Canon PowerShot SX30 Full Review - Cameras For Photographers
Specifications 2:

Type:
DSLR-Like

Weight (inc. Battery) [?]:
601g

Wide Angle [?]:
24mm

Max. Focal Length [?]:
840mm

Zoom Range [?]:
x35

Sensor Size:
1/2.3"

Low Light Support [?]:
afternoons

Image Stabilization [?]:
Optical

Raw Format Support [?]:
none

Manual Exposure [?]:
yes

Video Resolution [?]:
720p

Optical Zoom In Video [?]:
yes

Stereo Sound [?]:
stereo

Battery Life [?]:
370 shots

Flip Lcd [?]:
flip

Touch Screen [?]:
none

Viewfinder [?]:
electronic

Freeze / Water / Shock - Proof [?]:
no

Dimensions (w-h-d) [?]:
122.9 x 92.4 x 107.7 mm

Macro Distance [?]:
0 cm

Built-in Wireless [?]:
none

Built-in GPS [?]:
none

Direct Video Button [?]:
yes

Panorama [?]:
none

Rank: [?]
43.1

Initial Price:
$439 (change: $0, 0%)

Last Lowest Price:
$439




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Canon PowerShot SX30 - Full Review

Last Lowest Price: $439
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Introducing a (previously) unprecedented x35 zoom, this zoom monster is destined to tear a gash in the super zoom market.
sx30
    
Canon PowerShot SX30 (photos: Canon)
Important Note: the SX30 was replaced by the Canon PowerShot SX40 (compare ).


It features a not-long-ago unbelievable x35 zoom, starting at an extremely wide position of 24mm and a slightly larger lcd than its predecessor, the SX20. On top of that, it inherits all the successful features of the SX20, and includes some new ones.

Spec-wise, it seems like Canon went all-in with a variety of features appealing to the vast majority of potential buyers, including an electronic viewfinder on top of its articulating lcd screen, high resolution video recording with optical zoom, an external flash hot shoe, and point blank Macro capabilities. Bear in mind that it does not have RAW shooting capabilities and that the only low-light support it has to offer is Canon's new Hybrid Stabilization system.

Still, it appears as an impressive piece of equipment, capable of satisfying the enthusiasm of the average zoom-hungry photographer up and beyond the point of a child-like, wide-eyed smile. Now that its price has dropped to $399 or £344, it would be hard to resist for most.

Strengths:
First and foremost, the SX30's strongest card to play is its zoom. At the time of its release, there's just no other camera with such zoom power. People looking for the 'most' or the 'best' will definitely find it hard to resist. This entire zoom power is also available during video for hugely versatile creativity.

The SX30 also features an extreme wide angle starting point, enabling the capturing of expansive scenes, and Macro capabilities allowing you to get as close as you want. Its two other main strong points are an external flash hot shoe, and an articulating LCD screen. Together with Canon's latest features, such as Hybrid Image Stabilization, multiple scene recognitions, and further fun stuff like the new miniature effect, they make a highly versatile and enjoyable package.

Weaknesses:
It is surprising that Canon insists on leaving RAW capabilities out of the mix of the SX30. You would expect to see it included in such a capable camera. I would guess that many potential buyers will hesitate over this, even if they have no intention of ever shooting RAW, due to the fact that competing models do carry RAW up their sleeves. Of course, for the more serious photographers, who actually want to use it, this could be a deal breaker.

Furthermore, the SX30's unfathomable zoom range means some optical compromise. It manages to deliver pretty good image quality throughout the range, but you may expect some understandable color inaccuracies or minor distortions.

The Competition
The strongest competition comes from two cameras. Fuji's HS20EXR (compare ) and Panasonic's FZ100 (compare ). They both have hot shoes and articulating lcd's, but provide smaller zoom ranges than the SX30. However, they do support the RAW format, which the SX30 doesn't.

Panasonic's FZ40 (compare ) is the budget friendly option of this class, offering a decent zoom range and RAW output, but no flip lcd and no hot shoe. As far as Nikon is concerned, their P500 (compare ) is holding the wide angle lens and zoom range titles, as well as a long feature list.

Who is it not for?
If you're looking for a compact camera that would fit in your pocket, even your overcoat pocket - this camera is not for you. If you (rightfully) expect RAW capabilities from a 2010 super-zoom camera, then you should look elsewhere.

Who is it for?
If you want to have the largest zoom available, this is the camera for you. If you're after good image quality and a good photographic experience - the SX30 is a great choice.

Last Lowest Price: $439
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Zoom Capabilities:


Images are shown from the shortest focal length (wide angle) to the longest (telephoto).
Digital Zoom is shown by 'x' factor:


Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




High ISO Performance:


See how the SX30 performs in various ISO sensitivities:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




High ISO Performance - 100% crops:


Here are full size crops of the images above:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




Sample Images (hand held, out of camera, with no post processing):



1/160 sec, f/4.5, 120mm, ISO 80

1/30 sec, f/3.2, 24mm, ISO 80


Rank:

Automatically compared to similar cameras, based on specifications:

Low Light:
 

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Zoom Range:
 

Weight:
 

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Total Rank:
43.1


 

Lineage:

 
 

Canon PowerShot SX30
Canon PowerShot SX30 Eyal Gurevitch June 26, 2012 $439 43.1 100

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