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Canon SX40 vs T3

The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (labelled Canon 1100D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2011 and February 2011. The SX40 is a fixed lens compact, while the T3 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX40) and an APS-C (T3) sensor. The SX40 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the T3 provides 12.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX40
versus
Canon T3
Canon SX40   Canon T3
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 Canon EF mount lenses
12 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 12.2 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/24p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-6,400
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Optical viewfinder
2.7" LCD – 230k dots 2.7" LCD – 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10.3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
380 shots per battery charge700 shots per battery charge
123 x 92 x 108 mm, 600 g 130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS and the Canon EOS Rebel T3? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon SX40 and the Canon T3 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX40 vs Canon T3
Compare SX40 versus T3 top
Comparison SX40 or T3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T3 is notably larger (15 percent) than the Canon SX40. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX40 nor the T3 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 T3 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 T3 and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX40 gets 380 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the T3 can take 700 images on a single charge of its LP-E10 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429ebay.com
2.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429ebay.com
8.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429ebay.com
10.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399ebay.com
11.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399ebay.com
12.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 T3, 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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 SX40 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon T3 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T3 is 1054 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.6. The sensor in the SX40 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the T3 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX40 and Canon T3 sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the T3 offers a higher resolution than the SX40 (12MP), but the T3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.15μm versus 1.53μm for the SX40) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX40 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the T3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 PowerShot SX40 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T3 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the SX40 is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the T3 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

SX40 versus T3 MP

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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
1.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.610.940941
2.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
7.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
8.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
9.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p19.410.732039
10.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p19.210.522537
11.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p19.010.314435
12.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.478364
13.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i19.410.730639
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the SX40 provides a higher video resolution than the T3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/24p, while the T3 is limited to 720/30p.

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 T3 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX40, the Canon T3, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon SX40202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3/s Y Y
2.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon SX30202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX20202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7/s Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX10202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7/s Y Y
12.
 
Canon XSoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX40 and the T3 write their files to 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 PowerShot SX40 HS and Canon EOS Rebel T3 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon SX40Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
2.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX30Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX20Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX10Ystereo / mono---2.0---
12.
 
Canon XSY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic FZ200Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

Both the SX40 and the T3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The T3 was replaced by the Canon T5, while the SX40 was followed by the Canon SX50. Further information on the features and operation of the SX40 and T3 can be found, respectively, in the Canon SX40 Manual (free pdf) or the online Canon T3 Manual.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon SX40 better than the Canon T3 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/24p vs 720/30p).
  • 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 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the T3 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x92mm vs 130x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 7 months after the T3).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (700 versus 380) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2011).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (10 points each). 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX40 10:10 T3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX40 and the Canon T3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX40 or the T3. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX40..+....4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429ebay.com
2.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429ebay.com
8.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +....3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429ebay.com
10.
 
Canon SX20..+ +..73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399ebay.com
11.
 
Canon SX10..+ +......4/5 Sep 2008 399ebay.com
12.
 
Canon XS..82/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +..76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499ebay.com
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 SX40 vs Canon T3

    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 SX40 Canon T3
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2011 February 2011
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon SX40 Canon T3
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 22.0 x 14.7 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 323.4 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 26.5 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4272 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 5.15 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 3.76 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 755
    Screen Specs Canon SX40 Canon T3
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX40 Canon T3
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 10.3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX40 Canon T3
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port YES HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX40 Canon T3
    Battery Type NB-10L LP-E10
    Battery Life (CIPA)380 shots per charge700 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 92 x 108 mm
    (4.8 x 3.6 x 4.3 in)
    130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 600 g (21.2 oz) 495 g (17.5 oz)
    logo
    Check SX40 offers at
    ebay.com
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    Check T3 offers at
    ebay.com

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