Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50

Started Oct 14, 2012 | Questions
FishyPix
New MemberPosts: 5Gear list
Like?
Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
Oct 14, 2012

Hi,

The differences of interest between these two cameras seems to be that the new model has RAW, a higher resolution screen, a few more ISO options, much slower shots per second and a slower lens of 3.7 versus 2.8 (or something like that).

But I have read people's reviews about AF speed and the failure of the SX40 to have long exposures.

So can the SX50 do long exposures of more than 15 seconds ?

Does high ISO options compensate sufficiently for the slower lens in the SX50 ?

Is the AF speed in the SX40 still an issue over the SX30 and how is AF speed in the SX50 ?

So in my mind, apart from RAW, I think Id rather go for the SX40 as it has faster frames-per-second, good low light ability and an insignificantly shorter zoom range.

Any thoughts ?

Chris.

Stephen Ingraham
Regular MemberPosts: 407Gear list
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to FishyPix, Oct 14, 2012

FishyPix wrote:

Hi,

The differences of interest between these two cameras seems to be that the new model has RAW, a higher resolution screen, a few more ISO options, much slower shots per second and a slower lens of 3.7 versus 2.8 (or something like that).

But I have read people's reviews about AF speed and the failure of the SX40 to have long exposures.

So can the SX50 do long exposures of more than 15 seconds ?

Does high ISO options compensate sufficiently for the slower lens in the SX50 ?

Is the AF speed in the SX40 still an issue over the SX30 and how is AF speed in the SX50 ?

So in my mind, apart from RAW, I think Id rather go for the SX40 as it has faster frames-per-second, good low light ability and an insignificantly shorter zoom range.

Any thoughts ?

Chris.

I am about done comparing my SX40 to my new SX50. I want to shoot some cooperative birds, but then the 40 is going on the self as my back up camera.

Addressing your issues above.

Frames per second: If you look at the SX40 data on the Canon web site, the 40 is rated at 2.4 fps (if memory servers me right). This is different than the 3.x it was rated when if first came out. The 50 is rated at 2.2 fps. (I suspect the way fps is measured has changed between models and the change is now reflected in the 40s specs.) In practical use, both appear to give something closer to 3-3.5 (in bright light), with fps dropping as light levels fall and more processing is needed. I actually saw no difference in apparent fps between the two cameras in normal shooting in my testing, and I was paying attention. Both give me a satisfying fps for the kind of work I do.

On the other hand, the Burst mode on the 50 is much improved. You can take less than the 10 shot burst by letting up on the shutter release and you can get 4 fps with focus between shots.

Lens speed and exposure. The 40 was actually a 2.7 and the 50 is actually a 3.4 at the wide end. In real world shooting, at least outdoors, you will rarely use the wide angle at its widest aperture anyway. The potentially more important difference is between the 5.8 and 6.5 at the telephoto end. However, in my testing I got identical exposures with both cameras under a wide range of conditions. And remember that f6.5 is on a 1200mm equivalent. The 5.8 was only on an 840mm equivalent. I don't expect much trouble from the "slower" lens.

Focus speed. The 50 is significantly faster to focus than the 40. I never owned the 30. It is also much more positive than the 40. Much less seeking. Press the shutter button half way and it snaps to focus on whatever is in the focus square. Done. I would have difficulty returning to the focus on the 40 now that I have experienced the focus on the 50.

Long exposures are not an issue for me, either way.

Besides raw, the 50 has added another option to iContrast to open shadows more...and it has a true auto HDR mode (right on the control dial), that works, so far, very well. It produces a nicely balanced image with slightly extended range...not the over the top HDR effects you sometimes see...and certainly way better than the HDR function on the Nikon P series...which produced a very flat unnatural looking image. Some have had trouble with camera movement during HDR exposure, but so far I have had excellent results hand held.

Then too, you have the Superfine recording mode in addition to the 40s Fine. Jury still out here...but I am thinking Superfine retains more detail in difficult situations.

Also, in my testing the lens on the 50 is sharper overall, and noticeably sharper in the corners and at the edges.

