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Canon SX30 vs Nikon D3400

The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS and the Nikon D3400 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2010 and August 2016. The SX30 is a fixed lens compact, while the D3400 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX30) and an APS-C (D3400) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24 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 Nikon D3400
Canon SX30 Nikon D3400
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 Nikon F mount lenses
14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 6,400) ISO 100-25,600
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Optical viewfinder
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.6 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge1200 shots per battery charge
123 x 92 x 108 mm, 601 g 124 x 98 x 76 mm, 445 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS and the Nikon D3400? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX30 and the Nikon D3400. 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The D3400 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the SX30 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX30 vs Nikon D3400
Compare SX30 versus D3400 top
Comparison SX30 or D3400 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3400 is notably larger (7 percent) than the Canon SX30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX30 nor the D3400 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX30 has a lens built in, whereas the D3400 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D3400 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429i
2.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
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 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 T3 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.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
11.
 
Nikon D3500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 365 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i
12.
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
13.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
14.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
15.
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599i
16.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
17.
 
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.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 lower price than the D3400, despite having a lens built in. 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 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 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX30 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Nikon D3400 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D3400 is 1211 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the SX30 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D3400 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX30 and Nikon D3400 sensor measures

With 24MP, the D3400 offers a higher resolution than the SX30 (14MP), but the D3400 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.41μm for the SX30) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D3400 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 11 months) than the SX30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 Nikon D3400 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3400 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX30 are 21.6 x 16.2 inches or 54.9 x 41.1 cm for good quality, 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.4 x 10.8 inches or 36.6 x 27.4 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 Nikon D3400 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

SX30 versus D3400 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
2.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
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 SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
6.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
7.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
8.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
11.
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
12.
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
13.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
14.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
15.
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
16.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
17.
 
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 D3400 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

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SX30 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the D3400 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX30, the Nikon D3400, and comparable 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 SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
2.
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
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 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 T3optical 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.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
11.
 
Nikon D3500optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D3200optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX30 and the D3400 write their files to SDXC cards. The D3400 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX30 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Nikon D3400 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.
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
3.
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
7.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D3500Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
12.
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
13.
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
14.
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D3200YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---

Both the SX30 and the D3400 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX30 was replaced by the Canon SX40, while the D3400 was followed by the Nikon D3500. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX30 or the Nikon D3400 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS:

  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D3400 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3400:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 14MP), which boosts linear resolution by 34%.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • 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 (921k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 0.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1200 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 11 months of technical progress since the SX30 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3400 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 6 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 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.

SX30 06:16 D3400

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX30 and the Nikon D3400 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings 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 D3400 perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.
 
Nikon D34004/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
3.
 
Canon SX530..+ +..4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
4.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
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 T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
8.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849i
11.
 
Nikon D3500....75/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i
12.
 
Nikon D56004/5..79/1004.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
13.
 
Nikon D55005/5+79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
14.
 
Nikon D33003/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
15.
 
Nikon D32005/5+ +73/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599i
16.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
17.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX30:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D3400:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 Nikon D3400

    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 Nikon D3400
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2010 August 2016
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon SX30 Nikon D3400
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 14 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4320 x 3240 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.41 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 49.86 MP/cm2 6.55 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 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 EXPEED 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 86
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1192
    Screen Specs Canon SX30 Nikon D3400
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX30 Nikon D3400
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.6 shutter flaps/s 5 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 UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX30 Nikon D3400
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port YES HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX30 Nikon D3400
    Battery Type NB-7L EN-EL14a
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge1200 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 92 x 108 mm
    (4.8 x 3.6 x 4.3 in)
    124 x 98 x 76 mm
    (4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 601 g (21.2 oz) 445 g (15.7 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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