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Canon SX10 vs SX30

The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2008 and September 2010. Both the SX10 and the SX30 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX10 has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the SX30 provides 14 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX10 versus Canon SX30
Canon SX10 Canon SX30
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8
10 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
480/30p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 6,400)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.7 shutter flaps per second 0.6 shutter flaps per second
123 x 88 x 87 mm, 600 g 123 x 92 x 108 mm, 601 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX10 and the Canon SX30 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX10 vs Canon SX30
Compare SX10 versus SX30 top
Comparison SX10 or SX30 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX30 is somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Canon SX10. Moreover, the SX30 is slightly heavier (0 percent) than the SX10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX10 nor the SX30 are weather-sealed.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
2.
 
Canon SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429i
3.
 
Canon XC10 125 mm 102 mm 122 mm 1040 g 370 n Apr 2015 2,499i
4.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
5.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
6.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
7.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
8.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
9.
 
Canon SX1 128 mm 88 mm 88 mm 615 g .. n Sep 2008 599i
10.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon 1000D 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
Notes: 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX10 was somewhat cheaper (by 7 percent) than the SX30 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CCD sensors.

Canon SX10 and Canon SX30 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX30 offers a higher resolution of 14 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the SX10. This megapixels advantage translates into a 18 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX30 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.41μm versus 1.67μm for the SX10). However, it should be noted that the SX30 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the SX10, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Canon SX30 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX30 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.6 x 16.2 inches or 54.9 x 41.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.4 x 10.8 inches or 36.6 x 27.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX10 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

SX10 versus SX30 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
2.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
3.
 
Canon XC10 1-inch 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
4.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
5.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
6.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
7.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
8.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
9.
 
Canon SX1 1/2.3 10.0 3648 27361080/30p........
10.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
11.
 
Canon 1000D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SX30 provides a better video resolution than the SX10. It can shoot movie footage at 720/30p, while the SX10 is limited to 480/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX10 and the SX30 are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 202k dots. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX10 and Canon SX30 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon SX10202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
3.
 
Canon XC10none n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 1/2000s 3.8 n Y
4.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
7.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX1202 n 2.8 230 swivel n 1/3200s 4.0 Y Y
10.
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon 1000Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y

Both the SX10 and the SX30 have zoom lenses built in. The SX10 has a 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 optic and the SX30 offers a 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX30 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the SX10. The SX30 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The SX10 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the SX30 uses SDXC cards.

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Connectivity comparison

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 PowerShot SX10 IS and Canon PowerShot SX30 IS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon SX10Ystereomono---2.0---
2.
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
3.
 
Canon XC10YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
7.
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX1Ystereomono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 1000DY-----2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---

Both the SX10 and the SX30 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX10 was replaced by the Canon SX20, while the SX30 was followed by the Canon SX40. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon SX10 better than the Canon SX30 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (0.7 vs 0.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2008).


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (14 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 18%.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (720/30p vs 480/30p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.7 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 11 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX30 is the clear winner of the contest (7 : 2 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX10 02:07 SX30

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX10 and the Canon SX30 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX10 and the SX30 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX10..+ +....4/5 Sep 2008 399i
2.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +..3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
3.
 
Canon XC10....80/100.... Apr 2015 2,499i
4.
 
Canon S120..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
5.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
6.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
7.
 
Canon 1100D..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
8.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
9.
 
Canon SX1..+ ++..3.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
10.
 
Canon 450D..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon 1000D..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX10:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX30:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon SX10 vs Canon SX30

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon SX10 Canon SX30
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8
    Launch Date September 2008 September 2010
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Canon SX10 Canon SX30
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 14 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 4320 x 3240 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.67 μm 1.41 μm
    Pixel Density 35.55 MP/cm2 49.86 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 480/30p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon SX10 Canon SX30
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX10 Canon SX30
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.7 shutter flaps/s 0.6 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX10 Canon SX30
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI YES HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX10 Canon SX30
    Battery Type 4xAA NB-7L
    Body Dimensions 123 x 88 x 87 mm
    (4.8 x 3.5 x 3.4 in)
    123 x 92 x 108 mm
    (4.8 x 3.6 x 4.3 in)
    Camera Weight 600 g (21.2 oz) 601 g (21.2 oz)

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