Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Review

Who says that nothing worthwhile can be found in a humble abode? The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS is a small camera, yet despite its small form factor, it has a remarkable 40x zoom lens with optical image stabilization.

Canon calls this camera the SX720 HS. Considering its 20-megapixel sensor and the ability to record video in Full HD, you have a reasonably capable camera. In addition, you would have no trouble fitting into any pocket that is a reasonable size.

We put the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS through its paces, evaluating every aspect of the camera, from its appearance and ergonomics to the quality of its still images and videos, to determine how well it performs.

See: Best Memory Cards for Canon PowerShot SX720 HS

Key Specs

  • Images and movies may be easily shared and transferred thanks to the device’s built-in wifi and NFC capabilities.
  • Even in low light, the 20.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 6 Image Processor work together to help provide images of exceptional quality.
  • Take stunning 1080p Full HD footage at 60 frames per second and record it with stereo sound.
  • Even when viewed at an acute angle, the large 3.0-inch LCD, which has about 922,000 dots, is simple to read.
  • The Zoom Framing Assist feature allows the camera to automatically zoom in or out while tracking the movement of your subject, which ensures that it stays focused during the whole shot.
  • Using Story Highlights, the camera can automatically aggregate photographs and videos from a particular day or event into a highlight reel with music and effects.
  • In Creative Shot mode, your original photograph determines the composition, colors, and lighting used to produce one-of-a-kind pictures with an artistic bent.

Combining extensive and little elements into a single design

The Canon SX720 HS is about as average as possible regarding point-and-shoot cameras. It has a rounded rectangular shape with a large lens and handgrip on the front, while a 3-inch screen dominates the rear, and an array of buttons to alter settings and navigate the menu. Again, the design is rounded and rectangular. In addition to a power button, a shutter button, and a record button that is exclusive to video recording, the top of the device has a grille that houses the microphones and speakers that are already installed. On the underside of the device is a typical attachment for a tripod, as well as a door that can be opened to show the battery and SD card storage.

There is nothing particularly outstanding about the design. Still, the fact that Canon could fit such a powerful lens inside this tiny camera is remarkable. Some cameras are twice as large as the SX720 HS, which has a zoom range that is significantly less. Because of its small size, we could easily store it in a diaper bag, a tiny handbag, a sling bag, or even our pockets without too much difficulty. The rubberized covering guaranteed the camera didn’t wander around in our hands too much. Still, we would have wanted to see a somewhat more visible handgrip.

We felt that the button array on the rear offered y the right amount of control to provide us access to all the relevant settings and capabilities without making the device difficult to use. Although a touchscreen on the 3-inch display on the back of the camera would have been ideal, the fact that this is a more basic camera meant that the lack of a touchscreen wasn’t too much of a surprise.

In general, there is not a lot that can be criticized. The SX720 HS has a rather conventional design, and it places all of its essential functions and components where they are simple to reach for speedy access and operation.

The procedure for setting up is quick and easy.

Getting the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS ready to use is as easy as taking it. All of its components are out of the box, inserting the rechargeable battery that came with the camera into the body of the camera, grabbing an SD card to insert into the slot located inside the battery compartment, and turning the camera on.

When you turn on the camera for the first time, it will prompt you to enter the current time and date so that it can adequately stamp the picture files with the required metadata. After you get passed it, you are in a position to fire. Although the menu has many choices for adjustments and personalization, the camera is straightforward to operate right out of the box and does not need any adjustments before it can begin taking pictures.

Excellent performance at a reasonable cost characterizes photographic quality.

The sensor at the heart of the SX720 HS isn’t the largest one available, but it works pretty well, considering how little it is. The ISO can be adjusted from 80 to 3200, and the shutter speed can be adjusted from 1/3200 of a second up to 15 seconds. The sensor is 1/2.3 inches and has a resolution of 5184 by 3888 pixels. When used with the built-in 40x zoom lens (equivalent to 24-960mm on a full-frame sensor), the sensor delivers solid performance over most of the zoom range.

We put the camera through its paces in various settings, including all available zoom ranges and virtually every ISO level. The SX720 HS performed exceptionally well in areas with adequate lighting practically across its zoom range. However, the images became softer when set to the most significant focal lengths, particularly around the corners. Still, the quality was not better or worse than other camera systems, with a price point comparable to this one.

Even when the conditions were hazy, and it was becoming dark, the camera functioned admirably across most of its zoom range. Again, the images were still usable in most circumstances, even though the most extended focal lengths suffered slightly. This was primarily due to the requirement for a higher ISO, which was necessary because the lens has a variable aperture that reduces the amount of light that passes through the lens as you zoom in.

In conditions with insufficient illumination, this camera performs quite poorly. There is an internal flash, but its range is limited, and the light it produces isn’t particularly flattering, regardless of the focal length you’re using or the subject you’re photographing. So although it may be used in a hurry, you shouldn’t depend on being able to use this camera for anything more than taking quick photographs in dim lighting.

