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  • Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, Super Wide Angle, 35x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch Vari-Angle LCD
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Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, Super Wide Angle, 35x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch Vari-Angle LCD

by Canon
91 customer reviews
| 14 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
1 new from £249.00 3 used from £169.99
  • 35x ultra wide-angle (24-840mm) optical zoom lens with Ultrasonic Motor for fast zooming
  • Intelligent IS adapts the class-leading optical Image Stabilizer to the scene (7 modes)
  • 12.1 MP HS System with powerful DIGIC 5 processor for great results even in low-light
  • Full HD movies (1080p) with optical zoom, stereo sound and HDMI-CEC
  • Smart Auto with Multi-area WB detects 32 scene types and optimises settings

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Product details

  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 12.3 x 9.2 cm ; 558 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Item model number: 5251B011AA
  • ASIN: B005MX0G6S
  • Date first available at 16 Sept. 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,820 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)

Product Description

Product Description

The PowerShot SX40 HS is a versatile compact point-and-shoot camera that easily captures amazing photos and videos. The Canon HS SYSTEM boosts low-light performance with the new Canon DIGIC 5 Image Processor and a high-sensitivity 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor. This advanced Canon technology delivers stunning image quality with reduced noise and blur. Colours are more vibrant and white balance is true-to-life. The 35x Optical Zoom offers incredible reach and range, allowing you to shoot any scene, near or far. The Optical Image Stabilizer helps images come out steady and clear, and a 24mm ultra Wide-Angle lens makes it easy to take pictures of large groups of people, tall buildings, expansive landscapes and much more. The camera also features a 2.7-inch Vari-angle LCD for great shooting flexibility. Packed with an array of powerful technologies, the PowerShot SX40 HS is a convenient digital camera capable of brilliant image capture.

Manufacturer's Description

Go far, get closer with 35x zoom

The PowerShot SX40 HS offers an “all in one” solution which bridges the gap between digital still cameras and digital SLRs. It showcases Canon’s optical expertise with an incredible, ultra wide-angle 35x optical zoom lens, whilst Canon technologies such as the HS System ensure premium image quality and optimum user experience.

Features include:

  • Ultra wide-angle (24 mm - 840 mm) 35x optical zoom lens with Intelligent IS
  • Fast, silent zooming and focusing
  • Zoom Framing Assist to help keep track of subjects at high zoom
  • 2.7" (6.8 cm) vari-angle PureColor II VA LCD screen and electronic viewfinder (EVF)
  • Canon’s HS System with powerful DIGIC 5 processor for outstanding image quality even in low light
  • 12.1 Megapixel, high-sensitivity, Canon CMOS sensor
  • Full HD movies (1080p) with optical zoom, stereo sound and HDMI-CEC
  • High-speed Burst HQ and Super Slow Motion Movie to help capture fast action scenes
  • Smart Auto detects 32 types of scene so you can simply point and shoot
  • Multi-area White Balance correction for more natural colour reproduction
  • Creative shooting modes including Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome and Miniature Effect
35x optical zoom gets you closer to the action
The 35x optical zoom is ideal for capturing distant subjects
Click here for a larger image

35x optical zoom gets you closer to the action

The PowerShot SX40 HS features an astonishing ultra-wide 35x optical zoom lens - this gives you a zoom range equivalent to 24mm to 840mm in one single lens. Coupled with an impressive 12.1 Megapixel capacity this allows you to really explore your creativity; from breathtaking landscapes to long-range close-ups and sharp macro photography, you have the power to capture truly stunning photos.

The Ultrasonic Motor (USM) provides fast, silent zooming and the Voice Coil Motor (VCM) enables fast focusing. Plus, the 2.7" (6.8 cm) vari-angle PureColor II VA LCD screen flips out and rotates so whether you’re shooting across a crowd or from ground level, you’ll be able to capture the scene perfectly every time.

Take high-quality photos easily with Zoom Framing Assist

With such an incredible zoom capacity, keeping track of distant or moving subjects when shooting with a long zoom could pose a challenge. This is where Zoom Framing Assist steps in. If you have zoomed in on a subject and then it moves you can just press a button and the camera will quickly zoom out, allowing you to locate the subject again and zoom back in to re-capture it in the frame - ensuring the perfect shot is never missed. This feature is especially useful at full zoom where subjects can easily be lost due to the small angle of view available at 840mm. So if you are a nature enthusiast or like to take photos on safari (where you often only have one opportunity to get the perfect shot) you will find this feature invaluable.

