Canon SX40 HS

 
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS front
 
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fully Articulated Display
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 24-840mm (F2.7-5.8) lens
  • 600g - 123 x 92 x 108mm
  • Introduced September 2011
  • Replaced the Canon SX30 IS
  • Renewed by Canon SX50 HS
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
Portability
64
Imaging
37
Features
50
Overall
42

Canon SX40 HS overview

Canon SX40 HS is Canon's Small Sensor Superzoom camera initially introduced on September of 2011. It features a 12 MegaPixel, BSI-CMOS 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a peak resolution of 4000 x 3000.

Canon released this camera to upgrade the older Canon SX30 IS (Read Full Comparison) and then launched the fresher Canon SX50 HS (Read Full Comparison) to upgrade this camera.

The SX40 HS is positioned #115 out of 243 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and all around #623 out of 1428 for cameras in our database. You can look at our Smart camera search to see camera rankings based on your custom requirements.

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Below is a diagram of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Canon SX40 HS family

The Canon SX40 HS comes with a history of related cameras. Underneath, you can look at all older and latest models alongside important specifications.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Canon-PowerShot-SX70-HS front thumbnailCanon SX70 HS
SX40 HS vs SX70 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2018
Canon-PowerShot-SX740-HS front thumbnailCanon SX740 HS
SX40 HS vs SX740 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
21MP1/2.3"2018
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Canon-PowerShot-SX730-HS front thumbnailCanon SX730 HS
SX40 HS vs SX730 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2017
Canon-PowerShot-SX620-HS front thumbnailCanon SX620 HS
SX40 HS vs SX620 HS
25-625mm
F3.2-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX720-HS front thumbnailCanon SX720 HS
SX40 HS vs SX720 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX540-HS front thumbnailCanon SX540 HS
SX40 HS vs SX540 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2016
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
Canon-PowerShot-SX420-IS front thumbnailCanon SX420 IS
SX40 HS vs SX420 IS
24-1008mm
F3.5-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX410-IS front thumbnailCanon SX410 IS
SX40 HS vs SX410 IS
24-960mm
F3.5-5.6
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX610-HS front thumbnailCanon SX610 HS
SX40 HS vs SX610 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX530-HS front thumbnailCanon SX530 HS
SX40 HS vs SX530 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX710-HS front thumbnailCanon SX710 HS
SX40 HS vs SX710 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
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Canon-PowerShot-SX60-HS front thumbnailCanon SX60 HS
SX40 HS vs SX60 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX400-IS front thumbnailCanon SX400 IS
SX40 HS vs SX400 IS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX520-HS front thumbnailCanon SX520 HS
SX40 HS vs SX520 HS
24-1008mm
F3.4-6.0
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX700-HS front thumbnailCanon SX700 HS
SX40 HS vs SX700 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX600-HS front thumbnailCanon SX600 HS
SX40 HS vs SX600 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX510-HS front thumbnailCanon SX510 HS
SX40 HS vs SX510 HS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX170-IS front thumbnailCanon SX170 IS
SX40 HS vs SX170 IS
28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX160-IS front thumbnailCanon SX160 IS
SX40 HS vs SX160 IS
28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
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Canon-PowerShot-SX280-HS front thumbnailCanon SX280 HS
SX40 HS vs SX280 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX270-HS front thumbnailCanon SX270 HS
SX40 HS vs SX270 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX50-HS front thumbnailCanon SX50 HS
SX40 HS vs SX50 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX500-IS front thumbnailCanon SX500 IS
SX40 HS vs SX500 IS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX260-HS front thumbnailCanon SX260 HS
SX40 HS vs SX260 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX150-IS front thumbnailCanon SX150 IS
SX40 HS vs SX150 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
14MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX240-HS front thumbnailCanon SX240 HS
SX40 HS vs SX240 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX40-HS front thumbnailCanon SX40 HS24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SX230-HS front thumbnailCanon SX230 HS
SX40 HS vs SX230 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-SX220-HS front thumbnailCanon SX220 HS
SX40 HS vs SX220 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
Canon-PowerShot-SX30-IS front thumbnailCanon SX30 IS
SX40 HS vs SX30 IS
24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX130-IS front thumbnailCanon SX130 IS
SX40 HS vs SX130 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX20-IS front thumbnailCanon SX20 IS
SX40 HS vs SX20 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX210-IS front thumbnailCanon SX210 IS
SX40 HS vs SX210 IS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX200-IS front thumbnailCanon SX200 IS
SX40 HS vs SX200 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.3
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX1-IS front thumbnailCanon SX1 IS
SX40 HS vs SX1 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX10-IS front thumbnailCanon SX10 IS
SX40 HS vs SX10 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009

