Canon releases a new installment in the line of compact bridge superzoom cameras with a jaw-dropping 30x optical range. It is the predecessor of the SX520 but differs slightly in the sense that the Canon PowerShot SX400 is more of a point-and-shoot camera with simple operations in a little compact body. The SX400 ranks well among the smallest SLR-bridge super zoom cameras in the market today.
The design of this camera is meant for beginner photographers hence lacks manual control or the capability for raw format shooting. We will now dive into the real specs of this Canon PowerShot sx400 review to find out what features it has.
Considering the power of the optical lens and zoom, could the Canon PowerShot sx400 be the best compact camera that delivers both the zoom power and image quality? Let’s find that out by exploring its specs here.
Type: Compact SLR-bridge AF with inbuilt flash
Resolution: 16 megapixels with a max resolution of 4608 x 3456
Native ISO: 100-1600
Extended ISO: Auto
Shutter Speed: 15 seconds minimum to 1/1600 seconds maximum
Continuous Shooting Speed: 0.8 frames per second
Size: 4.1 x 3.1 x 2.7 inches or 104 x 69 x 80 mm
Weight: 11.0 ounces (313 g) or 0.96lb.
Including the batteries
Media Storage: SD card, SDHC, or SDXC
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The PowerShot sx400 is Canon’s flagship point-and-shoot camera that brings to the table an ultra-zoom feature of up to 30x. That is second after the Panasonic DMC fz70’s 60x which it beats in other aspects such as image quality. In addition to that, the camera boasts of the flagship Digic 4+ processor combined with a CCD sensor for enhanced sensitivity and performance.
It has a 3-inch TFT LCD that is characterized with 1280×720 resolution capable of taking videos at a 25fps resolution output. The large optical zoom can reach all the way from 24mm to 720mm to capture more details at great distances. The wide-angle lens is perfect for landscapes and group portrait photos. It also has Canon’s unique optical image stabilizer that ensures you get crisp noise-free images when working with the zoom at full length.
Image Quality and Performance
The Canon PowerShot sx400 can power up and take the first shot in less than three seconds as long as the lens cap is off. It brags of the latest Autofocus technology in the Canon line-up which is faster than that of its predecessors. When taking photographs, the autofocus surprises with high speeds as well as nine focus modes. It can be broadly categorized as center focus, sharp focusing for prioritizing faces and tracking autofocus.
The camera’s lens performance is its core selling feature. The zoom lever is relatively huge for better control. Its operation is silent, however, may increase considerably when in video shooting mode. The 3.4 aperture size is great in most cases though may produce muddy or noisy images when zoomed out. It has little chromatic aberration since the lens has fantastic pin cushioning and barrel distortion capabilities.
The video quality on the sx400 is also noticeable. It shoots at 1280×720 at up to twenty-five frames per second. It releases videos in the MPEG-4 and H.264 formats. The video record button is placed conveniently on the thumb rest allowing you to capture every second of the intended footage.
The image quality in this camera is also amazing with remarkable color depth and saturation. In well-lit environments, the images captured are crisp and fresh with pleasant exposure. It does better than most flagship smartphones regarding contrast and exposure control.
Design and Control
The camera is relatively larger than other compact cameras in its class. It has a deeper handgrip too than the sx700 HS. The camera comes in either black or red colors. Its lens begins at f/3.4 and narrows towards f/5.8 when fully zoomed. It is also optically stabilized to correct the noise experienced in images when pushing its ISO sensitivity.
On the top plate of the sx400 are the shutter release, zoom control, and power buttons. Back controls include the movie button, automatic shooting, image playback, menu control, and the four-way navigation pad. The latter provides the control for adjusting the macro focus range, exposure compensation, flash output, and the self-timer.
Further settings can be accessed from the overlay menu on the screen. To launch the menu, you need to tap the function or set button situated on the left of the LCD monitor. From there you are able to adjust the color output, ISO, shooting mode, metering pattern, drive mode, aspect ratio, and image/video quality. The back LCD is 3inches with a 230k-dot resolution.
In this section, we have outlined for you some of the sx400 strong features. They include:
• The 30x optical zoom range is remarkable.
• It has an effective optical stabilization mechanism.
• It has a quick start-up of 3 seconds.
• The close focus macro goes down to 0cm
• It is a very compact light and has good aesthetics.
• The camera is very cheap and has excellent performance and controls.
• It has an inbuilt flash for low light conditions.
The camera has some areas where we feel could be improved to make it an ultimate SLR-Bridge point-and-shoot photography tool.
• It lacks weather sealing hence not suitable for extreme weather conditions.
• The continuous shooting speed is rather low (0.8fps) as compared to its competitors in the market.
• It lacks a creative shot mode.
• The video quality does not reach the standard 1080p that most of its class members have.
• It doesn’t have hybrid slow motion and automatic video modes.
• The battery life is also poor despite the integration of an eco-mode. It takes only 260 shots.
• It does not have an inbuilt Wi-Fi and GPS that most modern point-and-shoot cameras have.
As much as people will say that most flagship smartphones from renowned brands have better image quality, none of them will ever support 30x optical zoom. The camera is quite cheap and efficient for the particular task of taking pictures. It is the perfect tool for taking the best shots remotely. For instance, you will be able to capture the action on stage while seated at the back row of the auditorium.
We would recommend this camera for novice photographers. If you would love a second helper camera that is cheaper with point-and-shoot characteristics, it is the perfect choice for you.
The Canon PowerShot sx400 features a sleek design and a lightweight body that is quite comfortable in your hands while you shoot. The buttons are also easily accessible. It is affordable for most people and could make the perfect first camera for you.
It, however, shows low video resolution, lack of Wi-Fi, and the current touchscreen technology that most cameras have adopted today. Its navigation may be tricky for some people. Therefore, based on this review, you can forward to us your thoughts about this device. Hurry up, though, because the model has been discontinued by the manufacturer.