Canon Powershot S40 Review

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Canon PowerShot S40

First Look posted 10/02/01
full review posted 10/12/01

Click to take a QTVR tour of the S40

The PowerShot S40 is Canon's most compact 4-megapixel digital camera model. The S40 is based on the PowerShot G2's feature set and housed in a highly durable and pocket sized metal alloy body. The S40 has many features in common with the G2 including a sharp 3x zoom lens (35-105mm in 35mm format), a 1.8-inch color LCD viewfinder/monitor, a high- speed plug-and-play USB interface, direct print capabilities with the Canon S820D printer, compatibility with Type I and II CompactFlash memory cards, including IBM's Microdrives.

The 4.0 megapixel CCD sensor produces full-color, high-resolution images up to 2272 x 1704 pixels with additional settings for 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768 and 640 x 480. The normal continuous shooting mode captures images at 1.5 frames per second for up to 9 frames in Large/Fine mode. The new High-Speed Continuous mode captures at 3 frames per second for up to 5 frames in Large/Fine mode. The Movie mode has been improved to provide not just one but two resolution modes with sound: QVGA (320x240), and Q2VGA (160x120). The maximum recording duration is 30 seconds in QVGA and two full minutes with Q2VGA.

For maximum flexibility, the Canon PowerShot S40 provides users with a selection of 13 image quality settings including 3 JPEG compression modes (Superfine, Fine and Normal) at any resolution. It also features Canon's exclusive RAW mode for maximum control over image attributes such as white balance, contrast, sharpness, saturation and bit depth without image-degrading artifacts. By combining the S40's RAW file capabilities with its optional ISO 50 sensitivity setting, users can achieve higher image quality than any competitive model on the market today.

The S40 provides a wide range of exposure modes between its Image Zone and the Creative Zone. Image Zone modes are fully automatic, and intended to optimize camera settings according to the scene. Selections include Full Auto, Pan Focus, Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Color Effect, Stitch Assist, and Movie. The Color Effect mode is new, and allows users to choose between Vivid, Neutral, Sepia or Black and White. Creative Zone modes offer more control and include Program AE, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority and Manual. Program AE has been improved with the addition of Program Shift.

PowerShot S40 Features:

  • 4-megapixel CCD with RGB primary color filters
  • Image sizes of 2272x1704, 1600x1200, 1024x768 and 640x480
  • 13 image quality settings including 3 JPEG compression modes (Superfine, Fine and Normal) at any resolution
  • JPEG compressed and Canon raw image format
  • Canon 3x optical f/2.8-4.9 zoom lens (35-105mm in 35mm format)
  • 1.8-inch color LCD viewfinder/monitor
  • ISO 50, 100, 200, 400 or 800
  • Shutter speeds from 15 secs to 1/1500
  • Noise reduction for 1.3 sec or longer time exposures
  • Program AE (with Program Shift), Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority and Manual.
  • Image Zone modes: Auto, Pan Focus, Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Color Effect, Stitch Assist, and Movie.
  • Movie mode with sound: QVGA (320x240 up to 30 sec), and Q2VGA (160x120 up to 120 sec).
  • Three types of Metering: Center-Weighted Average, Spot, and Evaluative
  • Manual focus with distance readout and the portion of the image covered by the active focusing point is enlarged while focusing.
  • Three-point autofocus system to ensure perfectly focused images even when shooting off-center subjects
  • AF assist focusing illuminator for dim to dark environments
  • User-selectable exposure compensation, flash exposure compensation, auto exposure bracketing and white balance
  • Playback histogram function with over-exposure warning
  • CompactFlash Type II slot compatible with Microdrives
  • Canon NB-2L lithium rechargeable battery pack
  • Direct print to Canon S820D Bubble Jet Printer or the CP-10 Card printer.

    Canon PowerShot S40 and S820D Bubble Jet Printer

Image Management Software

The Canon PowerShot S40 and S30 are among the first Canon digital cameras to be shipped with full support for the new Microsoft Windows XP operating system. The Windows XP logo on the package indicates that the bundled driver software has passed Microsoft's stringent WHQL (Windows Hardware Qualification Lab) compatibility requirements.

