Canon SX540 HS

 
Canon PowerShot SX540 HS front
 
  • 20MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 24-1200mm (F3.4-6.5) lens
  • 442g - 120 x 82 x 92mm
  • Introduced January 2016
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
Portability
69
Imaging
48
Features
44
Overall
46

Canon SX540 HS overview

Canon SX540 HS is Canon's Small Sensor Superzoom digital camera originally released on January of 2016. The camera uses a 20MP, BSI-CMOS 1/2.3" size sensor with a maximum resolution of 5184 x 3888.

The SX540 HS is placed #46 out of 243 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras & all round #473 out of 1428 for cameras in our database. Remember to check out our Advanced camera search to get camera ratings based on your personal criteria.

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The following is a graph of different criteria used in the scoring system.

Canon SX540 HS history

The Canon SX540 HS is part of a family of digital cameras. You can view the full list underneath.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Canon-PowerShot-SX70-HS front thumbnailCanon SX70 HS
SX540 HS vs SX70 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2018
Canon-PowerShot-SX740-HS front thumbnailCanon SX740 HS
SX540 HS vs SX740 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
21MP1/2.3"2018
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Canon-PowerShot-SX730-HS front thumbnailCanon SX730 HS
SX540 HS vs SX730 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2017
Canon-PowerShot-SX620-HS front thumbnailCanon SX620 HS
SX540 HS vs SX620 HS
25-625mm
F3.2-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX720-HS front thumbnailCanon SX720 HS
SX540 HS vs SX720 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX540-HS front thumbnailCanon SX540 HS24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2016
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Canon-PowerShot-SX420-IS front thumbnailCanon SX420 IS
SX540 HS vs SX420 IS
24-1008mm
F3.5-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX410-IS front thumbnailCanon SX410 IS
SX540 HS vs SX410 IS
24-960mm
F3.5-5.6
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX710-HS front thumbnailCanon SX710 HS
SX540 HS vs SX710 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX530-HS front thumbnailCanon SX530 HS
SX540 HS vs SX530 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX610-HS front thumbnailCanon SX610 HS
SX540 HS vs SX610 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
Canon-PowerShot-SX60-HS front thumbnailCanon SX60 HS
SX540 HS vs SX60 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX520-HS front thumbnailCanon SX520 HS
SX540 HS vs SX520 HS
24-1008mm
F3.4-6.0
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX400-IS front thumbnailCanon SX400 IS
SX540 HS vs SX400 IS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX700-HS front thumbnailCanon SX700 HS
SX540 HS vs SX700 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX600-HS front thumbnailCanon SX600 HS
SX540 HS vs SX600 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX170-IS front thumbnailCanon SX170 IS
SX540 HS vs SX170 IS
28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX510-HS front thumbnailCanon SX510 HS
SX540 HS vs SX510 HS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX160-IS front thumbnailCanon SX160 IS
SX540 HS vs SX160 IS
28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
Canon-PowerShot-SX280-HS front thumbnailCanon SX280 HS
SX540 HS vs SX280 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX270-HS front thumbnailCanon SX270 HS
SX540 HS vs SX270 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX50-HS front thumbnailCanon SX50 HS
SX540 HS vs SX50 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX500-IS front thumbnailCanon SX500 IS
SX540 HS vs SX500 IS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX260-HS front thumbnailCanon SX260 HS
SX540 HS vs SX260 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX150-IS front thumbnailCanon SX150 IS
SX540 HS vs SX150 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
14MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX240-HS front thumbnailCanon SX240 HS
SX540 HS vs SX240 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX40-HS front thumbnailCanon SX40 HS
SX540 HS vs SX40 HS
24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SX230-HS front thumbnailCanon SX230 HS
SX540 HS vs SX230 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-SX220-HS front thumbnailCanon SX220 HS
SX540 HS vs SX220 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
Canon-PowerShot-SX30-IS front thumbnailCanon SX30 IS
SX540 HS vs SX30 IS
24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX130-IS front thumbnailCanon SX130 IS
SX540 HS vs SX130 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX20-IS front thumbnailCanon SX20 IS
SX540 HS vs SX20 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX210-IS front thumbnailCanon SX210 IS
SX540 HS vs SX210 IS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX200-IS front thumbnailCanon SX200 IS
SX540 HS vs SX200 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.3
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX1-IS front thumbnailCanon SX1 IS
SX540 HS vs SX1 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX10-IS front thumbnailCanon SX10 IS
SX540 HS vs SX10 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009

Canon SX540 HS Pros and Cons

Here is a selection of pros and cons of the Canon SX540 HS based on factors which are oftentimes viewed as necessary in a digital camera.

