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Canon SX30 vs Panasonic FZ150

The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and August 2011. Both the SX30 and the FZ150 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 Panasonic 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 Panasonic FZ150
Canon SX30 Panasonic FZ150
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 82 x 92 mm, 528 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-FZ150? 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 Panasonic FZ150 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX30 vs Panasonic FZ150
Compare SX30 versus FZ150 top
Comparison SX30 or FZ150 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ150 is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Canon SX30. Moreover, the FZ150 is markedly lighter (12 percent) than the SX30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX30 nor the FZ150 are weather-sealed.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera 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 429i
2.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
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 G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
7.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
8.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
9.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
10.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599i
12.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
14.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX30 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the FZ150, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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 FZ150 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 FZ150. 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 FZ150). Moreover, it should be noted that the FZ150 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 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 Panasonic FZ150 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

SX30 versus FZ150 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.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
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 G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
7.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
8.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
9.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
10.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
11.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
12.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
13.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
14.
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241

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 FZ150 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 range of features. The SX30 and the FZ150 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX30, the Panasonic FZ150, 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.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 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 G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
9.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y
The FZ150 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 FZ150 have zoom lenses built in. The SX30 has a 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 optic and the FZ150 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 FZ150 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-FZ150 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 FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymonomono--mini2.0---

Both the SX30 and the FZ150 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX30 was replaced by the Canon SX40, while the FZ150 was followed by the Panasonic FZ200. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX30 or the Panasonic FZ150 – 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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Arguments in favor 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 segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2010).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150:

  • 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.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 73g or 12 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the FZ150 comes out slightly ahead of the SX30 (8 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX30 07:08 FZ150

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX30 and the Panasonic FZ150 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 FZ150 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
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 G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
7.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
8.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
9.
 
Canon 1100D..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
10.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
12.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
14.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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
Panasonic FZ150:
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 use the search menu 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 FZ150

    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 FZ150
    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 August 2011
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon SX30 Panasonic FZ150
    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
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 40
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 19.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 132
    Screen Specs Canon SX30 Panasonic FZ150
    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 FZ150
    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 Panasonic FZ150
    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 FZ150
    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) 528 g (18.6 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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