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Canon SX30 vs Panasonic FZ100

The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2010 and July 2010. Both the SX30 and the FZ100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 14 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX30
versus
Panasonic FZ100
Canon SX30 Panasonic FZ100
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 14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 6,400) ISO 100-1,600 (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 11 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge410 shots per battery charge
123 x 92 x 108 mm, 601 g 124 x 82 x 92 mm, 540 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon SX30 and the Panasonic FZ100 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX30 vs Panasonic FZ100
Compare SX30 versus FZ100 top
Comparison SX30 or FZ100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ100 is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Canon SX30. Moreover, the FZ100 is markedly lighter (10 percent) than the SX30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX30 nor the FZ100 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 429 i
2.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499 i
3.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429 i
4.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549 i
5.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429 i
6.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429 i
7.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
8.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399 i
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949 i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849 i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599 i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the FZ100, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 Panasonic FZ100 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 14 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the SX30 and the FZ100 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. 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 Canon PowerShot SX30 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

SX30 versus FZ100 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i...... ..
3.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p...... ..
4.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.8127 39
5.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.2179 47
6.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p...... ..
7.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
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.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.8114 37
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.9132 40

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the FZ100 provides a better video resolution than the SX30. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, 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 FZ100 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 SX30 and Panasonic FZ100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 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 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.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
The FZ100 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 FZ100 have zoom lenses built in. The SX30 has a 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 optic and the FZ100 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 Panasonic. The SX30 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX30 and the FZ100 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 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.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
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.
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---

Both the SX30 and the FZ100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The FZ100 was replaced by the Panasonic FZ150, 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 and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon SX30 better than the Panasonic FZ100 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS:

  • 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 segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i 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 (11 vs 0.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the FZ100 comes out slightly ahead of the SX30 (6 : 5 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 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 05:06 FZ100

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX30 and the Panasonic FZ100 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX30 or the FZ100 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

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.

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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 429 i
2.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499 i
3.
 
Canon SX530..+ +..4/54/5 Jan 2015 429 i
4.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549 i
5.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429 i
6.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429 i
7.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
8.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399 i
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949 i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849 i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599 i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 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
Panasonic FZ100:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX30 vs Panasonic FZ100

    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 Panasonic FZ100
    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 July 2010
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon SX30 Panasonic FZ100
    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 14 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4320 x 3240 pixels 4320 x 3240 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.41 μm 1.41 μm
    Pixel Density 49.86 MP/cm2 49.86 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 Venus FHD
    Screen Specs Canon SX30 Panasonic FZ100
    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 Panasonic FZ100
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.6 shutter flaps/s 11 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-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 Panasonic FZ100
    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 Panasonic FZ100
    Battery Type NB-7L DMW-BMB9
    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 82 x 92 mm
    (4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    Camera Weight 601 g (21.2 oz) 540 g (19.0 oz)

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