PowerShot SX 40HS Vs. Olympus Pen E-PM1

I asked a question for a camera suggestion for my needs and out of the answers I liked the above two cameras.

Olympus has an advantage on Canon when it comes to size. Its really a thin camera as compared to the PowerShot. However, the PowerShot offers 35x zoom that Olympus doesn't. These are the only comparisons a novice like me can come up with.

Question I need your help in deciding between these two cameras.

  • If I go for Olympus's lightweight, will I be letting go over picture/video quality? (I know I'll have to let go of the zoom)
  • If only thing different in two cameras will be zoom and not picture quality then I would prefer the lightweight and small size.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I made an edit to fix your link, and then I realized that my characterization of your question in the title was too broad, so I've re-edited it to focus to the specific question you ask. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I noticed and thank you for correcting the link and making it more precise. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you not notice that the lens is removable on one? That seems like a pretty significant difference... \$\endgroup\$
    – Fake Name
    Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 7:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did however, I don't see myself buying extra lenses in forseable future. But you are right, having that option in place would be nice. I'm more concerned with determining which of the two will take better quality images out of the box w/out extra equipment. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


The Olympus Pen E-PM1 is a Micro Four-Thirds sensor at 17.3mm x 13 mm , while the Canon SX 40HS has a 1/2.3" sensor, at 6.17 x 4.55 mm. This alone is a massive difference, where larger sensors generally provide much better image quality, especially in these size ranges.

Of course the Olympus has removable lens, while the Canon does not, another option to consider, and one that will give you the ability to add "35x" zoom whenever you want (not that I know what that is 35x of)

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Adding to that, the lens zoom ratio of 24-840mm equivalent on the Canon option doesn't fill me with confidence on quality. I hate marketing speak for this stuff, 35x zoom is such a useless piece of information. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I noticed that Olympus doesn't have a built in flash. which will be bad for taking pics inside the house? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ its not built-in, but it 'snaps on' and is included. Think of it as removable, I suppose. \$\endgroup\$
    – cmason
    Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 22:09

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