Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Review

October 11, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Tina Edwards

Your review confirms what I thought when this camera was announced - that the combination of the 14MP resolution, the small sensor and the massive zoom range wouldn’t live up to the hype of the promotional videos. It all seemed a bit too good to be true!

4:01 pm - Monday, October 11, 2010

#2 zebarnabe

Yep .... Some overall fuzziness and chromatic aberrations ... not exactly awful (in sharpness/fuzziness), but that zoom is quite on the ‘overdoing it’ level… HS10, P100, FZ100 and now SX30 ... 24-840mm ... that’s a new record ... :]

*ouch* All that purple and green… I guess no chromatic aberration is being corrected on camera… ...or it’s just too much

Well… 15~18x Zoom (24-384mm f/1.8-4.0 ... asking too much) and a 1/1,7” BSI sensor next time, and make it snappy (we don’t like 2s focus times, nor 1fps continuous shooting) ... please?

4:39 pm - Monday, October 11, 2010

#3 abhishek

i jst want to know, should i go for sx20IS or buy sx30IS.i was looking for a semi pro camera. i am nt very interested in having a veryy high only concern is to hav good image quality.please recommend.
please suggest and other semi pro camera(if any) which has a better image quality than the above to mention camera.thanks

8:19 pm - Monday, October 11, 2010

#4 Rob

Fuji S200 EXR is far better

8:27 pm - Monday, October 11, 2010

#5 zebarnabe

Go for a Fujifilm HS10 or a Panasonic FZ100 if you seek 30x or 24x zoom ... HS10 is a bit slugish, but ISO behaviour is quite nice, it also features a manual zoom lens ring, FZ100 is arguably a bit better (it’s hard to tell, since both have their quirks).
They both provide RAW for those situations where a JPEG could be flawed (on high detail photos they both apply some smudginess from noise reduction).

On the extra quality side:
- FZ38 with the less powerful zoom has some extra quality on its pixels.
- Fuji S200 EXR it’s an awesome camera, and while it suffers from chromatic aberrations as well, they are more limited to the corners and ‘feel’ more natural.
A plus is the sharpness and dynamic range, much better than most of bridges (specially dynamic range).
A down side is the less wide and less tele lens, not bad, but cannot beat the 30x lens of those ones in range versatility.

Canon SX20 (i would go for SX10 or, if video must be an option, SX1) or Nikon P100 are other good choices, Nikon macro mode is quite unique (in the good sense)

I don’t know what the purpose you have for the camera, but if you seek quality going DSLR would be better:
- Pentax k-x, with double kit lens, it’s a good bargain, sells around 700$ with the 55-300mm added to the standard kit.

If money is not an issue (but let’s keep it sane):
- Panasonic GH1 with 14-140mm lens (if you’re thinking in video as an option) 28-280mm equivalent, 1000$, add the 100-300mm (equiv. 200-600mm) for 600$ and you have a nice rig… add a 30mm f/1.7 to round the bill to 2000$ :]
- Canon T2i/550D (it has video as well), grab some 70-200mm f/4L lens for massive quality (that pack would cost around 1500$) or some 70-300mm for some trade-off in quality… Sigma or Tamron lens could help avoiding to hurt the wallet too much…

GH2 was just released… idk how good it would be when compared to GH1… for one it costs (or will cost) 1500$ with the same lens and has some extra megapixel, without, supposedly, hurt ISO noise.

There are, obviously, lots of more options for this kind of prices…

My personal suggestion, check OOC (Out Of Camera - not modified) samples on the internet, see the ones you like, try out the camera(s), buy the one that fits your needs (and wallet)... but remember that no camera is perfect….

Good luck…

10:34 pm - Monday, October 11, 2010

#6 Larry

For what its worth, I just bought the Canan S90 a few months ago - it is small, but takes some nice images.  Just another one to consider…

2:55 am - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#7 GJ

Hey everyone,

I’ve been waiting for this review to arrive in a long time. I’ve been eyeing this Canon model (SX30 IS) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100.

After reading this review, I figured that you can’t really compare the 2. I guess being a Canon user, I’ve been attached to the “extra effects” of the camera (i.e color accent, swap etc.)
I am no pro as well but would like to upgrade my old A530 to something worthwhile.

I guess my only concern would be giving up the ease of use & effects of Canon over to better quality photos and videos of the Lumix.

Just wanted to know if the trade-off and features are worth it.


