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The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is an updated version of the PowerShot SX730 HS, which has been available for purchase somewhere in the neighborhood for two years. However, many headline specifications appear to be the same, so what has Canon altered?
The recent DIGIC 8 processing engine elevates the video specifications from Full HD to 4K. This has also made it possible for image stabilization to be a little more polished and robust, as well as for the burst shooting rate to be increased from 5.9 frames per second, as it was in the SX730, to a much faster ten frames per second.
Additionally, the battery life of the SX740 is somewhat improved, which can be attributed to the more energy-efficient processing engine. The menu system is also far more similar to that found on EOS DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, which is a vast improvement compared to the SX730.
See: Best Memory Cards Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
Aside from that, the PowerShot SX740 HS provides many of the same features available on the model that came before it. These features include a good combination of a 20.3-megapixel sensor, a 3-inch LCD screen that flips up, and the option to exercise manual control over the shooting settings. However, the 40x optical zoom lens spans an extensive range of 24-960mm in 35mm and is the show’s star.
It seems to be made of a combination of metal and polycarbonate for the body, providing it with a more robust sensation than most other compacts. Despite its diminutive size, Canon has done an excellent job of including a significant number of physical controls while still ensuring they are easy to work with. This is not something that can be said about every compact camera of this type.
Each button depresses firmly into its housing, and the dial located on the camera’s rear may be turned with relative ease. Likewise, the LCD screen may be moved with ease; nevertheless, it is unfortunate that a significant amount of the screen does not display the image and is not touch-sensitive; this is somewhat inconsistent with our expectations for a tiny camera in 2019.
The absence of a viewfinder is also disappointing, particularly for a camera that will probably spend most of its time being used outside, where the LCD screen’s visibility may be compromised.
The autofocusing mechanism included in the SX740 is quick and responsive, and it performs a fantastic job in most situations regardless of where you are in the focal range. Even at the telephoto end, typically considered a weak point for cameras of this type, it performs rather well. However, this relies on the contrast of the subject being taken to some extent.
Who exactly does it serve, and should I get it?
The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is an excellent choice for travelers who are either not in need of an interchangeable-lens system or do not want the hassle of carrying one around while they are away from home for an extended period. This camera is ideal for those who will be away from home for an extended period. Although its zoom range is pervasive, its compact size suggests that it is not wholly unsuited for use as an all-purpose camera for various applications.
The 1/2.3-inch, 20.3-megapixel back-illuminated sensor in the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS appears to be the same as the sensor in the SX730 HS. The lens covers 24-960mm in terms of 35mm and seems to be the same. This is one of the most extended focal length ranges available at this price point; however, the benefit of having an additional 5x or 10x optical zoom compared to competing cameras at the longer end is debatable.
The CPU is one of the fundamental components that has undergone recent revisions. The former DIGIC 6 with the iSAPS engine has been replaced with the DIGIC 8, the same engine found in Canon’s EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera and the EOS Rebel SL3 and EOS 250D DSLRs.
This looks to bring with it a variety of perks, ranging from the ability to capture 4K video to a quicker maximum burst rate of 10 frames per second (the SX730 HS only shoots Full HD videos and stills at up to 5.9fps). The image stabilization technology also looks more potent than it was in the past. Canon claims that it offers a maximum advantage of 3.5 stops, and it has Dual Sensing IS, which utilizes information from both the lens and the sensor to assist in the correction of picture blur.
The battery life has also been considerably increased, going from 250 frames on the SX730 HS to 265 frames here – it’s a slight improvement. Still, the ordinary user will have far better battery life than these official stats tend to imply anyway. It is also possible to switch the camera into an Eco mode, which will increase the number of frames it can take to 370, and the battery can be charged via the USB connector, which is quite convenient while traveling.
Battery life has also been enhanced somewhat, going from 250 frames on the SX730 HS to 265 structures on the SX740 HS.
