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Canon has spent a lot of resources developing their high-end cameras--and their smaller cameras are starting to suffer for that a bit. The Canon PowerShot SX540 IS is a small update to the SX530, bumping up the megapixels from 16 to 20 and allowing for 60 fps HD video.
The Canon SX540 still embodies a nice 50x optical zoom, packed in a relatively small body. That zoom lens has a pretty average speed, at f/3.4-f/5.6. Advanced features like manual modes are included, though no RAW.
Speed is so-so at 5.9 fps and a maximum shutter speed of 1/2000. Optical image stabilization is also included.
All in all, the Canon SX540 is just average. The zoom range and brightness of the lens, the speed--there's nothing horrible, but nothing too astounding either. The Nikon P610 offers better speed and more zoom, albeit with 16 megapixels. The Olympus SP-100 has a much brighter lens at a better price point. The Canon SX540 doesn't look horribly exciting, though it doesn't appear to be a horrible camera either.