Out of many outstanding, powerful vlogging cameras in the market, Canon PowerShot SX420 remains in the list at a fairly high rank because of its exceptional performance, video quality and ease of use.
The Canon PowerShot SX420 is yet another compact sized, superzoom bridge camera that looks like a mini DSLR or mirrorless camera.
It can safely fool anyone that isn’t savvy in this area, by playing the part of a mirrorless camera. What makes it stand out is its immensely affordable price point.
You’ll agree with me shortly as I reveal the magical features it offers!
What I have in store for you:
- Technical Specifications
- Build and ergonomics
- Video quality
- Image quality
- Audio quality
- Other interesting features
- Frequently asked questions
- Pros and Cons
But before we jump into the detailed review of the camera as a vlogging camera, let me give you a short overview of the camera.
Overview of the Canon PowerShot SX420 Camera in a Nutshell:
For those of you who are in a bit of a rush, I have summarized everything you need to know about the product here; all essential information needed before making a buying decision will be packed in this short paragraph!
This camera launched by Canon comes with a strong 20 MP 1/ 2.3 inch CMOS sensor and an optical zoom lens with a range of 42x, which captures scenes beautifully. It is perfect for framing wider shots and recording faraway subjects in your vlogs.
Other than that, the camera features Wi-Fi connectivity and NFC sensor that makes the data transfer process much easier and quicker, and turns out, it is one of the most useful features for a vlogger, since mostly us vloggers are always on the move, and since we don’t want to keep our viewers waiting, we need to upload our newest content on our channels, for which this feature proves to be a lifesaver.
Adding to that, it has a 720p HD recording, in MP4 format which is pretty nice; acceptable for vlogging but we can do a little better than that with other cameras out there. but the price at which it retails explains the relatively lower video quality.
Reason To Buy?
- Impressive zoom range
- Good image stabilization (multiple modes)
- Manual focus is available in a relatively lower price
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
- Fast operating system
- Sturdy grip
Reason To Avoid?
- No Full HD 1080p recording; video resolution capped at 720p
- Image quality suffers in low light conditions
- No touchscreen LCD display
- Buttons are too tightly packed; uncomfortable for bigger hands
- Fixed lens; no option to change the lens for different shots
- No built in viewfinder
- Cannot shoot RAW images
Build and Ergonomics:
The camera’s body is shaped like a DSLR, mirrorless camera. It is surprisingly super light in weight given its body build. When compared to other similar cameras, Canon wins the race in being the thinnest, giving it a better hand grip for vloggers. The overall body is gives a metallic look, which is pretty sleek for a camera of this type.
Not to worry, the metallic body is not going to be a problem; the camera still provides a pretty sturdy, strong grip for you as Canon has included a rugged handgrip at the side of the camera.
The size of the camera and the grip, the comfortability of it in the hands, the ability to be mounted onto a tripod, all of this paired together makes its physical build and ergonomics to be perfect for vloggers.
I know that being a vlogger, I need my camera to stay steady in my hand so that I can capture my moments perfectly without having to worry about ruining my shot because my hand slipped, or worse, dropping the camera, breaking it and losing all my data.
Hence, in my opinion, I really love how Canon was so considerate to add that rugged handgrip.
There is a built-in pop up flash of course, which won’t be of much use unless you’re out of any other lighting source. It works pretty well indoors, but I wouldn’t prefer using it outdoors.
The optical lens included with the camera is a whopping 42x superzoom lens, which is great in performance and looks good on the body too. It is extendable to more than 8 inches outwards from the camera’s body.
The back of the camera houses various buttons to control the device and its settings; they’re relatively small and the whole area looks kind of overcrowded in my opinion but if you’re a person with sleek fingers and small hands, then you may find it comfortable to use.
That is of course, if you use the manual function of the camera. I prefer using this camera in the automatic mode, because that provides much ease and time saving element for vlogging purposes.
One of the things it lacks in comparison to other pricier models is the touchscreen LCD display. To keep the product at an economical price, and to keep their profits feasible, they had to eliminate the touchscreen LCD, which is a bummer but it’s not like it makes the camera totally useless.
Interface and Performance:
The interface of the camera is pretty simple and straightforward, like all other Canon cameras, it also uses Canon’s own software and the operating system is quite smooth and speedy.
One of the best software feature is the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity through which the camera can connect to your smartphones, through the Canon Connect App. It will broadcast a unique Wi-Fi signal through which you can join the camera’s system and transfer files easily and quickly.
The menu layout is easy to understand and navigate, making the job relatively simpler for beginners who have just started using a camera for their vlogging channels.
Canon PowerShot SX420 offers a decent video quality however, it could have been better. It is fairly lower in comparison to other Canon cameras, for example Canon PowerShot SX530 HS offers 1080p in $399 whereas Canon PowerShot SX420 is offering just 720p in a fairly lower price tag.
