Summary: Sure Nikon and Olympus now have models boasting 36x zooms, but the difference between them and the 35x zoom of the SX40 HS is negligible. As such it's fair to say they all share the broadest and longest ranges around. You can't help but be impressed when you zoom from one end of the range to the other.
There is however one other camera which shares this powerful range: Canon's earlier PowerShot SX30 IS.
Pros: Enormous 35x zoom lens. Can zoom while filming., 1080/24p video and choice of two slow motion modes., Fully articulated screen and flash hotshoe., Fast continuous shooting option.
Cons: Relatively small and coarse screen compared to rivals., Buffer at 10.3fps only lasts for about one second of action., No built-in GPS, no RAW, can't assemble its own panoramas., Continuous AF sometimes struggled a little during video.
Conclusion: Your decision to buy the Canon Powershot SX40 HS is likely to be based on whether or not you prefer the simplicity and lower price of a digital camera with a fixed lens or whether you prefer the ultimate flexibility of a Digital SLR. If you prefer a camera where one lens covers just about all photo opportunities then the Powershot SX40 HS is hard to beat. There are no real issues with picture quality and it has a set of features that few other models can match.
Pros: Picture quality, features, manual controls, movie features, vari angle LCD screen, handling
Summary: PowerShot are the larger of two small Digital Camera ranges offered by Canon . This unit is larger than most and on first glance could be mistaken for a DSLR unit. The main difference is that its lens is not interchangeable.
Excerpt: The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS was released as an update to the SX30 in September 2011 featuring a 35x optical zoom lens, 12.1 megapixel sensor, full HD video recording, image stabilisation. It is available now for £369.00.
Pros: Full 1080p HD video recording, 0cm minimum focusing distance, 35x optical zoom, 10 fps High-speed shooting at full resolution, Electronic viewfinder
Cons: A larger screen would be good, Costs similar to that of an entry level DSLR
Excerpt: Want a zoom range that will compete with your local neighbourhood paparazzi, but don’t want the £10,000 expense or bulk associated with an equivalent interchangeable lens for a digital SLR? Canon’s PowerShot SX40 HS bridge camera pitches itself as a capable all-in-one ‘super zoom’.
Pros: Big zoom, Angle adjustable rear monitor, Large well marked controls
Cons: Pricey, Low resolution EVF, No Raw file capture or hotshoe
Excerpt: The Powershot SX40 HS is Canon's latest release into the superzoom market, replacing the previous SX30 model. Still retaining most of the key design features from its predecessor, the SX40 builds on the original blueprint with the inclusion of Canon's new DIGIC 5 image processor, which enables rapid-fire shooting up to 10.3fps.
Excerpt: Canon introduced the SX40 in September, at the same time as the compact PowerShot S100 . The SX40 is one of a new generation of Canon cameras to be equipped with the fast Digic 5 processor. Canon promises that this boosts the HS system and now also supports Full HD (1080p) video shooting.
Excerpt: Like most big zoom bridge cameras, Canon's PowerShot SX40 HS is a chunky beast not a great deal smaller than the entry level digital SLR it takes its styling cue from. However it is, after all, the whopper of a 35x optical lens that is the main selling point, boasting a comprehensively and creatively broad focal range stretching from 24mm to 840mm that would be otherwise hideously unaffordable or impractical for the average DSLR user.