Canon SX720 vs Fujifilm GFX 50R
The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Fujifilm GFX 50R are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2016 and September 2018. The SX720 is a fixed lens compact, while the GFX 50R is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX720) and a medium format (GFX 50R) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Fujifilm provides 51.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Fujifilm GFX 50R? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX720 and the Fujifilm GFX 50R. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX720 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the GFX 50R is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm GFX 50R is considerably larger (122 percent) than the Canon SX720. It is noteworthy in this context that the GFX 50R is splash and dust-proof, while the SX720 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX720 has a lens built in, whereas the GFX 50R is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
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.
|1.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|2.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||161 mm||97 mm||66 mm||775 g||400||Y||Sep 2018||4,499|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX430||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||323 g||195||n||Jan 2017||299|
|5.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|7.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|8.||Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|9.||Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|10.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|11.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|12.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||148 mm||94 mm||91 mm||740 g||400||Y||Sep 2016||6,499|
|13.||Hasselblad X1D II||148 mm||97 mm||70 mm||766 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||5,750|
|14.||Leica Q2||130 mm||80 mm||92 mm||718 g||370||Y||Mar 2019||4,995|
|15.||Panasonic ZS70||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|16.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349|
|17.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 GFX 50R, despite having a lens built in. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX720 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Fujifilm GFX 50R a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the GFX 50R is 5086 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 0.79. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
With 51.1MP, the GFX 50R offers a higher resolution than the SX720 (20.2MP), but the GFX 50R nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.33μm versus 1.18μm for the SX720) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the GFX 50R is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 7 months) than the SX720, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 Fujifilm GFX 50R implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GFX 50R for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.3 x 31 inches or 104.9 x 78.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 24.8 inches or 83.9 x 62.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 20.6 inches or 69.9 x 52.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX720 are 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 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 Fujifilm GFX 50R are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|9.||Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|12.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Hasselblad X1D II||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||none||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Leica Q2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/30p||26.4||13.5||2491||96|
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 SX720 provides a higher frame rate than the GFX 50R. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the GFX 50R has an electronic viewfinder (3690k 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX720 and Fujifilm GFX 50R in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|2.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||3690||n||3.2||2360||tilting||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|9.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|12.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||optional||Y||3.2||2360||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|13.||Hasselblad X1D II||3690||n||3.6||2360||fixed||Y||1/2000s||2.7||n||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The SX720 has one, while the GFX 50R does not. While the built-in flash of the SX720 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the GFX 50R is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm GFX 50R 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX720 and the GFX 50R write their files to SDXC cards. The GFX 50R features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the SX720 only has one slot. The GFX 50R supports UHS-II cards (on both slots), while the SX720 can use UHS-I cards.
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 Fujifilm GFX 50R and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Hasselblad X1D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||-||3.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the GFX 50R has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The SX720 does not feature such a mic input.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Fujifilm GFX 50R (unlike the SX720) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The GFX 50R is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. 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 and Fujifilm websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX720 or the Fujifilm GFX 50R – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the GFX 50R requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 161x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the GFX 50R).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- 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 heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2016).
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm GFX 50R:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (51.1 vs 20.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 59%.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2360k vs 922k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the SX720 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GFX 50R is the clear winner of the contest (25 : 10 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX720 and the Fujifilm GFX 50R place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX720 or the GFX 50R perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|1.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|2.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||5/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2018||4,499|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX430||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2017||299|
|5.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|7.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|8.||Canon 5DS||..||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|9.||Canon 5DS R||5/5||+||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|10.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|11.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|12.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||..||..||85/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||6,499|
|13.||Hasselblad X1D II||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2019||5,750|
|14.||Leica Q2||..||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2019||4,995|
|15.||Panasonic ZS70||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|16.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349|
|17.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon SX720 vs Fujifilm GFX 50R
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 Model||Canon SX720||Fujifilm GFX 50R|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-960mm f/3.3-6.9||Fujifilm G mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2016||September 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 379||USD 4,499|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX720||Fujifilm GFX 50R|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||44.0 x 33.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||1452 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||55 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||51.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||8256 x 6192 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||5.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||3.52 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50 - 102,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||X Processor Pro|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX720||Fujifilm GFX 50R|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||2360k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX720||Fujifilm GFX 50R|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/3200s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.9 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||Dual UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX720||Fujifilm GFX 50R|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX720||Fujifilm GFX 50R|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
110 x 64 x 36 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
161 x 97 x 66 mm
(6.3 x 3.8 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||270 g (9.5 oz)||775 g (27.3 oz)|
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