Is the Canon SX40 right for me?

Started Feb 6, 2013 | Questions
Homeracer
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Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
Feb 6, 2013

I run a website about toy cars. I shoot almost exclusively model cars under standard flour lights.

I have a SX13o that has served me well. However I want to improve the quality of my work

First steps is of course myself. Been studying about what my current camera can do and try to better understand how these cameras work.

The camera I have is damaged and I need a new one.

The SX40 looks good and within budget. I don't need the max zoom features of the new 50.

Will this SX40 be the right path? I wanted to stay with Canon as perhaps it is similiar in operation and will be easier for me to learn. Maybe the SX500 is all I need to improve?

I am not printing any photos, online only.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks

Harry

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Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Canon PowerShot SX500 IS
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trekkeruss
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to Homeracer, Feb 6, 2013

Exactly how do you want the quality of your work to improve?

An SX40 will give you more zoom than the SX130. It has a few other features too, but it probably wouldn't be much of an improvement in terms of image quality. They both have compact camera sensors, and standard aperture lenses.

A step-up Canon camera would be the S100 or its replacement the S110, or the Canon G15. These have the next size up in sensor, and have brighter lenses.

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hedwards
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to Homeracer, Feb 6, 2013

I own that camera and it's quite possible to get good results with it. The main downside to it is that you get the distortion because of the long zoom and the focusing speed is fairly pokey. If you're taking photos of cars, you're probably going to want a shorter zoom or one with faster autofocus.

But, it's long enough that you can take photos of the moon. And the IQ is actually pretty good for a P&S camera. Plus, like other bridge cameras it does have full manual control, so it's not a bad camera to learn with.

EDIT: Toy cars, my bad. If that's the case, you'd likely want to get close up lenses and the optional filter adapter. It does have a macro mode, but it doesn't seem to give as much magnification as I would like.

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iancrowe
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to Homeracer, Feb 6, 2013

If you don't require the long reach of the SX40/50 you might want to consider some of the "enthusiast" compact cameras such as Canon's Powershot G15 (or the earlier G12), Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LX7 or the current bargain priced Fujifilm's X10.

All of these would be well suited to taking tabletop/close-up photographs of model cars.

You may also find that you can improve the quality of your pictures quite remarkably by some simple changes to your lighting set-up. Post some images with a few comments about why you are not happy with them. There are a lot of very knowledgeable/experienced people here who will be happy to help. You may be pleasantly surprised by the improvements a few simple changes to technique can produce.

Ian

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MarkInSF
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to Homeracer, Feb 6, 2013

Homeracer wrote:

I run a website about toy cars. I shoot almost exclusively model cars under standard flour lights.

I have a SX13o that has served me well. However I want to improve the quality of my work

First steps is of course myself. Been studying about what my current camera can do and try to better understand how these cameras work.

The camera I have is damaged and I need a new one.

The SX40 looks good and within budget. I don't need the max zoom features of the new 50.

Will this SX40 be the right path? I wanted to stay with Canon as perhaps it is similiar in operation and will be easier for me to learn. Maybe the SX500 is all I need to improve?

I am not printing any photos, online only.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks

Harry

What dissatisfies you about your work?   Superzooms have small sensors and fairly poor optics. But they do offer a lot of zoom range, handy for many kinds of shooting.   Are you able to take adequate closeups of the cars?  Are the shots blurry?   Grainy or speckly?   Are the colors off?

These all suggest different problems, some easily fixed with adjusted settings or better shooting technique, some requiring a moderate or modest outlay for accessories, like better lighting or a decent tripod, and some possibly needing more specialized cameras and/or lenses.   I think you should be able to achieve excellent results with a modest camera, but you may need better 'macro'  capability, if not true macro capability (only specialized equipment tends to offer that.)

Canon's small sensor cameras are well respected, so you can probably stay with something familiar.   But I think people will be able to help you better if first they know what you want to improve on.

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Homeracer
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to MarkInSF, Feb 6, 2013

Thank you all for your honest answers.

Here is an example of what I do, I hope this is not against the rules.

Model Car Example

I did get a new lamp for directional adjustments. It just seems to me the image quality could be improved. I have adjusted my exposure settings on some shots to increase light, so this has helped.

I do not use a flash. At the close ranges I shoot it simply is too much and takes away sometimes the true color of the model.

Current distances I use are no more than 3 feet with most being 1 foot give or take a few.

Just appears grainy to me the closer I look.

I take the photos in the highest resolution setting. In my Photoshop program I create a new file of the size I want it to be, drag the high res image on it and resize it.

This works well for making close up images look the way they do.

After reading the reviews I had thought the SX40 had better image quality, but your info here is better explained, or rather easier for a beginner enthusiast.

Thanks for all the help, very much appreciated.

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hedwards
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to Homeracer, Feb 6, 2013

TBH, I think you're pixel peeping.

A common malady around here. The shots are perfectly fine and I can guarantee you that no non-photographer is even going to be looking closely enough to see any imperfections.

OTOH, if you're looking to rationalize a new toy, those shots are terrible, you need the most expensive dSLR you can find and only pro-glass will do.

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trekkeruss
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to Homeracer, Feb 6, 2013

Absolutely nothing wrong with those photos. If you see noise in them (I don't), you're looking at them much too closely.

You don't need a new camera. Wanting one, that's a different issue.

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iancrowe
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to trekkeruss, Feb 6, 2013

trekkeruss wrote:

Absolutely nothing wrong with those photos. If you see noise in them (I don't), you're looking at them much too closely.

You don't need a new camera. Wanting one, that's a different issue.

Actually the OP did say in his original post:-

"The camera I have is damaged and I need a new one."

So depending on the level of damage they might actually need a new camera.

Ian

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Homeracer
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to iancrowe, Feb 6, 2013

Well thanks for the comments. I appreciate the feedback.

The USB connection port, for whatever reason has stopped working.

I use it a LOT and I simply wore it out, perhaps a bad connection.

Perhaps I do not need a higher end toy after all. The new Lumix LZ30 is a nice one with a good price too.

Thanks, you guys are allright.

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trekkeruss
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to Homeracer, Feb 6, 2013

Since your Canon is bad, you could trade it in using Canon's Loyalty Program, where you can get a factory refurbished camera for 20% off their normal price. The Canon G12 or S100 may be available.

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James Cafferty
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to trekkeruss, Feb 7, 2013

trekkeruss wrote:

Since your Canon is bad, you could trade it in using Canon's Loyalty Program, where you can get a factory refurbished camera for 20% off their normal price. The Canon G12 or S100 may be available.

IMHO your pictures look great. Good color saturation and detail. Replacing that damaged camera with a nice Canon G12 would be a nice move. However, if you are unsure, buy from someone with good Customer Service and good return/exchange policies - like amazon.com or BandH Photo. This way if you make a bad choice - you won't be stuck with a camera you don't like. 

-- hide signature --

All the best,
Jim
Photographers take pictures; the camera is only a tool.

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Homeracer
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Re: Is the Canon SX40 right for me?
In reply to James Cafferty, Feb 7, 2013

Thanks for the advice and comments.

I like the looks, price and features of the SX-40 and in my own beginner way, like the Canon brand for decent quality.

Still undecided...but it is fun shopping around.

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