Canon PowerShot SX400 IS Review

It is absolutely true that the bridge camera region appears to be breaking the general decreasing trend of the small camera industry at the moment. This is possibly due to the versatility that bridge cameras provide in comparison to smartphones in terms of their zooms.

The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS has a zoom range of up to 60 times thanks to its incorporation of Canon’s ZoomPlus technology. This feature is also included in a number of the company’s other small cameras. The optical reach can be extended to 720 millimeters thanks to the wide-angle zoom of 24 millimeters, and the reach may be increased to 1440 millimeters by using digital zoom. In order to achieve the same level of resolution as photographs shot with the optical zoom, ZoomPlus recalculates the number of pixels in each image.

Due to the fact that this camera is intended for use by novice photographers, it does not come equipped with manual controls nor does it support shooting in raw format. It also lacks a handful of the more advanced functions that are available on other Canon compact cameras, such as Creative Shot and Hybrid Auto, both of which are available on other Canon cameras. On the other hand, there is a mode called Program Mode that enables you to alter various settings, such as the white balance and the sensitivity.

The camera is equipped with a Digic 4+ processor, just as the Canon SX520HS that was launched at the same time as the SX400. According to Canon, this is 60 percent quicker when shooting at high ISOs, and it is also 30 percent quicker than the conventional Digic 4 processor when it comes to focusing and processing.

The build quality as well as the handling

Despite the fact that the SX400IS has a design that is reminiscent of DSLRs, the fact that it is much smaller than a DSLR makes it very clear that it is not one.

In spite of this, it features a suitably sized grip that not only provides you with a strong hold but also makes it feel comfortable in your hand while you are shooting with one hand.

On the top of the camera, close to where the shutter release button is located, there is a zoom switch that allows the user to increase or decrease the focal length. When dealing with a large zoom, it’s really vital to have a motion that’s quite fluid because of how smooth it is. If you wish to maintain the optical zoom, you should take advantage of the brief gap that occurs just before the zoom enters the ZoomPlus mode.

The button for taking pictures is surrounded by the zoom switch.

Meanwhile, there are only a few buttons on the rear of the camera, which, if you’ve ever used a Canon compact before, should make you feel right at home with this model. There is a conventional navigational pad with four directions, and each of the directional keys on the pad performs a predetermined action. The exposure compensation mode may be accessed by pressing up, the self-timer mode by pressing down, the focusing mode by pressing left, and the flash mode by pressing right.

There is also a button that allows you to easily go back to automatic mode. This might be helpful if you have modified a few parameters but want to fast revert to full automated mode. If you want to make a movie quickly, you may use the button just above this one, which is designated just for recording video.

Aside from that, there are not an excessively large amount of buttons. By tapping the button that is located in the middle of the navigation pad, you will be able to access a shortcut menu. If you are shooting in the program mode, this will give you access to options like as sensitivity and white balance. If you are shooting in full auto mode, this will give you access to settings such as picture size. You will also be able to discover the MyColors setting (which allows you to shoot with a variety of color schemes, such as bright or monochromatic) and the digital filters, such as Fish-Eye and Toy Camera, here in this short menu.

You will need to manually raise it in order to trigger the built-in flash on your camera. When you do this, the camera will switch to automatic flash; however, you may adjust the flash setting by tapping the right directional key. Here, you’ll discover a few other choices, including slow synchro, so feel free to experiment with them.

Canon is sort of shifting the audience by changing the form of the SX400 series to make it more like a bridge by making it more bridge-like. The typical purchaser of a bridge camera is likely to have somewhat stricter requirements than the purchaser of a “regular” compact camera.

Having said that, the majority of Canon’s recent small cameras have left us relatively pleased, so our expectations for the SX400IS were fairly high going in.

The good news is that all things considered, this is an outstanding camera, and it will undoubtedly appeal to vacation photographers who are seeking something that is straightforward to operate and has a significant amount of versatility in terms of the zoom range.

DSLR-like style, but no viewfinder

The colors are vibrant and full-bodied right out of the camera, exhibiting the type of warm saturation that has become typical of photographs taken with Canon cameras. You may also change the colors directly in the camera by selecting to shoot with MyColors; this is helpful if you want to increase the contrast (Vivid) or capture a landscape. Other color adjustments include:

There are a lot of different things to try out in this section, such as Positive Film, Black and White, and Neutral, so it’s a good idea to have a look at all of them to see if any of them catch your eye. It is important to keep in mind that because the camera does not capture images in raw format, you will not have the option to recover a “clean” version of the image in the event that you require it.

It pays to pay attention to detail.