Canon SX40 HS Pros and Cons

Below is a list of benefits and drawbacks of the Canon SX40 HS based on aspects that are normally seen as necessary in a camera.

built in image stabilization (Optical)
comes with face detection focusing
comes with HDMI out
flash sync speed is above average (1/2,000 seconds)
great battery power (380 CIPA)
great min ISO (100)
great zoom range (24-840mm 35.0 x zoom)
has built in flash
has manual focus
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
long reach (840mm)
quite wide (24mm)
screen articulates fully
screen is selfie friendly
doesn't have phase detect AF
doesn't have RAW format
does not have external microphone support
does not have headphone support
does not have Timelapse function
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
megapixel count low (12MP)
more heavy than competition in class (600g)
pixelated screen (230 thousand dots)
slow at tele end (f5.8)
small sensor (1/2.3")
somewhat slow max aperture (f2.7)
tiny screen (2.7 inch)
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Canon SX40 HS Sensor specifications

The sensor specification on the Canon SX40 HS is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor is able to resolve 4000 x 3000 pixels at aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has got Image Stabilization (Optical). Optical stabilization is superior than digital stabilization since the latter can easily produce cropping.

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The BSI-CMOS sensor boasts 12MP and includes a native ISO range of 100 to 3200. Sadly, RAW files are not supported which means that you have less room to maneuver in post.

The picture below illustrates the SX40 HS's sensor dimensions in comparison to other common sizes. The SX40 HS sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is pointed out in green.

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS sensor size Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

To get an idea of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon SX40 HS dimensions

Canon SX40 HS weighs about 1.32 pounds (600 gr / 21.16 oz) and features exterior measurements of 123mm x 92mm x 108mm (4.8" x 3.6" x 4.3"). The weight of general Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 gr and the Canon SX40 HS is heavier when compared with its competitors.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Below is a visual of the Canon SX40 HS with a softdrink so you can have a feel for its scale.

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS dimensions scale

The top view below will show you the button design on the SX40 HS.

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS topview buttons dials

Canon SX40 HS Lens specifications

The SX40 HS houses a built-in lens providing a focal range of 24-840mm making it a 35.0 x zoom which is significant and is going to make it easier to zoom right in.

At the widest 24mm, it provides an aperture of f2.7 and that's rather slow and not great in low light conditions and you might find it difficult to capture good bokeh. You will likely also have to increase the ISO setting which causes noisy photographs. With the tele end, 840mm is phenomenal zoom and comes with f5.8 making it quite sluggish and you may need to go with slow shutter speeds.

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Canon SX40 HS Connectivity

The SX40 HS has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that include NFC and / or Bluetooth connectivity can be used wirelessly by smartphones. You are able to copy pictures and sometimes change camera settings without the hassle of connecting straight to the camera.

Many applications even allow a Liveview and press the shutter if you aren't close to the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI out, it can be connected to an external display. Almost all cameras will allow you to charge the battery with the USB socket.

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Canon SX40 HS Video specifications

The highest video resolution on the Canon SX40 HS is 1920 x 1080 and it can capture in MPEG-4 and H.264 format. 1080p resolution provides a good balance in quality and file sizes but FULL HD will not leave you with much room to downsample. The camera doesn't include a mic and / or headphone socket which means you have got no control over your sound. It is probably a better idea to order an alternative camera should you want decent sound in your video clips.

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Canon SX40 HS Weather Sealing

There is no weather proofing in the Canon SX40 HS so you need to be cautious in rainy and dusty situations.

Canon SX40 HS Display and Viewfinder

The Canon SX40 HS features a 2.7 inch fully articulated display screen boasting a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

The display is selfie friendly to shoot self portraits and group photos if required. Sadly the display screen is not a touch screen.

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS screen and viewfinder Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

The View Finder specifications regarding Canon SX40 HS are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Electronic

In those bright outdoor situations which make the camera screens washed out and hard to view, viewfinders will be rather useful.

Canon SX40 HS Shutter specifications

Canon SX40 HS continuous shooting speed is 10.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/3200 seconds.

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Canon SX40 HS Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Canon SX40 HS has got both inbuilt flash and external flash ability. The maximum flash sync speed is 1/2000 seconds.

Canon SX40 HS Autofocusing specifications

Canon SX40 HS has got just Contrast Based AF and lacks Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot quicker & exact when compared with Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera features Face detect which makes it valuable for taking photos of people.

The AF system features 9 focus points to pick from. Canon SX40 HS has manual focusing in case it is required in low light scenarios or you want to have more accurate focusing control.

