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Canon SX720 vs Sony A58

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Sony Alpha SLT-A58 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2016 and February 2013. The SX720 is a fixed lens compact, while the A58 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX720) and an APS-C (A58) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 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 Sony A58
Canon SX720 Sony A58
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 Sony A mount lenses
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 100-16,000 (100 - 25,600)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 2.7 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.9 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
250 shots per battery charge690 shots per battery charge
110 x 64 x 36 mm, 270 g 129 x 95 x 78 mm, 492 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Sony Alpha SLT-A58? 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 Sony A58 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 A58 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX720 vs Sony A58
Compare SX720 versus A58 top
Comparison SX720 or A58 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A58 is considerably larger (74 percent) than the Canon SX720. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX720 nor the A58 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 A58 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

Concerning battery life, the SX720 gets 250 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the A58 can take 690 images on a single charge of its NP-FM500H power pack.

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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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
 
Sony A58 5.1 in 3.7 in 3.1 in 17.4 oz 690 n Feb 2013 599i
 
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
 
Canon T5i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649i
 
Nikon D3200 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 540 n Apr 2012 599i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
 
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
 
Sony A68 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 21.5 oz 540 n Nov 2015 699i
 
Sony A5100 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A3000 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329i
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 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 A58, 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. 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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX720 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony A58 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A58 is 1211 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the SX720 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A58 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX720 and Sony A58 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX720 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 19.8 MP of the Sony A58. 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 4.31μm for the A58). However, it should be noted that the SX720 is much more recent (by 2 years and 11 months) than the A58, 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 Canon PowerShot SX720 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha SLT-A58 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

SX720 versus A58 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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........
 
Sony A58 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.312.575374
 
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........
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony A68 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.570179
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the SX720 provides a higher frame rate than the A58. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A58 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX720, the Sony A58, 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
 
Sony A581440 n 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 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
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3200optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 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
 
Sony A681440 Y 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Sony A3000202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n

The SX720 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A58 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The SX720 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the A58 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 Sony Alpha SLT-A58 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-
 
Sony A58YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
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-
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3200YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A68YstereomonoY-micro2.0---
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A3000Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the SX720 offers wifi support, while the A58 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX720 and the A58 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A58 was replaced by the Sony A68, 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 and Sony websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX720 and the Sony A58? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the A58 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 129x95mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A58).
  • 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.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 11 months of technical progress since the A58 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha SLT-A58:

  • 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.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • 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 (690 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 2013).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (13 points each). 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX720 13:13 A58

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX720 and the Sony A58 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 A58. 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 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
 
Sony A58....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 599i
 
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
 
Canon T5i..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
 
Nikon D3200+ +73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony HX90V+ +..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
 
Sony A68....4/5..4/5 Nov 2015 699i
 
Sony A5100+..4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A3000+..4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
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 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
Sony A58:
Check Ebay offers

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

~

    Specifications: Canon SX720 vs Sony A58

    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 Sony A58
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 Sony A mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2016 February 2013
    Launch Price USD 379 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon SX720 Sony A58
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 4.31 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 5.41 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 16,000 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 74
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 753
    Screen Specs Canon SX720 Sony A58
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX720 Sony A58
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/3200s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX720 Sony A58
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX720 Sony A58
    Battery Type NB-13L NP-FM500H
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge690 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 110 x 64 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    129 x 95 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 270 g (9.5 oz) 492 g (17.4 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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