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Sony HX99 vs Canon M5

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 and the Canon EOS M5 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2018 and September 2016. The HX99 is a fixed lens compact, while the M5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (HX99) and an APS-C (M5) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 18 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Sony HX99   Canon M5
Sony HX99 Canon M5
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 Canon EF-M mount lenses
18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 80-3200 (80-6400) ISO 100-25600
Electronic viewfinder (638k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0" LCD, 922k dots 3.2" LCD, 1620k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second 9 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge295 shots per battery charge
102 x 58 x 36 mm, 242 g 116 x 89 x 61 mm, 427 g

Body comparison: Sony HX99 vs Canon M5

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony HX99 and the Canon M5 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. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the HX99 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Sony HX99 and Canon M5
Compare HX99 versus M5 top
Compare HX99 or M5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M5 is considerably larger (75 percent) than the Sony HX99. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the HX99 nor the M5 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the HX99 has a lens built in, whereas the M5 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 HX99 gets 370 shots out of its NP-BX1 battery, while the M5 can take 295 images on a single charge of its LP-E17 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Sony HX99» 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
Canon M5« 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon SX740« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
Canon SX70« » 5.0 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 21.4 oz 325 n Sep 2018 549 i i Canon SX70
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Nikon A1000« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i i Nikon A1000
Nikon W300« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
Panasonic ZS70« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic ZS70
Sony HX95« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
Sony WX800« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i i Sony WX800
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V

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 HX99 was launched at a lower price than the M5, 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: Sony HX99 vs Canon M5

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony HX99 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon M5 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the M5 is 1086 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 HX99 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M5 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Sony HX99 and Canon M5 sensor measures

With 24MP, the M5 offers a higher resolution than the HX99 (18MP), but the M5 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 1.25μm for the HX99) due to its larger sensor. However, the HX99 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the M5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the HX99 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The M5 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M5 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

HX99 versus M5 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Sony HX99» 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX99
Canon M5« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
Canon SX740« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX740
Canon SX70« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX70
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Nikon A1000« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon A1000
Nikon W300« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon W300
Panasonic ZS70« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic ZS70
Sony HX95« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX95
Sony WX800« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony WX800
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Sony HX400V

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the HX99 provides a higher video resolution than the M5. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Sony HX99 vs Canon M5

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the M5 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the HX99 (2360k vs 638k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony HX99 and Canon M5 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Sony HX99»638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX99
Canon M5«2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M5
Canon SX740« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
Canon SX70« »2360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 10.0 Y Y Canon SX70
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n Canon M100
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 3200 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n Canon M10
Nikon A1000« »1166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 4000 7.0 Y Y Nikon A1000
Nikon W300« »- n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y Y Nikon W300
Panasonic ZS70« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS70
Sony HX95« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX95
Sony WX800« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony WX800
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The HX99 writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the M5 uses SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison: Sony HX99 vs Canon M5

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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 and Canon EOS M5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Sony HX99»-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX99
Canon M5«YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M5
Canon SX740« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
Canon SX70« »-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YCanon SX70
Canon 77D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G9 X Mark II
Canon M6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
Canon M100« »-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
Canon M3« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Nikon A1000« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon A1000
Nikon W300« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon W300
Panasonic ZS70« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic ZS70
Sony HX95« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX95
Sony WX800« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony WX800
Sony HX400V« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V

It is notable that the M5 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The HX99 does not feature such a mic input.

Both the HX99 and the M5 are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Sony and Canon.


Review summary: Sony HX99 vs Canon M5

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Sony HX99 better than the Canon M5 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M5 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 116x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the M5).
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 295) on a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 11 months after the M5).

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M5:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 18MP), which boosts linear resolution by 18%.
  • 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: Larger pixels generate images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2360k vs 638k dots).
  • 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 (1620k vs 922k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M5 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 9 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.

HX99 09:16 M5

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the HX99 or the M5 handle or perform in practice. 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: Sony HX99 vs Canon M5

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Sony HX99»----4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
Canon M5«Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon SX740« »Rec-4/5-4/5 Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
Canon SX70« »--3.5/5-3.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i i Canon SX70
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon SX730« »Rec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Nikon A1000« »----- Jan 2019 429 i i Nikon A1000
Nikon W300« »Rec-4/5-4/5 May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
Panasonic ZS70« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic ZS70
Sony HX95« »----- Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
Sony WX800« »----- Oct 2018 399 i i Sony WX800
Sony HX400V« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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: Sony HX99 vs Canon M5

    Camera and Lens Specs
    Camera Model Sony HX99 Canon M5
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 Canon EF-M mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2018 September 2016
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 979
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 22.3 x 4.55 mm
    MP Resolution 18 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4896 x 3672 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Size 1.25 μm 3.72 μm
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80-3200 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 80-6400 ISO no Enhancement
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Resolution 638k dots 2360k dots
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1620k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 9 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NP-BX1 power pack LP-E17 power pack
    Battery Life370 shots per charge295 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 102 x 58 x 36 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
    116 x 89 x 61 mm
    (4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 242 g (8.5 oz) 427 g (15.1 oz)

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