Canon SX540 vs Fujifilm X-T20
The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Fujifilm X-T20 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and January 2017. The SX540 is a fixed lens compact, while the X-T20 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX540) and an APS-C (X-T20) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Fujifilm provides 24 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 Fujifilm X-T20? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX540 and the Fujifilm X-T20 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-T20 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX540 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX540 and the Fujifilm X-T20 are of equal size. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX540 nor the X-T20 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 X-T20 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 X-T20 and their specifications in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the SX540 gets 205 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the X-T20 can take 350 images on a single charge of its NP-W126S power pack. The power pack in the X-T20 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|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 SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|9.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|10.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T30||118 mm||83 mm||47 mm||383 g||380||n||Feb 2019||899|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399|
|13.||Fujifilm X-T100||121 mm||83 mm||47 mm||448 g||430||n||May 2018||599|
|14.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|15.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799|
|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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX540 was launched at a lower price than the X-T20, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 more expensive and 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 Fujifilm X-T20 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X-T20 is 1214 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the SX540 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the X-T20 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24MP, the X-T20 offers a higher resolution than the SX540 (20.2MP), but the X-T20 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 1.18μm for the SX540) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X-T20 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the SX540, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 Fujifilm X-T20 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X-T20 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX540 are 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The X-T20 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 Fujifilm X-T20 are ISO 200 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.
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 X-T20 provides a better video resolution than the SX540. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-T20 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX540 and Fujifilm X-T20 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon SX540||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|2.||Fujifilm X-T20||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||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 SX410||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon SX530||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T30||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|13.||Fujifilm X-T100||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|14.||Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n|
|15.||Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0||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 X-T20 has a touchscreen, while the SX540 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X-T20 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm X-T20 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX540 and the X-T20 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 Fujifilm X-T20 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.||Fujifilm X-T20||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|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 SX410||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon SX530||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T30||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|13.||Fujifilm X-T100||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|14.||Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic ZS70||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic FZ80||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the X-T20 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.
The SX540 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the X-T20 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X-T20 was succeeded by the Fujifilm X-T100. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Fujifilm websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX540 and the Fujifilm X-T20? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the X-T20 requires a separate lens.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- 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 heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-T20:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- 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 electronic 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 tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 205) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-T20 is the clear winner of the contest (21 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX540 and the Fujifilm X-T20 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX540 or the X-T20 perform in practice. 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.
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 (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.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||5/5||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|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 SX410||..||o||..||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|9.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|10.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T30||5/5||+ +||5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||4.1/5||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399|
|13.||Fujifilm X-T100||4/5||+||4.5/5||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2018||599|
|14.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|15.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D X Mark III vs Canon SX540
- Canon 70D vs Canon SX540
- Canon 750D vs Fujifilm X-T20
- Canon 800D vs Fujifilm X-T20
- Canon SX540 vs Fujifilm X-T200
- Canon SX540 vs Leica M10
- Canon SX540 vs Nikon D7500
- Canon SX540 vs Nikon D80
- Fujifilm X-T20 vs Fujifilm X100T
- Fujifilm X-T20 vs Nikon 1 J4
- Fujifilm X-T20 vs Nikon P950
- Fujifilm X-T20 vs Sony RX1R
Specifications: Canon SX540 vs Fujifilm X-T20
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||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5||Fujifilm X mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2016||January 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX540||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.6 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||368.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||3.92 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||6.52 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||200 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||X-Processor Pro2|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX540||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX540||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.9 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/32000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|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||Fujifilm X-T20|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||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|
|Body Specs||Canon SX540||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||205 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
118 x 83 x 41 mm
(4.6 x 3.3 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||442 g (15.6 oz)||383 g (13.5 oz)|
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