Canon D30 vs SX540
The Canon EOS-D30 and the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in May 2000 and January 2016. The D30 is a DSLR, while the SX540 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D30) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX540) sensor. The D30 has a resolution of 3.1 megapixels, whereas the SX540 provides 20.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-D30 and the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon D30 and the Canon SX540. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX540 is considerably smaller (39 percent) than the Canon D30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D30 nor the SX540 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX540 has a lens built in, whereas the D30 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D30 and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon D30||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||750 g||540||n||May 2000||2,999|
|2.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|3.||Canon T7||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|4.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|5.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Canon T7i||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|7.||Canon 80D||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|8.||Canon T6||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|9.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|10.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|11.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|12.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|13.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|14.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|15.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|16.||Canon Rebel||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|17.||Canon D60||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||855 g||620||n||Feb 2002||2,999|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX540 was launched at a lower price than the D30, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon D30 features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX540 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX540 is 91 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 5.6. The sensor in the D30 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX540 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX540 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 3.1 MP of the D30. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 10.29μm for the D30). However, it should be noted that the SX540 is much more recent (by 15 years and 7 months) than the D30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX540 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX540 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX540 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon D30 are 10.8 x 7.2 inches or 27.4 x 18.3 cm for good quality, 8.6 x 5.8 inches or 21.9 x 14.6 cm for very good quality, and 7.2 x 4.8 inches or 18.3 x 12.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS-D30 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The SX540 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D30 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX540 can use is 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D30 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX540 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon D30 and Canon SX540 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon D30||optical||Y||1.8 / 114||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Canon SX540||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon T7||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Canon SL2||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon T7i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Canon 80D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Canon T6||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon SX530||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon 40D||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.5/s||Y||n|
|13.||Canon 30D||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Canon 20D||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Canon 10D||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Canon Rebel||optical||n||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||n|
|17.||Canon D60||optical||Y||1.8 / 114||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that is present on the D30, but is missing on the SX540 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The D30 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the SX540 uses SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS-D30 and Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon D30||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon SX540||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon T7||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon SL2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon T7i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon 80D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon T6||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon SX530||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Canon 40D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon 30D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon 20D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon 10D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|16.||Canon Rebel||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|17.||Canon D60||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
It is notable that the D30 has a hotshoe, while the SX540 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon D30 (unlike the SX540) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The SX540 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the D30 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D30 was succeeded by the Canon D60. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon D30 better than the Canon SX540 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon EOS-D30:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (540 versus 205) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2000).
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 3.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 150%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 114k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D30 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x82mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D30).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 15 years and 7 months of technical progress since the D30 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX540 emerges as the winner of the match-up (15 : 13 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon D30 and the Canon SX540 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D30 or the SX540 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon D30||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||May 2000||2,999|
|2.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|3.||Canon T7||..||o||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|4.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||4/5||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|5.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Canon T7i||4.5/5||..||3.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|7.||Canon 80D||4/5||+ +||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|8.||Canon T6||4/5||o||4/5||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|9.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|10.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|11.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|12.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|13.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|14.||Canon 20D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|15.||Canon 10D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|16.||Canon Rebel||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|17.||Canon D60||..||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||2,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Canon D30
- Canon 1D X Mark II vs Canon SX540
- Canon D30 vs Canon T4i
- Canon D30 vs Nikon D2Xs
- Canon D30 vs Olympus E-M1 II
- Canon D30 vs Ricoh GR III
- Canon D30 vs Sony A5100
- Canon M200 vs Canon SX540
- Canon M5 vs Canon SX540
- Canon SX540 vs Fujifilm XF10
- Canon SX540 vs Sony A7 III
- Canon SX540 vs Sony A77 II
Specifications: Canon D30 vs Canon SX540
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon D30||Canon SX540|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||May 2000||January 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 2,999||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon D30||Canon SX540|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.0 x 14.9 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||327.8 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.6 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||3.1 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||2160 x 1440 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||10.29 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||0.95 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Canon D30||Canon SX540|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||114k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon D30||Canon SX540|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||5.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon D30||Canon SX540|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 1.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon D30||Canon SX540|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||540 shots per charge||205 shots per charge|
150 x 107 x 75 mm
(5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||750 g (26.5 oz)||442 g (15.6 oz)|
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