Other bundled software includes ArcSoft's Camera Suite for still image and movie editing, as well as Canon's own ZoomBrowser EX 3.1 (for PC) and ImageBrowser 2.1 (for Mac); PhotoRecord 1.4 (Windows only); PhotoStitch 3.1.4 (Windows) and PhotoStitch 3.1.2 (Mac) and RAW Image Converter 1.2. RemoteCapture 2.1 enables a USB-connected PowerShot S40 or S30 camera to be controlled by a compatible personal computer. Many camera settings such as focal length, resolution, compression, flash mode, etc., can be adjusted and images can be recorded directly to the PC.

In addition to all of these software applications, the S40/S30 is supplied with plug-in modules and TWAIN drivers as well as a WIA driver for Windows XP/Me and a USB Mounter for Mac OS 9.0 and 9.1. The WIA driver and USB mounter allow a compatible PC to mount the camera as a hard drive on the desktop and display thumbnails to facilitate simplified image data transfers.

Physical Views

Canon PowerShot S40

Canon PowerShot S40

Canon PowerShot S40

Canon PowerShot S40

Canon PowerShot S40

Canon PowerShot S40

Canon PowerShot S40

Canon PowerShot S40

The Canon PowerShot S30, PowerShot S40 and Nikon Coolpix 885

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Page Two

Canon PowerShot S40 Specifications

Image sensor : Effective number of pixels : approx. 4 million 1/1.8 inch CCD
(Total number of pixels : approx. 4.1 million)
Lens : 7.1 (W) - 21.3 (T) mm (35mm film equivalent : 35 - 105 mm)
F2.8 (W) - F4.9 (T)
Digital tele-converter : Max. approx. 3.6x (Maximum 11x digital zoom when combine with optical zoom)
Optical viewfinder : Real-image optical zoom viewfinder
Field of view approx. 82 %
LCD viewfinder : 1.8 inch, low-temp polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD
Field of view 100 %
Autofocus method : TTL 3 point AiAF (1 point measurement is possible)
Focus lock and Manual focus are available
Focusing range :
(from tip of the lens barrel)
Normal AF : 80 cm - infinity
(2.7 ft. (T) - infinity)
Macro AF : 10 cm (W)/ 30 cm (T) - 80 cm
(3.9 in. (W)/ 11.8 in. (T) - 2.7 ft.)
Manual focus : 10 cm (W)/ 30 cm (T) - infinity
(3.9 in. (W)/ 11.8 in. (T) - infinity)
Shutter : Mechanical shutter + electronic shutter
Shutter speeds : 15 - 1/1500 sec.
1.3 sec. or more shutter is available in Shutter-Priority mode or Manual mode
Slow shutter speeds of 1.3 sec. or more operates with noise reduction
Light metering method : Evaluative metering, Center-weighted average metering, Spot metering (Center or AF Point)
Exposure control method : Program AE, Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE or Manual exposure control
AE lock is available
Exposure compensation : +- 2.0EV (in 1/3-stop increments)
Auto exposure bracketing (AEB) is available
(equivalent film speed) :
Auto, ISO 50, ISO 100, ISO 200 and ISO 400 equivalent
(In Auto mode, camera automatically adjusts sensitivity in the range of ISO 50 to ISO 100 equivalent)
White balance : TTL auto white balance, pre-set white balance (available settings: Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H or Flash) or Custom white balance
Flash : Red-eye reduction auto, Auto, Red-eye reduction On, On or Off
Flash range :
When sensitivity is set to AUTO : 35 cm - 4.8 m (1.15 ft. - 15.75 ft.) (W)
35 cm - 3.0 m (1.15 ft. - 9.84 ft.) (T)
When sensitivity is set to ISO 100 equivalent : 55 cm - 4.0 m (1.8 ft. - 13.1 ft.) (W)
55 cm - 2.5 m (1.8 ft. - 8.2 ft.) (T)
Flash exposure compensation : +- 2.0EV (in 1/3-stop increments), FE lock is availavle
Shooting modes :
Creative zone : Program, Shutter speed priority, Aperture priority and Manual
Image zone : Portrait, Landscape, Night scene, Fast Shutter, Slow Shutter, Color Effect, Stitch Assist and Movie
Continuous shooting :
High-Speed continuous shooting : Approx. 2.5 image/sec.
Standard continuous shooting : Approx. 1.5 image/sec.
(Large/ Fine mode with LCD viewfinder off)
Self-timer : Approx. 2 sec./ 10 sec. shutter release delay
PC-connected shooting : Available (USB connection only. Use the supplied software RemoteCapture)
Storage media : CompactFlashTM (CF) card (Type I and Type II)
File format : Design rule for Camera File system, DPOF-compliant
Image recording format :
Still images : JPEG or RAW
Movies : AVI (Image data: Motion JPEG, Audio data: WAVE [monaural])
JPEG compression mode : Super fine, Fine or Normal
Number of recording pixels :
Still images :
Large : 2272 x 1704 pixels
Medium 1 : 1600 x 1200 pixels
Medium 2 : 1024 x 768 pixels
Small : 640 x 480 pixels
Movies :
320 x 240 pixels (approx 30 sec.)*
160 x 120 pixels (approx 120 sec.)*
Approx. 15 frames/second

