"Magnum Camera without the dSLR price!"4.5 starson by CharlesNNC
Pros: 1) Image quality is truly amazing
2) Excellent low light, day light
3) Fantastic zoom and an amazing image stabilizer
4) 1080p Video is amazing
5) Lots of features and versatility
Cons: 1) Motor noise is especially noticeable in quiet environments
2) There is no external microphone jack
Summary: My wife recently asked me about getting a camera for around the house and wanted to upgrade from our old point and shoot. Being an amateur photo enthusiast for as long as I have been and hanging with some real camera nuts I can honestly say I never hesitated. The Canon SX40 HS is the answer for many who want to get more serious, but maybe the bulk or price of a true dSLR doesn't fit your needs. In many (and most cases) this camera not only fills the gap, it will leave you not even wanting a true dSLR. This coming from a man that owns a Nikon D7000 with 3 detachable lenses and hundreds of dollars in accessories. I also own a Canon SX20is which is 2 years old as of this writing, but a camera that I still grab if I want to not worry to much about technical shooting and want to worry more about composition and maybe add some artistic flare with it's many cool functions.
No, the Canon is not a detachable lens dSLR. It is a full body "bridge camera" that does more in many instances of what a dSLR camera can do for the average person but maybe a bit less than what a professional would want done to their pics. Of course a professional would need thousands of dollars in lenses and a photoshop program to match some of the functions this camera can do. This camera is top in it's class amongst bridge style camera's in picture quality and shooting side by side with the Nikon Cool PIx direct competition proved what I had thought all along. (Again this coming from a Nikon d7000 owner). Canon plain and simple owns the high end bridge camera market in my opinion.
Zoom is a big seller and many are disappointed when they hit the dSLR market and see the price of even a modest Zoom lens. Considering a low end 200mm lens for a dSLR is about the price of this entire camera, I can see why some skip the dSLR market altogether and would want something like this. The average person would never be able to afford the zoom this camera offers on a dSLR.
Quality usually goes down when zoom is involved as well. Ask any camera buff to test this baby out. They will be amazed. Im not saying it's the equivalent of a f2.8 200mm or 500mm lens professionals use, but it's not bad and this entire camera weighs less than most 300mm dSLR lenses do and a 10th of what a 500mm lens would. The detractors of my comparison, I'm sure, will mutter some mumbo jumbo about how the f-stop is too high on these super zoom cameras and that there is no way they can get as much quality as their $5000-$10000 outfit. It may be so when comparing many technical aspects, but what I like is flat out results, not what some technical guru is telling you. And I LOVE the results of the testing I've put this camera through. For the money, for the weight of this unit and all else, I will stand behind my claim that
This camera has a 35X optical zoom (WITH an incredible 140X digital zoom) that produces images better than I could ever have imagined (even compared to my 80x zoom on my sx20...so big improvements in technology there!). It has an optical stabilization of which I am totally impressed with considering you can freehand a zoomed in pic at 140 digital zoom (35x optical) and get impressive pics. The zoom doesn't seem to suffer from lack of resolution or light gathering capabilities either in daylight hours.. On one particular extremely overcast day my wife took a picture of the trans-allegheny lunatic asylum in Weston, WV clock tower from the fence at the street and it filling the frame completely (and then some) with no motion and beautiful resolution. Considering at full zoom the 35mm equivilant is 840mm (can you imagine the price of THAT lens for a dSLR) I found this impressive. You could see the paint peeling off the clock face she got so close! We were a good 300 yards from it.
Size is manageable as well. Smaller than any dSLR. It's not slim like a pocket camera, but it isn't bulky like a dSLR either. Its a "best of both worlds hybrid camera" that any camera enthusiast would be proud to have in their arsenal. In addition the video on this camera rivals any consumer HD camera available. I use my sx20 for my youtube videos and consistently get complimented on image quality. The sx40 has now further 'upped the ante' (from my sx20) and bumped up quality to a full 1080HD video WITH autofocus (which even the best dSLR cameras cannot rival to this date). Considering video cameras have typically low res photo taking quality, it would make sense to buy this as your video camera AND you get awesome 12MP picture quality in addition.
OK, so thus far you may think I have elevated this to God status. I realize it's faults. I know it's shortcomings. Thus the reason I own my Nikon d7000.
A true dSLR has advantages. Manually focusing pictures is so much easier(I wouldn't even bother with manual focus with this camera), lower f-stops (with the correct lens, which btw are very expensive), wide angle shots (again, expensive lense) and the ability to crank out 3200ISO pictures with decent quality are the 3 that come to mind immediatly. The art of pulling together a beautiful picture that you can truly call your own, with a combination of technical expertise and composing can be more fully realized with a dSLR detachable lens type camera. But for the average person looking at your pictures and seeing the end result, most all but the most arogant camera snobs would say "who cares" [lol]. Again, this coming from a man that owns an amazing Nikon dSLR.
For the amateur enthusiast who wants to 'up their game' (without the expense of a magnum camera), dabble with manual settings and experiment with various picture options like fish eye lens, color swapping/enhancing, super-vivid color saturation option in addition to having the capability to get high quality video all within one carry around camera (without the bag) and so much more...I will HIGHLY recommend this camera to anybody that is looking for a camera but not quite wanting to reach into the expensive dSLR market.
Highly recommended accessory would be the conversion ring that allows the use of 58mm filters so that you can dabble with polarizing and ND filters to further enhance your photography. This camera does not allow the use of standard dSLR camera filters, you need this conversion ring to allow filters to be screwed on properly.
Advice, for low price if you're will buy this Canon SX40 HS, I suggest you have to compare prices before you decide at: *****************.info/Canon-SX40HS
Hope this review is helpful.