Canon SX30 vs Leica V-LUX 3
The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS and the Leica V-LUX 3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2010 and December 2011. Both the SX30 and the V-LUX 3 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 12 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 SX30 IS and the Leica V-LUX 3? 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 SX30 and the Leica V-LUX 3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 Leica V-LUX 3 is notably smaller (11 percent) than the Canon SX30. Moreover, the V-LUX 3 is markedly lighter (10 percent) than the SX30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX30 nor the V-LUX 3 are weather-sealed.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429|
|2.||Leica V-LUX 3||124 mm||81 mm||95 mm||540 g||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|3.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|4.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|5.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|6.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|7.||Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429|
|8.||Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|9.||Canon SX20||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Aug 2009||399|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 4||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Sep 2012||949|
|11.||Leica V-LUX 2||124 mm||80 mm||95 mm||520 g||410||n||Sep 2010||849|
|12.||Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|13.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|14.||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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The SX30 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 55 percent) than the V-LUX 3, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX30 offers a higher resolution of 14 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the V-LUX 3. This megapixels advantage translates into a 8 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 1.53μm for the V-LUX 3). Moreover, it should be noted that the V-LUX 3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the SX30, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. 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 Leica V-LUX 3 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica V-LUX 3 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, 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 determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|2.||Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the V-LUX 3 provides a better video resolution than the SX30. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 720/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX30 and the V-LUX 3 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX30 and Leica V-LUX 3 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y|
Both the SX30 and the V-LUX 3 have zoom lenses built in. The SX30 has a 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 optic and the V-LUX 3 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Leica. The SX30 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX30 and the V-LUX 3 write their files to 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 SX30 IS and Leica V-LUX 3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the SX30 and the V-LUX 3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX30 was replaced by the Canon SX40, while the V-LUX 3 was followed by the Leica V-LUX 4. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX30 or the Leica V-LUX 3 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (14 vs 12MP) with a 8% higher linear resolution.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- 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 affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (55 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2010).
Arguments in favor of the Leica V-LUX 3:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 0.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x81mm vs 123x92mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 2 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the V-LUX 3 emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 SX30 and the Leica V-LUX 3 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX30 or the V-LUX 3 perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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 SX30||3/5||+ +||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429|
|2.||Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|3.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|4.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|5.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|6.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|7.||Canon SX40||..||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429|
|8.||Canon T3||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|9.||Canon SX20||..||+ +||73/100||..||4/5||Aug 2009||399|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949|
|11.||Leica V-LUX 2||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849|
|12.||Panasonic FZ200||3/5||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|13.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|14.||Panasonic FZ100||..||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon SX30 vs Leica V-LUX 3
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 SX30||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-840mm f/2.7-5.8||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2|
|Launch Date||September 2010||December 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 949|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX30||Leica V-LUX 3|
|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||14 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4320 x 3240 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.41 μm||1.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||49.86 MP/cm2||42.74 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX30||Leica V-LUX 3|
|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||2.7inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX30||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||0.6 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX30||Leica V-LUX 3|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||YES HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon SX30||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
123 x 92 x 108 mm
(4.8 x 3.6 x 4.3 in)
124 x 81 x 95 mm
(4.9 x 3.2 x 3.7 in)
|Camera Weight||601 g (21.2 oz)||540 g (19.0 oz)|
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