* The data in parentheses refer to the maximum movie length per shooting
Playback modes : Single (Histgram displayable)/ Index (9 thumbnail images), Magnified (approx. 3x or 6x on build-in LCD monitor) or Slide show
Sound annotations (up to 60 sec.)
Image output to direct printer CP-10 and Bubble Jet Printer with the direct print function.
Display languages : English, Deutsch, Fran�§ais, Nederlands, Dansk, Suomi, Italiano, Norsk, Svenska, Espa�±ol, Chinese and Japanese)
My Camera Settings (Customizing) : Start-up Image, Start-up Sound, Shutter Sound, Operation Sound and Selftimer Sound
Customizing is possible by downloading data from your computer using the supplied software.
Interface : Universal Serial Bus (USB), Audio/Video Output (NTSC or PAL selectable, monaural audio)
Power Source :
  1. Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery (type: NB-2L) (supplied)
  2. AC Adapter kit ACK700 (optional)
Operating temperatures : 0 - 40 degrees C (32 - 104 degrees F)
Operating humidity : 10 - 90 %
Dimensions (w x h x d) : 112 x 58 x 42 mm (4.4 x 2.3 x 1.7 in.)
excluding protrusions
Weight : Approx. 260 g (9.2 oz.) (camera body only)

Battery Pack NB-2L

Type : Rechargeable lithium ion cell
Nominal voltage : 7.4 V
Nominal capacity : 570 mAh
Charge cycles : Approx. 300
Operating temperatures : 0 - 40 degrees C (32 - 104 degrees F)
Dimensions (w x h x d) : 33.3 x 45.2 x 16.2 mm (1.3 x 1.8 x 0.6 in.)
Weight : Approx. 40 g (1.4 oz.)

Battery Charger CB-2LT/ CB-2LTE

Input voltage : AC 100-240 V (50/60 Hz)
0.17 A (100 V) - 0.10 A (240 V)
Rated output : 8.4 V DC/ 0.5 A
Operating temperatures : 0 - 40 degrees C (32 - 104 degrees F)
Dimensions (w x h x d) : 91 x 29.5 x 56 mm (3.6 x 1.2 x 2.2 in.)
Weight : CB-2LT : Approx. 86 g (3.0 oz.)
CB-2LTE : Approx. 82 g (2.9 oz.)

Compact Power Adapter CA-PS700 (optional)

Input voltage : AC 100-240 V (50/60 Hz)
0.32 A
Rated output : 7.4 V DC/ 2.0 A
Operating temperatures : 0 - 40 degrees C (32 - 104 degrees F)
Dimensions (w x h x d) : 112 x 29 x 45 mm (4.4 x 1.1 x 1.8 in.)
Weight : Approx. 186 g (6.6 oz.)

All data is based on Canon's standard testing methods.
Subject to change without notice.

The Canon PowerShot S40 kit includes:

  • Digital Camera
  • Wrist Strap WS-300
  • Battery Pack NB-2L (with Terminal Cover)
  • Battery Charger CB-2LT/ CB-2LTE
  • CompactFlashTM Card FC-16M (16MB, with Case)
  • AV Cable AVC-DC100
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-300PCU
  • Canon Digital Camera Solution Disk (CD-ROM)
  • ArcSoft Camera Suite Disk (CD-ROM)
  • Camera User Guide
  • Software Starter Guide
  • System Map
  • Warranty Card

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