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.
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.
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.
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.
|1.||Canon SX10||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Sep 2008||399|
|2.||Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429|
|3.||Canon XC10||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||370||n||Apr 2015||2,499|
|4.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|5.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|6.||Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429|
|7.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|8.||Canon SX20||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Aug 2009||399|
|9.||Canon SX1||128 mm||88 mm||88 mm||615 g||..||n||Sep 2008||599|
|10.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|11.||Canon 1000D||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||n||Jun 2008||449|
|12.||Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
| DXO |
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.
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.
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.
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.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
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.
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.
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.
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.
|1.||Canon SX10||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||Sep 2008||399|
|2.||Canon SX30||3/5||+ +||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429|
|3.||Canon XC10||..||..||80/100||..||..||Apr 2015||2,499|
|4.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|5.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|6.||Canon SX40||..||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429|
|7.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|8.||Canon SX20||..||+ +||73/100||..||4/5||Aug 2009||399|
|9.||Canon SX1||..||+ +||+||..||3.5/5||Sep 2008||599|
|10.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|11.||Canon 1000D||..||82/100||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449|
|12.||Panasonic FZ100||..||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|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.
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.
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 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 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|
|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 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|
|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|
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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