Canon SX40 vs Sony HX80
The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2011 and March 2016. Both the SX40 and the HX80 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon SX40||Sony HX80|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|24-840mm f/2.7-5.8||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|1080/24p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-3,200||ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800)|
|Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (638k dots)|
|2.7 LCD, 230k dots||3.0 LCD, 922k dots|
|Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|10.3 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|380 shots per battery charge||390 shots per battery charge|
|123 x 92 x 108 mm, 600 g||102 x 58 x 36 mm, 245 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80? 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 SX40 and the Sony HX80 is provided 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX80 is considerably smaller (48 percent) than the Canon SX40. Moreover, the HX80 is substantially lighter (59 percent) than the SX40. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX40 nor the HX80 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the SX40 gets 380 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the HX80 can take 390 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the HX80 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon SX40||4.8 in||3.6 in||4.3 in||21.2 oz||380||n||Sep 2011||429|
|Sony HX80||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||390||n||Mar 2016||349|
|Canon SX720||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|Canon SX710||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|Canon SX60||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon G1 X||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|Canon SX50||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon T3||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||17.5 oz||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon SX30||4.8 in||3.6 in||4.3 in||21.2 oz||370||n||Sep 2010||429|
|Canon SX20||4.8 in||3.5 in||3.4 in||21.2 oz||..||n||Aug 2009||399|
|Canon SX10||4.8 in||3.5 in||3.4 in||21.2 oz||..||n||Sep 2008||399|
|Panasonic FZ200||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic FZ150||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic FZ100||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||19.0 oz||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Sony WX800||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.2 oz||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|Sony RX100 V||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony HX90V||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
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.
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 HX80 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 19 percent) than the SX40, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the HX80 offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the SX40. This megapixels advantage translates into a 22 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the HX80 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.25μm versus 1.53μm for the SX40). However, it should be noted that the HX80 is much more recent (by 4 years and 5 months) than the SX40, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony HX80 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX80 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 18.4 inches or 62.2 x 46.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 14.7 inches or 49.7 x 37.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 12.2 inches or 41.5 x 31.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX40 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the HX80 provides a faster frame rate than the SX40. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the HX80 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the SX40 (638k vs 202k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX40 and Sony HX80 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
Both the SX40 and the HX80 have zoom lenses built in. The SX40 has a 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 optic and the HX80 offers a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX40 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The SX40 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX80 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The HX80 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX40 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 PowerShot SX40 HS and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Sony RX100 V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the SX40 has a hotshoe, while the HX80 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The HX80 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the SX40 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX40 was succeeded 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 and Sony websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX40 and the Sony HX80? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS:
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.7 vs f/3.5).
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2011).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (18 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (638k vs 202k dots).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 123x92mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 355g or 59 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (19 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 5 months of technical progress since the SX40 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the HX80 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 6 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX40 and the Sony HX80 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX40 or the HX80. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.
|Canon SX40||+||..||4.5/5||5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429|
|Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349|
|Canon SX720||+||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|Canon SX710||+||..||4/5||..||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|Canon SX60||+ +||75/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon G1 X||+||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|Canon SX50||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon T3||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon SX30||+ +||..||3.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429|
|Canon SX20||+ +||73/100||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2009||399|
|Canon SX10||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2008||399|
|Panasonic FZ200||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic FZ150||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic FZ100||+||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|Sony RX100 V||+ +||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony HX90V||+ +||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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.
- Canon G9 X Mark II vs Sony HX80
- Canon G9 X vs Sony HX80
- Canon M5 vs Sony HX80
- Fujifilm GFX 50R vs Sony HX80
- Leica Digilux 3 vs Sony HX80
- Nikon D600 vs Sony HX80
- Panasonic G9 vs Sony HX80
- Panasonic GX850 vs Sony HX80
- Panasonic LX100 vs Sony HX80
- Sony A7R II vs Sony HX80
- Sony HX80 vs Sony RX10 IV
- Sony HX80 vs Zeiss ZX1
Specifications: Canon SX40 vs Sony HX80
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 SX40||Sony HX80|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-840mm f/2.7-5.8||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||September 2011||March 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 349|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX40||Sony HX80|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX40||Sony HX80|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots||638k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.7inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX40||Sony HX80|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||10.3 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX40||Sony HX80|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||YES HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon SX40||Sony HX80|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380 shots per charge||390 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
123 x 92 x 108 mm
(4.8 x 3.6 x 4.3 in)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||600 g (21.2 oz)||245 g (8.6 oz)|
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