Canon 40D vs SX610
The Canon EOS 40D and the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2007 and January 2015. The 40D is a DSLR, while the SX610 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (40D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX610) sensor. The 40D has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the SX610 provides 20.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 40D and the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 40D and the Canon SX610 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX610 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the 40D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX610 is considerably smaller (59 percent) than the Canon 40D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 40D nor the SX610 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX610 has a lens built in, whereas the 40D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 40D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|2.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|3.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|4.||Canon SX620||97 mm||57 mm||28 mm||182 g||295||n||May 2016||279|
|5.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|7.||Canon SX600||104 mm||61 mm||26 mm||188 g||290||n||Jan 2014||249|
|8.||Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|9.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|10.||Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|11.||Canon XS||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||n||Jun 2008||449|
|12.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|13.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|14.||Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|15.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|16.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|17.||Nikon D90||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The SX610 was launched at a lower price than the 40D, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 40D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX610 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX610 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 5.6. The sensor in the 40D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX610 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, the SX610 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the 40D (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX610 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the 40D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 5.73μm for the 40D). However, it should be noted that the SX610 is much more recent (by 7 years and 4 months) than the 40D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX610 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX610 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX610 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 40D are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 40D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|5.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX610 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 40D does not. The highest resolution format that the SX610 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 40D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX610 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 40D and Canon SX610 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon 40D||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.5||Y||n|
|2.||Canon SX610||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.5||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX420||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX620||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.5||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon SX410||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon SX600||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.9||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon T3||optical||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|9.||Canon 60D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.3||Y||n|
|10.||Canon 50D||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.3||Y||n|
|11.||Canon XS||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|12.||Canon XSi||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|13.||Canon 30D||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n|
|14.||Canon XTi||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|15.||Canon 20D||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n|
|16.||Canon 10D||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|17.||Nikon D90||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.5||Y||n|
One feature that is present on the 40D, but is missing on the SX610 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The 40D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the SX610 uses SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 40D and Canon PowerShot SX610 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon 40D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon SX610||-||- / -||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon SX420||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon SX620||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon SX410||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon SX600||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon T3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon 60D||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon 50D||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon XS||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon XSi||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon 30D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon XTi||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon 20D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|16.||Canon 10D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|17.||Nikon D90||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the 40D has a hotshoe, while the SX610 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 40D (unlike the SX610) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 40D and the SX610 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 40D was replaced by the Canon 50D, while the SX610 was followed by the Canon SX620. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 40D and the Canon SX610? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 40D:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 39%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4+ vs DIGIC 3).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 40D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (105x61mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 40D).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 40D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 40D comes out slightly ahead of the SX610 (14 : 13 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 40D and the Canon SX610 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 40D and the SX610 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|2.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|3.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|4.||Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279|
|5.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|7.||Canon SX600||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2014||249|
|8.||Canon T3||..||80/100||..||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|9.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|10.||Canon 50D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|11.||Canon XS||..||82/100||..||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449|
|12.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|13.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|14.||Canon XTi||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|15.||Canon 20D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|16.||Canon 10D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|17.||Nikon D90||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon 40D vs Canon SX610
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 40D||Canon SX610|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||25-450mm f/3.8-6.9|
|Launch Date||August 2007||January 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 249|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 40D||Canon SX610|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3888 x 2592 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.73 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.03 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 3||DIGIC 4+|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||64||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.3||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||703||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 40D||Canon SX610|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 40D||Canon SX610|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||6.5 shutter flaps/s||2.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 40D||Canon SX610|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 40D||Canon SX610|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||270 shots per charge|
146 x 108 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
105 x 61 x 27 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
|Camera Weight||822 g (29.0 oz)||191 g (6.7 oz)|
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