built-in flash
built in image stabilization (Optical)
does have HDMI port
features face detect focus
long zoom (1200mm)
long zoom range (24-1200mm 50.0 x zoom)
manual focus
MP count decent (20MP)
NFC support
rather wide (24mm)
screen size is good (3 inches)
very good min ISO (80)
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
cannot change lenses (fixed lens mount)
doesn't have phase detect auto focus
doesn't have RAW support
external flash not possible
low battery (205 shots)
no headphone port
no mic port
no Time Lapse mode
painfully slow continuous shooting (5.9 frames/s)
screen does not articulate
screen has low resolution (461 thousand dot)
screen isn't selfie friendly
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
sluggish at long end (f6.5)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.4)
Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

Canon SX540 HS Sensor information

The Canon SX540 HS features the DIGIC 6 processor chip. The measurement of the sensor on the Canon SX540 HS is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor can resolve 5184 x 3888 pixels using aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has Image Stabilization (Optical). Sensor stabilization is better than digital stabilization since the latter might cause cropping.

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The BSI-CMOS sensor has 20MP and supports a standard ISO range of 80 to 3200. Unfortunately, RAW format is not saved therefore the user has less margin for error.

The picture underneath illustrates the SX540 HS's sensor size compared to other popular sizes. The SX540 HS sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is pointed out in green.

Canon PowerShot SX540 HS sensor size Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

To get an understanding of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon SX540 HS dimensions

Canon SX540 HS weighs 0.97 pounds (442g / 15.59 ounces) & the physical size of the camera is 120mm x 82mm x 92mm (4.7" x 3.2" x 3.6"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387g and the Canon SX540 HS is more heavy as compared with various competitors.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Down below is a shot of the Canon SX540 HS besides a softdrink to help you to get a sense of its size.

Canon PowerShot SX540 HS dimensions scale

The top view under will highlight the button arrangement on the SX540 HS.

Canon PowerShot SX540 HS topview buttons dials

Canon SX540 HS Lens information

The SX540 HS offers an inbuilt lens having a focal range of 24-1200mm giving it a 50.0 x zoom which is exceptional and can let you zoom all the way in.

At it's widest 24mm, it has an aperture of f3.4 making it really sluggish and not ideal for low light conditions and you will find it difficult to get a shallow depth of field. You could also have to raise your ISO setting resulting in noisy images. For the long end, 1200mm is exceptional zoom and comes to f6.5 which is very slow and you would have to utilize slower shutter speeds.

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Canon SX540 HS Connectivity

The SX540 HS has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • NFC Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that have NFC or Bluetooth support can easily be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You are able to copy images and in some cases change camera settings without connecting directly with the camera.

Certain apps also give a Liveview and click the shutter if you aren't near the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI port, it could be attached to an external screen. Many cameras enable you to recharge the battery using the USB port.

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Canon SX540 HS Video information

The maximum video quality on the Canon SX540 HS is 1920 x 1080 and you can record in MPEG-4 and H.264 file format. 1080p quality will provide a decent balance for video quality versus file size but FULL HD is not going to give you any room to crop. The body doesn't feature a microphone or headphone socket which means that you get absolutely no control over the audio. It is perhaps best to take a look at an alternative model in case you need decent audio for your videos.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Canon SX540 HS Weather Sealing

Canon SX540 HS doesn't have weather sealing so rainy conditions can easily damage the camera.

Canon SX540 HS Screen and Viewfinder

The Canon SX540 HS houses a 3 inch fixed display having a resolution of 461 thousand dots.

Please be aware that the display screen has no touch support.

Canon PowerShot SX540 HS screen and viewfinder Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

The ViewFinder specs for Canon SX540 HS are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

For sunny outdoor conditions that make the camera screens washed out and challenging to see, viewfinders are very valuable.

Canon SX540 HS Shutter information

Canon SX540 HS continuous shooting rate is 5.9 frames/s. The highest shutter speed is 1/2000 seconds.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Canon SX540 HS Flash and Hot shoe information

Canon SX540 HS has just built in flash with missing external flash ability.

Canon SX540 HS Autofocus information

Canon SX540 HS has only Contrast Detect Autofocus & does not have Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot snappier & precise as compared with Contrast Detect focusing. The camera boasts Face detection making it useful for portraits.

Canon SX540 HS has manual focus when needed for low light scenarios or you need to have more exact control on focus.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Canon SX540 HS Battery life

The battery (NB-6LH) for the Canon SX540 HS is built to last for 205 photographs based on the CIPA benchmarks which is lower when compared with it's rivals. The general Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR features the highest possible (600) battery life for this type of cameras.