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Canon SX40 HS Battery life

The battery power (NB-10L) in the Canon SX40 HS is designed to last for 380 pictures according to the CIPA specifications making it above average ın comparison with its category. The typical Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR has the highest (600) battery life in this group of cameras.

Here is a number of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras with the best battery life:

Canon SX40 HS for varying types of photography

The following graph indicates a overview of the Canon SX40 HS for varying types of photography. To check out more, go to the specific paragraph below.

Portrait photography with Canon SX40 HS

The Canon SX40 HS receives a points tally of 42 which is subpar, and means the camera is not really acceptable to use for portrait photography. Shooting portraits leans greatly towards sensor specs, RAW support along with the ability to work with external flash.

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focusing manually
above average flash sync speed (1/2,000 seconds)
provides face detect focusing
megapixel count low (12 megapixels)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
has no RAW support

Street photography with Canon SX40 HS

With a moderate points tally of 49, the Canon SX40 HS is somewhat appropriate for street photography. A very good street photography camera comes with a fine balance of picture quality and portability.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
fully articulated screen
has image stabilization (Optical)
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
lacks RAW files
heavier than average (600g)

Canon SX40 HS as a Sports photography camera

A subpar sports photography score of 43 means the Canon SX40 HS is not really acceptable for photographing sports. A camera needs fantastic autofocus plus fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
incredible zoom range (24-840mm 35.0 x zoom)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
great battery life (380 per charge)
sensor resolution not great (12 megapixels)
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
lack of phase detect autofocus

Canon SX40 HS Travel photography highlights

Size is extremely critical when buying a camera for travel. Overall, the Canon SX40 HS gets a moderate 55 as a travelling camera which is relatively adequate to take with you on your holidays.

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great battery life (380 CIPA)
has built in flash
selfie friendly screen
decently wide (24mm)
very long reach (840mm)
lack of Timelapse mode
more heavy than competition (600g)
low MP (12 megapixels)
sluggish maximum aperture (f2.7)

Canon SX40 HS Landscape photography information

When you are planning to buy a camera for landscape photos, the biggest aspect is going to be image quality. The Canon SX40 HS at it's subpar grade of 39 for a landscape camera is not really acceptable in the current market.

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manual focus
relatively wide (24mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
great battery power (380 CIPA)
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
slow max aperture (f2.7)
screen is somewhat small (2.7 inch)
megapixel count low (12MP)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
has no RAW format
lack of Time Lapse recording

Canon SX40 HS Vlogging factors

A vlogging camera ought to posses a moving screen, microphone input and ideally IBIS. Considering all the details, the Canon SX40 HS is relatively appropriate for vlogging as it delivers a reasonable rating of 58.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
pretty wide (24mm)
selfie friendly display
image stabilization (Optical)
supports face detect focus
video res high (1920 x 1080 pixels)
slow maximum aperture (f2.7)
no microphone support
more heavy than others in class (600 grams)

Canon SX40 HS Alternatives

If you are in the market for alternatives to the SX40 HS, below is a range of the highest rated cameras which fall within the category of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The chart below shows you an overview of the SX40 HS compared to it's top rated rivals listed previously.

Following are several cameras you might check out as alternative options. To read a comprehensive comparison, simply click the "compare" link.

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Specifications

General Information
Manufacturer
Canon
Model type
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Class
Small Sensor Superzoom
Introduced
2011-09-15
Physical type
SLR-like (bridge)
Sensor Information
Sensor type
BSI-CMOS
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
12 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW pictures
Highest native ISO
3200
Lowest native ISO
100
Autofocusing
Focus manually
AF touch
AF continuous
AF single
AF tracking
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Total focus points
9
Lens
Lens support
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
24-840mm (35.0x)
Maximum aperture
f/2.7-5.8
Macro focusing range
0cm
Focal length multiplier
5.8
Screen
Display type
Fully Articulated
Display sizing
2.7 inch
Display resolution
230 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch capability
Display tech
PureColor II VA TFT LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Electronic
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Features
Lowest shutter speed
15s
Highest shutter speed
1/3200s
Continuous shooting rate
10.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Yes
Set WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
7.00 m
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Fill-in
Hot shoe
AEB
WB bracketing
Highest flash synchronize
1/2000s
Exposure
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (24fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps) 640 x 480 (30, 120 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 240 fps)
Highest video resolution
1920x1080
Video file format
MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone support
Headphone support
Connectivity
Wireless
Eye-Fi Connected
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
None
Physical
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight
600 grams (1.32 pounds)
Physical dimensions
123 x 92 x 108mm (4.8" x 3.6" x 4.3")
Other
Battery life
380 shots
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
NB-10L
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
SD/SDHC/SDXC
Card slots
One
Retail cost
$330