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 tend to be more expensive and 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.

In terms of chip-set technology, the SX540 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the SX600 (DIGIC 4+), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX540 and Canon SX600 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 SX600. 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 SX600). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the SX540 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the SX600, 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 SX600 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 SX540 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

SX540 versus SX600 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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
1.
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
2.
 
Canon SX600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
4.
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark III APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
7.
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
8.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
9.
 
Canon 1300D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
10.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
11.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
12.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
13.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
14.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
15.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
16.
 
Canon SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
17.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739

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 SX540 provides a higher frame rate than the SX600. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the SX600 is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX540 and the SX600 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX540 and Canon SX600 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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
1.
 
Canon SX540none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX600none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 3.9 Y Y
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 200Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark III2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 9.0 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 8.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
9.
 
Canon 1300Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
11.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
13.
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
14.
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
15.
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
16.
 
Canon SX400none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
17.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y

Both the SX540 and the SX600 have zoom lenses built in. The SX540 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the SX600 offers a 25-450mm f/3.8-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX540 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the SX600. The SX540 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX540 and the SX600 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 SX600 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 SX540 HS and Canon PowerShot SX600 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 SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon SX600-monomono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon 200DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIIYstereomono--micro2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
7.
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
8.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
9.
 
Canon 1300DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
13.
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
14.
 
Canon SX610-----micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Canon SX400-stereomono---2.0---
17.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-

The SX540 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX600 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX600 was succeeded by the Canon SX610. 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 is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX540 or the Canon SX600 – 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 SX540 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.9MP) with a 13% higher linear resolution.
  • 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 3.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.4 vs f/3.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 11 months after the SX600).


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS:

  • More compact: Is smaller (104x61mm vs 120x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 254g or 57 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (290 versus 205) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SX540 is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 5 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 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.

SX540 09:05 SX600

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX540 and the Canon SX600 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 SX540 and the SX600 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], 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 SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 i
2.
 
Canon SX600..+..4/54/5 Jan 2014 249i
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon 200D4/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark III5/5+79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2017 1,299 i
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II4/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i
7.
 
Canon M6....80/1004/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
8.
 
Canon SX730..+..4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
9.
 
Canon 1300D4/5o73/1004/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
10.
 
Canon SX720..+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
11.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
12.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279i
13.
 
Canon SX530..+ +..4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
14.
 
Canon SX610......4/54/5 Jan 2015 249i
15.
 
Canon SX710..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
16.
 
Canon SX400..+...... Jul 2014 249i
17.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
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. 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 SX540:
Check Amazon price
Canon SX600:
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 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 SX540 vs Canon SX600

    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 SX540 Canon SX600
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 25-450mm f/3.8-6.9
    Launch Date January 2016 January 2014
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 249
    Sensor Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX600
    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 20.2 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 DIGIC 4+
    Screen Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX600
    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 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX600
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s 3.9 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 UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX600
    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 SX540 Canon SX600
    Battery Type NB-6LH NB-6LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)205 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    104 x 61 x 26 mm
    (4.1 x 2.4 x 1.0 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 188 g (6.6 oz)

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