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Canon PowerShot SX40 HS front angled
The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS was released as an update to the SX30 in September 2011 featuring a 35x optical zoom lens, 12.1 megapixel sensor, full HD video recording, image stabilisation. It is available now for £369.00.
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS front
Packed with Canon's HS System, DIGIC 5 image processor and high-sensitivity CMOS sensor you can shoot images with low noise and high image quality even in low light, therefore reducing the need for flash or tripod and freezing motion without blur. With High-speed Burst HQ mode you can shoot full 12.1 megapixel images at up to 10.3 fps.
To make picture taking easy there is Smart Auto mode which automatically detects from 32 different scene modes (21 in movies). Multi-area White Balance allows the capture of scenes in their natural colours even when illuminated by multiple types of light.
If you are a more advanced photographer there are full manual controls, allowing you to set your own aperture, shutter speed, white balance and ISO. If you lose your subject when shooting at the maximum zoom you can hit the Zoom Framing Assist button and the lens will automatically zoom out and zoom back the moment it's released.
An optional lens filter adapter lets you attach 67mm lens filters from Canon’s EOS range. A hot-shoe allows use of Canon Speedlite EX flash units to increase flash range.
The SX40 records videos at full 1080p HD with stereo sound at 24fps, optical zoom and can also be connected to a HDTV for playback.
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS lens extended
- 35x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24 - 840mm) with ultrasonic motor
- Image Stabiliser (4.5-stop)
- Intelligent IS
- 12.1 megapixel sensor
- HS System with DIGIC 5
- Full 1080p HD
- 2.7 inch vari-angle LCD screen
- Electronic viewfinder
- Smart Auto
- Multi-area WB
- High-speed Burst HQ
- Manual modes
- Zoom Framing Assist
- Range of accessories
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS top
The menu system is typical of Canon compacts and is clear and easy to navigate. The battery has a CIPA rating of 380 shots, which is great if you tend to go out shooting all day. Below we have measured shutter response and focusing speed at both wide angle and telephoto settings. We took 6 shots and calculated the average speed of the camera. The results can be seen below:
|Shutter Response Average||0.2 seconds|
|Wide - Focus and Shutter Response Average||0.6 seconds|
|Full zoom - Focus and Shutter Response Average||0.6 seconds|
|Switch on time||2.5 seconds|
|Continuous Shooting||2.1 fps|
|High-speed burst HQ||10 fps|
Both continuous shooting and High-speed burst mode shoot at full 12.1 megapixels.
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS screen to side
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Lens test images
Wide-angle | 1/400 sec | f/4.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Full optical zoom | 1/125 sec | f/5.8 | 150.5 mm | ISO 100
Digital zoom | 1/125 sec | f/5.8 | 150.5 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 0.4 sec | f/2.7 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
At the lowest settings, ISO 100 and ISO 200, good sharp images with minimal amounts of noise are produced. At ISO 400 you can see a little extra noise appearing with the images becoming softer at ISO 800. Noise continues to increase as you go through ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 but the camera still produces decent image which colours unaffected by the extra levels of noise found at these settings.
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS ISO test images
ISO 100 | 1/13 sec | f/4.0 | 14.3 mm
ISO 200 | 1/25 sec | f/4.0 | 14.3 mm
ISO 400 | 1/50 sec | f/4.0 | 14.3 mm
ISO 800 | 1/100 sec | f/4.0 | 14.3 mm
ISO 1600 | 1/200 sec | f/4.0 | 14.3 mm
ISO 3200 | 1/400 sec | f/4.0 | 14.3 mm
Below are some examples using some of the scene modes available. The landscapes have good blues and greens, but if you want a more colourful sky you can select Vivid Blue from "My Colours". Also available is Vivid Green and Vivid Red. Portraits have pleasant skin tones and are free from red-eye. The 35x optical zoom lens also means it's possible to take detailed pictures of the moon, but requires the use a tripod to ensure they are sharp.
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Sample Photos
Landscape | 1/400 sec | f/4.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Landscape with building | 1/640 sec | f/4.0 | 5.6 mm | ISO 100
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 12.9 mm | ISO 100
Sport | 1/1250 sec | f/4.5 | 22.2 mm | ISO 1600
Vivid Red | 1/320 sec | f/5.0 | 53.2 mm | ISO 100
Moon | 1/200 sec | f/5.8 | 150.5 mm | ISO 100
Under the incandescent lighting the AWB preset gives a strong orange cast in the image, with the better result coming from the incandescent preset. Under the fluorescent lights there is very little difference to tell whether using the AWB or fluorescent presets.
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/25 sec | f/3.2 | 6.6 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/15 sec | f/3.2 | 6.6 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/3.2 | 6.6 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/3.2 | 6.6 mm | ISO 100
For an added touch of creativity there are a range of filters as well as "My Colours" which can be used during shooting. Examples of some are below.
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Digital filters
Colour accent | 1/40 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 800
Colour swap | 1/40 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 800
Fish-eye effect | 1/80 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 1600
Miniature effect | 1/40 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 800
My colours - black and white | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 100
My colours - neutral | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 100
My colours - positive film | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 100
My colours - sepia | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 100
My colours - vivid | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 100
My colours - vivid blue | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 100
My colours - vivid green | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 100
My colours - vivid red | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 100
Poster effect | 1/40 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 800
Super vivid | 1/40 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 800
Toy camera effect | 1/40 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 800
Monochrome | 1/80 sec | f/4.0 | 15.9 mm | ISO 1600
Video ModeBelow is an example video shot at 1080p HD. Optical zoom is available during recording and you can also record Super Slow Motion videos, examples of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.
Value For MoneyThe Canon PowerShot SX40 HS is currently available for £369.00. There aren't many other digital compact cameras which offer this amount of zoom, other options being the Nikon Coolpix P500 at £279.00 and Olympus SP-610 UZ at £189.00, both of which offer 36x optical zoom. Other cameras to offer a large amount of optical zoom are the Fujifilm FinePix HS30 EXR at £469.00, Sony DSC-HX100V at £384.95 and Fujifilm FinePix S4500 at £229.00.
|The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS is a feature-packed camera which also produces great images.|
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS ProsFull 1080p HD video recording
0cm minimum focusing distance
35x optical zoom
10 fps High-speed shooting at full resolution
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS ConsA larger screen would be good
Costs similar to that of an entry level DSLR
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/2.7 - f/5.8|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 840mm|
|CCD pixels||12.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||6.16mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||4.62mm|
|Screen resolution||230,000 dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/3200sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||15sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 3200|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-10L|
|Box Contents||Lens Cap (with strap), Neck Strap NS-DC11, Case for Hot Shoe Cap, Battery Pack NB-10L, Battery Charger CB-2LCE, AC Cable, Interface Cable IFC-400PCU (for USB), User Manual Kit|