Without Intelligent IS close-up shots can be blurred
Without Intelligent IS close-up shots can be blurred
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Blur-free images whatever the situation with Canon’s Intelligent IS technology

The PowerShot SX40 HS benefits from Canon’s Intelligent IS technology using optical methods (lens shift) which is renowned as the most effective method of hand-shake correction. Whether you’re shooting stills or movies, Intelligent IS automatically identifies the shooting situation and then selects the most appropriate type of image stabilization from seven possible modes. For example, when capturing a close-up of a flower the camera will automatically select Macro IS with Hybrid IS technology, but then it will switch to Powered IS when filming distant subjects with the 35x zoom. This allows you to focus on framing the image you want, safe in the knowledge that the camera is working to eliminate as much camera shake as possible, even if you need to move with your scene.

Capture the scene exactly as you see it with Canon’s HS System

The power of Canon’s HS System comes from the combination of the 12.1 Megapixel high sensitivity CMOS sensor and Canon’s advanced DIGIC 5 processor. The HS System gives incredibly high image quality in all light conditions and enables the camera to capture a wider dynamic range, reducing over-exposure of highlighted areas and loss of detail in the shadows. This means you can preserve your memories in perfect detail, whether in stills or video.

Additionally, the new Multi-area White Balance correction enables incredibly accurate colour reproduction, including the correction of the green colour cast that sometimes occurs during night-time shooting and the retention of natural skin tones when shooting indoors with flash.

In low-light, camera shake is controlled
In low-light, camera shake is controlled
Click here for a larger image


Canon’s HS System truly excels in low-light conditions. It can often be challenging to capture well exposed subjects inside against dark backgrounds or outside in low-light because the flash range is often not sufficient to light up the background but turning it off can cause blurring from the instability of handheld shooting. With Canon’s HS System, background illumination is improved, dark areas are reduced, and camera shake is controlled, maintaining complete image clarity and eliminating blur.

Less noise, clearer detail

The HS System allows for significant noise reduction at all ISO levels while maintaining accurate colours and crisp detail, allowing the camera to capture the natural ambience of dimly-lit environments without the flash.

Shots are striking and detailed, with the 12.1 Megapixel sensor capturing more than enough detail to reproduce images onto large poster-sized formats.

Record fast-paced, Full High Definition movies with stereo sound
Relive your special moments in high definition on the large, bright LCD screen
Click here for a larger image

Record fast-paced, Full High Definition movies with stereo sound

For moments that are best caught on video, the PowerShot SX40 HS offers the capability to record Full HD movies at 1080p with HDMI-CEC compatibility. The full 35x optical zoom is available during shooting and stereo sound guarantees clear, CD-quality audio every time.

The lens’ quiet motor allows you to use the full range of the optical zoom during recording with minimum audio interference plus a dedicated movie button allows you to instantly start movie recording so not a moment is missed. In most modes, the movie will take the settings from the particular stills mode you are in – e.g. monochrome, sepia or even Miniature Effect.

The PowerShot SX40 HS also supports a different format for recording its HD movies - iFrame Movie. This Apple™ format is designed to speed up the editing and importing process by keeping the content in its original recorded format. Of course, if you have a PC with Microsoft® Windows® you can still upload your movies onto that as well.

High-speed shooting

Canon’s high sensitivity CMOS sensor also offers the capability to shoot at super high speeds which provides excellent benefits in a range of situations.

High-speed Burst HQ

In High-speed Burst HQ mode the PowerShot SX40 HS can capture 10.3 frames a second at full 12.1 Megapixels resolution. This allows you to capture fast-moving subjects, so whether you’re shooting sports events or life in motion you will never miss a moment of the action.

Super Slow Motion Movie

Super Slow Motion Movie mode slows down fast-moving subjects by capturing QVGA resolution video at a staggering 240 frames per second (VGA resolution at 120fps) - which can then be played back at normal speed for a spectacular slow motion effect. This is perfect for analysing a golf swing, recording a bird in flight or just for a bit of fun. The software included with the camera supports multi-speed playback, allowing you to view your footage both at real or slow motion speed.

Handheld Night Scene

Handheld Night Scene mode allows you to capture clear, detailed night scenes. With this mode selected the camera takes consecutive high speed shots and then combines the image data into a single image, ensuring the best possible exposure with the least amount of blur – perfect for handheld shots taken at night.

