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Canon SX540 vs Nikon B700

The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Nikon Coolpix B700 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2016 and February 2016. Both the SX540 and the B700 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
versus
Nikon B700
Canon SX540   Nikon B700
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5
20.2 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 20.2 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 100-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (921k dots)
3.0" LCD – 461k dots 3.0" LCD – 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.9 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
205 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g 125 x 85 x 107 mm, 565 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Nikon Coolpix B700? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon SX540 and the Nikon B700 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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.

The B700 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the SX540 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX540 vs Nikon B700
Compare SX540 versus B700 top
Comparison SX540 or B700 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon B700 is notably larger (8 percent) than the Canon SX540. Moreover, the B700 is markedly heavier (28 percent) than the SX540. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX540 nor the B700 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX540 gets 205 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the B700 can take 350 images on a single charge of its EN-EL23 power pack. The power pack in the B700 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 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 399ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon B700 125 mm 85 mm 107 mm 565 g 350 n Feb 2016 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T6 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429ebay.com
10.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349ebay.com
11.
 
Kodak AZ901 139 mm 104 mm 119 mm 777 g 400 n Jan 2016 499 amazon.com
12.
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic ZS70 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 449ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic FZ80 130 mm 94 mm 119 mm 616 g 330 n Jan 2017 399 amazon.com
15.
 
Sony HX350 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 652 g 300 n Dec 2016 449ebay.com
16.
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499ebay.com
Note: 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 SX540 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the B700, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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.

Canon SX540 and Nikon B700 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 B700 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. 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 Nikon Coolpix B700 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

SX540 versus B700 MP

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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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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 38881080/60p20.311.780648
2.
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.411.881848
3.
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.612.1105051
4.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.511.992450
5.
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.612.9149779
6.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p20.311.780648
7.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.311.881748
8.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p20.211.672047
9.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.211.671247
10.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.211.671247
11.
 
Kodak AZ901 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p20.311.780648
12.
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.211.672747
13.
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
14.
 
Panasonic FZ80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p20.511.990049
15.
 
Sony HX350 1/2.3 19.9 5152 38641080/60p20.511.989649
16.
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.111.462945
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the B700 provides a better video resolution than the SX540. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon 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 B700 has an electronic viewfinder (921k 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 Nikon B700 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon SX540none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9/s Y Y
2.
 
Nikon B700921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX740none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX730none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon T6optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon SX420none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX720none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX410none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX530none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Kodak AZ901202 n3.0 / 920 swivel n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Nikon P900921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic FZ801166 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Sony HX350202 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
16.
 
Sony HX400V210 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The B700 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.

The Nikon B700 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.

Both the SX540 and the B700 have zoom lenses built in. The SX540 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the B700 offers a 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Nikon provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Nikon has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The B700 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX540 and the B700 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 B700 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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 Nikon Coolpix B700 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon SX540-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
2.
 
Nikon B700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
3.
 
Canon SX740-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SX730-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon T6Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX420-mono / mono---2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX720-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX410-stereo / mono---2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX530-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Kodak AZ901-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
12.
 
Nikon P900-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
14.
 
Panasonic FZ80Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Sony HX350-stereo / mono--micro2.0---
16.
 
Sony HX400VYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

Both the SX540 and the B700 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. Neither of the two has a direct successor, so they represent the end of the respective camera lines from Canon and Nikon. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX540 better than the Nikon B700 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 123g or 22 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix B700:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k 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 shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.3 vs f/3.4).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • 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.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the B700 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 4 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 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 04:12 B700

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX540 and the Nikon B700 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX540 or the B700 perform in practice. 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], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX540............ Jan 2016 399ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon B700..+....4/54/5 Feb 2016 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX740..+3.5/5..4/54/5 Jul 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon SX730..+....4/54/5 Apr 2017 399ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T64/5o4/573/1004/54/5 Mar 2016 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX420..........3/5 Jan 2016 299ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX720..+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX410..o........ Feb 2015 279ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX530..+ +....4/54/5 Jan 2015 429ebay.com
10.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349ebay.com
11.
 
Kodak AZ901........3.5/53/5 Jan 2016 499 amazon.com
12.
 
Nikon P900......77/1004/54/5 Mar 2015 599ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic ZS70..+ +....4/54/5 Apr 2017 449ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic FZ80..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 399 amazon.com
15.
 
Sony HX350..........4/5 Dec 2016 449ebay.com
16.
 
Sony HX400V4/5+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 499ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon SX540 vs Nikon B700

    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 Nikon B700
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5
    Launch Date January 2016 February 2016
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon SX540 Nikon B700
    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 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon SX540 Nikon B700
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 921k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX540 Nikon B700
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer 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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX540 Nikon B700
    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 Nikon B700
    Battery Type NB-6LH EN-EL23
    Battery Life (CIPA)205 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    125 x 85 x 107 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 4.2 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 565 g (19.9 oz)
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    Check SX540 offers at
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    Check B700 offers at
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