Bridge cameras are a great way for inexperienced photographers to learn more without having to invest in an expensive system, and they're also fantastic for travel photographers who benefit from the extensive zoom and full manual control.
It's a big shame that even though the technology within bridge cameras, along with the image quality, gets better and better we still don't see features such as raw shooting making an entrance very often.
That said, the SX40 is a camera that pretty much anyone can pick up and start shooting with straightaway with minimal fuss. For holiday goers looking for something that will do a bit of everything, this is also definitely worth a look.
The incredible zoom range really is useful for shooting a wide variety of subjects and scenarios, while the articulating screen comes into its own when shooting from up high or down low. The addition of the Digic 5 processor has done wonders for the camera, dramatically reducing noise levels and allowing full HD video for the first time.
The EVF is a real let-down, and should only be used infrequently. We would love to see cameras like this be equipped with a raw shooting option, and the art filters could do with a modern update.
For those looking to get started with photography, this is a fantastic, fuss-free choice that will help you learn more about manual controls and different shooting options. It's worth noting that while you can pick up an entry level DSLR, such as the Canon EOS 1100D for around the same price, which will give better image quality overall, you do get the incredible zoom range in a smaller and lighter body that isn't part of a more expensive system.