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First Look - Canon PowerShot SX40HS

johnriley1uk

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First Look - Canon PowerShot SX40HS

6 Feb 2021 3:39PM   Views : 459 Unique : 308

The truth is that I might use DSLRs most of the time, but I do quite like using Bridge cameras as well. We have had a few, including models from Fuji, Pentax and Nikon and they have all delivered really sharp, crisp images with great colour. The best so far was probably the Pentax X90, which was an amazing performer and I'm not really sure why I let it go. The Fujis started us off in digital photography, and the Nikon I liked a lot but the shutter button assembly fell off within 24 hours so I wasn't overly impressed by that. In fact I was quite disappointed, because I really liked the camera.

So now we have a Canon SX40 HS, passed to me from a sadly departed friend, and I have been trying it out, albeit it rather hampered by some pretty dreadful weather. This is a report of first impressions, and I'll be continuing to use it for a while as I feel it may have hidden depths.

The camera itself hails from 2011, has just 12MP, ISO gives up at 1600, but it sports an amazing 4.3-105.5mm f/2.7-5.8 USM lens with IS. We get the idea that the sensor size is very small (1/2.3") just like a compact camera, in fact the same size as the original Pentax Q. This is a 35mm-equivalent of 24-840mm, a range that would be almost impossible to carry with a full sized DSLR. Add to this a macro setting and there is no denying that this camera has huge potential and great versatility. For many, the ideal travel companion.

Now all this would be fine, but the sensor is very small, so is it a case of never mind the quality, feel the width? Let's have a look at my first attempts.

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I have yet to test out whether the 840mm end of the lens is steady enough, even with a fine IS system, so there's more to be done yet. The temptation is to zoom in too much and end up with impossible expectations in relatively poor light. There is also quite a bit of CA in those branches against bright sky. In terms of sharpness, pretty good, but I feel the images I got from my Pentax X90 were just slightly sharper. However, let's be fair, the focal length range was very much less.

So, I like it, with the jury out on full zoom capability, so I'll report back in due course after I've had a chance to do some wildlife and other shots in better light. I will be keeping the camera, so I suppose that in itself is encouraging.

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