6:24 am - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#8 Joey Wilson

Regardless of the technology provided, I’d still think that the only ‘image stabilisation’ for 840mm is . . . a BIG tripod and a sandbag.

7:46 am - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#9 zebarnabe

Joey Wilson,

“a BIG tripod and a sandbag.”... and don’t forget, both heavy… but that kinda defeats the purpose of having a bridge…

10:08 am - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#10 NoelArmourson

“Joey Wilson,

“a BIG tripod and a sandbag.”... or at least a solid post or fence rail for support and good lighting for fast shutter speed…

I can’t speak for this model, but some image stabilization systems are remarkably effective, though always aided by minimizing the need to use them.

11:06 am - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#11 Rob

For those who need a little and cheap upgrade, maybe a superzoom camera, without spending so much money, check reviews and samples about the Canon SX130. it lacks the EVF (and the super tele), but has a lot less difficulties handling high ISO and noisy shadows..

1:13 pm - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#12 SteveO

“the official price increase puts it into direct competition with [...] entry-level DSLRs [...].”

I had to LOL at this.
Show me a DSLR that can do 24-840mm for the same price as the SX30. Go on, show me. Oh wait, you can’t.

Please stop writing blatant nonsense in you ‘reviews’.

2:50 pm - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#13 zebarnabe

Yes, not for the same price, but also consider that the detail resolved by those 14MP at 840mm may be matched (or even surpassed) by 10MP at 500mm on a DSLR, being just a matter of cropping… sure it isn’t the same thing since a bridge is always more versatile, but a DSLR as a lot more potential…

Lets not forget the lack of contrast, chromatic aberrations and fuzziness of the SX30 lens, specially on the tele-end or the sensor ISO behavior (that is not helped by the lens aperture) ...

At 840mm uses are a bit limited, moon, birds and some wild life are the subjects you can capture with it… but 400mm are enough for that… i have an equivalent of 280mm lens and feel that just a bit more would be enough for those.

Basically the lens on a DSLR are a reusable investment, you can change the body, keeping the lens… or the other way around, getting better lens when the wallet allows it…

But you are right, if, for one, the quality of the photos taken by SX30 is enough, then seeking a DSLR wouldn’t be a waste and SX30 (840mm FTW), FZ100 (not bad), P100 (lovely macro) or HS10 (manual controls FTW) would fit the bill nicely…

4:41 pm - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#14 zebarnabe

Just correcting myself:
“(...) then seeking a DSLR would be a waste (...)”

4:44 pm - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#15 Warren Lyons

Though I don’t own any Canon cameras, I have to say hats off to their marketing department.  At the $400.00 price range they offer models catering to those who seek quantity, (Powershot SX30is), or quality. (Powershot G11).  Personally, I wouldn’t buy either as an only camera.  I think that for less money, the Fujifilm S200exr offers the best combination of both worlds.

8:46 pm - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#16 Ariel

wich one is better,fz100 or canon sx30?i’m not professional but i would like to take good photographs..can somebody answer my question?thanks

9:29 pm - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#17 Doug Sinnott

Still having an old Canon A series camera,says a lot about your inability to maka a decision!
All the recent superzoom “bridge” type cameras would give you much more flexibility,and features,AND picture quality than your current camera.
Just go and try some out,you’d be amazed at their versatility,but be warned,they all have little differences.
In my own case,my Fuji HS10 is slightly slower to use than my previous Panasonic FZ28,but the rear screen is much better,plus a better lens,HD facility,etc.,so the plusses outweigh the negatives,and it’s feels so comfortable to use.
All the cameras mentioned can produce very good A4 prints,which is all most people(assuming they ever print anything),even up to A3,if you can afford a new printer,plus the cost of the paper.
So in the end,as the picture quality is all very similar,whatever camera is affordable to you(and they’re all around £300 or so),and is most suited to your needs,and is the most intuitive for you to use,is the one to buy.
Just do it!

10:45 am - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#18 zebarnabe

I would say the FZ100, but if you don’t need the 24x zoom lens nor lots of manual controls a TZ10 or even TZ7 would fit the bill nicelly (and image would be sharper)...

If the 30’ish zoom is what you’re looking for, look for HS10 and P100 as well, check sample images provided all over the internet (well for SX30 there aren’t many) and see if that pleases you… ...if possible try the camera before buying it…

Keep in mind the differences in the feature sets of each camera, for example:
TZ10 has GPS tagging,
HS10 has a bunch of gimmicks (like 10fps 7 photo burst, or high speed video),
P100 has a very nice macro mode,
SX30 has the 35x lens,

Also some cameras, HS10 is one of them, are particularly sluggish ...