You can get a good sense of the level of detail in an image by seeing it at a size suitable for typical printing or online viewing (A4 or smaller). Even at ISO 100, it is possible to discern image smoothing in some regions of the picture if you examine it at a magnification of 100 percent; nonetheless, this is something that is normally to be anticipated from tiny cameras.

If you want your photos to be as accurate as possible, you may find that you need to switch to a more specific white balance setting on your SX400. Although the automatic white balance system of the SX400 performs reasonably well overall, it does have a tendency to favor warmer tones when working with artificial lighting.

Metering is extremely excellent

During my time with the camera, I discovered that I had almost no need to make any adjustments to the exposure compensation setting. It is possible that you will need to switch to spot metering when you are photographing anything in a setting that has very high contrast. This is something that you can do in Program Mode, but it is not something that happens very often.

If you shoot at sensitivities that are greater than normal, the resulting image will have a rather high amount of noise, which is especially noticeable when the image is seen at its full size. It is possible to notice speckling and color noise across the image when the light is very low when using an ISO 800 setting. Although ISO 1600 is available, I would only advocate using it if you were having a lot of trouble getting an image that was focused on ISO 800.

Image quality

Autofocus

Autofocusing rates are rather swift, particularly when there is sufficient light. Although you may anticipate that the pace will decrease slightly when shooting in low light circumstances, the focusing light actually helps to speed up the process. When you want to get very close to a subject for frame-filling shots, you can activate macro focusing, which will help you get very close indeed; in fact, the lens will be so close that it will almost be touching the subject. When you want to get close to a subject for frame-filling shots, you can activate macro focusing.

The functionality of the zoom

The effectiveness of the zoom is, as one would expect, of utmost significance for a camera of this type. The SX400 has a respectable 30x optical zoom, and once again, if you view photographs at A4 or smaller, you are left with an acceptable sense of detail. On the other hand, if you zoom in all the way to one hundred percent, you will notice that the image has been smoothed. It is possible to utilize digital zoom, but you should be aware that doing so may result in a decrease in image quality; despite this, having access to this feature is helpful in the event that you need to go a little bit closer.

The camera comes with a selection of digital filters, but sadly they are starting to appear a bit antiquated in contrast to some of the other cameras available on the market. Canon hasn’t updated its lineup in quite some time, so the digital filters are starting to look a little ancient. Toy Camera is my personal favorite, but it’s still important to try out the other apps that are out there.

Conclusion

If you are looking for something that is easy to use and is interested in the design of a bridge camera, this might be a nice alternative for you. Canon has made another camera that is easy to enjoy and does a fantastic job in vacation and travel circumstances. Because of its design, even though it is very little, even by the standards of bridge cameras, it is not going to fit in the pocket of a jacket or coat. If you are looking for something that is really portable, you should keep this in mind despite the fact that it is quite small.

Images are nice directly off the camera, particularly if you are going to be shooting in good light most of the time, which is probable if you are using it as a vacation camera. However, there is not much in the way of control over the settings here, and while Program Mode does allow you some degree of control, you may be left unsatisfied with the SX400IS if you are used to managing every element of your photography. There is not much control over the settings here.

On the one hand, it would be nice if Canon provided a touch more in the way of innovation for this bridge camera, such as a touchscreen or built-in Wi-Fi, but on the other hand, this does assist to keep the price of the camera at a level that is manageable for most people.

Specifications

Body typeCompact
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
ProcessorDigic 4+
ISOAuto, 100-1600
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsSuperfine, Fine
Focal length (equiv.)24–720 mm
Optical zoom30×
Maximum apertureF3.4–5.8
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusNo
Normal focus range5 cm (1.97″)
Macro focus range0 cm (0″)
Number of focus points9
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots230,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT-LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1600 sec
Aperture priorityNo
Shutter priorityNo
Manual exposure modeNo
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range5.00 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, on, off, slow synchro
Continuous drive0.8 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Resolutions1280 x 720 (25 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMINo
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
Remote controlNo
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NB-11LH rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)190
Weight (inc. batteries)313 g (0.69 lb / 11.04 oz)
Dimensions104 x 69 x 80 mm (4.09 x 2.72 x 3.15″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone

Final verdict

The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS is a bridge-style camera that delivers excellent performance and is a wonderful choice if you’re searching for something that can help you take high-quality photos in a variety of everyday settings. Those who do not require complete manual control but rather prefer to concentrate on superb composition and holiday images will find this camera to be the most suitable option.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • 30x zoom range.
  • Sharp lens.
  • Optical stabilization.
Need Improvement
  • LCD with a lower resolution.
  • HD video is restricted to 720p.
  • Noisy pictures.
  • No Wi-Fi.

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