Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Review

Review posted 11/07/2011

Quick Take
  • Almost unmatched 35x optical zoom with extremely versatile zoom range
  • Produces pleasing 12-megapixel images both indoors and out
  • Powerful built-in flash
  • Hot shoe for external speedlites
  • Capable OIS and Intelligent IS systems
  • Records good quality 1080 HD video for a point-n-shoot
  • Awesome 2.7-Inch vari-angle LCD
  • Handy Zoom Assist button
  • Robust shooting performance
  • Exposure options for just about everyone
  • Excellent battery life
  • Higher noise in shadow areas than we'd like to see - only visible when critically inspecting images at 100%
  • EVF shows slightly different colors than LCD
  • No audio input for HD video recording
  • Shutter lag with autofocus in Smart Auto mode is slightly longer than other models; like Program
  • The stereo microphones pick up a lot of background noise when shooting video
Bottom Line
The PowerShot SX40 HS continues the traditions set by the SX-series by offering outstanding performance, pleasing image and video quality, and a plethora of versatile features and exposure options. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
Built to replace the SX30 IS, Canon has announced the new PowerShot SX40 HS. While the previous model had more megapixels (14 to be exact), the new SX40 HS has a better CMOS sensor (12-megapixels). This sensor, when combined with the upgraded DIGIC 5 image processor, means this new model can take better pictures at higher speeds.

The SX40 HS as a High-speed Burst HQ mode that snaps up to 8 frames at a speed equivalent to 10.3fps. Its HS SYSTEM allows for more clarity in low light situations, and the DIGIC 5 processor allows the camera to record full 1080p HD video. Intelligent IS (Image Stabilization) selects from six modes to make sure your shots are blur-free, even when you're using the camera full telephoto capabilities (35mm equivalent of 840mm). There is also a Zoom Framing Assist button to help you track moving objects in "extreme telephoto settings." It zooms out to wide angle allowing you to fid your subject, then zooms right back to the focal length you were previously at so you can quickly capture the action.

Another nice feature taht was carried over from the SX30 is the 2.7-inch vari-angle LCD, which will help you capture a variety of otherwise difficult to frame shots, like self-portraits, low angle shots, etc. This is accomplished thanks to the screens ability to rotate 175 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees rotationally. While the camera has a host of manual settings, novices and newbies will enjoy the improved Smart AUTO setting, where the camera selects the optimum shooting mode from one of 32 predefined shooting conditions and situations.

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Features:
  • 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Canon's HS (High Sensitivity) System
  • DIGIC 5 image processor
  • 35x optical zoom (35mm equivalent of 24-840mm)
  • True Lens-Shift Optical Image Stabilization
  • Fast maximum aperture range of f/2.7 - 5.8
  • 2.7-inch vari-angle LCD
  • High-resolution EVF (Electronic ViewFinder)
  • Powerful manual pop-up flash unit
  • Hot shoe for external speedlites
  • Improved Smart AUTO (32 predefined shooting situations)
  • Full 1080p HD video capture
  • High-speed Burst HQ, up to 10.3fps at full resolution (max. 8 frames per set)
  • Intelligent IS
  • Zoom framing assist button
  • HDMI out
  • SD card slot accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
  • Eye-Fi compatiable
  • Li-ion power source (up to 400 shots)

The PowerShot SX40 HS is available now with a suggested retail price of $429.99 USD. See our buy box below for the most current online pricing at various retailers.

Additional Product Views:
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Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.