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Canon SX720 Comparison Review

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in February 2016 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 20.2 megapixel.

camera

Is the Canon SX720 a good camera? The SX720 has a Camera Elo of 1600. This rating puts the SX720 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the SX720 also ranks below average.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX720
Fixed lens compact camera
24-960mm f/3.3-6.9
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 80-3200
No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.9 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge
110 x 64 x 36 mm, 270 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Canon SX720 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon SX720 vs credit card front
SX720 versus credit card top view
SX720 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon SX720 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379- i Canon SX720
 
Canon SX740« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699- i Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX420« » 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 i i Canon SX420
 
Canon SX540« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 205 n Jan 2016 399 i i Canon SX540
 
Canon SX410« » 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279- i Canon SX410
 
Canon SX710« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349- i Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic ZS70
 
Sony HX80« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 i i Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 360 n Apr 2015 429 i i Sony HX90V
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon SX720 was launched in the US market at a price of $379. 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.

Canon SX720:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Canon SX720 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon SX720 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Canon SX720 sensor measures

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

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX720
 
Canon SX740« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX420« » 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p----Canon SX420
 
Canon SX540« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX540
 
Canon SX410« » 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p----Canon SX410
 
Canon SX710« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic ZS70
 
Sony HX80« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p----Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p----Sony HX90V

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The SX720 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the SX720 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX720 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX720- n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX720
 
Canon SX740« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX420« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX420
 
Canon SX540« »- n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX540
 
Canon SX410« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y Canon SX410
 
Canon SX710« »- n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS70
 
Sony HX80« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« »638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX90V

One convenient feature of the SX720 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection 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 SX720 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX720
 
Canon SX740« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX420« »-monomono---2.0YY-Canon SX420
 
Canon SX540« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon SX540
 
Canon SX410« »-stereomono---2.0---Canon SX410
 
Canon SX710« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic ZS70
 
Sony HX80« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX90V

It is notable that the SX720 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

 

The SX720 has a zoom lens built in (4.3-172mm f/3.3-6.9), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 960mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX720. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX720+-4/5-4.5/5 Feb 2016 379- i Canon SX720
 
Canon SX740« »+-4/5-4/5 Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »+-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699- i Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon SX420« »----- Jan 2016 299 i i Canon SX420
 
Canon SX540« »----- Jan 2016 399 i i Canon SX540
 
Canon SX410« »o---- Feb 2015 279- i Canon SX410
 
Canon SX710« »+-4/5-3.5/5 Jan 2015 349- i Canon SX710
 
Panasonic ZS70« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic ZS70
 
Sony HX80« »----- Mar 2016 349 i i Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« »+ +-4/5-4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i i Sony HX90V
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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 SX720 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the SX720.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the SX720 based on?

The camera features a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the SX720 with the DIGIC 6 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the SX720?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200.

Does the Canon SX720 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Does the Canon SX720 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the SX720 use?

The camera gets its power from the NB-13L (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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 Summary
    Camera Model Canon SX720
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9
    Launch Date February 2016
    Launch Price USD 379
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80-3200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/3200s
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NB-13L power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 110 x 64 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 270 g (9.5 oz)

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