Canon SX540 vs T4i
The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel T4i (labelled Canon 650D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and June 2012. The SX540 is a fixed lens compact, while the T4i is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX540) and an APS-C (T4i) sensor. The SX540 has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the T4i provides 17.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel T4i? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX540 and the Canon T4i. 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T4i is notably larger (35 percent) than the Canon SX540. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX540 nor the T4i are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX540 has a lens built in, whereas the T4i 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 T4i and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|2.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Canon T6||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|6.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|7.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|8.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|9.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|10.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|11.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|12.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|13.||Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|14.||Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|15.||Canon T2i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|16.||Panasonic ZS70||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|17.||Panasonic FZ80||130 mm||94 mm||119 mm||616 g||330||n||Jan 2017||399|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX540 was launched at a lower price than the T4i, 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX540 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon T4i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T4i is 1086 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.6. The sensor in the SX540 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the T4i offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the SX540 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the T4i (DIGIC 5), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX540 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the Canon T4i. 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 1.18μm versus 4.31μm for the T4i). However, it should be noted that the SX540 is much more recent (by 3 years and 6 months) than the T4i, 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 SX540 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The T4i has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T4i are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the SX540 provides a higher frame rate than the T4i. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the T4i is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the T4i has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful 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 T4i along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon SX540||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon T4i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon SX740||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon T6||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|6.||Canon SX420||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon T6s||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|9.||Canon SX410||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon SX530||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon T5||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|13.||Canon T5i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|14.||Canon T3i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n|
|15.||Canon T2i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n|
|16.||Panasonic ZS70||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Panasonic FZ80||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The T4i has a touchscreen, while the SX540 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The T4i 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX540 and the T4i 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.
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 EOS Rebel T4i and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon SX540||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Canon T4i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX740||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon T6||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon SX420||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon T6s||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon SX410||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon SX530||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Canon T5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon T5i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon T3i||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon T2i||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic ZS70||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic FZ80||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the SX540 offers wifi support, while the T4i does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The SX540 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the T4i has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the T4i was succeeded by the Canon T5i. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX540 better than the Canon T4i or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 5).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the T4i requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x82mm vs 133x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the T4i).
- 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 6 months of technical progress since the T4i launch.
Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T4i:
- 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 live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
- 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.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (440 versus 205) 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 June 2012).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T4i is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 12 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX540 and the Canon T4i place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings 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 SX540 and the T4i in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.
|1.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|2.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||3.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Canon T6||4/5||o||4/5||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|6.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|7.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|8.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|9.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|10.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|11.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|12.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|13.||Canon T5i||..||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|14.||Canon T3i||3/5||o||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|15.||Canon T2i||..||+ +||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|16.||Panasonic ZS70||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|17.||Panasonic FZ80||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||399|
|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.
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Canon SX540
- Canon G5 X Mark II vs Canon T4i
- Canon SX510 vs Canon SX540
- Canon SX540 vs Nikon D500
- Canon SX540 vs Sony A7 III
- Canon SX540 vs Sony A99 II
- Canon SX540 vs Sony RX100 III
- Canon SX60 vs Canon T4i
- Canon T4i vs Panasonic FZ1000
- Canon T4i vs Panasonic FZ80
- Canon T4i vs Sony A7R IV
- Canon T4i vs Sony A99 II
Specifications: Canon SX540 vs Canon T4i
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 Model||Canon SX540||Canon T4i|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2016||June 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 849|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX540||Canon T4i|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||5184 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||DIGIC 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||62|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||722|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX540||Canon T4i|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX540||Canon T4i|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5.9 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-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 T4i|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon SX540||Canon T4i|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||205 shots per charge||440 shots per charge|
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
133 x 100 x 79 mm
(5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||442 g (15.6 oz)||575 g (20.3 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.