Canon PowerShot SX20 IS vs Canon PowerShot SX40 HS

  • 1/2.3"
  • 12 megapixels
  • Fixed lens
  • 34
    Overall
  • 5
    Imaging
  • 34
    Features
  • 72
    Size
  • 1
    Price
  • 1/2.3"
  • 12 megapixels
  • Fixed lens
  • 37
    Overall
  • 9
    Imaging
  • 42
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 1
    Price

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS vs Canon PowerShot SX40 HS: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models from Small Sensor Superzoom category, introduced by Canon. We are going to take a closer look at the technical and physical characteristics, features, and performance. The models we are going to assess and compare in this review are PowerShot SX20 IS and PowerShot SX40 HS. The models we are going to compare in our review have different sensors. Canon PowerShot SX20 IS features a CCD sensor that has a resolution of 12.0 MP. Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, on the contrary, has a different BSI-CMOS sensor with 12.0 MP resolution.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS.

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Key Features:

  • 12.0 MP 1/2.3" CCD sensor
  • ISO 80 - 1600
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 1.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1280 x 720 (30 fps) 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 15 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 128 x 88 x 87 mm
  • Weight: 600 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Canon SX10 IS.
  • Replaced by Canon SX30 IS.

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Key Features:

  • 12.0 MP 1/2.3" BSI-CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 2.7″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 10.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (24fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps) 640 x 480 (30, 120 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 240 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 123 x 92 x 108 mm
  • Weight: 600 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Canon SX30 IS.
  • Replaced by Canon SX50 HS.

Since Canon PowerShot SX20 IS has been around for some time, it was substituted by Canon SX30 IS.

Being a newer model, Canon PowerShot SX20 IS substituted Canon SX10 IS.

What are the key reasons to pick Canon PowerShot SX40 HS over Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

Wireless Connectivity Eye-Fi Connected vs No Better connectivity
Continuous Shooting 10 fps vs Yes fps 9 fps faster
Flash Range 7 vs 6.8 0.2 better flash range
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes vs No Very handy for portraits
Screen Size 2.7″ vs 2.5″ 0.2" larger screen
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 vs 1280 x 720 Higher Resolution Video

Key PROs of Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS

Screen Type Fully Articulated | Fully Articulated Help viewing and changing settings easily
Viewfinder Electronic | Electronic Better framing and control
Built-In Flash Yes | Yes External flash available
Image Stabilization Yes | Yes Built-in stabilization

Key CONs of Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Size 2.5″ | 2.7″ Not suitable for flash photography
Screen Resolution 230k dots | 230k dots Small screen resolution
Raw Support No | No Doesn's support RAW format
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP | 12.0 MP Small sensor resolution
Microphone Port No | No No microphone port
Headphone Port No | No No headphone port
Timelapse Recording No | No No timelapse recording
Bracketing No | No No AE bracketing
Environmental Sealing No | No No environmental sealing

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS vs Canon PowerShot SX40 HS: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS from the front view.

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Canon PowerShot SX40 HS is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 0g less than the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Thickness values for Small Sensor Superzoom cameras:
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS — 87 mm
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS — 108 mm
Min: 19 mm
Average: 66 mm
Max: 181 mm
Weight values for Small Sensor Superzoom cameras:
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS — 600 g
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS — 600 g
Min: 136 g
Average: 387 g
Max: 1415 g

Comparing Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS any different in terms of sensor type?

Take a look below to find the comparison of Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS by the size of their sensors.

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
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Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Portrait Photography
62%
76%
Street Photography
71%
69%
Sports Photography
58%
74%
Daily Photography
84%
75%
Landscape Photography
24%
27%

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Canon is famous with its skintones
  • Image Stabilization

Disadvantages:

  • Small 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) sensor

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Canon is famous with its skintones
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) sensor

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (128 x 88 x 87 mm)
  • Small 1/2.3"(6.17 x 4.55 mm) sensor
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (9)

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (123 x 92 x 108 mm)
  • Small 1/2.3"(6.17 x 4.55 mm) sensor
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (9)

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big size (128 x 88 x 87 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (1.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/3200s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (9)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (1600)

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big size (123 x 92 x 108 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (10.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/3200s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (9)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (3200)
  • Small battery life (380 shots)

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Small 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (600 g)
  • Big size (128 x 88 x 87 mm)

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Small 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (600 g)
  • Big size (123 x 92 x 108 mm)

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Live View

Disadvantages:

  • Small 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • No RAW Support
  • Bad Max Native ISO (1600)

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Live View

Disadvantages:

  • Small 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • No RAW Support
  • Bad Max Native ISO (3200)

Comparison of Canon PowerShot SX20 IS vs Canon PowerShot SX40 HS: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Canon PowerShot SX20 IS or Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Canon PowerShot SX40 HS deserves a higher Total Score than the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS vs Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
General
Brand Canon Canon
Model PowerShot SX20 IS PowerShot SX40 HS
Announced Jul 06, 2010 Sep 15, 2011
Body Type SLR-like (bridge) SLR-like (bridge)
Sensor
Sensor Type CCD BSI-CMOS
Sensor Size 1/2.3" 1/2.3"
Sensor Dimensions 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
Sensor Area 28.07 mm2 28.07 mm2
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP 12.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 4000 x 3000
Max Native ISO 1,600 3,200
Max Boosted ISO n/a n/a
Min Native ISO 80 100
RAW Support No No
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Fixed lens Fixed lens
Number of Lenses n/a n/a
Focal Length Multiplier n/a n/a
Macro Focus Range 0 0
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous No Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking No No
AF Selective No Yes
AF Center No No
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection No Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection No No
Number of Focus Points 9 9
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fully Articulated Fully Articulated
Screen Size 2.5″ 2.7″
Screen Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage % %
ViewFinder Magnification
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 15 s 15 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/3200 s 1/3200 s
Continuous Shooting 1.0 fps 10.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Yes Yes
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
Flash Range 6.8 7
Flash Modes Auto, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Fill-in Auto, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Fill-in
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing No No
WB Bracketing No Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes Yes
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1280 x 720 (30 fps) 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 15 fps) 1920 x 1080 (24fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps) 640 x 480 (30, 120 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 240 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1280 x 720 1920 x 1080
Video Formats H.264 MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Port No No
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No No
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 600 g 600 g
Physical Dimensions 128 x 88 x 87 mm 123 x 92 x 108 mm
Battery Life n/a 380 shots
Battery Type n/a Battery Pack
Battery Model 4 x AA NB-10L
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording No No
GPS
Storage Type SD / SDHC / MMC / MMC Plus / HC MMC Plus SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage Slots 1 1

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