But since it is an entry level bridge camera, one can make do with the video quality. It is fine for beginners, but if you are a professional vlogger or even if you are transitioning into a professional vlogger, I would not recommend you to go for this one.
There are many other better options out there in fairly low prices and I am sure you can find a camera with a better video resolution than this one.
I tested it out, and I must say, I wasn’t surprised to see that even 720p resolution was acceptable, especially for vlogging since you really don’t need to focus much on the details of products or stuff like that unless your vlog channel is based on such videos, like product review and unboxing. For that, I prefer to get a camera with 4K resolution or at least 2.8K resolution.
Given its resolution, it is wise to advise the beginning class to avoid shooting in dark places or at nighttime because this stuff is just not cut out for that kind of scenes. It records at 25 fps, in MPEG-4 format. In well-lit areas, you’re good to go.
It offers a range of image stabilization modes, including Dynamic, Powered, Macro and Active Tripod Image stabilization modes.
They all do the same job, that is, reducing the shakiness in the video clip. Being a vlogger, it is inevitable that you won’t face spontaneous motion, so these stabilization modes really help in such cases.
Just like the video quality, the image quality is also just adequate in the daytime, if you’re shooting outdoors. It works pretty well if you are shooting in well-lit areas, be it outdoors or indoors.
The 20 MP CMOS sensor captures stutter free stills. It features Canon’s Digic 4+ image processor, which is a good addition.
In distant, brighter objects, you might see some color fringing and chromatic aberration but apart from that, the images produced can be easily used in between shots of your vlogs to add versatility to it.
You might be wondering why this camera suffers so much in low light conditions and only works well in properly, brightly lit scenes, right? Well, let me answer that for you.
The Canon PowerShot SX420 features a smaller sensor and the aperture range is quite slower than other similar cameras, hence, bad results in low lighting. You may also face issues in noise reduction when you increase the ISO, causing much grain into your images which does not look good at all.
However, you can use editing software to reduce that extra noise, but it’s highly unlikely that beginners are that savvy about these editing programs and hence it is better to go for a camera that is easier to handle, and comes packed with all necessary features.
The microphone is built into the camera, and the videos shot record mono audio through this. The audio quality is not as bad as I anticipated it to be; I could hear my voice clearly, however, it did not do much of a good job in blocking out the background noises.
It would be fair to say, like all other features, this one is also mediocre in terms of quality.
Other Interesting Features:
Now this is the most interesting part for most of the readers here I am sure, but I am disappointed to tell you that this section stays a bit shorter than usual because this camera comes with very limited features.
There are the number of image stabilization modes that we can count as an extra feature because not every camera has multiple stabilization modes, almost eliminating the need for a gimbal.
The battery it uses is a strong lithium-ion battery, that lasts pretty long; at least enough to accommodate a beginner’s needs.
The zoom lens is pretty good that not every vlogging camera in the market offers. It gives a wide focal length and that is something vloggers can use to their advantage, as they need to capture wide backgrounds sometimes.
I think it’s pretty clear now as to what my final verdict is going to be, but still, let me put it in words.
Only, and I repeat, only get this camera if you have other means of recording videos easily available to you and this is just going to be a secondary camera to capture wide angle shots.
If not, and if you are a professional vlogger way ahead in your career, I’d ask you to stretch your budget just a little, and get something better. Because honestly, this camera won’t serve to your needs.
In my opinion, this camera has more cons than pros and so, I would suggest that only beginners should buy this one because they can’t spare much money to spend on just a camera at the start of their careers, and this would serve the purpose of rough practice to smoothen their hands for the good part.
At this retail price, one would think it is worth it, but no. For a professional vlogger, trust me, it is not worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Is the video resolution of camera good for vlogging?
While some would agree that 720p video resolution is workable for vloggers, I would have to disagree on that. Yes, it can be workable for beginners but for professional vloggers, viewers expect a certain quality in their content, and that quality includes the video quality and 720p does not produce videos as clear, hence disappointing the viewers.
2. Which camera is best for vlogging?
GoPro Hero 10 is one of the best cameras for vlogging in my opinion. It has an amazing video resolution, the perfect size, shape, weight and design and houses a plethora of interesting, creative features that vloggers can use to enhance the quality of their content.
3. What makes a camera good for vlogging?
The video resolution, the image quality, the battery life, the audio quality, its image stabilization, its settings options and its ease to use are the main things that in my dictionary are very important to look at before deciding which camera is really the best for vlogging.
If the camera checks at least 5 in 7 of those boxes, it is a must have!
4. What are the best accessories to go with this camera?
Since this camera only has one built in microphone and that too, of a fairly low quality, it will be wise to use an external microphone to get enhanced audio.
Other than that, you can also use tripods, gimbals, external flashes, ring lights, other lighting equipment and interesting backdrops to make your videos better and more creative.