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Canon SX540 vs SX740

The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and July 2018. Both the SX540 and the SX740 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   VS Canon SX740
Canon SX540 Canon SX740
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9
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 No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 461k dots 3.0" LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.9 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
205 shots per battery charge265 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g 110 x 64 x 40 mm, 299 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX740 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 SX740. 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 SX740 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX540 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX540 vs Canon SX740
Compare SX540 versus SX740 top
Comparison SX540 or SX740 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX740 is notably smaller (28 percent) than the Canon SX540. Moreover, the SX740 is markedly lighter (32 percent) than the SX540. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX540 nor the SX740 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX540 gets 205 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the SX740 can take 265 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 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)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX540» 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 205 n Jan 2016 399 iCanon SX540
 
Canon SX740« 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 iCanon SX740
 
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399iCanon SX730
 
Canon T6« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449iCanon T6
 
Canon SX420« » 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 iCanon SX420
 
Canon SX720« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379iCanon SX720
 
Canon SX410« » 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279iCanon SX410
 
Canon SX530« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jan 2015 429iCanon SX530
 
Canon SX710« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349iCanon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS80« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 11.5 oz 380 n Feb 2019 449 iPanasonic ZS80
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449iPanasonic ZS70
 
Panasonic FZ80« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.7 in 21.7 oz 330 n Jan 2017 399 iPanasonic FZ80
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 two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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 SX740 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 SX740 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 SX740 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the SX740 is much more recent (by 2 years and 6 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 SX740 HS are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

SX540 versus SX740 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 SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........Canon SX740
 
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
 
Panasonic ZS80 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........Panasonic ZS80
 
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

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 SX740 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. The SX540 and the SX740 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 SX540 and Canon SX740 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 SX540none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX540
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Canon T6optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T6
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX420
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX720
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y Canon SX530
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS802330 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS80
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS70
 
Panasonic FZ801166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10 Y Y Panasonic FZ80
The SX740 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 SX740 have zoom lenses built in. The SX540 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the SX740 offers a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX540 and SX740 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the SX740 has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX740 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX540 and the SX740 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 SX740 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
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon SX540
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T6
 
Canon SX420-monomono--none2.0YY-Canon SX420
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX720
 
Canon SX410-stereomono--none2.0---Canon SX410
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon SX530
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS80-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YPanasonic ZS80
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic ZS70
 
Panasonic FZ80Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic FZ80

Both the SX540 and the SX740 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The SX540 replaced the earlier Canon SX530, while the SX740 followed on from the Canon SX730 HS. 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 SX740? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:

  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2016).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX740 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).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 461k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5.9 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 143g or 32 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (265 versus 205) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the SX540 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX740 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.

SX540 02:13 SX740

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX540 and the Canon SX740 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 SX740. 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
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 iCanon SX540
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 iCanon SX740
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399iCanon SX730
 
Canon T6o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449iCanon T6
 
Canon SX420.......... Jan 2016 299 iCanon SX420
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379iCanon SX720
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279iCanon SX410
 
Canon SX530+ +..4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 429iCanon SX530
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349iCanon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS80+ +..4.5/5.... Feb 2019 449 iPanasonic ZS80
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449iPanasonic ZS70
 
Panasonic FZ80+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 iPanasonic FZ80
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, 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 SX740:
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 SX740

    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 SX740
    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 2016 July 2018
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 399
    Sensor Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX740
    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 SX740
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder No viewfinder
    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 Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX740
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    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 SX740
    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
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX540 Canon SX740
    Battery Type NB-6LH NB-13L
    Battery Life (CIPA)205 shots per charge265 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    110 x 64 x 40 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 299 g (10.5 oz)

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