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Canon SX400 Comparison Review

The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in July 2014 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.9 megapixel.

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Is the Canon SX400 a good camera? The SX400 has a Camera Elo of 1130. This rating puts the SX400 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the SX400 also ranks below average. – Well, the Canon SX400 is more than 6 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2014.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX400
Fixed lens compact camera
24-720mm f/3.4-5.8
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/30p Video
ISO 100 - 1 600
no viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.8 shutter flaps per second
190 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 80 mm, 313 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Canon SX400 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon SX400 vs credit card front
SX400 versus credit card top view
SX400 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon SX400 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.

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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 SX400 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.1 in 11.0 oz 190 n Jul 2014 249i
 
Canon SX420 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 i
 
Canon SX410 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX530 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX610 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 6.7 oz 270 n Jan 2015 249i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon SX700 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX600 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.0 in 6.6 oz 290 n Jan 2014 249i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX510 4.1 in 2.8 in 3.1 in 12.3 oz 250 n Aug 2013 249i
 
Nikon L840 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299i
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 listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon SX400 was launched in the US market at a price of $249. 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.

Canon SX400:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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.

The Canon SX400 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon SX400 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Canon SX400 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Canon SX600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p........
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The SX400 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the SX400 can use is 720/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Canon SX400 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 SX400none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX600none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 3.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon SX510none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 Y Y
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y

One convenient feature of the SX400 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

Connection 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 SX400 IS 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 SX400-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX610-----micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX600-monomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

The SX400 has a zoom lens built in (4.3-129mm f/3.4-5.8), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 720mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the SX400 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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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 SX400+........ Jul 2014 249i
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299 i
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX530+ +..4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX610....4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 249i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon SX700+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX600+..4/5..4/5 Jan 2014 249i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX510+ +..4.5/5..4/5 Aug 2013 249i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
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. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX400 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the SX400.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the SX400?

The camera has a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the SX400 with the DIGIC 4+ image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the SX400?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.

Does the Canon SX400 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Which battery does the SX400 use?

The camera gets its power from the NB-11LH, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Canon SX400
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8
    Launch Date July 2014
    Launch Price USD 249
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 608 x 3 456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1 600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/1600s
    Continuous Shooting 0.8 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NB-11LH power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)190 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 80 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 313 g (11.0 oz)

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