The menu system of the PowerShot SX740 HS is modeled after the one found on Canon’s EOS DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. This represents a significant advancement compared to the more simplistic menu system seen on the PowerShot SX730 HS and earlier models of the PowerShot line.
Other features include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a macro focus option 1 cm in the distance, and face detection autofocus. In addition, everything you take a picture or video of is saved to an SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory card that meets the requirements of the UHS-I Class 3 standard.
Canon PowerShot SX740 HS Design
- LCD turns over at a 180-degree angle
- Body made of metal and plastic
- Rubberized grip and support for the thumb
The PowerShot SX740 HS has a body that is, for all intents and purposes, identical to the PowerShot SX730 HS. A 4K inscription has replaced the previous ‘Wi-Fi’ label on the top plate, for example, and a ‘Q Set’ button has usurped the last Fn control in the middle of the menu pad, but those are pretty much the only changes that have been made to reflect the more powerful specifications of the camera. In addition, there have been a few minor changes to reflect the more powerful specifications of the camera.
And this is not a terrible thing at all, as everything was functioning normally before this change. The controls can only be made to be a specific size because the device’s body is so compact, but the mode dial has many options and is easy to turn. Additionally, the dial on the back of the device is easy to hang and does not interfere with the raised LCD screen located next to it.
A control ring around its lens is missing from the Canon SX740 HS. This feature is included on competing bodies, such as the Panasonic ZS80/TZ95 and the ZS70/TZ90 models that came before it. This is a helpful way for the user to modify the aperture, zoom, shutter speed, or whatever else, and the fact that we also do not have a touchscreen here makes its absence all the more unfortunate.
The front and some other areas of the SX740 look to be built from robust metal, rather than the camera having an all-polycarbonate structure, which makes it relatively substantial and is consistent with the construction of other cameras of a similar nature. Although the grip and thumb rest may not have the finest friction, they make it easier for you to gain a better handle on the weapon.
One feature absent from this model is a control ring around the lens, which we have seen on competing bodies such as the Panasonic TZ95.
The menu system is based on the one found within EOS mirrorless and DSLR models, which means that it is far more complete than Canon’s previous menu system for similar devices. It does not provide precisely the same amount of control that other cameras do, but we wouldn’t expect this – and the fact that it can be tuned to your skill level is an excellent added feature.
Canon PowerShot SX740 HS Image Quality
In their everyday settings, colors that are pleasing to the eye
The videos have great detail, but the rolling shutter
With noise suppression and enhanced visible sharpness,
you do not have the same amount of control over the image quality as you have with one of Canon’s mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Because there is no provision for shooting raw, Canon must get the image processing in the PowerShot SX740 HS just right.
And it appears that you can, for the most part, safely leave the camera to its own devices, and you can rely on it to do an excellent job for the most part. When the camera is set to the camera’s default Auto Picture Style, the colors look very nice, with nicely saturated blues in the skies and greens in the foliage. However, the camera’s auto white balance system can be slightly inconsistent between exposures, sometimes leaning a little bit towards warmth and other times leaning slightly toward coolness.
It’s a shame that Canon’s Highlight Tone Priority function isn’t accessible because the exposures are typically accurate, but the sensor’s restricted dynamic range is noticeable, especially in high-contrast environments. On the other hand, exposure compensation and Canon’s Auto Lighting Optimizer exist. As a result, you can typically get to a better outcome between the two of them, even if it needs a bit of playing with the settings.
The Canon SX740 HS is not immune to noise and noise reduction, which are frequent concerns with cameras with such small sensors, and the camera does not have a noise reduction feature. It is difficult to know exactly how much noise reduction is being applied because there is no raw option or way to deactivate it. It is also likely that some sharpness is being compromised at default settings to keep noise at bay; in fact, the slight over-sharpening visible around natural subjects is a little aggressive. Nevertheless, the level of detail remains pretty consistent compared to comparable photographs produced by competing cameras, particularly at the wide-angle end of the lens.
