Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Review

November 15, 2011 | Gavin Stoker | |

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#101 Rock Bourgow

You should by a Canon 430 EX or the more powerful 530 EX or a good compatible flash like Sigma or other brand and fixe it on your camera hot shoe.Don’t by the new model EXII from Canon because the extra menu selection is not accessible from the camera SX40 and some mistmatch occure between the camera and flash for a good result in the just lighting of your photo.
In automatic mode it habitually work very well in the dark because the autofocus can be obtain by the green light who came from the camera.The red IR light from the flash don’t work with my SX40. A course from a teacher or a book is very recommandable. The green auto-focus light have distance limit who i don’t remember but if you read the instruction book i’m sure you find it.RD Collins is right in his explanation whom is difficult to focus in dark and it’s why i use a strong pocket light to help the camera in is focus in dark situation.
Good luck and practice and practice in your home for a better knowledge of all of capacity from this camera.

4:28 am - Monday, June 4, 2012

#102 Eon

Well I must admit this camera is pretty good, only 4 stars…Come on its at least 4.5 rating. I have taken pictures with the 60D, t1i, T3i, XS, Nikon d7000, Sony Nex-3 to name a few.
With a bit of tweaking this Canon SX40 HS really rocks.

12:40 am - Tuesday, June 12, 2012

#103 DonRent

Dropped by my local Ritz Camera store and took a (2) test drives of the SX40 and am TOTALLY impressed with it…  That lens with the 40 is absolutly fantastic… I own a DSLR (Canon) with 3 different lenes and am sick and tired of having to switch lens so often..  A real PIA…  So today my lens and camera will up for sale on ebay so in about a week or so I WILL be buying the “40”...  Being a former newspaper photographer, this is no rash move…

12:37 pm - Friday, June 15, 2012

#104 Rock Bourgow

Friday the 8 June i have done a series of videos with my Canon SX40.It was for the retire party of my wive. All videos fourteen (14) was perfect for focus, sound, brightness etc…The IS stabilization work very well. All videos have been done in exterior with bright sun at 18h30 an up with only a grip add to camera to obtain more stability. The wind was very low and not perceptible in the record.
If you like to make very good video this camera is a powerfull easy instrument to use.

5:47 pm - Friday, June 15, 2012

#105 DG

If you set your shutter speed to more than 1.3 seconds in manual mode the camera locks the ISO to 100 with a message: ISO speed is limited due to slow shutter speed; this lockout is indicated on page 102 of the manual. If you have plans for doing astronomy photos (i.e. Milky Way) you will be out of luck with this camera. An annoying fact I found out about after buying the camera.

3:02 pm - Monday, June 18, 2012

#106 Zach

I have been following the reviews of SX40HS as I am really interested in this camera. I am in the lookout for a new camera. I had one Fuji s7000 which I sold recently after 9 years. It gave me excellent prictures. Now I want a new camera basically for taking pictures at home and for travel. I had almost decided to buy sx40hs, but now I came across reciews of sx260HS which also has the same Digic % processor, good zoom (20X), and very compact. So can you people tell me which one I should go for? I know sx40hs and sx260hs can not be compared apple to apple, but since my use is basically for home and travel use, will it be sensible to settle for sx260hs?

7:56 am - Friday, June 22, 2012

#107 oomiwan

Zach, since no one knows our needs better than ourselves, you’d better give both a try and decide which one suit you best, because if you ask people, they’ll give you advice based on their own preference

IMHO they both have the same image and video quality, since they come from the same producer

All you need to take into account is whether you want more zoom but more bulky, or less zoom with much smaller size, SX260 HS is a newer product and has GPS feature, SX40 HS has not, but I’m not sure you will need this feature.

5:26 am - Monday, June 25, 2012

#108 Beep

“...silent zooming - crucial when capturing video in particular…”

Talk about false information.

You can check a ton of Youtube videos for proof against this. The motor is blatantly audible while zooming, it sounds like rustling leaves and ruins the audio unless you’re shooting in a loud environment to drown out the zoom noise.

3:39 pm - Monday, July 2, 2012

#109 Julie

I want to upgrade from my beloved Canon G11 to a bridge camera, (can’t be bothered carrying around extra lenses!)
Please someone give me an honest comparison between Canon SX40 and the Nikon P5100.  The obvious being Nikons extra zoom.
Would appreciate it, want to buy really soon :)

11:01 am - Thursday, July 5, 2012

#110 Bert.S

Hi Julie, I think you want to compare to Nikon 510.
P5100 is an SLR camera. You could go to the site of snapsort but all depends on what you really expect of your new camera. Use an external flash?
Huge zoom but this diference does not mean much…
II bought the SX40 3 weeks ago and I have to learn a lot about it.

