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Canon SX720 vs Nikon A1000

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Nikon Coolpix A1000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2016 and January 2019. Both the SX720 and the A1000 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 SX720 versus Nikon A1000
Canon SX720 Nikon A1000
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 24-840mm f/3.4-6.9
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 100-6,400
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (1166k dots)
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 1036k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
5.9 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
110 x 64 x 36 mm, 270 g 114 x 72 x 41 mm, 330 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Nikon Coolpix A1000? 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 SX720 and the Nikon A1000 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX720 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the A1000 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).

Size Canon SX720 vs Nikon A1000
Compare SX720 versus A1000 top
Comparison SX720 or A1000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon A1000 is notably larger (17 percent) than the Canon SX720. Moreover, the A1000 is markedly heavier (22 percent) than the SX720. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX720 nor the A1000 are weather-sealed.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Nikon A1000 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i
 
Canon SX740 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon SX420 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 i
 
Canon SX540 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon SX410 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Nikon P1000 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
 
Sony HX99 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i
 
Sony HX95 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 429 i
 
Sony WX800 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
 
Sony HX80 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony HX90V 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 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.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The SX720 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 12 percent) than the A1000, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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 SX720 and Nikon A1000 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX720 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the A1000. This megapixels advantage translates into a 13 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX720 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 A1000). Moreover, it should be noted that the A1000 is much more recent (by 2 years and 11 months) than the SX720, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. 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 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 Nikon A1000 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 SX720 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix A1000 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

SX720 versus A1000 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Nikon A1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
 
Sony HX99 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony HX95 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the A1000 provides a better video resolution than the SX720. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A1000 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k 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 Nikon A1000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Nikon A10001166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX540none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX99638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX95638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The A1000 has a touchscreen, while the SX720 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The A1000 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the SX720 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the SX720 and the A1000 have zoom lenses built in. The SX720 has a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 optic and the A1000 offers a 24-840mm f/3.4-6.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Nikon provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Nikon has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX720 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX720 and the A1000 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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 Nikon Coolpix A1000 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
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon A1000-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony HX99-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony HX95-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

The A1000 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. 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 Nikon websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX720 and the Nikon A1000? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.9MP) with a 13% higher linear resolution.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.3 vs f/3.4).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 114x72mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 60g or 18 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (12 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2016).

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Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix A1000:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1036k 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.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 5.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 11 months of technical progress since the SX720 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A1000 emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 8 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.

SX720 08:10 A1000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX720 and the Nikon A1000 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 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 SX720 or the A1000. 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 following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
Nikon A1000+ +..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 429 i
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299 i
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
Nikon P1000+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
 
Sony HX99....4/5..4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i
 
Sony HX95.......... Aug 2018 429 i
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony HX90V+ +..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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 SX720:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon A1000:
Check Amazon price

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. 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 Nikon A1000

    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 Nikon A1000
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 24-840mm f/3.4-6.9
    Launch Date February 2016 January 2019
    Launch Price USD 379 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Canon SX720 Nikon A1000
    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 1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon SX720 Nikon A1000
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 98%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 1166k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1036k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX720 Nikon A1000
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s 7 shutter flaps/s
    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 UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX720 Nikon A1000
    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
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX720 Nikon A1000
    Battery Type NB-13L EN-EL12
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 110 x 64 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    114 x 72 x 41 mm
    (4.5 x 2.8 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 270 g (9.5 oz) 330 g (11.6 oz)

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