Finally, for me the longer zoom is important. I do a lot of bugs and birds which require all the reach I can get. The longer zoom on the 50 means that I can shoot the same image scale on the 50 at 1x digital zoom that I did on the 40 with the 1.5x digital tel-converter, and have significantly more magnification with the 1.5x digital tel-converter than I did with the 40 at full zoom and 2x digital tel-converter. That means higher image quality where I need it for bugs and birds.

Certainly, in my opinion, but the 40 and the 50 are fine cameras. You would be happy, I think, with either, and prices on the 40 right now are certainly an attraction. However, in my testing, the 50 is the better camera in many significant (to me) ways. Like I said, the 40 will be my back up from here on out.

 Stephen Ingraham's gear list:Stephen Ingraham's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V Sony Alpha NEX-3N NEX5R Olympus OM-D E-M10 +2 more
selected answer This post was selected as the answer by the original poster.
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MarioV
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,947Gear list
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 14, 2012

Great summary, Stephen.  I will be looking forward to picking up an SX50 when its available here in Perth.

You mentioned the HDR mode, care to post a sample or two?

 MarioV's gear list:MarioV's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Nikon D5200 Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Tamron SP 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Stephen Ingraham
Regular MemberPosts: 407Gear list
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to MarioV, Oct 14, 2012

MarioV wrote:

Great summary, Stephen.  I will be looking forward to picking up an SX50 when its available here in Perth.

You mentioned the HDR mode, care to post a sample or two?

Thanks. I need to find a scene worthy of HDR treatment. So far the shots I have taken would have worked as well with post processing in Lightroom.

This an HDR from the White River in Washington.

http://weiw.lightshedder.com/Landscape-Wildlife/Seattle/25764538_PHFGWn#!i=2134919240&k=9TRtDGs&lb=1&s=A

One from Mt. Rainier

http://weiw.lightshedder.com/Landscape-Wildlife/Seattle/25764538_PHFGWn#!i=2134903653&k=7S8pCVZ&lb=1&s=A

In a while I will post a comparison shot.

 Stephen Ingraham's gear list:Stephen Ingraham's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V Sony Alpha NEX-3N NEX5R Olympus OM-D E-M10 +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MarioV
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,947Gear list
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to MarioV, Oct 14, 2012

MarioV wrote:

Great summary, Stephen.  I will be looking forward to picking up an SX50 when its available here in Perth.

You mentioned the HDR mode, care to post a sample or two?

LOL  I voted that the voting system gets scrapped.  Thanks to the person who disagreed with my statement above.  And you shouldnt be allowed to vote on your own post.  It makes no sense.

 MarioV's gear list:MarioV's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Nikon D5200 Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Tamron SP 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MarioV
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,947Gear list
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 14, 2012

Stephen Ingraham wrote:

MarioV wrote:

Great summary, Stephen.  I will be looking forward to picking up an SX50 when its available here in Perth.

You mentioned the HDR mode, care to post a sample or two?

Thanks. I need to find a scene worthy of HDR treatment. So far the shots I have taken would have worked as well with post processing in Lightroom.

This an HDR from the White River in Washington.

http://weiw.lightshedder.com/Landscape-Wildlife/Seattle/25764538_PHFGWn#!i=2134919240&k=9TRtDGs&lb=1&s=A

One from Mt. Rainier

http://weiw.lightshedder.com/Landscape-Wildlife/Seattle/25764538_PHFGWn#!i=2134903653&k=7S8pCVZ&lb=1&s=A

In a while I will post a comparison shot.

It works very well.  But for maximum effectiveness, a tripod or stable surface would eliminate any slight blur from slight movement.

Thanks for posting the links.

 MarioV's gear list:MarioV's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Nikon D5200 Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Tamron SP 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
keeponkeepingon
Senior MemberPosts: 1,154
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 14, 2012

"
Lens speed and exposure. The 40 was actually a 2.7 and the 50 is actually a 3.4 at the wide end. In real world shooting, at least outdoors, you will rarely use the wide angle at its widest aperture anyway."

Perhaps if you are a birder. but if this is your all around camera you'll end up using it a ton wide open at the wide end.

For example I was just taking a few pictures with my S100 of the kids riding bikes. Cloudy, just after sunset and the camera is on wide and wide open.

