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Canon SX540 vs SX70

The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and September 2018. Both the SX540 and the SX70 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20.2 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX540   Canon SX70
Canon SX540 Canon SX70
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 80-3200 ISO 100-3200
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0" LCD, 461k dots 3.0" LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.9 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
205 shots per battery charge325 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g 127 x 91 x 117 mm, 608 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX70 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX540 and the Canon SX70. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX540 vs Canon SX70
Compare SX540 versus SX70 top
Comparison SX540 or SX70 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX70 is notably larger (17 percent) than the Canon SX540. Moreover, the SX70 is substantially heavier (38 percent) than the SX540. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX540 nor the SX70 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX540 gets 205 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the SX70 can take 325 images on a single charge of its LP-E12 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX540» 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 205 n Jan 2016 399 i i Canon SX540
 
Canon SX70« 5.0 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 21.4 oz 325 n Sep 2018 549 i i Canon SX70
 
Canon SX740« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
 
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon T6« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
 
Canon SX420« » 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 i i Canon SX420
 
Canon SX720« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379- i Canon SX720
 
Canon SX410« » 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279- i Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jan 2015 429- i Canon SX530
 
Canon SX710« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349- i Canon SX710
 
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic ZS70
 
Panasonic FZ80« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.7 in 21.7 oz 330 n Jan 2017 399 i i Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 SX540 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the SX70, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 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.

Technology-wise, the SX70 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the SX540 (DIGIC 6), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX540 and Canon SX70 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20.2 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the SX540 and the SX70 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the SX70 is much more recent (by 2 years and 8 months) than the SX540, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 Canon PowerShot SX540 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

SX540 versus SX70 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX540» 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX540
 
Canon SX70« 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX70
 
Canon SX740« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX740
 
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
 
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
 
Canon T6« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon T6
 
Canon SX420« » 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p----Canon SX420
 
Canon SX720« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX720
 
Canon SX410« » 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p----Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Canon SX530
 
Canon SX710« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX710
 
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic ZS70
 
Panasonic FZ80« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Sony HX400V

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the SX70 provides a better video resolution than the SX540. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the SX540 is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SX70 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX540 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX540 and Canon SX70 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX540»- n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX540
 
Canon SX70«2360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Canon SX70
 
Canon SX740« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
 
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
 
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Canon T6« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T6
 
Canon SX420« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX420
 
Canon SX720« »- n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX720
 
Canon SX410« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530« »- n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y Canon SX530
 
Canon SX710« »- n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y Canon SX710
 
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
 
Panasonic ZS70« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS70
 
Panasonic FZ80« »1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10 Y Y Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V
The SX70 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 SX540 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the SX540 and the SX70 have zoom lenses built in. The SX540 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the SX70 offers a 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX70 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the SX540. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX540 and the SX70 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

 

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 SX70 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX540»-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon SX540
 
Canon SX70«-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YCanon SX70
 
Canon SX740« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
 
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G9 X Mark II
 
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Canon T6« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T6
 
Canon SX420« »-monomono---2.0YY-Canon SX420
 
Canon SX720« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX720
 
Canon SX410« »-stereomono---2.0---Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon SX530
 
Canon SX710« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX710
 
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
 
Panasonic ZS70« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic ZS70
 
Panasonic FZ80« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX400V« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V

It is notable that the SX70 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The SX540 does not feature such a mic input.

Both the SX540 and the SX70 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The SX540 replaced the earlier Canon SX530, while the SX70 followed on from the Canon SX60 . 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX540 and the Canon SX70? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:

  • More compact: Is smaller (120x82mm vs 127x91mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 166g or 27 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2016).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 8 vs DIGIC 6).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 461k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • 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.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (325 versus 205) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the SX540 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX70 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 5 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.

SX540 05:13 SX70

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX540 and the Canon SX70 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX540 or the SX70. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX540»----- Jan 2016 399 i i Canon SX540
 
Canon SX70«--3.5/5-3.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i i Canon SX70
 
Canon SX740« »+-4/5-4/5 Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
 
Canon SX730« »+-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon T6« »o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
 
Canon SX420« »----- Jan 2016 299 i i Canon SX420
 
Canon SX720« »+-4/5-4.5/5 Feb 2016 379- i Canon SX720
 
Canon SX410« »o---- Feb 2015 279- i Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Jan 2015 429- i Canon SX530
 
Canon SX710« »+-4/5-3.5/5 Jan 2015 349- i Canon SX710
 
Canon SX60« »+ +75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Panasonic ZS70« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic ZS70
 
Panasonic FZ80« »+ +-4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i i Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX400V« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
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 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 SX540:
Check Amazon price
Canon SX70:
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 SX540 vs Canon SX70

    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 SX70
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date January 2016 September 2018
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX70
    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 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 1.18 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 71.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80-3200 ISO 100-3200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 DIGIC 8
    Screen Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX70
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification ..x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX70
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000/s 1/2000/s
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s 10 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 UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX70
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX70
    Battery Type NB-6LH LP-E12
    Battery Life (CIPA)205 shots per charge325 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    127 x 91 x 117 mm
    (5.0 x 3.6 x 4.6 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 608 g (21.4 oz)

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