Canon Digic 5 SX40 HS Review

Shared in the comments from YouTube member 3puncte, here's some 1080HD examples from the latest Canon SX40 HS. Still suffers from fast panning rolling shutter, but that 35x Zoom feature and Optical Image Stabilization is amazing stuff [Thanks Alex]. Some questions I have still - I can see the camera has manual exposure compensation, but can it do full manual shutter and aperture adjustments in video mode? Manual focus in video mode? Does this camera support live view output to an external monitor? Just curious, if anyone can answer those questions. I'd also love to start seeing some slow motion examples of that 240fps video in use too. Available in stock over at B&H Photo (click here), or via Amazon (click here)

Canon SX40IS
find-price-button Canon SX40IS 35x IS Zoom Digic 5 Processor

11 thoughts on “Canon Digic 5 SX40 HS Review

  1. Zeke D

    CHDK makes this camera. It opens up the child proofing the idiots at Canon slapped on this beast. Adjust most anything you want while taking video. CHDK Wiki has an overview, as I don't do video much yet. Don't know about live video out, I have a VGA monitor and no adapters or cables to even try plugging in to the HDMI.

    Still shots seem pretty flexible; ISO 6400 with 30 second exposure, ISO 50 with a 1/10000 shutter, RAW, fixed focus up to infinity.

    Plain out of the box without CHDK, it is a fun point and shoot, producing decent macros to incredibly stable super zoom. Point and shoot in Auto at the moon, 88X, no tripod, just hold your breath. You got the shot. Cool!

    Some issues I don't care for; Manual focus is clumsy, and the power button gets hit a little too easy.

    With CHDK I've done time lapse, motion/lightning capture, HDR, and am addicted to the astrophotography potential of the very sensitive low noise CCD. If I can do it, I'd imagine a bunch of folks could have fun with it, because I'm certainly not the brightest bulb.

    The raw potential with a simple and cheap star tracking platform is my current project for this camera. Recycled the silky smooth rotary platform of the common hard drive. Tiny bearings, but they seem to work OK through the zoom limit.

    I would do it all over again, with one change; I'd get an extra battery.

  2. Re your Q : "..can it do full manual shutter and aperture adjustments in video mode?

    Answer: No. It can't even do full manual shutter adjustments in Manual mode.

    The Manual mode on the SX40 has a new childproof governor on it. The SX30 did not. Try to set the ISO at 400 for a night shot, and then spin the dial towards a 15 second shutter speed. It stops it at 1 second and drops the ISO to 100. Then a message appears on the LCD which says, "ISO speed is limited due to slow shutter speed." (And just what does ISO speed have to do with limiting Shutter Speed, anyway?) I verified it with the Canon Tech Dept. It is true. Some of the controls are now limited. They also verified that all the previous cameras in this line DID allow full Manual control in setting both the ISO and shutter speed, but no more. And they further verified that given the nature of the limitation there is no way for the consumer to override it.

  3. Jay

    Thanks for the early review and nice video. I am looking for a replacement for my S3 IS - this might be it. A bit off the subject...what/who is the background music you used?

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @Danny Schmidt - Sony HX9V has all that. Has good zoom too httpss://

  5. Anything out there that shoots video with an "auto focus in video mode", 720p 60fps for slomo, camcorder or dslr. Looking something for live events in HD and you could mount on a smaller glidecam when wide. Tokina and 60d are heavy for my 1000 HD. Something like the Canon HFS SERIES, PowerShot etc, but 60 fps. Obviously interchangeable lenses won't be in this category. Under 600 bucks.

    Any feedback would be great.


  6. alex

    i'll answer some of the questions: no settings in video - just +/- compensations, no other options; there is manual focus feature, but very hard to use because it's on the wheel on the back of the camera, not on a ring... with monitor i haven't tried... and i returned the camera...

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