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:


Image Quality

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS review – Image Quality

ISO Sensitivity & Image Noise

Thanks to the new sensor the SX40 HS’s images are a treat. At first they may not appear to differ by comparison to the SX30 IS’s shots, but this all changes as the higher ISO ranks are put to test.

Canon SX40 IS review sample image

Shots taken at ISO 1600 limit image noise successfully, and while there is some grain shots are of very good quality. Sit them side by side to the nearest competitor superzooms and the Canon’s shots are the favourites.

Tone & Exposure

Where white or brighter subjects feature in a scene the Canon can overexpose the shot a little, so careful attention to the metering mode can be critical. This isn’t a common issue, however, and the vast majority of shots are well balanced with a good tonal range.

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS review sample images WEB

The lack of Raw shooting is one notable absence and a feature that Canon really should have worked into this latest release. With the likes of the Fuji HS20 and Lumix FZ150 offering Raw shooting, we have to wonder why this feature is still missing from Canon’s superzoom repertoire.

Colour & White Balance

The PowerShot SX40 HS’s shots are vibrant with colour and succeed in balancing out all manner of scenes under various lighting conditions. JPEGs come straight out from camera with a richness and vibrancy that’s typical of Canon and most pleasing.

Sharpness & Detail

As per all superzooms there’s a pay off between having such a vast zoom range and the image quality’s sharpness. While the SX40 isn’t going to provide DSLR-like results, it’s a darn good and far cheaper alternative that does return shots with enough detail throughout its vast 24-840mm zoom range.

  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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