Canon PowerShot S40 Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Excellent resolution (much better than we expected from such a small lens)
- Good metering (improved thanks to the new 'evaluative metering' mode)
- Good natural light white balance, strong, accurate and balanced colours
- Good control over cameras internal processing algorithms (saturation, tone, sharpness)
- Low noise at ISO 50, not as clean at ISO 100 (others are better at ISO 100)
- Excellent build quality, solid 'brick like' feel to the camera, nice metallic finish
- Smaller, more portable and more robust design than the G2
- Shooting priority play mode (a half-press of the shutter release always returns to shooting)
- Excellent range of manual controls (essentially equal to the G2)
- Good shot-to-shot times, fairly good startup time (for an extending lens camera)
- Manual focus has zoomed 'loupe' and 'ruler' readout
- Flexible continuous shooting modes (buffer after processing)
- RAW file format maintains 10-bits of data
- Noise reduction works well, no visible 'black pits'
- Compact Flash Type II and official Microdrive support
- Voice annotations feature
- AF assist lamp works well
- Remote Capture software with live video feed included
- USB connectivity
- Optional waterproof casing
Conclusion - Cons
- Sharpening / diagonal line artifacts
- Poor macro performance
- Average flash performance
- Poorly designed multi-controller (pressing SET can be hit and miss)
- Lens slow at telephoto (F4.9)
- Limited apertures at telephoto
- Zoom controller does not have enough increments / multiple zoom speed
- RAW acquire module / RAW convert doesn't have enough functionality
- Occasionally slow AF at telephoto
- Barrel distortion at wide angle
- Manual mode limits in relation to combinations of aperture and shutter speed
Here's my rating of the Canon PowerShot S40: (4 megapixel compact)
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Lens / CCD combination||9|
|Ease of use||9|
|Value for money||9|
The PowerShot S40 offers an amazing combination of manual controls, exposures and features in a small, robust and (almost) pocketable package. Canon have essentially used the already good G2 engine in a new external package. The sliding lens cover works well and serves both to protect the lens mechanism and ease the operation of the camera. I also liked the shooting priority play mode and voice annotation feature. There's also something more tactile and usable about the S40 design (compared to the G2), it's a more of an 'every day' camera.
The primary differences when compared to the G2 are its flip-out and twist LCD (with anti-reflective coating), better battery life, a faster lens (F2.0 - F2.5), better flash coverage, external flash and add-on lens capability. The S40 has the advantage when it comes to startup time, portability (size & weight) and design. Image quality and resolution are very close, although the G2's lens was definitely sharper in the corners.
If you're looking for a portable 'take anywhere' digital camera with excellent image quality and strong set of manual controls which will allow you to grow into the camera, the S40 should be placed highly in your considerations. Don't forget also that there's a waterproof case for the S40 (suitable for depths of up to 30 m). If you need add-on lenses, external flash, a faster lens and long battery life then the G2 may be better suited (although it does weigh in at $100 more).
Just like the G2 the S40 was marked down for its occasional sharpening / JPEG artifacts and noise at ISO 100 (thus the 8.5 image quality result).
So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.
|Hook Head Lighthouse by kroker|
from Best Photo of the Week
|Green turtle in the shallows by gcachon|
Canon went and put an APS-C sensor in a G series compact. The result is a mighty tempting camera for travel.
Google Photos is adding a few pet-friendly features that will make it easier to find photos of your favorite pooch. Now, you can organize your pet photos by facial recognition, and you can even search your library by breed.
Colorful tripod maker MeFOTO has launched a new tripod... and a whole new brand name. Meet the GlobeTrotter travel video tripod, the first product to be released under the MeVIDEO brand.
If you own a Moto Z, you'll soon be able to attach a Polaroid instant printer to it. Check out the unreleased Moto Mod, which was leaked earlier today.
DJI has developed a technology called AeroScope that allows law enforcement to identify and track airborne drones that are breaking UAV regulations, while simultaneously addressing privacy concerns.
The Nikon D850 is a 45.7MP full-frame DSLR with an autofocus system lifted wholesale from the pro-sports focused D5. 4K capture, continuous shooting at 7 or 9 frames per second make it sound like the ultimate all rounder. Is it all that these specs suggest?
