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Canon SX30 Comparison Review

The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in September 2010 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 14 megapixel.

camera

Is the Canon SX30 a good camera? The SX30 has a Camera Elo of 1135. This rating puts the SX30 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the SX30 also ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 2.5-star performance rating. – Well, the Canon SX30 is more than 11 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2010.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX30
Fixed lens compact camera
24-840mm f/2.7-5.8
14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/30p Video
ISO 100 - 1 600 (100 - 6 400)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.6 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge
123 x 92 x 108 mm, 601 g

Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Canon SX30 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon SX30 vs credit card front
SX30 versus credit card top view
SX30 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon SX30 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons 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 SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429ebay.com
2.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon SX30 was launched in the US market at a price of $429. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.

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Check SX30 offers at
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Canon SX30 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon SX30 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Canon SX30 sensor measures

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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.

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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 SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p19.410.732039
2.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
3.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
4.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
5.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.610.940941
8.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p19.210.522537
10.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
11.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i19.410.730639
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX30 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the SX30 can use is 720/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX30 and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon SX30202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6/s Y Y
2.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX40202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon SX20202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7/s Y Y
10.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The LCD screen on the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD is hinged on the side and can be flipped out for odd-angle shots in both portrait and landscape orientation. Also, this fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment is often appreciated by videographers for its flexibility. Moreover, v-loggers like the design because the screen can be turned to be front-facing.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the SX30

One convenient feature of the SX30 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

Connection 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 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon SX30Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
2.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX40Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
8.
 
Canon 1100DYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX20Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

The SX30 has a zoom lens built in (4.3-151mm f/2.7-5.8), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 840mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Further information on the features and operation of the SX30 can be found in the free online Canon SX30 Manual or on the Canon support site.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the SX30 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +....3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429ebay.com
2.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX40..+....4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 1100D..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX20..+ +..73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +..76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

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Canon SX30 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the SX30.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the SX30?

The camera has a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the SX30 with the DIGIC 4 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the SX30?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.

Does the Canon SX30 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Which battery does the SX30 use?

The camera gets its power from the NB-7L (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review with another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. An 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 Summary
    Camera Model Canon SX30
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8
    Launch Date September 2010
    Launch Price USD 429
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 14 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 320 x 3 240 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.41 μm
    Pixel Density 49.86 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1 600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6 400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 2.7 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    V-logging Friendliness No front-flip
    Touch Input No touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/3200s
    Continuous Shooting 0.6 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port YES HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NB-7L power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 92 x 108 mm
    (4.8 x 3.6 x 4.3 in)
    Camera Weight 601 g (21.2 oz)

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