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:


Value & Verdict

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS review – Value

Make no mistake, the SX40 isn’t a budget camera and will launch with an asking price around the £460 mark. Indeed that’s the same price as a budget DSLR system, or you could pick up a Sony SLT-A35 with 18-55mm lens for the same cash.

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS review sample images WEB

In relative terms, considering the rest of the superzoom market, however, and Canon’s latest offering sits towards the top end of the pricing spectrum. The likes of Sony’s HX100V currently cost around £385, while others such as Fuji’s HS20 have plummeted as low as £270.

If Canon’s latest had revised the screen size and resolution and amped up the performance to a class-leading level then it may have warranted the high price, but as it is it does feel a tad expensive.

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS review – Verdict

Canon SX40

On the surface the SX40 HS is almost indistinguishable from its SX30 predecessor, and much the same can be said about using the camera. It’s disappointing to not see significant advances in focusing speed and performance, and while a speedier 10.3fps Scene mode is available it’s still not class leading in speed or ability. The small and low resolution LCD screen also feels out of date compared to the competition and there’s still no sign of Raw shooting.

But it’s the SX40’s inner workings that escalate the camera to greatness: thanks to the new back-lit CMOS sensor image quality is a mini triumph. Add to that the lens’s huge 24-840mm range and excellent image stabilisation and the SX40 HS is hard to beat for a superzoom that provides a zoom in excess of 600mm.


Video:Yes, 1080p24 Full HD
White Balance:Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash, Custom. Multi-area WB correction available in Smart Auto
Memory Card:SD (HC/XC)
LCD:2.7in, 230k-dot, vari-angle LCD
Sensor:12.1MP 1/2.3in back-illuminated CMOS
Other:0.2in, 202k-dot electronic viewfinder (EVF); Single, Continuous (2.4fps max), Continuous with AF, Self-Timer;
Metering System:Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (centre or linked to Face Detection AF or FlexiZone AF frame)
Connectivity:HDMI, A/V out
Exposure Modes:P, Tv, Av, M, C1, C2, Auto, Sports, Scene, Effects, Movie
Flash Modes:Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro
Power:Approx. 600 g (including battery and memory card)
Weight:600 g (including battery/batteries and memory card)
ISO Range:100-3200
Lens:35x optical zoom (24-840mm equiv); 4.5-stop. Intelligent IS
Dimensions:122.9 x 92.4 x 107.7 mm
Shutter Speeds:15 – 1/3200 sec total range
File Formats:JPEG
  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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