When you consider the price of Canon’s new Powershot SX40 HS, you wonder why you should be paying almost a DSLR’S price for a digital camera. Then you take the camera around and you realise that the SX40 is indeed worth every paisa you pay for it.
Canon’s SX cameras used the CCD image sensor. The new one in the series replaces it with a CMOS sensor and this ushers in an awful lot in terms of performance. Experts will tell you that the difference between CCD and CMOS image processing is akin to picture creation on a CRT and LCD monitors. This fact is perhaps crucial, for the SX40 is no compact digital. Its megapixel rating may just be 12.1, but it comes with an optical zoom of 35X. In 35 mm camera equivalent, this translates into an awesome 24-840 mm zoom. A lens of that capability would be a virtual cannon on a DSLR, but on the SX40, it neatly fits into a body that is small and light, if a tad plasticky.
The zoom works superbly and is able to capture distinct images from a great distance
away. We had to sometimes use the manual focus to ensure the sharpest image at full 35X zoom, but the results were satisfying. The colour and the sharpness are not compromised by the distance of the subject from the camera. At the opposite end, the macro shots amazed us as well. When we clicked an ant, for a fleeting second G&G turned into National Geographic with the result; the hairy, toffee translucent ant of gigantic proportions on our computer screen was unlike any we had captured with an ordinary camera.
In between, we found the camera capturing a wide swathe of scenes with colour integrity and remarkable sharpness across depths—and all with minimum fuss. From low-light conditions (Diwali afforded a great night-photography ambience) to bright landscapes, this Canon took everything in stride. As we said, the Canon SX40 HS is money well spent.