But if you seek quality, Canons G11 or S95 would be better, they don’t have all that zoom - and are not that good in video - but are a lot more sharp and fairly good with ISO behavior… you have access to DSLR like options and if you go DSLR they can become backup cameras without having an huge break in quality.

If you’re thinking in photography seriously… go DSLR… Pentax K-x is the best bargain camera around there.. or if you don’t like them big, check micro four thirds or NEX cameras (the last ones are a bit too small)...

11:12 am - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#19 Daniel

Hi zebarnabe,

i need your suggestion, i am confused with sx20 and p100.
i like to take macro shots,sx20 has super macro mode but p100 have only macro mode, so would you please suggest which of these have better image quality…..looking forward for your reply….thnx

11:57 am - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#20 Mike


I am not sure of how you can recommend FZ100 over Canon SX30 IS?
Look at the contrast, sharpness, and clarity of picture overall.

2:15 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#21 zebarnabe

The names like, ‘super macro mode’ or just ‘macro’ mode are a bit of marketing naming, the actually performance varies a lot when focusing on close subjects…

I cannot tell you which one is better, P100 is more recent and looks more versatile, but SX20 lens are less greedy… in overall sharpness SX20 has an obvious advantage…

Unfortunately, PB image samples are a bit lacking on that matter…

Talking in macro alone, one thing that i know is that P100 is sharper on macro mode than on ‘normal’ mode…

Best thing is to check samples for yourself… there are lots of websites that have them… when talking about macro, seek pictures with full resolution since, in macro, cropping can be only useful if there is some good detail at pixel level…

Also don’t forget, the 58mm thread on SX20 IS allows you to attach a Raynox DCR-250 filter… and with it macro gets a LOT more fun ...

If it was me, i would go for SX20 IS + Raynox DCR-250 ...

flickr link (not mine) for a nice sample:

2:31 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#22 zebarnabe

PS: That last sample is from a SX10 ... :( ... SX10 is a bit sharper than SX20 ... but lacks video features…

2:32 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#23 Daniel


thnx for response…i want to ask few more question :D
i am just a beginner in photography field, but from past few months i am regularly reading the photography articles…
from that i came to know that, if i want to capture fast moving object, then i need to increase the shutter speed to prevent the blur.
can i do the same thing with these cameras like sx20 ?

p100 have continuous shooting option but i need to fix my cam to this mode…i think if i directly click the moving object without setting it to conti. mode then image will go blur…..

and how much this RaynoxDCR cost?

3:18 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#24 Mike

Raynox DCR-250 is $59.95 from Amazon

3:22 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#25 Mike

Ugh I dont knwo what to do .. I wanted to save money and go with the Canon sx30 is but now I am leaning more towards the Canon rebel t2i

I just keep thinking that if I go the SLR way than it will become a very expensive hobby ...

3:48 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#26 zebarnabe

Those shots on DPReview forum, show issues from both cameras… even at the lower resolution they are visible…

For one, i hate SX30 chromatic aberrations ... they are quite bad and quite visible…

FZ100 sharpness drops considerably on corners at some focal lengths (wide specially) ... but SX30 is not quite sharp in any zone of the picture, at least at full-tele or near full-tele zoom…

Look at pic_8 ... you will see most of SX30 issues in there…

Both cameras apply different parameters to create the image… FZ100 colors are more saturated… in this case this could be good or bad, since they look more pleasing, but colors are less accurate…

RAW would give the best comparison…

SX30 also tends to over expose the image, that is why most of SX30 are brighter and have clipped highlights… but that is easily corrected when taking the shot…
FZ100 under exposes… not exactly ideal either…

FZ100 has one issue that is similar to HS10, albeit not so severe, sometimes there is an unexpected smudginess from jpeg processor engine…

It’s really hard to tell which one is the best since there are few samples in similar conditions through all the focal length and at different apertures, but given the 35x vs 24x zoom, it is expected to have better quality on a 24x zoom ...

ISO behavior is not exactly good in any of them, yellow blotches on panasonic sensor are mostly painful ... so in this case Canon seems to have a lead…

If one is interested in any of those super ultra bridge zooms, i suggest they check the samples and see what pleases them most ...