When viewed through the telephoto lens, things appear less striking. Even though you can see the image stabilization technology functioning while you prepare your shots, it is truly put to the test by focal lengths like these, and the camera isn’t always able to keep everything clear. When viewing the photographs in Photoshop at their full size, you will also see a minimal fringing effect at the edges of the details. However, this effect is only visible in Photoshop. The video quality isn’t terrible, but it might be better; the details are acceptable for a camera with such a tiny sensor, but the rolling shutter is a problem.
The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS may have several different strengths and weaknesses. It is a bit cheaper than its competitors but nowhere near as well defined; it’s a shame that Canon hasn’t addressed the primary problems that we had with the SX730 HS, including the absence of a touchscreen and an EVF, and, a lesser extent, a raw quality choice.
While part of this can be attributed to how the camera processes photos, which may not always be to your liking, the image quality is surprisingly remarkable for a camera with such a small sensor and a lens with such ambitious capabilities. It is lovely to be able to make use of 4K video today, rather than being restricted to only Full HD;
However, you can still find the older SX730 HS for quite a bit less, so if you’re not too fussed about the video quality or the faster burst shooting mode and you’re on a tight budget, that camera might be a better option for you while it’s still available. You can find it again if you’re not too fussed about video quality or the faster burst shooting mode.
Canon PowerShot SX740 HS Specifications
|Max resolution||5184 x 3888|
|Image ratio w h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||21 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||20 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)|
|White balance presets||5|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Superfine, fine|
|Focal length (Equiv.)||24–960 mm|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View.|
|Normal focus range||5 cm (1.97″)|
|Macro focus range||1 cm (0.39″)|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||15 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/3200 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Flash Range||5.00 m|
|Flash modes||Auto, on, slow synchro, off|
|Continuous drive||10.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 secs, custom self-timer)|
|Metering modes||MultiCenter-weighted spot|
|Exposure compensation||±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|Modes||3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, AAC1280 x 720 @ 60p, MP4, H.264, AAC|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I compatible)|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|HDMI||Yes (micro HDMI)|
|Wireless notes||802.11b/g/n + NFC + Bluetooth|
|Remote control||Yes (via smartphone)|
|Battery description||NB-13L lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||265|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||299 g (0.66 lb / 10.55 oz)|
|Dimensions||110 x 64 x 40 mm (4.33 x 2.52 x 1.57″)|
|Timelapse recording||Yes (up to 4K)|
Canon PowerShot SX740 HS Conclusion
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If you are looking for a versatile travel camera with an extensive zoom range, the PowerShot SX740 HS won’t let you down but won’t blow your mind. It can do everything very well, but apart from the extensive zoom range, there is not much to be excited about with this camera.
Performance is more than sufficient, but it cannot compete with the best high-end camera phones available today in terms of wide-angle image quality. However, it should be noted that the latter is relevant to any modern compact camera with a tiny sensor. Even though there may still be ‘new’ travel cameras being introduced, such as the SX740 HS, most of them are updated versions of previously released cameras, and their basic technology is becoming increasingly obsolete.
Even in comparison to Canon’s competitors’ tiny cameras, this is an area in which Canon is not pushing the envelope. Compared to other cameras, such as the Nikon Coolpix A1000, which includes this feature, the absence of a touch-sensitive screen is disappointing. On paper, Canon’s lack of raw image capture and an electronic viewfinder also looks like a drawback,
but we recognize that many users are unlikely to buy a camera like this to shoot raw and that electronic viewfinders in this market segment are more of a marketing gimmick than a handy feature. Nevertheless, we feel that Canon’s lack of basic image capture is the more significant shortcoming.
Canon PowerShot SX740 HS Pros & Cons
- 40x optical zoom
- 4K video
- Simple to operate
- The screen will now flip forward.
- The image quality is not outstanding.
- Taking pictures with it might be a slow process at times.
- You are unable to shoot in Raw.