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Canon PowerShot SX40 HS – review, specification and price

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS – review, specification and price

At first glance, seems to have done nothing: The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS looks exactly like its predecessor, and the lens still provides a 35-times optical zoom. Inside, however, potter about a more powerful image processor and a significantly faster BSI CMOS sensor. Whether this is enough to sit down at the tip of the mega-zoom class, the review suggests.

Price : €400

The following table shows again the most important technical data of the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS in direct comparison with its predecessor SX30 IS .





PowerShot SX30 IS

PowerShot SX40 HS

Price (MSRP)

469 €

469 €

Image Sensor

1 / 2 0.3-inch CCD

1 / 2 0.3-inch BSI CMOS


14 Megapixels

12 megapixels

Optical Zoom



Focal length range

24-840 mm

24-840 mm


F2, 7 – F5, 8

F2, 7 – F5, 8

Image Stabilizer




ISO 80-1600

ISO 100 – 3200

Max photo resolution

4320 x 3240 pixels

4000 x 3000 pixels

Max video resolution

1280 x 720 pixels @ 30 fps

1920 x 1080 pixels @ 24 fps

Manual settings

P, Q, S, M

P, Q, S, M


2.7 inches, pivotally

2.7 inches, pivotally




Storage media




12.3 x 9.2 x 10.8 cm

12.3 x 9.2 x 10.8 cm


601 g

600 g

Just to clear up ahead with one thing: Even if the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS looks like a small SLR, but it differs fundamentally from their DSLR counterparts. Indeed, there are no replaceable, but a fixed lens that it comes with a 35x optical zoom is extremely flexible. To construct such a space appearance – and also for reasons of cost – is behind the lens, however, a smaller image sensor. And the mini-chip can with less than a tenth of the surface of Canon’s DSLR sensors by far not keep up with their picture quality. Bottom line is obtained with a bridge camera like the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Although more flexibility, sacrifice for it compared to the SLR image quality models. Who can get used to, should the SX40 HS and their current Bridge Camera colleagues definitely closer view.


The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS sees its predecessor, published last year SX30 IS confusingly similar. Both cameras seem like a slightly shrunken DSLR EOS series. On the front of the housing is the generous handle, located on the upper side of the trigger, and a lever to control the huge 35x zoom. Directly behind the wheel accommodates the manufacturing mode and on / off switch. Even if the motor moves the lens is very soft, but it takes quite a while, until you once fought through the entire focal length range of the lens. When you lose a moving object at full zoom out of sight, then zooming out to the retrieval and then zooming in takes way too long. This further helps the Zoom Frame Assist function, which can be activated via a button on the right side of the rear thumb rest. Here, the camera zooms out of the picture while holding down the button, then zoom to bring the subject again. Nice, but unfortunately still not fast enough for our taste.

Below the Zoom Frame Assist button brings the manufacturer under two buttons to switch to playback mode and to set the auto focus point and adjust its size. Below a four-way pad with wrap around Einstellrädchen follows. In addition to navigating through the menus and configure recording parameters the pad is also used for direct access to exposure compensation, focus mode, self timer, and ISO sensitivity. The rotating element of the four-way pad rotates for our tastes a little too easily. When you set the aperture, shutter speed & Co., in practice we like to shoot once on the mark. The Func.Set button in the middle of the pad calls up a menu that holds the currently selected recording mode appropriate adjustments. For more in-depth options, there is a menu button at the bottom of the back.

Left of the menu button sits in the end even with one Disp. Lettered button. It is used between the 2.7-inch display and electronic viewfinder, which unfortunately fails badly small to switch back and forth. Not in itself a problem, but unfortunately not a pressure switch directly between the two displays. Instead of just jumping on-screen LCD with a little info on LCD mode with lots of information, then finally to the detector with little information, and finally to the viewfinder, with lots of information. And back then. Is a proximity sensor for automatic switching is not it. Another ingredient is that it brings out the Disp. Button and occasionally for other functions. Who then wants to switch between the viewfinder and display, must leave before the function. Alternatively, you can also collapse the rotatable and tiltable display hanging upside down in order to activate the viewfinder – or expand in order to disable it. All in all, this is not as straightforward as we would wish. A dedicated button for direct switching would have preferred.

To the right and left of the EVF is a button each. The left button can be proven with a function. Exception: switch directly between the display and viewfinder. The right button is used to start the video recording. Anyone who wants more options in video mode takes place, the mode wheel on a dedicated video function.

Anyone who has ever been photographed with a Canon camera will be right at home with the menus from the start. But even beginners should be a short adjustment period find their way very quickly. A detailed look at the manual which is included in digital format on the DVD included software can not hurt allerrdings.

