Canon PowerShot SX540 HS Review

Even while the Canon SX540 HS is entirely identical to its predecessor in terms of its fundamental design, outward appearance, and overall feel, with the exception of a new model badge, this is not always a negative aspect of the camera.

The body design of the new SX540 HS continues to be basic, curved and comfortable, and easy to operate in all aspects. This is because the designers took the idea that “if it isn’t busted, don’t modify it.” The Canon SX540 HS is a straightforward and straightforward digital camera that offers basic controls and ease of use. It has a strong zoom lens that has a very variable focal length range, which makes it perfect for photographing a broad variety of objects, from landscapes to far-off animals.

Key Specs

  • Even in dim conditions, the 20.3 Megapixel* CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 6 Image Processor work together to help provide images of exceptional quality.
  • Images and movies may be easily shared and transferred thanks to the device’s built-in Wi-Fi® and NFC connectivity.
  • Take stunning 1080p Full HD footage at 60 frames per second and record it with stereo sound.
  • The Zoom Framing Assist tool now has a lock button option, which enables faster and more precise subject detection.
  • Even when viewed at an acute angle, the large 3.0-inch LCD, which has about 461,000 dots, is simple to read.
  • You may record up to four seconds of video before each image you capture with Hybrid Auto, and the feature will then automatically merge each movie with the still image to create a little video summary of your day.
  • The camera has the ability to automatically aggregate photographs and videos from a certain day or event into a little highlight reel complete with music and effects using a feature called Story Highlights.

However, when compared to the prior model, we can observe that there have been some significant improvements made to the engine. The previous chip, which had a resolution of 16 megapixels, has been replaced with a brand-new CMOS sensor that has a resolution of 20 megapixels. Despite this, its actual dimensions have not changed and it still has a chip size of 0.5 by 0.3 inches.

The DIGIC 6 image processor, which is both quicker and more powerful, has been upgraded to work with this modernized sensor. Therefore, the SX540 HS skips a generation, moving directly from Canon’s DIGIC 4 image processor to the company’s most recent series of image processors.

According to Canon, the combination of the new sensor and CPU should not only result in enhanced picture detail, but should also aid improve image quality in environments with less available light.

The addition to the DIGIC 6 image processor also raises the video recording frame rate, raising it from 30p to 60p at Full HD (1920 x 1080). This should result in an improvement in the video’s overall quality while shooting footage of fast-paced action and other moving scenes. Videos are captured using the MP4 format, which is compatible with mobile devices, and contain stereo sound as a result of the onboard stereo microphones.

This model line saw the return of wireless connectivity with the release of the model from the previous year, and this year’s model retains this amenity. Wi-Fi connection and NFC technologies are both present in the SX540 HS, just as they were in previous models. On the rear of the camera is a button that enables smartphone communication with a single touch. Using the free companion app, you can quickly and easily upload photos to your smartphone or tablet (for iOS and Android).

In addition, the SX540 HS is compatible with the Canon Connect Station CS100 HDTV set-top box, which allows for the fast and easy sharing, printing, and showing of photographs and video, as well as the backing up of material from the camera to the built-in storage space of the Connect Station.

The Canon SX540 HS comes with a monitor that is non-articulated, non-touchscreen, and 3.0 inches in size. The LCD display has a resolution of 461K dots

As was just indicated, the 50x optical zoom lens is exactly the same as it was in the prior generation. Featuring a diverse focal length range beginning with a very broad 24mm-equivalent focal length, which is ideal for vast panoramas and other landscape photographs, and ending with a convenient 1200mm-equivalent super-telephoto focal length, which is friendly to nature and animal subjects. The maximum aperture, which is varied but stays the same throughout the zoom range, ranges from f/3.4 at the wide end to f/6.5 at the telephoto end.

The camera’s operability, however, has seen some minor improvements, including the addition of a Zoom Framing Assist function that now makes use of Image Stabilization to automatically help find and frame the subject of your shot. This is a feature that comes in very handy when using today’s increasingly powerful super-zoom lenses.

In a related vein, there is an improved auto-zooming function that makes use of the facial recognition system to automatically zoom the lens to the appropriate focal length for the type of photo you have selected, such as a portrait, or upper body, or whole-body photo. This function is similar to the one found on smartphones.

A new function known as “Story Highlights” has also been added to the camera. With this function, the camera is able to assemble films and still photos into a highlight reel on its own, without the need for any additional computer software.


Body typeSLR-like (bridge)
Max resolution5184 x 3888
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorDIGIC 6
ISOAuto, ISO 80-3200
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsSuperfine, fine
Focal length (equiv.)24–1200 mm
Optical zoom50×
Maximum apertureF3.4–6.5
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4X)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range5 cm (1.97″)
Macro focus range0 cm (0″)
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots461,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.50 m (at Auto ISO)
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, on, off, slow synchro
Continuous drive5.9 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNB-6LH lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)205
Weight (inc. batteries)442 g (0.97 lb / 15.59 oz)
Dimensions120 x 82 x 92 mm (4.72 x 3.23 x 3.62″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo


When it comes to photographing animals and sporting events, the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS holds its own. Because it has a maximum focal length comparable to 1200mm for full frames, it should be possible for you to take photographs that are rather clear even of distant subjects. The camera has a maximum continuous shooting speed of 8 frames per second, which is also a pretty rapid pace, and it clears its buffer very instantly.

It also performs an excellent job of smoothing down camera shaking, which comes in useful when shooting at a very extended focal length because of the longer focal length. However, its autofocus technology has trouble keeping the focus on moving subjects. Furthermore, although its tracking performance improves when the camera is switched to the “Sports” mode, this mode prevents you from adjusting the exposure settings. In addition to this, the construction appears to be of poor quality, despite the fact that it is generally pleasant to handle.

Good For
  • Unimaginably broad depth of field.
  • Excellent overall stabilization performance.
  • A quick time to empty the buffer.
Need Improvement
  • Build quality is around average.
  • Unable to capture images in the RAW format.
  • Poor autofocus performance.

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