1:11 pm - Thursday, July 5, 2012

#111 mark

I have this camera for about 2 weeks. First i bought a Nikon coolpix L810 but that was 1 big piece of ... I turned that one back and returned with the SX40. Great camera, wonderfull colors, easy menu, ... everything is perfect but i have a question. Porhabs a stupid question but are there other people who have a sort of deformation at some pictures? Not on every picture. Sometimes i have sort of deformation in the corner of a picture. Likt when there’s somebody in the corner of that picture his head look strange. Almost stretched out. Don’t know exactly how to explain but i think the real amateurs here will understand what i mean.

10:30 pm - Saturday, July 7, 2012

#112 Dirk

Hi Mark,

I do have the same problem as you ( see my comment #40).
This is called “vignetting” and I have this mostly
making landscape pics.
I did contact Canon on this , but I never received an answer on this problem.
Maybe it has something to do with the powerful zoom.
In my opinion the best you could de is to use less zoom and crop the photo in photoshop or in most programs you are able to reduce the “vignetting”.
Hope this will help.

4:13 pm - Sunday, July 8, 2012

#113 mark

Hi Dirk,

thx for the post.
I think we are not talking about the same thing. If i understand correct you mean dark corners?
I have been searching for the name of my problem and that is “pincushion distortion”.
You can compare it with looking trough a hollow glass.
Here you can find a example of what i mean:
This is my youngest son and this pic was taking last night. Take a look at the boy his face in large size.It is not natural.
Here you can see it again with a photo from my other son and here you don’t have to go in large size to notice it.
Look at the brick wall on the upper left side of the pic, the seat and the butter.
It is totally misformed.
I don’t have this problem at every picture i take, it comes sometimes.
Is it something i do wrong? Is it a bad scene or what?
I don’t know.
The only thing i know is that my old powershot A520 never had this problem.
It was a poor x4 zoom but imo the pics i made with that camera were (imo) so much better than any picture a have made with this one.
Too bad that little camera is on the end of his lifetime otherwise i should never have made the switch to another one.
First i bought a nikon coolpix L810 but those pictures realy were not ok, realy not.
Than i said i go buy myself another Powershot and i go for the best one the market these days.
And than i have this pictures coming out of it ... ?!

I don’t know what i’m doing wrong, it is exactly the same menu as one my old A520, exactly the same way of working

9:34 pm - Sunday, July 8, 2012

#114 mark

Hi Dirk,

i think we are not talking about the same problem.
If i understand correct you are talking about darker corners? Shadows on the corner?
I ame talking about real misforming.
Here are 2 pictures from my sons.
On this one you have to go on a larger size to notice it
Look at the baby his head, it is totaly not natural.
And on this pic you don’t have to go to a larger size, you see it right away at the brick wall, the seat and the butter .
My old camera was a powershot a520, a little poor x4 zoom but i have always shot magnificent photo’s with that little thing.
Too bad it has his lifetime otherwise i have never bought another camera.
First i bought the Nikon coolpix L810 but that was not good, realy not good. Than i said no more shit, i’m going for an new Powershot and i’m going for the best one on the market these days.
But than i see this kind of photo’s ...
I don’t know what i do wrong. Is it a sort of scene i may not use or what?
I would be surprised if it was that because it is the same menu and way of working as on my old powershot a520.

I don’t know but i am a bit disapointed in this great camera. All the reviews gives a magnificent image and than you get this out of it?!
Is it me or what? I don’t know :-(

9:47 pm - Sunday, July 8, 2012

#115 mark

Oh oh, after posting it the first time it dod not appear on the page so i wrote it again and now the 2 posts are on the screen.
@ the mod/admin: feel free to delete one of them :-)

9:50 pm - Sunday, July 8, 2012

#116 Dirk

Hi Mark,

I now see what your problem is and I really don’t know how to solve it and I am not able give you an advise on this.Sorry.
Hopefully there will be anyone in this forum who can give you some ideas on this.
Best regards,

3:11 pm - Monday, July 9, 2012

#117 chandru

This is chandru from india, I have this camera(SX40) about 15 days ago, I have one confusion about MACRO, I am new to camera world, pls help me how to take MACRO photos, and one more IMP thing was one of my friend (Photo studio guy)was told don’t use inbuilt flash for more than 10 photos, because it is small in size and made up of with plastic and its high power, it will melt(burn). its true or not? if its true how much photos I can take?.
And Which make I can use as external FLASH… Please give more suggestions…....


10:49 am - Tuesday, July 10, 2012

#118 Anoop


For using macro, try manual focusing mode , you will understand how much least distance required to get clear picture.
SX40 capable of 0cm macro only when there is not a single bit zoom. If you zoom the lens least macro distance will be greater than 20cm. Try manual focus and press half button to see if image is in focus.
One more easy way to zoom a lot and get back at least 1.5meter from the subject to get good defocus effect.