When the energy supply relies on a proprietary Canon Lithium-ion battery that holds enough energy for 400 shots. The compartment for the battery is located along with the memory card slot behind a flap on the underside of the housing. On top of the SX40 HS sits a hot shoe, which is hidden under a small cover. Mini-HDMI and combined Mini-USB/AV-Port are housed on the right side of the camera. Equipment

Although the Canon PowerShot SX40 does not HS the myriad shooting modes such as the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V and is also expressed in terms of manual setting options not on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 approach. But all are available for a camera in these class important features. Thus, besides a fully manual mode, the two semi-automatic aperture and shutter speed priority. The incident on the light sensor adjusts the amount SX40 way with a real iris and not by neutral density filters . In the wide-angle to the aperture for ten shots between F2, 7 and F8, 0 available. At the telephoto end can to the light intensity, and there remain four values ??between F5 and F8 8, 0 left. The shutter speed ranges from 1 / 3200 and 15 seconds. Who frequently used settings here has found, this saves them under the two custom slots on the mode wheel.

Those who prefer to work on the camera can be found, apart from a very reliable fully automatic mode, the usual scene modes for portrait, landscape, fireworks, and their ilk. The SX40 HS also has a number of effects filters offer. With color accent and color change can be either a single color in the photo by replacing other, or convert the image into black and white, while preserving a certain color. There are also a number of other effects, however, offer little that is new: Toy Camera, Monochrome, fisheye, Super Vivid (color enhancement) and poster effect. Fortunately, most of these gadgets are also available in video mode.


The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS has a high speed CMOS sensor and the new Digic image processor 5. Our expectations were high that the camera is significantly faster than the somewhat leisurely predecessor. Unfortunately this is not so – at least not in any way. After pressing the power switch to the first photo in the box pass is 1.6 seconds. Between each other is taking a breather approved the camera of 2.5 seconds.

To under optimal conditions at the subject into focus and capture the photo you need the HS SX40 0.4 seconds. In the twilight of the tripping delay worsened to 0.6 seconds. In practice, the camera works but somewhat slower than one might suspect the readings from the test laboratory.

In the continuous shooting speed, Canon has significantly reworked, however. The super-zoom camera shoots full-resolution images on the eight pieces at a speed of 10 fps. However, the camera adjusts shutter speed in this car and focus on the first shot photo no more. So change during the photo-duration fire, the shooting conditions, such as the distance between subject and photographer, it fails some of the pictures. To 2.3 fps with reduced speeds, the limitation to eight images – the exposure and focus are still not adapted, however. The camera creates the only nor even much slower 0.8 fps mode.

Image quality

For a super-zoom bridge camera, the Canon PowerShot SX40 delivers excellent image quality HS. As with most compact and bridge cameras, the images above ISO 200 much softer and noisier. But with ISO 400 and 800 shot photos are convincing still very usable and with a good detail preservation and stable colors.

At ISO 1600 and 3200, the colors lose saturation to finally clear, and there are the vast majority of details are lost in the photos. For the Internet or for mini-prints, the quality here ranges from perhaps more, but you can make posters with the pictures not the best of intentions. Here one should keep in mind that indoor shots at high focal lengths generally require relatively high ISO values ??to still achieve sharp photos. This is not exactly conducive to the image quality. Also, the automatic white balance under artificial light provides warm colors to help not just continue – we recommend the appropriate preset or manual white balance. Function provides a RAW unfortunately not the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS.

The color reproduction is excellent at low ISO values: photos look bright and alive. Also, the automatic exposure generally delivers good results. As with all cameras in this class, there are high-contrast scenes overexposed areas in the photos. Unlike many other manufacturers, Canon offers a solution in the form of an HDR-automatic, which combines several in quick series with different brightness and captured photos together to improve the dynamic range. And the i-Contrast feature, unfortunately, brings out only in underexposed image areas a few details. For HDR freaks after all, is a bracketing function on board.

The video quality is moving on a level with the best pocket camcorders. For the Internet and the occasional viewing on a large full-HD TV in the living room ranges from the massive quality. However, the SX40 captures one of the HS-1080p clips with 24 frames per second. Fast moving subjects or rapid camera movements thus ensuring ghosting and judder – the recordings are thus unusable, however. Interestingly, the Ruckelproblematik exacerbated rather, if the resolution to 1280 x 720 pixels down and booting up the frame rate to 30 fps so.

In low light, as expected from the images look grainy. But on the whole the camera is proposing here is very neat. The optical zoom while recording, but works very slowly. Thus, after all, quite effectively prevented that the lens motor can be heard on the clips. Only with a really quiet scenes when zooming a slight hum can be heard.


The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS is therefore less spectacular than some of its mega zoom competitors, and also in terms of speed they cannot hold a candle to his rival. For the camera in its class offers the best image quality and an exceptionally flexible lens. If these two aspects when buying camera in the foreground, the SX40 HS is definitely a good choice.

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