Canon PowerShot SX40 Full Review - Cameras For Photographers
Specifications 2:

Type:
DSLR-Like

Weight (inc. Battery) [?]:
600g

Wide Angle [?]:
24mm

Max. Focal Length [?]:
840mm

Zoom Range [?]:
x35

Sensor Size:
1/2.3"

Low Light Support [?]:
twilight

Image Stabilization [?]:
Optical

Raw Format Support [?]:
none

Manual Exposure [?]:
yes

Video Resolution [?]:
1080p

Optical Zoom In Video [?]:
yes

Stereo Sound [?]:
stereo

Battery Life [?]:
380 shots

Flip Lcd [?]:
flip

Touch Screen [?]:
none

Viewfinder [?]:
electronic

Freeze / Water / Shock - Proof [?]:
no

Dimensions (w-h-d) [?]:
122.9 x 92.4 x 107.7 mm

Macro Distance [?]:
0 cm

Built-in Wireless [?]:
none

Built-in GPS [?]:
none

Direct Video Button [?]:
yes

Panorama [?]:
none

Rank: [?]
50.5

Initial Price:
$429 (change: $130, 30%)

Last Price Change:
$50 (14%) (Dec 3rd)

Last Lowest Price:
$299





Support this site by purchasing accessories for the Canon PowerShot SX40:

Canon PowerShot SX40 - Full Review

Last Lowest Price: $299
With its x35 zoom, the PowerShot SX40 certainly justifies its family name, as a true powerful tool of photography.
sx40
      
Canon PowerShot SX40 (photos: Canon)
Important Note: the SX40 was replaced by the Canon PowerShot SX50 (compare ).

The SX40's Price Watch:

While the SX30 was the first to bring a x35 zoom range to the world, the SX40 - having retained the x35 zoom range - has lost the throne to the Nikon Coolpix P510, with its x42.

Strengths & Improvements


At first glance, the SX30 and SX40 are virtually identical. There's no telling them apart other than the golden 'ultrasonic' on the SX30, the megapixel count (14.1 on the SX30 and 12.1 on the SX40) and the camera name, of course.

The SX40 retains the same x35 zoom range starting at an extra wide angle of 24mm, the same maximum aperture settings of f/2.7 at the wide end of the lens and f/5.8 at the long end and the same articulating 230k dot, 2.7" LCD screen.

Internally, however, the SX40's features are far from resembling those of the SX30's. The crucial difference is the use of Canon's new CMOS imaging sensor and Digic V processor - this new combo has an effect on most of the cameras behaviours, making it quicker and stronger, as you'll see below.

Build Quality & Handling




Performance


Focus Speed: Focusing with the SX40 is plenty quick, especially when compared with the previous model - the SX30. In that case, the difference in shot-to-shot times are enormous. It takes the SX40 half(!) the time it takes the SX30 to focus and take another shot.

Operation: It seems that the new Digic V processor works well at enhancing computing speeds. Not only does it improve shot-to-shot times, it also shortens the camera's start-up time and makes the menus react much more quickly to every button-press and dial-turn. The menus are intuitive and easy to control, as well as the various buttons on top and on the back of the camera. The direct video button is a blessing, as always.

Image Stabilization: Amazingly, the SX40 was able to produce a sharp image at full zoom and at a shutter apeed as low as 1/5 seconds. Truth be told - you need a bit of luck and a steady hand to pull that off, but even as a proof of ability, that's very impressive. In day-to-day shooting, the image stabilization is indeed highly effective, as long as you have no moving subject in frame, of course.

Battery Life: Being the large and heavy SuperZoom camera that it is, the SX40 packs a battery which can hold around 380 shots on average. Compared to the meager 240 shots of the Nikon Coolpix P510, this figure seems substantial, but other competitors belittle it, such as the 450 shots battery life of the Sony Cyber-shot HX200V or the 600 shots of the FujiFilm FinePix HS30EXR.


Image Quality


ISO Range: Canon's new CMOS sensor and Digic V imaging processor prove valuable in terms of ISO performance. Especially when put side by side with the SX30 - which has the CCD sensor + Digic IV combo - the improvement in noise and detail levels are clear to the naked eye.

Dynamic Range:

White Balance:

Advanced Features




The Competition


Each of the top camera manufacturers has a respectable super-zoom to offer - Panasonic has the FZ150 (compare ), Nikon the P510 (compare ), and Sony the HX200V (compare ).

Who is it not for?


If you're looking for a compact camera to fit in your pocket - this is not the one for you.
If you want a high-end, low-light camera or need RAW format support, keep looking.

Who is it for?


If you want an all-in-one capable zoom - the SX40 is one of the best out there.

Score:


Image Quality: 8
Performance: 8.5
Build & Handling: 9
Advanced Features: 8.5
EyalG's Total: 8.5

Last Lowest Price: $299


Zoom Capabilities:


Images are shown from the shortest focal length (wide angle) to the longest (telephoto).
Digital Zoom is shown by 'x' factor:


Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




Image Stabilization Capabilities:


Here's an example of the same image taken with and without image stabilization:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




High ISO Performance:


See how the SX40 performs in various ISO sensitivities:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




High ISO Performance - 100% crops:


Here are full size crops of the images above:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




In-Camera Effects:


The SX40 offers these creative effects, see what they look like:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




In-Camera Custom Colors:


Here are examples of the custom colors available:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




Optical Zoom During Video:






In Your Hand:








Sample Images (hand held, out of camera, with no post processing):



1/1000 sec, f/4, 24mm, ISO 100

1/30 sec, f/2.7, 24mm, ISO 800

1/160 sec, f/5.6, 150mm, ISO 200

1/1250 sec, f/2.7, 24mm, ISO 1600

1/200 sec, f/5.8, 840mm, ISO 160

1/80 sec, f/4.5, 129mm, ISO 100

1/400 sec, f/5, 438mm, ISO 100

1/1250 sec, f/5.8, 840mm, ISO 100


Rank:

Automatically compared to similar cameras, based on specifications:

Low Light:
 

Wide Angle:
 

Zoom Range:
 

Weight:
 

Other Features:
 

Price:
 

Total Rank:
50.5


 

Lineage:

Canon PowerShot SX40 Eyal Gurevitch June 26, 2012 $299 50.5 100

Compare the Canon PowerShot SX40 with Similar Cameras:

Other Tools:

  • Use the Compare Tool to compare the SX40 to other cameras.
  • See where the SX40 is placed on the Feature Graph.
  • Find similar cameras using the Feature Finder.
  • Related Posts:

    Related Pages:

  • See the list of all Super Zooms .
  • See the list of all Low Light Cameras .

  • Please support this site - order the SX40 here:    B&H | Amazon | Adorama