The Mate 10's Kirin 970 chipset with integrated AI processing allows for object recognition, motion detection and automatic scene selection in the camera app.
DxO has announced version 3.0 of the iOS app for its 'One' connected camera. It adds support for multi-camera Facebook Live broadcasting and both time-lapse still and video capture. Android users will be pleased to hear that a One for their platform is on the way, as well. Several new accessories are available, including a battery pack.
Canon has introduced the PowerShot G1 X Mark III, which borrows the 24MP APS-C sensor and Dual Pixel AF system from the company's recent mirrorless and DSLR cameras, adds a 24-72mm equiv., F2.8-5.6 lens and puts them into a lightweight body – but it'll cost you quite a bit.
It's not often that we see a genuinely interesting compact camera, and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is one such beast. We've pulled out the top features of the camera and tell you why they matter – and put the Mark III up against the competition.
Apple's HDR effect in the iPhone 8 Plus is on by default and more aggressive than in previous generations. It's also good enough to convince DPR contributor Jeff Carlson to leave it on all the time.
Canon's 28mm F2.8 IS USM may be small in size, but it's big on fun. We wrote about our experience using it as our only lens in Big Sur, California, but in case you missed out on our full gallery, take a look to see what this little lens can do.
Travel photographer Elia Locardi tells the story behind this gorgeous (and rare) panorama of the Dubai cityscape draped in fog.
Bison, drift cars, horseback riders, antelope – from the beach to the race track, the Sony 100-400mm G Master is one versatile piece of kit.
"Wildlife photography in Yellowstone National Park is an incredible opportunity, yet some bad photographers are giving all photographers a bad name by not following the rules."
Casio's bionic-looking new action camera, the GZE-1, is built with extreme sports in mind. The little camera is drop-proof, freeze-proof, dust-proof, and waterproof to 50 meters.
Yashica recently released the digiFilm Y35: a camera that tries to simulate the "experience" of shooting film... and it's just the worst.
Western Digital has revealed some interesting new technology that, it claims, will allow them to develop 40TB hard drives by the year 2025.
Photographer Micael Widell wanted to see just how affordable it could possibly be to get into digital photography—so he bought a full DSLR kit with battery grip and 50mm lens on eBay for just $80.
Confused about DxOMark's scoring system? This straightforward video by Marques Brownlee breaks down how DxO gets its scores, and why you should always look beyond that "overall" number.
It's not exactly a revolutionary device, but the iPhone 8 Plus does promise some evolutionary updates in the camera department. DPR contributor Jeff Carlson has been putting the 8 Plus to the test in some everyday shooting situations – take a look at how it fared.
This week in Hollywood, DJI introduced its new Zenmuse X7 camera, a Super 35 format cinema camera of its own design that can also capture 24MP still images in APS-C format. Is it time to start thinking of DJI as a camera company?
Landscape and astrophotographer Asif Islam shot a series of timelapses starting in Los Angeles and getting farther and farther away, showing how the Milky Way emerges as the light pollution fades.
Ultraviolet photography is something that relatively few photographers explore, but it’s a fascinating realm to explore with less of an investment in equipment than most people think.
After almost fifteen years of nearly buying one, Barney recently found a working Canon PowerShot G5 in his local thrift shop. It must be Throwback Thursday.
DJI has launched the Zenmuse X7, a Raw video capable Super 35 camera module. The camera/gimbal system which mounts to the company's drones features a new, proprietary lens mount.
Windowed is a free app that lets you upload photos to Instagram straight from your Mac or PC—no tablet, smartphone, or complicated workaround required.
Nikon has published a list lenses that it deems worthy of its newest DSLR: the 45.7MP Nikon D850.
The Nikon D850 isn't the first camera to hit triple digits on DxOMark; in fact, the Pentax 645Z was listed at 101 all the way back in 2015. So why was the full review never published? DxOMark explained earlier today.
Due to 'slower-than-expected development of the VR market,' Nokia has decided to pull the plug on its $25K Ozo VR camera while it restructures the company and sheds as many as 310 jobs.