This seems to be  trend with canon, slower and slower lens. They did the same thing when going from the uw cameras going from the D10 to the D20  (I think that was 2.7 to 3.8 or so)

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
ViragSharma
Junior MemberPosts: 41
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 26, 2012

On the other hand, the Burst mode on the 50 is much improved. You can take less than the 10 shot burst by letting up on the shutter release and you can get 4 fps with focus between shots.

"Lens speed and exposure. The 40 was actually a 2.7 and the 50 is actually a 3.4 at the wide end. In real world shooting, at least outdoors, you will rarely use the wide angle at its widest aperture anyway. The potentially more important difference is between the 5.8 and 6.5 at the telephoto end. However, in my testing I got identical exposures with both cameras under a wide range of conditions. And remember that f6.5 is on a 1200mm equivalent. The 5.8 was only on an 840mm equivalent. I don't expect much trouble from the "slower" lens."
Rightly mentioned on both 40 and 50 aperture  is equal on 840mm.

Thanks for wonderful review

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
FishyPix
New MemberPosts: 5Gear list
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 26, 2012

Hi Stephen,

Reading your response/review was like having a three course meal after a hard days work; very satisfying 

I have just purchased the SX50 based on your reply.

Im also hunting around ebay for various extras and as Im shooting the solar eclipse in a few weeks I have got the 67mm adapter to fit a solar filter. This will enable me to get a full frame shot of the eclipse as it progresses, then remove the filter and shoot the eclipse - moon/sun full frame  

Im trying to find a nice cheap external flash but so far they are all in USA sites which would take too long to get here and Amazon charges a fortune for shipping to Australia.

Thanks for you extensive reply. Appreciate the time it took.

 FishyPix's gear list:FishyPix's gear list
PowerShot SX700
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Laif
New MemberPosts: 7
Like?
Color temperature and saturation differences between the two cameras
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 28, 2012

I'm trying to decide between the SX40 and SX50 cameras. One worry I have when it comes to the SX50 when looking at sample photos and videos, is that there seems to be a color temperature difference between the two cameras. The SX50 seems somewhat crisper, but at the expense of saturation and with a loss of some of the warmth in the color spectrum. Oftentimes violets and even pinks will appear cool. I compare the effect to when I darken photos a bit in post-processing, and it then appears that I've laid gray filter over the top of the photo.

I would hope that the SX50's colors could be brightened and made warmer using the camera's white balance and other settings, but I know from experience that sometimes this kind of thing can't be rectified. If the overall color range isn't there to begin with, it can't be eked out and brought into existence

What do you think about this?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Laif
New MemberPosts: 7
Like?
Low light performance comparison between the two cameras?
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 30, 2012

Hi Stephen,

You seem very knowledgeable about both the SX40 and the SX50. I just bought the former, but I'm considering returning it and getting the latter, instead. The only really serious concern I have is the higher minimum aperature of the SX50.

One person left a pretty cut and dry review on Amazon, saying that the camera really isn't a good all-around camera because of the deficiencies with low light level situations. He recommends it only for people who are birders or wildlife photographers.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R39AVZ1B09VG8Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B009B0MZ1M&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

Can you confirm or deny this? Is the SX50 really noticeably worse than the SX40 when snapping pics in low light, indoor situations?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
samualson
Regular MemberPosts: 128
Like?
Re: Low light performance comparison between the two cameras?
In reply to Laif, Oct 30, 2012

You will never have everything you want in a camera, always trade offs, the key is to know which ones are important to you.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Monicakm
Senior MemberPosts: 2,280
Like?
Re: Low light performance comparison between the two cameras?
In reply to Laif, Oct 31, 2012

Laif wrote:

Hi Stephen,

You seem very knowledgeable about both the SX40 and the SX50. I just bought the former, but I'm considering returning it and getting the latter, instead. The only really serious concern I have is the higher minimum aperature of the SX50.

One person left a pretty cut and dry review on Amazon, saying that the camera really isn't a good all-around camera because of the deficiencies with low light level situations. He recommends it only for people who are birders or wildlife photographers.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R39AVZ1B09VG8Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B009B0MZ1M&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

Can you confirm or deny this? Is the SX50 really noticeably worse than the SX40 when snapping pics in low light, indoor situations?