Effortless shooting for the whole family with Smart Auto

Smart Auto mode allows the PowerShot SX40 HS to automatically analyse conditions and select the optimal setting so you can concentrate on your subject, confident that the camera will produce superb results. Advanced Scene Detection Technology automatically analyses shooting conditions, detecting people, distance, brightness, colour and movement, then selects the perfect setting from 32 specially defined scenes. So whether you're photographing flowers, a captivating sunset or friends in the park you can be certain you'll get the image you want.

Smart Auto is also more than just scene detection. Servo AF/AE detects moving subjects to ensure focus and exposure is always correct, while Smart Flash Exposure optimises exposure and flash controls to ensure your subject is perfectly lit whilst dark and light areas are accurately reproduced.

Fast, intelligent processing with Face Detection technology

With Face Detection, up to 35 faces can be detected in each shot. Focus, exposure, flash setting and white balance are then automatically adjusted for optimal results with natural-looking skin tones.

Additionally, Face Select & Track allows a single face in a crowd to be selected and tracked as the main subject.

Smart Shutter mode for effortless group shots Canon’s

Smart Shutter mode uses Face Detection Technology to allow users to take both group shots and self-portraits more easily and in a more relaxed way. The shutter can be triggered remotely in three different ways:

  • Smile Detection - the shutter is triggered when the camera detects a smiling face within the frame
  • Wink Self-Timer - the shutter is triggered two seconds after the subject in the frame has winked, removing the need for a remote control
  • FaceSelf-Timer - this enables perfect group shots or self-portraits by automatically triggering the shutter two seconds after a new face has entered the frame

Explore your creativity

In addition to it being the compact camera for the serious photographer, the PowerShot SX40 HS also features several creative modes for fun and exciting results. These include Miniature Effect (also available when shooting movies), Super Vivid, Poster Effect and Fish-eye Effect, which distorts the image to offer a unique view on a more traditional scene. With Monochrome you can achieve black and white, sepia or blue monochromatic tones for more atmospheric images whilst Toy Camera Effect allows you to capture colourful shots that look as though an early pinhole camera has been used.

To really make your photos your own, Manual Mode gives you full control over exposure settings allowing you to not only explore the full potential of this powerful camera but also your own creativity.

Shoot with confidence

Easy Hints & Tips provides onscreen guidance so even beginners can operate the camera with confidence straight from the box. Menu explanations are always easy to understand and when settings are changed the relevant icon displays in an easy-to-see orange colour delivering a sophisticated and pleasant operating experience.

Automatic Red-Eye Correction

Automatic Red-Eye Correction is available in both shooting and playback mode and accurately removes the red-eye effect that can be caused by a flash.

Upload to YouTube

For fast and easy uploading of your clips to social websites like YouTube, Easy Web Upload software is included free in the box. This will display your movie clips and can also store your YouTube login details – so you can simply select your clip and upload with just one click.


The PowerShot SX40 HS is compatible with a number of accessories including a stylish soft case an HDMI cable, a rechargeable battery pack and charger and an AC adapter kit. It is also compatible with a range of Speedlite external flash units including the 580 EX II, a filter adaptor and a lens hood, all giving you more flexibility to explore your creativity.

