In the age of advanced smartphone cameras, the point-and-shoot camera for travel market has to work overtime to remain relevant. One strategy is definitely to pack advanced brand-new features into ever-smaller gadgets. The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is one of the latest compact digital cameras that produce high-quality images and 4K video, all in a remarkably small package. We were able to test this compact travel camera to discover if the image and video quality is worth the price.
Canon PowerShot SX740 HS Price
Design: Small and Pocketable
The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is a small point-and-shoot style camera with a great build. The all-black body has a soft rubber grasp that helps with the handling of the camera. All of the right aspect dials are easily accessible to your thumb and the buttons are well crafted with an excellent response when pressed.
The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is something that can easily fit in a bag or backpack or even a pocket. It can also be carried quickly with a wrist strap. This will appeal to those looking for a small form factor with powerful features.
Display: Selfie-friendly with a huge screen
The Canon SX740 HS was designed with beginners in mind. The three-inch LCD includes a full 180-degree articulating screen that’s perfect for self-recording or taking photographs of yourself and a group of friends. In our tests, the LDC was bright and exceptional for composing pictures and videos-this is especially important since the camera lacks an optical viewfinder. The Canon SX740 HS LCD display screen is amazing but lacks touch screen capabilities. When recording ourselves, we found it challenging to change settings and navigate through the menu. Menu navigation is controlled by the jog wheel on the back, making it difficult to adjust handles and features on the fly.
Setup: Some features are easier to locate than others
Setting up the Canon SX740 HS is simple. Once the camera’s date, time, and location are set, you’re ready to shoot.
If you want to customize more features, there is also a menu page with Shooting Settings, Playback Settings, Function Settings, and Display Level Settings. These three web pages let you fine-tune the camera to optimize your video and photography output.
One major frustration we experienced in assessment had to do with the 4K video recording-it took us a while to figure out how to enable this feature. In order to activate this option, the camera needs to be placed on Video mode (located on the top dial).
Sensor: Small but capable
The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS houses a 20.3 megapixel, 1/ 2.3-inch CMOS sensor with the new and improved DIGIC 8 image processor. These processors allow the camera to shoot stills up to 7.4 fps with continuous autofocusing and record video at 4K. The improved sensor and processor combination gives the camera the ability to render details in shadows and highlights when lighting situations are not favorable.
While testing the camera, we uncovered that we can control photo quality even further. The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS provides picture modes that can generate different color, saturation, contrast, and color tone in your photos. Although the camera has an updated image processor chip and 20.3-megapixel sensor, the size of the sensor can only record so much detail before the quality of your of the footage begins to degrade.
This camera is also capable of shooting 4K video and is ideal for anyone that wants to experiment with 4K footage without breaking the bank. 4K resolution is the future, and it’s the highest quality that is available on the consumer market today. To really enjoy it, you need to have a 4K TV or monitor that may display these high-res pictures correctly.
Lens: Impressive zoom range
The lens on this small point-and-shoot camera is a 35mm-equivalent focal range of about 24-960mm. It’s surprisingly versatile and can perform well with long-range shooting, group digital photography, and even macro picture taking.
The 40x image-stabilized zoom lens is impressive but the additional 4x digital zoom degrades the image severely. Although the 4x digital zoom can be available on the camera, it is a feature that does not benefit the lens.
With a maximum aperture of f/3.3 and f/6.9 through the zoom vary, this lens is not particularly fast. Tests this camera in the evening with normal household lighting, we had to boost the ISO in order to achieve proper direct exposure without camera shake. Luckily this camera has picture stabilization so longer shutter speeds will not severely affect the image.
Video Quality: 4K in a point and shoot
We thought it was impressive that Canon today offers 4K capabilities on a compact point-and-shoot. The PowerShot SX740 HS can record 4K at 30fps, and the quality of this video is certainly impressive. While screening the camera outdoors, we noticed that the colors, information, and tonality of the footage really popped and appeared sharper and more vibrant compared to standard HD video.
Considering this camera is normally geared for travelers, all of us were disappointed that the PowerShot SX740 HS lacks a panoramic feature-but the 4K capable time-lapse option makes up for it. You can control features like shot intervals and clip duration, making this a valuable tool for filmmakers.
While 4K is excellent, be prepared to spend extra money on a more powerful memory card to fully make use of 4K recording. 4K data files are larger than the standard files from 1080p cameras and require faster memory cards that can record data at a rapid rate. Memory cards are becoming more affordable, however, the actuality is they are still an extra expense when considering 4K video recording.
If you’re invested in a high-res video, check out our picks to find the best 4K video cameras out there.
Photo Quality: Great public media and small prints
Reviewing our photographs on a computer, we identified that the grade of these images makes them best-suited to social mass media and other web sharing, or creating small prints to give to family and friends. It’s good for snapping photos on vacation, at your kid’s birthday party, or anywhere else where you want to capture some recollections. But don’t expect the same super high-res, high-quality pictures you’d get from a DSLR.
The photos from the PowerShot SX740 are usable up to 3200 ISO, but pushing them any higher made them too grainy. Also, the lack of RAW file capabilities puts a cap on the capability to edit images in post. For those that want to do art photography or print large images, you’re going to need a far more high-end, full-body camera that may produce high-quality pictures and RAW files.
Sound Quality: Not great, but great if you’re recording up close
The sound recording quality on the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is average at best. To fully maximize the audio quality of this device, we found it had been best to use a little windscreen.
Having the camera close to the subject helps reduce the ambient noise around the person you’re shooting. So if you were to use this camera for vlogging and filming yourself close up, the audio would be usable.
When tests the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS’s sound quality we felt that the camera would benefit from having an audio input jack (even though most point-and-shoot travel cameras like this don’t have them). We imagine having less audio jack helps keep the price down.
Battery Life: A spare battery is wise to have
The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS’s rechargeable battery pack is rated at 265 shots per charge, and in our testing, it depleted after simply a few hours of shooting. When traveling on holiday, it would be wise to have a few battery backups which mean you don’t possess to wait for it to recharge each time.
Battery lifestyle drains especially fast due to the LCD screen being the only means of review, video composition, and menu navigation. Recording in 4K also places a lot of stress on the processor and makes the camera work twice as hard.
Price: Decent price for 4K
Retailing meant for $400, the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is decently priced designed for a 4K-capable point-and-shoot camera. Although the camera includes a smaller sensor, its picture and video quality succeed for the price. Wi-Fi features, a 180-level articulating LCD display screen, in-camera stabilization, and focus tracking warrant the asking price.
A great small travel camera with 4K video capabilities and powerful zoom.
The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is a good compact camera for vlogging and travel. The 4K feature and zoom features make it perfect for someone on the go who wants to easily and instantly share their photos with their smartphone.