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Summary

The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is a pocket super-zoom camera with a 40x / 24-960mm optical range, 20 Megapixel sensor, 4k video, Wifi and Bluetooth. It represents a mild refresh over its predecessor, sharing the same lens, sensor, flip-up selfie screen and wireless capabilities, but now employs the latest DIGIC 8 processor which additionally supports 4k video and burst shooting up to 10fps. 4k video is however captured using a fairly tight 1:1 crop, reducing the field-of-view, and annoyingly Canon's continued to resist equipping the camera with RAW recording or a touchscreen. Revealingly the year-old Panasonic Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 addresses most of the issues, including a touchscreen, RAW and even boasts a built-in viewfinder for much the same price, albeit again with cropped 4k and a slightly shorter 30x range. If you don't need 4k video, you could also save a little by going for the previous SX730 HS which is otherwise almost identical to the new model.

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Canon SX740 HS review – preview

The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is a pocket super-zoom camera with a 40x / 24-960mm optical range, 20 Megapixel 1/2.3in sensor, 4k video, Wifi and Bluetooth. Announced in July 2018, the SX740 HS represents a mild refresh over its predecessor, the Canon SX730 HS, inheriting the same lens, sensor, flip-up selfie screen and wireless capabilities as before, but now employs the latest DIGIC 8 processor which additionally supports 4k video and burst shooting up to 10fps.

As with all super-zoom cameras, the key specification is the lens, with the SX740 HS offering an impressive 40x optical zoom equivalent to 24-960mm. It may now be the third outing for this lens on an SX700-series camera, but it still remains competitive with rivals, most notably against the Panasonic Lumix TZ90 / ZS90 which has a 30x / 24-720mm range. The sensor’s unchanged too, packing an ambitious 20 Megapixels into a small 1/2.3in area, and as such won’t deliver great quality at high ISOs, but again the Lumix TZ90 / ZS70’s in the same boat too. That said, the Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 offers the chance to also shoot in RAW, a feature that still sadly eludes the SX740 HS.

The big new feature on the SX740 HS is 4k video at 25 or 30fps, made possible by the presence of the DIGIC 8 processor, but like the EOS M50 where DIGIC 8 made its debut, filming in 4k takes a 1:1 / 8 Megapixel crop from the middle of the sensor resulting in quite a severe reduction in the field-of-view. By my calculations, filming in 4k will reduce the horizontal field-of-view by 1.35x reducing your chance of capturing a wide field, albeit allowing the long lens to reach even further, albeit with even greater chance of wobble. 1080p still uses the full sensor width though and is available up to 60p, and regardless of the quality the SX740 HS can capture half hour clips.

 

 

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The addition of DIGIC 8 is nice, but personally speaking I’d have preferred the SX740 HS to gain a touchscreen and RAW recording over heavily cropped 4k video; a viewfinder would have also transformed the camera’s usability, albeit raising the price and body size. Revealingly despite being a year older, the Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 resolves many of the issues with a viewfinder, touchscreen and RAW, although also suffers from a severe crop in 4k mode. With the benefit of discounting after a year on the shelves, the TZ90 / ZS70 represents a keen alternative at roughly the same price, and if you don’t need 4k, you could save a little on Canon’s own SX730 HS which is otherwise virtually identical. Check out my Panasonic Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 review and Canon SX730 HS review for more details. In the meantime, if the SX740 HS sounds right for you, expect it in August for $399 USD / 349 GBP.

Check prices on the Canon SX740 HS at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, or Wex. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!
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