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Canon SX700 vs Olympus TG-4

The Canon PowerShot SX700 HS and the Olympus Tough TG-4 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and April 2015. Both the SX700 and the TG-4 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX700 versus Olympus TG-4
Canon SX700 Olympus TG-4
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
25-750mm f/3.2-6.9 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-6,400
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
8.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
not weather sealedWaterproof body (15m)
250 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
113 x 66 x 35 mm, 269 g 112 x 66 x 31 mm, 247 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS and the Olympus Tough TG-4? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX700 and the Olympus TG-4. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, red).

Size Canon SX700 vs Olympus TG-4
Compare SX700 versus TG-4 top
Comparison SX700 or TG-4 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX700 and the Olympus TG-4 are of equal size. However, the TG-4 is markedly lighter (8 percent) than the SX700. It is noteworthy in this context that the TG-4 is splash and dust-proof, while the SX700 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the TG-4 is water-proof up to 15m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.

Concerning battery life, the SX700 gets 250 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the TG-4 can take 380 images on a single charge of its LI-92B power pack. The power pack in the TG-4 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

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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 SX700 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 250 n Feb 2014 349i
2.
 
Olympus TG-4 112 mm 66 mm 31 mm 247 g 380 Y Apr 2015 379i
3.
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
5.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
6.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
7.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
9.
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399i
10.
 
Canon SX400 104 mm 69 mm 80 mm 313 g 190 n Jul 2014 249i
11.
 
Fujifilm XP140 110 mm 71 mm 28 mm 207 g 240 Y Feb 2019 229 i
12.
 
Nikon W300 112 mm 66 mm 29 mm 231 g 280 Y May 2017 389 i
13.
 
Olympus TG-6 113 mm 66 mm 32 mm 253 g 340 Y May 2019 449 i
14.
 
Olympus TG-5 113 mm 66 mm 32 mm 250 g 340 Y May 2017 449i
15.
 
Olympus E-M5 II 124 mm 85 mm 45 mm 469 g 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099i
16.
 
Ricoh GR II 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699 i
17.
 
Sony WX800 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 233 g 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
Notes: 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 SX700 was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the TG-4 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

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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. 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 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 SX700 and Olympus TG-4 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the SX700 and the TG-4 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the TG-4 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the SX700, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX700 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Canon PowerShot SX700 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus Tough TG-4 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

SX700 versus TG-4 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
2.
 
Olympus TG-4 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
3.
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
4.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
5.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
6.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
7.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
8.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
9.
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
10.
 
Canon SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
11.
 
Fujifilm XP140 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/15p........
12.
 
Nikon W300 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
13.
 
Olympus TG-6 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
14.
 
Olympus TG-5 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
15.
 
Olympus E-M5 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273
16.
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
17.
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the SX700 provides a higher frame rate than the TG-4. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The SX700 and the TG-4 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX700, the Olympus TG-4, and comparable cameras.

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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
1.
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
2.
 
Olympus TG-4none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
6.
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
7.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX400none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
11.
 
Fujifilm XP140none n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
12.
 
Nikon W300none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
13.
 
Olympus TG-6none n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0 Y Y
14.
 
Olympus TG-5none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0 Y Y
15.
 
Olympus E-M5 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
16.
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

The Olympus TG-4 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 SX700 and the TG-4 have zoom lenses built in. The SX700 has a 25-750mm f/3.2-6.9 optic and the TG-4 offers a 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Olympus provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Olympus has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The TG-4 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX700 and the TG-4 write their files to SDXC cards. The TG-4 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX700 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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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 SX700 HS and Olympus Tough TG-4 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
1.
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Olympus TG-4-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX400-stereomono---2.0---
11.
 
Fujifilm XP140-monomono--micro2.0Y-Y
12.
 
Nikon W300-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
13.
 
Olympus TG-6-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
14.
 
Olympus TG-5-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Olympus E-M5 IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
17.
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the TG-4 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

Both the SX700 and the TG-4 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX700 was replaced by the Canon SX710, while the TG-4 was followed by the Olympus TG-5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon SX700 better than the Olympus TG-4 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.5 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • 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 February 2014).

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus Tough TG-4:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • 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/2.0 vs f/3.2).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (380 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 15m).
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 1 month) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the TG-4 emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 8 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.

SX700 08:10 TG-4

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX700 and the Olympus TG-4 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX700 or the TG-4. 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], 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 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX700..+ +..4/54/5 Feb 2014 349i
2.
 
Olympus TG-4..+79/1004/54/5 Apr 2015 379i
3.
 
Canon SX740..+..4/54/5 Jul 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX730..+..4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
5.
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
6.
 
Canon M10........4/5 Oct 2015 499i
7.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX710..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
9.
 
Canon SX520..+..3.5/53.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
10.
 
Canon SX400..+...... Jul 2014 249i
11.
 
Fujifilm XP140..+..3.5/54/5 Feb 2019 229 i
12.
 
Nikon W300..+..4/54/5 May 2017 389 i
13.
 
Olympus TG-6..+ +76/1004/54/5 May 2019 449 i
14.
 
Olympus TG-5..+ +..4/54/5 May 2017 449i
15.
 
Olympus E-M5 II5/5+ +81/1005/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099i
16.
 
Ricoh GR II......4.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i
17.
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX700:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus TG-4:
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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX700 vs Olympus TG-4

    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 SX700 Olympus TG-4
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-750mm f/3.2-6.9 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
    Launch Date February 2014 April 2015
    Launch Price USD 349 USD 379
    Sensor Specs Canon SX700 Olympus TG-4
    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 15.9 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 TruePic VII
    Screen Specs Canon SX700 Olympus TG-4
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX700 Olympus TG-4
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 8.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    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 no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX700 Olympus TG-4
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX700 Olympus TG-4
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWaterproof body (15m)
    Battery Type NB-6LH LI-92B
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 113 x 66 x 35 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.4 in)
    112 x 66 x 31 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 in)
    Camera Weight 269 g (9.5 oz) 247 g (8.7 oz)

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