The overall shot quality was excellent and consistent across the board. When wholly zoomed in, the images were noticeably blurrier, and lighting conditions that call for the use of the flash are less than ideal; yet, when taking into account how little this camera is and the amount of zoom range it provides, the shots more often than not left us impressed.

The quality of the video is as steady as she goes.

Although Canon is notorious for restricting the video capabilities of its more compact cameras, the SX720 HS doesn’t suffer from this limitation to a significant degree. Even while shooting handheld, the camera’s several image stabilization (IS) settings and the ability to record in 1080p at up to 30 frames per second (fps) make it possible to achieve the most stable video imaginable.

When there was plenty of sunshine, the camera captured some remarkable footage, and even when there was cloud cover, it took some passable footage. However, as soon as the lights were turned down or the sun went down, the video quality had a noticeable decline since the sensor had to increase the ISO to compensate for the decreased amount of light. In addition, the film was transformed into a murky and unrecognizable jumble due to noise reduction.

All four image stabilization modes performed admirably: Dynamic, Powered, Macro (Hybrid), and Active Tripod IS. We tried the optical image stabilization at various zoom levels, with still images and video, and it functioned exceptionally well in all of the scenarios above. If the video was shot handheld at longer focal lengths, it had a restless appearance; nevertheless, until it was watched on a giant screen, the shaking was difficult to perceive.

The motto of software is “function trumps form.”

The SX720 HS can transmit photographs wirelessly from the SD card in the camera to an Android or iOS smartphone as long as the Canon Camera Connect mobile application is loaded on the device. This capability is made possible by the camera’s built-in wifi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Once the app has been configured, moving photographs and videos are relatively straightforward, even though the program’s user interface might need some improvement. Even more impressive is the software’s capability to automatically geotag photographs taken with the SX720 HS using the GPS signal transmitted by the user’s smartphone.

Comparison between the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Nikon A900

The SX720 HS has competition from Nikon that is practically identical to it in the shape of the A900. Unfortunately, this tends to be the case with most of the products made available by Canon and Nikon.

The SX720 HS and the A900 have the exact specifications, including a CMOS sensor measuring 1/2.3 inches with a resolution of 20 megapixels and an ISO range extending from 80 to 3200. The A900 also has optical image stabilization, built-in wifi connectivity, and a focal length range comparable to the A1000 (24-840mm equivalent for full-frame).

Video capabilities, the ability to take many shots rapidly, and the electronic viewfinder are the areas where the A900 shines above its competitors. In addition, the A900 is capable of recording 4K video at up to 30 frames per second, has a continuous shooting rate of 7 frames per second (compared to the SX720 HS’s 5.9 frames per second), and has a tilting 3-inch screen, which offers a bit more versatility than the Canon’s fixed screen.

The A900 has a suggested retail price of $367, which is $67 more than the SX720 HS, but for that more cash, you get 4K footage, a more flexible screen, and quicker continuous shooting. Having said that, if 4K video isn’t a need and you don’t believe you’ll need the articulating screen, it could be worthwhile to save that extra money and go with the SX720 HS rather than purchasing a higher-end model.


Body typeCompact
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, 100-3200
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsSuperfine, fine
Focal length (Equiv.)24–960 mm
Optical zoom40×
Maximum apertureF3.3–6.9
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View.
Digital zoomYes (4X)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range5 cm (1.97″)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39″)
Number of focus points9
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots922,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/3200 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash Range4.00 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, on, off, slow synchro
Continuous drive5.9 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNB-13L lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)250
Weight (inc. batteries)270 g (0.60 lb / 9.52 oz)
Dimensions110 x 64 x 36 mm (4.33 x 2.52 x 1.42″)
Orientation sensorYes

Final Verdict

The power of a small package.

Anyone who believes remarkable things can’t be found in small packaging has never driven the SX720 HS. It won’t blow your mind, but we grew to appreciate its versatility with such a small form factor as we tested it. Although sales of small cameras are falling at an alarming rate, the SX720 HS can carve out a space in the market because of its remarkable zoom range, 1080p video recording, 20.3-megapixel still images, and nice-looking design.

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS FAQs

When did Canon SX720 HS come out?

In February 2016, Canon made the PowerShot SX720 HS available to consumers.

Does the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS have Bluetooth?

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS does come equipped with Bluetooth communication.

What is the shutter speed of Canon SX720 HS?

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS has a variable shutter speed that can be set between 15 seconds and 1/3200 of a second.

Is Canon PowerShot SX720 HS good?

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS is a widely regarded camera of high quality despite its diminutive size and extensive feature set.

Is Canon PowerShot SX720 HS a DSLR camera?

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS is not a DSLR camera but a lightweight and portable point-and-shoot model.

How old is Canon PowerShot SX720 HS?

Since it was first introduced in 2016, the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS will be approximately seven years old in 2023.

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