Canon’s latest SX40 HS superzoom retains the 35x optical zoom and design of the previous SX30 IS. But with a new CMOS sensor is the PowerShot SX40 the superzoom we’ve been waiting for? The What Digital Camera Canon PowerShot SX40 HS review…

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Canon PowerShot SX40 HS

Overall score:88%
Image Quality:95%


  • Good image quality, decent high ISO performance, lens barrel markings, optical stabilisation


  • Low resolution 2.7in LCD, electronic viewfinder, expensive


Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Review


Price as reviewed:



Canon PowerShot SX40 HS review – Design

The SX40 is a carbon copy of the SX30 on the outside. In some respects this is a good thing: the build quality’s sturdy, the camera holds well in the hand and shooting options are easy to access. But in other respects it’s a letdown: the fact the 2.7in, 230k-dot LCD remains the same size and resolution is disappointing as other models – such as the Sony HX100V – come with 3in, 921k-dot screens. Of course the Canon’s screen does bring the benefit of a full 180º horizontal and 270º vertical rotation for more adventurous framing.

Canon SX40 flash upThe electronic viewfinder (EVF) is also as per the SX30, at 0.2in in size and with a 202k-dot resolution. While this is ample by common standards, it’s a shame Canon hasn’t pushed the boundaries as the SX40 feels somewhat ‘safe’ by design. Certainly ‘if it ain’t broke then why fix it’, but there are tweaks and adjustments that should have escalated this release up a peg or two.

The SX40 also includes a hotshoe that’s hidden under a plastic cap on top of the camera should you wish to use a more powerful Canon Speedlite external flashgun. Leave the hotshoe cap on and it meshes perfectly with the body – you’d be forgiven for assuming there was no hotshoe at all.

A rechargeable li-ion battery provides around 380 shots per charge, slightly more than the previous model was capable of, but only by 10 shots or so.

Control-wise and the SX40 HS features a four-way d-pad with a rotational ring for adjusting options, as well as a variety of quick-access and one-touch buttons for display and menu access. Pressing the Function button in the centre of the d-pad brings up the common options on screen for quick adjustment, or the main shooting/camera menus are accessed via the main Menu button. It’s a well-versed system that’s simple to get to grips with and use, though the rotational wheel can be a little tardy when changing settings.

  1. 1. Canon PowerShot SX40 HS review - Features
  2. 2. Design
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality
  5. 5. Value & Verdict
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