Canon SX540 vs Panasonic FZ82
The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ82 (labelled Panasonic FZ80 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2016 and January 2017. Both the SX540 and the FZ82 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 18 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon SX540||Panasonic FZ82|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5||20-1200mm f/2.8-5.9|
|20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 80-3200||ISO 80-3200 (80-6400)|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Electronic viewfinder (1166k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 461k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed touchscreen|
|5.9 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|205 shots per battery charge||330 shots per battery charge|
|120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g||130 x 94 x 119 mm, 616 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ82? 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 Panasonic FZ82. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. 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 Panasonic FZ82 is notably larger (24 percent) than the Canon SX540. Moreover, the FZ82 is substantially heavier (39 percent) than the SX540. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX540 nor the FZ82 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the SX540 gets 205 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the FZ82 can take 330 images on a single charge of its DMW-BMB9 power pack. The power pack in the FZ82 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Canon SX540»||4.7 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||15.6 oz||205||n||Jan 2016||399||Canon SX540|
|Panasonic FZ82«||5.1 in||3.7 in||4.7 in||21.7 oz||330||n||Jan 2017||399||Panasonic FZ82|
|Canon SX740« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||265||n||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|Canon SX730« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.6 oz||250||n||Apr 2017||399||Canon SX730|
|Canon T6« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||17.1 oz||500||n||Mar 2016||449||Canon T6|
|Canon SX420« »||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||195||n||Jan 2016||299||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX720« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||250||n||Feb 2016||379||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX410« »||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||185||n||Feb 2015||279||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX530« »||4.7 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||15.6 oz||210||n||Jan 2015||429||Canon SX530|
|Canon SX710« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||230||n||Jan 2015||349||Canon SX710|
|Panasonic FT7« »||4.6 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||11.3 oz||300||Y||May 2018||449||Panasonic FT7|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.4 oz||380||n||Apr 2017||449||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic ZS70« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.4 oz||380||n||Apr 2017||449||Panasonic ZS70|
|Panasonic FZ80« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||4.7 in||21.7 oz||330||n||Jan 2017||399||Panasonic FZ80|
|Sony HX350« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||4.1 in||23.0 oz||300||n||Dec 2016||449||Sony HX350|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. 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 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX540 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 18 MP of the FZ82. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX540 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.25μm for the FZ82). Moreover, it should be noted that the FZ82 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 individual pixels. 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 Canon SX540 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX540 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inch or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inch or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inch or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic FZ82 are 24.5 x 18.4 inch or 62.2 x 46.6 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 14.7 inch or 49.7 x 37.3 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 12.2 inch or 41.5 x 31.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ82 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.
|Canon SX540||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX540|
|Panasonic FZ82||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FZ82|
|Canon SX740||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX740|
|Canon SX730||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX730|
|Canon T6||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon T6|
|Canon SX420||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||720/25p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX720||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX410||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||720/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX530||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX530|
|Canon SX710||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX710|
|Panasonic FT7||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FT7|
|Panasonic TZ90||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||19.1||10.6||106||36||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic ZS70||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||19.1||10.6||106||36||Panasonic ZS70|
|Panasonic FZ80||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FZ80|
|Sony HX350||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX350|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the FZ82 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 FZ82 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k 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 Panasonic FZ82 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon SX540||none||n||3.0||461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y||Canon SX540|
|Panasonic FZ82||1166||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ82|
|Canon SX740||none||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|Canon SX730||none||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||none||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX720||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX410||none||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX530||none||n||3.0||461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y||Canon SX530|
|Canon SX710||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0||Y||Y||Canon SX710|
|Panasonic FT7||1170||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FT7|
|Panasonic TZ90||1166||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ90|
|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||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ80|
|Sony HX350||202||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX350|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The FZ82 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 FZ82 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).
Both the SX540 and the FZ82 have zoom lenses built in. The SX540 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the FZ82 offers a 20-1200mm f/2.8-5.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Canon and the same tele-photo reach at the long end. The FZ82 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX540 and the FZ82 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 Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ82 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon SX540||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX540|
|Panasonic FZ82||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic FZ82|
|Canon SX740||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|Canon SX730||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SX730|
|Canon T6||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6|
|Canon SX420||-||mono||mono||-||-||none||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX720||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX410||-||stereo||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX530||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX530|
|Canon SX710||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX710|
|Panasonic FT7||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic FT7|
|Panasonic TZ90||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic ZS70||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic ZS70|
|Panasonic FZ80||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic FZ80|
|Sony HX350||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony HX350|
It is notable that the FZ82 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The SX540 does not feature such an accessory-socket.
Both the SX540 and the FZ82 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The SX540 replaced the earlier Canon SX530, while the FZ82 followed on from the Panasonic FZ72. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX540 or the Panasonic FZ82 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 18MP) with a 6% higher linear resolution.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x82mm vs 130x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 174g or 28 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ82:
- 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 (1040k vs 461k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.4).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (330 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 number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the FZ82 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 5 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 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 Panasonic FZ82 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX540 and the FZ82 in practical situations. 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 following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon D60 vs Canon SX540
- Canon G9 X Mark II vs Canon SX540
- Canon SX510 vs Canon SX540
- Canon SX540 vs Canon XS
- Canon SX540 vs Fujifilm XF10
- Canon SX540 vs Leica D-LUX 7
- Canon SX540 vs Nikon D7100
- Canon SX540 vs Pentax 645D
- Canon SX540 vs Sony A5000
- Canon SX730 vs Panasonic FZ82
- Fujifilm X-T200 vs Panasonic FZ82
- Panasonic FZ82 vs Sony A900
Specifications: Canon SX540 vs Panasonic FZ82
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||Panasonic FZ82|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5||20-1200mm f/2.8-5.9|
|Launch Date||January 2016||January 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX540||Panasonic FZ82|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80-3200 ISO||80-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80-6400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||Venus|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX540||Panasonic FZ82|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1166k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX540||Panasonic FZ82|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000/s||1/2000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.9 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|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||Panasonic FZ82|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||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||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon SX540||Panasonic FZ82|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||205 shots per charge||330 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)
130 x 94 x 119 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 4.7 in)
|Camera Weight||442 g (15.6 oz)||616 g (21.7 oz)|
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