Following is a list of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras having the strongest battery life:

Canon SX540 HS for different styles of photography

The following bar chart gives a overview of the Canon SX540 HS for different styles of photography. To view more, browse to the specific section underneath.

Canon SX540 HS Portrait photography features

The Canon SX540 HS receives a points total of 48 which is modest, meaning that it is relatively acceptable for portrait images. Shooting portraits favors heavily to sensor specs, support for RAW files and capability to use off-camera lighting.

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you can focus manually
megapixel count decent (20MP)
includes face detect focus
external flash not possible
very small sensor (1/2.3")
lacks RAW support

Street photography with Canon SX540 HS

Having a reasonable score of 48, the Canon SX540 HS is fairly adequate to buy for street photography. A very good street photography camera has a fine balance of image quality plus portability.

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image stabilization (Optical)
no moving screen
very small sensor (1/2.3")
no RAW files

Canon SX540 HS Sports photography advice

A terrible sports photography rating of 45 means the Canon SX540 HS is simply not acceptable for shooting sports. A camera needs excellent autofocus and continuous shooting for sports photography.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
excellent zoom range (24-1200mm 50.0 x zoom)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
decent sensor resolution (20MP)
slow continuous shooting (5.9 fps)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
low battery life (205 per charge)
lack of phase detect autofocus

Travel photography with Canon SX540 HS

Weight is pretty important in choosing a travel camera. All things considered, the Canon SX540 HS gets a moderate 57 for a travelling camera which makes it reasonably appropriate to buy for your travels.

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good megapixels (20MP)
flash built-in
quite wide (24mm)
great zoom (1200mm)
doesn't have Timelapse function
not so great battery (205 CIPA)
doesn't offer selfie friendly display
slow maximum aperture (f3.4)

Landscape photography with Canon SX540 HS

For those who are planning to buy a digital camera for landscape photography, the most critical factor will no doubt be image quality. The Canon SX540 HS with it's modest rating of 48 as a landscape camera is fairly suitable in the current marketplace.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
focusing manually
really wide (24mm)
decent sized screen (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Optical)
MP count decent (20MP)
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
sluggish max aperture (f3.4)
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW format
not so great battery (205 per charge)
does not have Timelapse function

Canon SX540 HS Vlogging features

A camera for vlogging really should offer a articulating display screen, mic input and ideally IBIS. Taking everything in to account, the Canon SX540 HS is simply not acceptable for vlogging as it gets a terrible score of 30.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
decently wide (24mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
offers face detection focusing
great video quality (1920 x 1080 pixels)
slow max aperture (f3.4)
display is not selfie friendly
lack of external mic socket

Canon SX540 HS Alternatives

If you want alternatives to the SX540 HS, below is a selection of the highest placed cameras that fall in to the category of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The graph underneath provides you a bird's eye view of the SX540 HS compared to it's highest ranked rivals shown above.

These are various other cameras you may look into as alternatives. To look at a complete comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

Specifications

General Information
Brand Name
Canon
Model
Canon PowerShot SX540 HS
Category
Small Sensor Superzoom
Introduced
2016-01-05
Body design
SLR-like (bridge)
Sensor Information
Sensor type
BSI-CMOS
Processor
DIGIC 6
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
20 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution
5184 x 3888
RAW photos
Highest native ISO
3200
Lowest native ISO
80
Autofocusing
Manual focus
Touch to focus
Continuous AF
Single AF
AF tracking
Selective AF
AF center weighted
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Lens
Lens mount
fixed lens
Lens focal range
24-1200mm (50.0x)
Maximal aperture
f/3.4-6.5
Macro focus distance
0cm
Focal length multiplier
5.8
Screen
Range of screen
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
3 inches
Resolution of screen
461 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch function
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
None
DXO scores
DXO All around score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Features
Slowest shutter speed
15s
Maximum shutter speed
1/2000s
Continuous shooting speed
5.9 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation
Yes
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range
5.50 m (at Auto ISO)
Flash modes
Auto, on, off, slow synchro
External flash
AE bracketing
White balance bracketing
Exposure
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
Highest video resolution
1920x1080
Video format
MPEG-4, H.264
Mic jack
Headphone jack
Connectivity
Wireless
Built-In
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
None
Physical
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight
442g (0.97 lb)
Dimensions
120 x 82 x 92mm (4.7" x 3.2" x 3.6")
Other
Battery life
205 shots
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
NB-6LH
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 secs, custom)
Time lapse feature
Storage media
SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage slots
1
Launch pricing
$399