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Canon SX70 vs Nikon L840

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS and the Nikon Coolpix L840 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2018 and February 2015. Both the SX70 and the L840 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 Nikon provides 15.9 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX70
versus
Nikon L840
Canon SX70   Nikon L840
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5 22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5
20.2 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 15.9 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-6,400
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 922k dots 3.0" LCD – 921k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
10 shutter flaps per second 7.4 shutter flaps per second
325 shots per battery charge590 shots per battery charge
127 x 91 x 117 mm, 608 g 113 x 78 x 96 mm, 538 g
Canon SX70:
Check Amazon price
Nikon L840:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS and the Nikon Coolpix L840? 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 Nikon L840 is provided 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 L840 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the SX70 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX70 vs Nikon L840
Compare SX70 versus L840 top
Comparison SX70 or L840 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon L840 is notably smaller (24 percent) than the Canon SX70. Moreover, the L840 is markedly lighter (12 percent) than the SX70. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX70 nor the L840 are weather-sealed.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 SX70 127 mm 91 mm 117 mm 608 g 325 n Sep 2018 549 i
2.
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
3.
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX430 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 323 g 195 n Jan 2017 299 i
5.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i
7.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
8.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
9.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
10.
 
Canon SX1 128 mm 88 mm 88 mm 615 g .. n Sep 2008 599i
11.
 
Nikon B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
12.
 
Nikon B700 125 mm 85 mm 107 mm 565 g 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
13.
 
Nikon B500 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299i
14.
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ80 130 mm 94 mm 119 mm 616 g 330 n Jan 2017 399 i
16.
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The L840 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 46 percent) than the SX70, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

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. 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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 SX70 and Nikon L840 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX70 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the L840. This megapixels advantage translates into a 13 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX70 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.33μm for the L840). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the SX70 is much more recent (by 3 years and 7 months) than the L840, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 SX70 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX70 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon L840 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix L840 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

SX70 versus L840 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 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
1.
 
Canon SX70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.612.1106351
2.
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i20.211.672147
3.
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.612.1105051
4.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p20.511.990049
5.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
7.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.511.992450
8.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.211.671247
9.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
10.
 
Canon SX1 1/2.3 10.0 3648 27361080/30p19.010.314435
11.
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.712.2109552
12.
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.411.881848
13.
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i20.311.781048
14.
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.211.672747
15.
 
Panasonic FZ80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p20.511.990049
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. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the SX70 provides a higher video resolution than the L840. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60i.

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 L840 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX70, the Nikon L840, and comparable cameras.

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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 SX702360 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Nikon L840none n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX740none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX430none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark IInone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 8.2/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX730none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX530none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX1202 n2.8 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 4.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Nikon B600none n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4/s Y Y
12.
 
Nikon B700921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Nikon B500none n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4/s Y Y
14.
 
Nikon P900921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic FZ801166 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 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 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 L840 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the SX70 and the L840 have zoom lenses built in. The SX70 has a 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the L840 offers a 22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Nikon. The L840 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX70 and the L840 write their files to SDXC cards. The SX70 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the L840 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 SX70 HS and Nikon Coolpix L840 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 SX70-stereo / monoY-micro2.0Y-Y
2.
 
Nikon L840-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon SX740-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SX430-mono / mono---2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 77DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
7.
 
Canon SX730-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
8.
 
Canon SX530-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX1Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
11.
 
Nikon B600-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
12.
 
Nikon B700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
13.
 
Nikon B500-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
14.
 
Nikon P900-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Panasonic FZ80Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Sony HX400VYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the SX70 has a microphone port, which is missing on the L840. 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 L840 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the L840 was succeeded by the Nikon B500. 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 is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX70 and the Nikon L840? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.9MP) with a 13% higher linear resolution.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
  • 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 7.4 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.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 7 months of technical progress since the L840 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix L840:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.0 vs f/3.4).
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x78mm vs 127x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 70g or 12 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (590 versus 325) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (46 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2015).

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 : 8 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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.

SX70 12:08 L840

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX70 and the Nikon L840 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX70 or the L840. 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.

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 (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 SX70..+ +3.5/5..3.5/53.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i
2.
 
Nikon L840..+ +....3.5/54/5 Feb 2015 299i
3.
 
Canon SX740..+3.5/5..4/54/5 Jul 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX430........3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2017 299 i
5.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..4/582/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II4/5..4/575/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i
7.
 
Canon SX730..+....4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
8.
 
Canon SX530..+ +....4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
9.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
10.
 
Canon SX1..+ +..+..3.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
11.
 
Nikon B600..+....3.5/53/5 Jan 2019 349 i
12.
 
Nikon B700..+....4/54/5 Feb 2016 499 i
13.
 
Nikon B500..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
14.
 
Nikon P900......77/1004/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ80..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i
16.
 
Sony HX400V4/5+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX70:
Check Amazon price
Nikon L840:
Check Ebay offers

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 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 Nikon L840

    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 Nikon L840
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5 22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5
    Launch Date September 2018 February 2015
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 299
    Sensor Specs Canon SX70 Nikon L840
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS 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 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon SX70 Nikon L840
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no 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 922k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX70 Nikon L840
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 7.4 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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX70 Nikon L840
    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 Nikon L840
    Battery Type LP-E12 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)325 shots per charge590 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 91 x 117 mm
    (5.0 x 3.6 x 4.6 in)
    113 x 78 x 96 mm
    (4.4 x 3.1 x 3.8 in)
    Camera Weight 608 g (21.4 oz) 538 g (19.0 oz)
    Canon SX70:
    Check Amazon price
    Nikon L840:
    Check Ebay offers

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