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Canon SX720 vs XT

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel XT (labelled Canon 350D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2016 and February 2005. The SX720 is a fixed lens compact, while the XT is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX720) and an APS-C (XT) sensor. The SX720 has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the XT provides 8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX720
versus
Canon XT
Canon SX720   Canon XT
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 Canon EF mount lenses
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 8 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video no Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 100-1,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 1.8 LCD, 115k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.9 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
110 x 64 x 36 mm, 270 g 127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel XT? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon SX720 and the Canon XT are illustrated 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX720 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the XT is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).

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

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XT is considerably larger (70 percent) than the Canon SX720. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX720 nor the XT are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX720 has a lens built in, whereas the XT is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the XT and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX720 gets 250 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the XT can take 400 images on a single charge of its NB-2LH power pack.

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, 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 SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
2.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
3.
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
5.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
6.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699i
7.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
8.
 
Canon SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
9.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
10.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
11.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
12.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
13.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
14.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
15.
 
Panasonic TZ90 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 449i
16.
 
Sony HX80 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
17.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX720 was launched at a lower price than the XT, despite having a lens built in. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX720 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon XT an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the XT is 1075 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.6. The sensor in the SX720 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the XT offers a 3:2 aspect.

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

Canon SX720 and Canon XT sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX720 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 8 MP of the Canon XT. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 6.41μm for the XT). However, it should be noted that the SX720 is much more recent (by 11 years) than the XT, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX720 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Canon SX720 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX720 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 Canon XT are 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for good quality, 13.8 x 9.2 inches or 35.1 x 23.4 cm for very good quality, and 11.5 x 7.7 inches or 29.3 x 19.5 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel XT are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

SX720 versus XT MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 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 SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
2.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
3.
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
4.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
5.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
6.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
7.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
8.
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
9.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
10.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
11.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
12.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
13.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
14.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
15.
 
Panasonic TZ90 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
16.
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
17.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The SX720 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XT does not. 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 variety of features. For example, the XT has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX720 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 SX720, the Canon XT, 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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon SX720none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
2.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon SX740none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
4.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon SX730none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX420none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX540none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
9.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon SX410none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
13.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic TZ901166 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
16.
 
Sony HX80638 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
17.
 
Sony HX90V638 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

The SX720 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XT uses Compact Flash 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 SX720 HS and Canon EOS Rebel XT 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 SX720-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX740-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon 77DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon SX730-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX420-mono / mono---2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX540-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX410-stereo / mono---2.0---
12.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
15.
 
Panasonic TZ90-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Sony HX80-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
17.
 
Sony HX90V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the SX720 offers wifi support, while the XT does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX720 and the XT have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XT was replaced by the Canon Xti, while the SX720 was followed 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX720 and the Canon XT? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 8MP) with a 56% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC II).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 115k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the XT requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 127x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the XT).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 11 years of technical progress since the XT launch.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XT:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2005).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX720 is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 11 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.

SX720 15:11 XT

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX720 and the Canon XT place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings 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 SX720 or the XT. 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 table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 SX720..+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
2.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
3.
 
Canon SX740..+3.5/5..4/54/5 Jul 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..4/582/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
5.
 
Canon SX730..+....4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
6.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II4.5/5+ +..81/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
7.
 
Canon SX420..........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
8.
 
Canon SX540............ Jan 2016 399 i
9.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
10.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
11.
 
Canon SX410..o........ Feb 2015 279i
12.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
13.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
14.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
15.
 
Panasonic TZ90..+ +....4/54/5 Apr 2017 449i
16.
 
Sony HX80............ Mar 2016 349 i
17.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +....4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429 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 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.

Canon SX720:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XT:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon SX720 vs Canon XT

    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 SX720 Canon XT
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2016 February 2005
    Launch Price USD 379 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Canon SX720 Canon XT
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels 8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 3456 x 2304 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 6.41 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 2.42 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 DIGIC II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 60
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 637
    Screen Specs Canon SX720 Canon XT
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 1.8inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 115k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX720 Canon XT
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX720 Canon XT
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX720 Canon XT
    Battery Type NB-13L NB-2LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 110 x 64 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    127 x 94 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 270 g (9.5 oz) 540 g (19.0 oz)

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