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Canon SX720 vs Nikon W300

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Nikon Coolpix W300 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2016 and May 2017. Both the SX720 and the W300 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 W300
Canon SX720 Nikon W300
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 24-120mm f/2.8-4.9
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 125-1,600 (125 - 6,400)
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.9 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWaterproof body (30m)
250 shots per battery charge280 shots per battery charge
110 x 64 x 36 mm, 270 g 112 x 66 x 29 mm, 231 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Nikon Coolpix W300? 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 SX720 and the Nikon W300. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX720 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the W300 is available in three color-versions (black, orange, yellow).

Size Canon SX720 vs Nikon W300
Compare SX720 versus W300 top
Comparison SX720 or W300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon W300 is somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Canon SX720. However, the W300 is markedly lighter (14 percent) than the SX720. It is noteworthy in this context that the W300 is splash and dust-proof, while the SX720 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the W300 is water-proof up to 30m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.

Concerning battery life, the SX720 gets 250 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the W300 can take 280 images on a single charge of its EN-EL12 power pack. The power pack in the W300 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera comparisons there.

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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 W300 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 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
 
Olympus TG-5 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 8.8 oz 340 Y May 2017 449i
 
Panasonic TS7 4.6 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 11.3 oz 300 Y May 2018 449 i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
 
Ricoh WG-60 4.8 in 2.4 in 1.2 in 6.8 oz 300 Y Oct 2018 279 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 somewhat cheaper (by 3 percent) than the W300 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. 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. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 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 SX720 and Nikon W300 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 W300. 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 W300). Moreover, it should be noted that the W300 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the SX720, and its sensor might 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 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 Nikon W300 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 W300 are ISO 125 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 125-6400.

SX720 versus W300 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 W300 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........
 
Olympus TG-5 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
 
Panasonic TS7 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
 
Ricoh WG-60 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
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 are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the W300 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. The SX720 and the W300 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 SX720, the Nikon W300, 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
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Nikon W300none n 3.0 921 fixed n 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
 
Olympus TG-5none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic TS71170 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/1300s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Ricoh WG-60none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
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

Both the SX720 and the W300 have zoom lenses built in. The SX720 has a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 optic and the W300 offers a 24-120mm f/2.8-4.9 (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 W300 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX720 and the W300 write their files to SDXC cards. The SX720 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the W300 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Nikon Coolpix W300 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 W300-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-
 
Olympus TG-5-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic TS7-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Ricoh WG-60-monomono--micro2.0---
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the W300 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

The W300 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 the Canon SX720 better than the Nikon W300 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.9MP) with a 13% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • 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.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2016).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix W300:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • 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.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.3).
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 39g or 14 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (280 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 30m).
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the W300 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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 06:12 W300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX720 and the Nikon W300 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX720 and the W300 in practical situations. 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 expert reviews 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 W300+..4/5..4/5 May 2017 389 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
 
Olympus TG-5+ +..4/5o4/5 May 2017 449i
 
Panasonic TS7+......3.5/5 May 2018 449 i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
 
Ricoh WG-60.......... Oct 2018 279 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.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX720:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon W300:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX720 vs Nikon W300

    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 W300
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 24-120mm f/2.8-4.9
    Launch Date February 2016 May 2017
    Launch Price USD 379 USD 389
    Sensor Specs Canon SX720 Nikon W300
    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 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 Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 125 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 125 - 6,400 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon SX720 Nikon W300
    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 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX720 Nikon W300
    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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX720 Nikon W300
    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
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX720 Nikon W300
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWaterproof body (30m)
    Battery Type NB-13L EN-EL12
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge280 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 110 x 64 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    112 x 66 x 29 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.1 in)
    Camera Weight 270 g (9.5 oz) 231 g (8.1 oz)

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