See all Product Description

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Anton on 15 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase
I am very pleased with this camera
I have a Canon 600D SLR with several lens up to 250mm I bought a Tokina 400mm without IS it was so heavy and I could not get on with it. So I sold it and bought the SX40 HS mainly for the 35x 840 mm Telephoto zoom.
I've had Canon bridge cameras before so I know what their like. I've had good results and looking at the finished photo's it's only by looking at the Exif file I can tell which camera I used.
No Raw files but I can live without that! And if you're an 'Old Git' like me the Flipout twisty screen is a Godsend. Also the `Burst Rate' is good for aircraft/bird shots.
It fit's in my camera bag along with my SLR and I now feel I can tackle any photographic situation that may arise.
I can recommend this camera
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100 of 102 people found the following review helpful By kedi1987 on 25 Nov. 2011
I was looking for an SLR camera having had one in my young days, but found the price was too high with the zoom that I wanted. I plumped for the sx40 having read reviews that indicated that the images produced from this camera were generally good. I am very pleased with the camera having owned it several weeks. I have experimented with as many features as I can, and have found the auto setting to be very good at producing natural looking images, which are generally fairly sharp with very good colour reproduction. Do not expect SLR sharpness as the sensor on this camera is just not capable of this given its size limitation. Having said this, the image can be sharpened with any basic photo software. The zoom on this camera is very good and the lens is really all you need for any situation. This was a major reason for my purchase of this camera.
I am especially impressed with the nightshot feature which can produce some very good results with very little available light. I think this may be assisted by the backlit cmos sensor. There are numerous scene functions, and you can perform all the manual functions that you would get on a SLR. The only niggle that I have found is that the mamual focus can be a bit fiddly, as it involves turning of a wheel that also has other functions on it. It is very easy to enable these inadvertently whilst trying to focus.
All in all, if you are looking for a bridge camera, I think this is one of the best.
I have only given 4 stars due to the focussing issues.
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125 of 129 people found the following review helpful By C. Anthony on 21 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase
I previously owned the SX20. I often used it for bird photography. I loved it but at 20x it was easy to lose the subject of the shot; it was then necessary to zoom out to find the subject, then zoom in again. This has been solved in the SX40. After zooming up to 35x you can click a button to show the full field of view [with a central frame] - release it and you are back on full zoom. Superb for small birds or for flying birds. In this context the 10 fps in a burst shot is very good. The 2 customer settings are very useful. For birds I call up one of these and immediately I am on full zoom, at ISO800, spot focussing and exposure, and set to take 2-3 fps continuously.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Plowst on 2 April 2012
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I bought this camera as something lighter and smaller than my EOS400 plus telephoto lens and with a better zoom than my old G3 powershot. The zoom and image stabilisation is very impressive producing sharp images at maximum zoom handheld.As an example I could see a small white craft on the seas. Zoomed in and took the picture still a small dot, then digital zoom and two masted boat appeared. I only got the camera two days before going on holiday so not much time to familiarise however, as a Canon user, all basic operation is straightforward. Used the HD video to film street musicians and got very impressive results when viewed on large TV.
The flip out back screen, like my G3, is very useful permitting viewing from front, side and rear and below/above. Large size and very clear as is the viewfinder. Battery life on holiday was good, one recharge after 12 days of daily usage. Slight problem with macro as tried to use it with zoom and it doesn't focus. Read the book and then OK. Hot shoe takes my EZ320 flashgun and works with its zoom/auto settings. HDMI output plugged into my Panasonic TV gives control of camera through TV remote to move through pictures. Overall a very good first impression and would recommend for the telephoto capability and overall performance.
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Bamalam on 8 Mar. 2012
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I can honestly say that this is the first camera, of any sort, that I have bought that I am completely satified with. First of all the 35x zoom is a joy to use. It is perfect for bird photography allowing me to fill the frame from a long way off. Even hand held there is no sign of shake at full zoom (in daylight conditions)the image stabilisation is that good.
Navigating around all the available functions is made so much easier with the helpful hints, and builds user confidence to try new things.
Photos are clear with the autofocus being spot on, and the colours are natural.
SO glad I chose this camera!
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Tim Harbour on 8 Jan. 2012
This is what is known as a "Bridge" camera in that it bridges the gap between a compact camera and an SLR. Having owned both, I would say that is a very fair description. When considering a camera like this you must be prepared to accept that it is not a true compact nor is it an SLR and so direct comparisons with either may make it appear flawed but it depends whether you are a glass half full or half empty sort of a person. for example it's quite a bit bigger than most compacts but not as big or heavy as an SLR.

The camera looks beautiful with typical Canon finish. not too many buttons to intimidate. The camera fits very comfortably into the hand and has a nice quality feel (as you might expect). I found all the controls easy to reach and large enough to be recognised by the finger or thumb easily.

For me, the range of features is the real beauty of this camera. The massive 35X optical zoom is made usable by superb image stabilisation, certainly outdoors, and why would you need to zoom like that indoors anyway! Offering everything from smart Auto setting to fully manual mode this is a camera which you can really grow into. It is light and compact enough to carry around without being too much of burden but offers the capability to get a shot in almost any conditions without having to fit flash guns, swap lenses, mount tripods etc.

The only slight negative for me is that I would like an optical viewfinder rather than a digital one but it doesn't detract too much and for those who wear glasses, offers the possibility of adjusting the focus of the diopter for the finder which almost makes up for that. I understand that this is a common feature in cameras of this type.

For me, the bridge camera concept is exactly what I was looking for and this is a superb example. It's not cheap but I think you get what you pay for here.
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