One of my concerns was indoor low light pictures.  The only light in this room was lights on the tree and a small table lamp on the other side of the table.  I'm posting both the original (just resized) and after post processing.

shutter 1/5 ISO 800 F/3.4  AV priority Superfine

shutter 1/5 ISO 800 F/3.4  AV priority Superfine

-- hide signature --

Monica/Canon S3

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
OpticGlass
Regular MemberPosts: 306
Like?
Re: Low light performance comparison between the two cameras?
In reply to Monicakm, Oct 31, 2012

Monicakm, both images look good for low light.
Was that with the sx40 or the sx50?
Did you use a tripod?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Monicakm
Senior MemberPosts: 2,280
Like?
Re: Low light performance comparison between the two cameras?
In reply to OpticGlass, Nov 1, 2012

OpticGlass wrote:

Monicakm, both images look good for low light.
Was that with the sx40 or the sx50?
Did you use a tripod?

Thanks.  SX50, handheld.

-- hide signature --

Monica/Canon S3

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
OpticGlass
Regular MemberPosts: 306
Like?
Re: Low light performance comparison between the two cameras?
In reply to Monicakm, Nov 1, 2012

Monicakm wrote:

Thanks. SX50, handheld.

-- hide signature --

Monica/Canon S3

The SX50 does well in low light, and handheld! You have a great camera.

I wonder what it would look like with the SX40 at iso 800, 1/6, F2.7

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Joe186
Senior MemberPosts: 1,847
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to FishyPix, Sep 1, 2013

I thought the 40 had real “L” glass and the 50 doesn't.

-- hide signature --

Kill nothing but time,
Leave nothing but footprints,
Take nothing but pictures.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
rava777
Regular MemberPosts: 295
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to Joe186, Sep 1, 2013

Joe186 wrote:

I thought the 40 had real “L” glass and the 50 doesn't.

-- hide signature --

Kill nothing but time,
Leave nothing but footprints,
Take nothing but pictures.

Haha... my last real L glass experience was Canon's 70-200 L which cost me a fortune. Did it take better photo's than my current SX50HS? - don't know about that as my picture taking was limited to when I could muster the time to take all this clumber- some gear around. The SX50HS is so much handier for just taking out.

But being serious the L glass does have better IQ if that's your thing.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
grcolts
Senior MemberPosts: 1,901Gear list
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to MarioV, Sep 1, 2013

MarioV wrote:

Stephen Ingraham wrote:

MarioV wrote:

Great summary, Stephen. I will be looking forward to picking up an SX50 when its available here in Perth.

You mentioned the HDR mode, care to post a sample or two?

Thanks. I need to find a scene worthy of HDR treatment. So far the shots I have taken would have worked as well with post processing in Lightroom.

This an HDR from the White River in Washington.

http://weiw.lightshedder.com/Landscape-Wildlife/Seattle/25764538_PHFGWn#!i=2134919240&k=9TRtDGs&lb=1&s=A

One from Mt. Rainier

http://weiw.lightshedder.com/Landscape-Wildlife/Seattle/25764538_PHFGWn#!i=2134903653&k=7S8pCVZ&lb=1&s=A

In a while I will post a comparison shot.

It works very well. But for maximum effectiveness, a tripod or stable surface would eliminate any slight blur from slight movement.

Thanks for posting the links.

Beautiful image, as well as your whole series you shot!

Very much enjoyed viewing them all.

GR

-- hide signature --

grcolts
http://g_richardsphotography.fototime.com/welcome
http://www.blurb.com/user/store/grcolts

 grcolts's gear list:grcolts's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Canon EOS M Pentax K-50
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
filibuster
Senior MemberPosts: 2,767
Like?
Re: Canon SX40 versus Canon SX50
In reply to rava777, Sep 1, 2013

The main difference and benefit I found with the SX50 over the SX40 was that it rarely ‘hunts’ to obtain focus lock.

-- hide signature --

Quote hhgttg: Life is wasted on the living.
filibuster (Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, UK)
http://picasaweb.google.com/scenic.filibuster

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads