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Canon 450D vs SX40

The Canon EOS 450D (called Canon XSi in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2008 and September 2011. The 450D is a DSLR, while the SX40 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (450D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX40) sensor. The 450D has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the SX40 provides 12 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 450D versus Canon SX40
Canon 450D Canon SX40
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
no Video 1080/24p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.5 shutter flaps per second 10.3 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 524 g 123 x 92 x 108 mm, 600 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 450D and the Canon PowerShot SX40 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 450D and the Canon SX40. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 450D vs Canon SX40
Compare 450D versus SX40 top
Comparison 450D or SX40 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX40 is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Canon 450D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 450D nor the SX40 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX40 has a lens built in, whereas the 450D 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 450D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 450D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the SX40 can take 380 images on a single charge of its NB-10L power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 450D 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon SX40 4.8 in 3.6 in 4.3 in 21.2 oz 380 n Sep 2011 429i
 
Canon 750D 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon 650D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon 1100D 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon SX30 4.8 in 3.6 in 4.3 in 21.2 oz 370 n Sep 2010 429i
 
Canon SX20 4.8 in 3.5 in 3.4 in 21.2 oz .. n Aug 2009 399i
 
Canon 500D 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 1000D 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449i
 
Canon 400D 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799i
 
Nikon D5000 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749i
 
Panasonic FZ150 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499i
 
Panasonic FZ100 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX40 was launched at a lower price than the 450D, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 450D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX40 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX40 is 91 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 450D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX40 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 450D and Canon SX40 sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the 450D offers a slightly higher resolution than the SX40 (12MP), but the 450D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.19μm versus 1.53μm for the SX40) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX40 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 7 months) than the 450D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX40 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Canon EOS 450D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

450D versus SX40 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon 1000D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
 
Canon 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX40 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 450D does not. The highest resolution format that the SX40 can use is 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SX40 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the 450D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 450D and Canon SX40 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon 1000Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y

The 450D writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the SX40 uses SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 450D and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 1000DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 400DY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---

Both the 450D and the SX40 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 450D was replaced by the Canon 500D, while the SX40 was followed by the Canon SX50. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 450D better than the Canon SX40 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 450D:

  • 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.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2008).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10.3 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 450D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x92mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 7 months of technical progress since the 450D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 450D comes out slightly ahead of the SX40 (11 : 10 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

450D 11:10 SX40

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 450D and the Canon SX40 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 450D and the SX40 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 450D+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon SX40+..4.5/55/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
 
Canon 750D..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon 1100D80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon SX30+ +..3.5/54.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
 
Canon SX20+ +73/100..4/54/5 Aug 2009 399i
 
Canon 500D+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 1000D82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
 
Canon 400D+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799i
 
Nikon D5000+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749i
 
Panasonic FZ150+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
 
Panasonic FZ100+..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 450D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX40:
Check Ebay offers

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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 450D vs Canon SX40

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 450D Canon SX40
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8
    Launch Date January 2008 September 2011
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Canon 450D Canon SX40
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.19 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 3.70 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 61 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 692 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 450D Canon SX40
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 450D Canon SX40
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.5 shutter flaps/s 10.3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 450D Canon SX40
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI YES HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 450D Canon SX40
    Battery Type LP-E5 NB-10L
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    123 x 92 x 108 mm
    (4.8 x 3.6 x 4.3 in)
    Camera Weight 524 g (18.5 oz) 600 g (21.2 oz)

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