I don’t think camera is going to burn if you use more than 10 pics using in-camera flash. if is does so you can sue canon.

10:42 am - Wednesday, July 11, 2012

#119 Emily

I’m confused between this camera and the SONY HX200V. Both of these cameras have equal number of nice reviews but I find that in the SONY we have GPS, and the “Background Defocus” mode in which you can blur the background giving the effect on a SLR. Is this mode present in the SX40? And which one has a wider angle lens?
Also, are the features of this camera complex to understand?
Overall which one would you recommend? Replies needed ASAP please.


5:24 pm - Thursday, July 12, 2012

#120 Billy

What could you possibly need GPS for? That feature is really for someone who is basically in a technical field of work and needs it to keep track of where the shot was located, probably for some legal reason. It is actually only a drawing card that gets people’s attention with the hope of them buying the camera. In other words, the camera companies CREATE the frenzy to make you think you need it! It is totally unnecessary feature for probably 99.9% of camera buyers. As to the “background defocus,” the SX40 (as well as all other high-end point-and-shoot cameras and DSLR’s) can do the same thing if you put it in “portrait mode,” or “macro mode.” The Canon has had some very good reviews and has been out for about a year, give or take. I think the Sony is much newer and, quite frankly, has more “bells and whistles” than the Canon. But the bottom line is the quality of the photos you take and THAT is what you need to pay attention to when making your decision. Do some searching and look for what reviewers have to say in regards to image quality.

6:08 pm - Thursday, July 12, 2012

#121 Rock Bourgow

I agree 100% with Emily.The 2 onlys differences between Sony and Canon are the White Balance for poeple skin ans the other is the fast selection buttons for rapid access at some features. Check for your preferences and buy the best for you. At this stage don’t stop your choice on the price. But if you think you will progress in flash photography with an adittional cobra flash Your new camera should have the hot shoe . Canon SX40 have it and with the intelligence flash like Canon 430EX it easy to take photo in night and day with this super flash.

1:48 am - Saturday, July 14, 2012

#122 Chandru

Hi, this is chandru again, I have SX40hs, And I have to know how to defocus the background in taking the photos( flowers, leaf..etc), please explain in brief ... Thank you

8:18 am - Monday, August 6, 2012

#123 Douglas Collins

Use the largest aperture (lens opening) possible. The lower the number, the larger the lens opening.

The easiest way to do that is to change the dial on top of the camera to Av mode (aperture priority) and turn the dial on the back of the camera to the LOWEST number, which is 2.7.

Be sure to focus carefully on your subject. Your subject should be sharp and the foreground and background in the photo should be blurry. However, this does NOT work with subjects that are far from the camera. It works best with subjects that are within a few feet of the camera.

4:14 pm - Monday, August 6, 2012

#124 Ivan

Hello, I’m finding out about the differences between the FUJIFILM HS30 and the Canon SX40. I see you have similar price and similar features, but I want to know what is best for me, since I want to venture into the world of photography. But since I’m new to this, quiesiera a camera is easy to use but good camera. I’m reading the previous post, but I see that think much about the differences between the HS30 and SX40. If you could give me some advice, I want a camera you can learn a lot, and can make good quality footage.
Thanks for the info.

3:29 am - Monday, September 17, 2012

#125 Billy

Either camera will do you well. The SX40 will have more reviews than the HS30 because of it being a Canon. But Fuji makes some great cameras, too. The main obvious difference is the lens in each. The SX40 goes out further than the HS30 and it also automatically zooms in and out at the push of a lever. The HS30, on the otherhand, zooms in and out MANUALLY, the same way that DSL cameras do. So if you’re thinking of one day getting a DSLR, the HS30 will allow you to transition better than the SX40.
I personally have the SX40 and I’ve also owned a Fuji HS20, as well as a Fuji S200EXR. My favorite of these 3 is, without question, the S200EXR because of how it’s made (built like a tank, has a very large sensor, and the EXR processor puts out GREAT color).
Anyway, the lens is the main difference. Both take movies but take a couple of seconds to get going.

4:37 pm - Monday, September 17, 2012

#126 elmanque

@ Ivan
Canon SX40 = Better image quality.
Camera with fewer features.

Fuji HS30 = Low image quality (noisy).
Camera with many many features and very nice.

7:12 pm - Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I want to buy a travel-zoom camera & shortlisted PANASONIC FZ150 and CANON SX40HS. My main look-out is for IQ, Macro & Low-light performance.
Please help.

