The Canon PowerShot SX400IS is one of the most popular medium size point and shoot cameras, but there is a new kid on the block, the Nikon Coolpix L340. Both models have slightly similar specifications, a 1/2.3″ CCD sensor,a maximum of 1600 ISO and a 3″ color LCD. The similarities end there however, the Nikon has a higher resolution, 20 MP sensor compared to the 16 MP camera found on the Canon. The Canon has a faster maximum shutter speed (1/1600 vs. 1/1500), it also had a longer, wider 30x zoom (20x zoom for the Nikon). It will be a close call when comparing these two excellent cameras, so let’s take a closer look into our review of the Nikon CoolPix L340 vs Canon PowerShot SX400.
The Canon Powershot SX400 has a 1/2.3″ CCD sensor. It boasts an optical zoom of 30x wide and the Canon DIGIC 4+ image processor to process the images captured by the 16 megapixel sensor. Unlike most of its competitors, the SX400 features built in Intelligent IS for blur free images even when at 30x zoom. It’s high speed AF delivers effortless focusing, with DSLR like speed. This camera takes clear, well contrasted pictures that don’t look oversaturated. If you are an advanced photographer this camera is not for you, it does not feature manual focus and the camera does not feature a dial to make adjusting the shutter speed and f-stop easy. Combine this with a short battery life of only 190 shots and it becomes clear that this is a beginner camera. With all that being said, the Canon PowerShot SX400 delivers excellent performance at an affordable $249.00 MSRP.
The Nikon CoolPix L340 is a entry level long zoom point and shoot just like the Canon. It uses a 1/2.3″ CCD sensor attached to a 12 element, 28x optical zoom Nikkor Lens. Unlike its Canon competitor, it does not feature optical image stabilization, rather it features “vibration reduction” which is controlled by software. Speaking of software, all the cameras image processing is done by the lightning fast EXPEED C2 image processor. Images taken in bright sunlight are crisp clear and excellent overall, unfortunately when the lighting conditions aren’t as ideal, image quality suffers, noise becomes extremely visible and images lose their sharpness. All this is not to say that the Nikon is a bad camera however, the automatic metering system does a good job of setting the correct exposure, and the auto white balance works well even under artificial light. Battery life is excellent on the Nikon, capable of 960 shots on its 4 alkaline batteries. Just like the Canon however, this not for the enthusiast, controls in manual mode are fussy and it lacks the low light performance of the Canon. At an MSRP of $230, it is very affordable.
The build quality on both models was good, however the Nikon had slightly better image quality due to the textured front grip and back thumb pad. The nikon is also a little more dense making it feel more premium than the Canon. This is not to say that the Canon has bad build quality, the ABS plastic feels well put together and there are no large panel gaps. The grip on the Canon is not as good as the Nikon’s textured grip, the Canon also does not have a thumb rest on the back like the Nikon.
Nikon CoolPix L340 vs. Canon PowerShot SX400
The final verdict on Nikon CoolPix L340 vs Canon PowerShot SX400. Due to the better image quality, and longer, 30x zoom, the Canon PowerShot SX400 takes the cake in this comparison. Images taken in daylight by both cameras were about the same, however in low light conditions the Nikon struggled to keep noise at bay. Although it suffered from poor battery life, and lacking build quality, that wasn’t enough to make it lose to the Nikon. In the end, both cameras are good for beginners and you would be happy with whichever one you purchase.