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Canon SX70 vs SX720

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2018 and February 2016. Both the SX70 and the SX720 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 SX70 versus Canon SX720
Canon SX70 Canon SX720
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
21-1365mm 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
4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 80-3,200
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 5.9 shutter flaps per second
325 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
127 x 91 x 117 mm, 608 g 110 x 64 x 36 mm, 270 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX720 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX70 and the Canon SX720 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX720 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the SX70 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX70 vs Canon SX720
Compare SX70 versus SX720 top
Comparison SX70 or SX720 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX720 is considerably smaller (39 percent) than the Canon SX70. Moreover, the SX720 is substantially lighter (56 percent) than the SX70. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX70 nor the SX720 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX70 gets 325 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the SX720 can take 250 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX70 5.0 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 21.4 oz 325 n Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX740 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon 77D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i
 
Canon M100 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon SX410 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX1 5.0 in 3.5 in 3.5 in 21.7 oz .. n Sep 2008 599i
 
Nikon B700 4.9 in 3.3 in 4.2 in 19.9 oz 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
 
Panasonic FZ80 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.7 in 21.7 oz 330 n Jan 2017 399 i
 
Sony HX400V 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 SX720 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 31 percent) than the SX70, which puts it into a different 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.

Sensor comparison

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. 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 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.

In terms of chip-set technology, the SX70 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the SX720 (DIGIC 6), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX70 and Canon SX720 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 SX70 and the SX720 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the SX70 is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the SX720, 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 SX70 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

SX70 versus SX720 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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
 
Canon SX70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon SX1 1/2.3 10.0 3648 27361080/30p........
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
 
Panasonic FZ80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........

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 SX70 provides a higher video resolution than the SX720. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the SX720 is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX70 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX720 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX70 and Canon SX720 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
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
 
Canon SX702360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon G9 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 8.2 Y Y
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon SX1202 n 2.8 230 swivel n 1/3200s 4.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B700921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ801166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
The SX70 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the SX720 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the SX70 and the SX720 have zoom lenses built in. The SX70 has a 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the SX720 offers a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX70 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the SX720. The SX720 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX70 and the SX720 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 SX70 HS and Canon PowerShot SX720 HS 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon SX70-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon G9 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon M100-stereomono--mini2.0YYY
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX1Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic FZ80Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the SX70 has a microphone port, which is missing on the SX720. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

The SX70 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX720 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX720 was succeeded by the Canon SX730. 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 how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX70 and the Canon SX720? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX70 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).
  • 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 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 burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (325 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the SX720 launch.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.3 vs f/3.4).
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 127x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 338g or 56 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (31 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2016).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX70 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 7 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.

SX70 12:07 SX720

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX70 and the Canon SX720 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX70 and the SX720 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX70+ +..3.5/5..3.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon G9 X Mark II..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX1+ ++..o3.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
 
Nikon B700+..4/5..4/5 Feb 2016 499 i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
 
Panasonic FZ80+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i
 
Sony HX400V+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 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 SX70:
Check Amazon price
Canon SX720:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon SX70 vs Canon SX720

    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 SX70 Canon SX720
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9
    Launch Date September 2018 February 2016
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 379
    Sensor Specs Canon SX70 Canon SX720
    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 4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 8 DIGIC 6
    Screen Specs Canon SX70 Canon SX720
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX70 Canon SX720
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 5.9 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 SX70 Canon SX720
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Canon SX70 Canon SX720
    Battery Type LP-E12 NB-13L
    Battery Life (CIPA)325 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 91 x 117 mm
    (5.0 x 3.6 x 4.6 in)
    110 x 64 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 608 g (21.4 oz) 270 g (9.5 oz)

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