7:13 pm - Thursday, October 11, 2012


I want to buy a travel-zoom camera & shortlisted PANASONIC FZ150 and CANON SX40HS. My main look-out is for IQ, Macro & Low-light performance.
Please help, which one to buy.

7:14 pm - Thursday, October 11, 2012


I want to buy a travel-zoom camera & shortlisted PANASONIC FZ150 and CANON SX40HS. My main look-out is for IQ, Macro & Low-light performance.
Please suggest.

7:30 pm - Thursday, October 11, 2012

#130 Behruz

It’s really what I ever wanted.superb,,

11:09 am - Sunday, October 28, 2012

#131 Fahad

Hi guys,
Im looking for buy a camera and choose Canon PowerShot SX40 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ62. but im really very confused which one I should buy. can any one plz suggest me which would be good between these two camera.

Thank you.

5:12 pm - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

#132 Scott Morton

I’ve been having a great time helping my daughter to learn some photo skills with a sx40 - seems to work quite well…

5:29 am - Monday, November 26, 2012

#133 hendra poerwita

I bought SX40HS a couple days ago for replaced my Canon 1100D..the pics quality was amazing altough full zoomed at 35x!..
I’m happy with this prosumer cam, cause never again take the long zoom lenses for my daily shot..very simple and effective.
furthermore, for the vids…i never hope more than my 500D. But i was wrong…video quality was amazing too!..great pics and wonderful vids with super zoom…that’s i like this one!

11:58 pm - Monday, November 26, 2012

#134 jon

hi .thinking of this camera too but needs to be able to shoot decent video , particularly of aircraft. is it u to the task ?

10:50 pm - Thursday, November 29, 2012

#135 Paul

All you need, if like me you just like taki g great shots and don’t work for a national news paper as a photographer . What a camera maybe not for the professional but just what the doctor ordered. Buy it if you like taking great shots. 10/10. And that’s that.

4:15 am - Thursday, January 3, 2013

#136 David

I am sure the answer to this is in the manual but being a novice - dcan the hot shoe take a device which will control studio flash lighting or is it restricted to speedlites?

11:01 am - Friday, January 25, 2013

#137 anand kumar

i have a sx40, when i use the eye piece of the camera for clicking, the images as seen from the eye piece seems blurred but there is no problems with the photographs, why is this happening and how can it be resolved, pl help

3:36 pm - Sunday, September 15, 2013

#138 Douglas Collins

There is a small wheel to the left of the viewfinder (the eye piece). Turn that wheel to adjust the view so that it is not blurry for you. See page 41 of the user guide.

4:30 pm - Sunday, September 15, 2013

#139 Muj Ali

Hello Guys, Can someone tell me if we can add a external gun mic on this or any type (wireless), i want to use it to shoot documentary style video shots as a back up camera. Hope you guys can help.

3:20 pm - Friday, October 18, 2013

#140 kevin schey

Have been using the camera since September of 2012. I love the camera it has been my primary work horse and takes a hell of a photo. I wish the unit had a bigger sensor. In the 19 months since I got it I put over 112,000 photos on the unit and is still going…...

11:53 pm - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#141 john d

Hi have been reading comments on the canon sx 40,
purchased this camera a couple of weeks ago on e/bay for £150.00 second hand, but hardly used.
I think its important to read the manual,so many
problems could be resolved by reading and understanding the manual, boring but very necessary.
I have had many cameras in my time, and my verdict on this little beast,is, nice little general use camera, decent build quality,a bit sluggish,but a very good starting off point,you get what you pay for,and I must say I have had some very satisfying results so far,no complaints
for the money I paid. JD

2:01 pm - Friday, October 24, 2014

#142 David

can the sx40 record better sound then when recording loud music at a concert ??? I tried a few settings and there all over modulated audio big time,,,tried auto,,and setting it way down low,,any help would be cool

3:21 am - Friday, April 3, 2015

#143 Phylllis.

I have the Canon Power Shot SX40 HS Digital Camera.  Somehow I got the view finder working instead of the screen.  I can not figure out how to go back to the screen.  Any help on this??

9:58 pm - Sunday, August 2, 2015

#144 Kevin schey

push the display (disp) button until the screen comes on.

10:19 pm - Sunday, August 2, 2015

#145 John Speed

I have had this camera for some time now with excellent results. Recently, when I turn it on, it goes right back off with the barrel of the lens partially extended, but will allow you to review pictures on the card. Does anyone know what is going on here? Thank you.

10:21 pm - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, compact, 1080p, hdmi, 12 megapixel, super-zoom, 2.7 inch LCD, tilting, super zoom, Canon, PowerShot, 2.7 inch, 35x zoom, 24-840mm, sx40HS, SX40 HS, Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Review, sx40

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