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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.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX30 versus Leica V-LUX 3
Canon SX30 Leica V-LUX 3
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2
14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 6,400) ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.6 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge410 shots per battery charge
123 x 92 x 108 mm, 601 g 124 x 81 x 95 mm, 540 g

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.

Body comparison

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.

Size Canon SX30 vs Leica V-LUX 3
Compare SX30 versus V-LUX 3 top
Comparison SX30 or V-LUX 3 rear

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.

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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 429i
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
3.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
4.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
8.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949i
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
14.
 
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 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.

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Sensor comparison

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.

Canon SX30 and Leica V-LUX 3 sensor measures

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.

SX30 versus V-LUX 3 MP

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.

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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 3240720/30p........
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
3.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
4.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
5.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
8.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
14.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........

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.

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Feature comparison

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.

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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 SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
8.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
The V-LUX 3 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the SX30 does not have a selfie-screen.

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.

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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 SX30 IS and Leica V-LUX 3 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 SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---

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.

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Review summary

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.

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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).

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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.

SX30 07:09 V-LUX 3

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.

Expert reviews

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.

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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 SX303/5+ +..3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
3.
 
Canon SX530..+ +..4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
4.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
8.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
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.

Canon SX30:
Check Ebay offers
Leica V-LUX 3:
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 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.

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    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 Specifications
    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 Technology CCD CMOS
    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 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 Magnification
    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
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 Type NB-7L BP-DC9
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge410 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 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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