3:59 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#27 zebarnabe

@Mike (#26):
Canon T2i/550D + 15-85mm EF-S lens it’s an awesome combo…. quite versatile as well..

Later you can buy some 70-200mm or 70-300mm to fit most of tele needs…

Sure ... the hole thing might reach the 2000$ barrier ... :[

When deciding between HS10 and DSLR i went for DSLR, since i wanted to keep it bridge sized i went for the GH1 with the 14-140mm ... later i brought 20mm f/1.7 for those less illuminated occasions :]

4:05 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#28 Mike

Some more photo comparison for the SX30…

4:08 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#29 zebarnabe

“if i want to capture fast moving object, then i need to increase the shutter speed to prevent the blur.”

Yep .... to increase shutter speed you need to reduce exposure time (obvious here) and increase apperture size (smaller f value) or/and light sensitivity (ISO) ...

Cameras that offer full manual controls allow you to set any shutter speed within camera limits…

This is often called PASM modes… Program, Apperture, Shutter Speed, Manual… the mode wheel on the cameras often has them on this order… SX20 has them as PTAM (where T stands for Time of exposure i suppose)

ISO is set automatically, except for Manual, but you can override it by defining it from Auto to a given value
In Program you control the relation between Aperture and Shutter Speed,
The other ones give you control of what they have as name, being the rest controlled by camera…

So ... Yes, SX20 can froze motion, but you may have to pump ISO and get noise in the way if the light is not enough… On a sunny day, you can froze the movement of someone throwing stones to water quite easily ... but, on a stadium at night with some motorbikes doing some acrobatics, don’t expect it to get that well….

4:15 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#30 Mike

Thanks zebarnabe!

I am trying to justify to myself spending the $$$ for the SLR :)

On that last link I posted for the SX30 photos, I see quite more detail on the SX30 than any of the other cameras.

The other advantage to this camera beside the lower price is that I dont need to switch lenses or adjust focus, exposure, etc… when traveling and taking photos.
I currently have the Panasonic ZS5 and is a nice camera, but since my girlfriend dropped it has been having hard time auto-focusing, so I thought I get a new camera; something better maybe…

Have you also looked into the FujiFilm F300EXR?

Thanks for the replies!

4:22 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#31 zebarnabe

@Mike (#29),

Nice samples… at longer end of the zoom, SX30 resolves the detail quite well, beating pretty much any other bridge…

The first of those samples on the page of the thread you gave, looks like there is a bit of shaken on it (since when lens do their ‘unsharpness’ it looks radial and not linear)

But the other photos, show SX30 behaving really well at long end of the zoom…

It also seems that with both at the long end of the zoom, SX30 manages better sharpness (similar composition, different focal lengths )... hmmm ... nice…

So ... If you really need the 600~840mm range and what you’re shooting doesn’t have high contrast areas, SX30 it’s the beast to get…

Well.. given the samples here at PB, could it be that the lens have some quality control issues…

I would wait for more samples where the whole range of situation (macro, low light, wide, etc) could be effectively compared… Also ... FZ100 has RAW ... that puts another variable to the test…

What a mess… :D ... go DSLR… then it’s just a matter of lens quality, size ... and wallet…

4:47 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#32 zebarnabe

@Mike (#31),

Hmm .. the F300EXR has similar chromatic aberration issues :[ ... this is a lens issue, EXR sensors are usually quite nice…

On that form factor ... you can go and select S95 to top quality, or go for something like TZ10, TZ7, TZ6 or TZ5 (all panasonic… check their rivals, some are worthy)

Check the samples of the cameras you think to have a nice feature set, pick a few you like, check PB and other websites online and try the one you think it’s best… if you like what you get, keep it ... :]

4:54 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#33 Doug Sinnott


You’re developing into a right pixel peeping knowall!
An expert on every camera there is,with an obvious leaning towards Canon!
Most of the sample pictures on these reviews displaying noise or chromatic abberations have to be viewed at 100% or bigger on your PC screen to see these image abberations.At normal sizes it disappears.
What does that matter anyway?
99% of contributors to these forums don’t print images that big anyway,(assuming they print anything)and at normal print sizes such supposed faults would not be noticed by any viewers of your prints,unless,of course,they’re “zenarbe”,complete with magnifying glass.!
How often does anyone comment that your prints are really nice,but spoilt only by signs of chromatic abberation in the top left hand corner?
No one would seriously argue that a DSLR can produce better larger prints,or is quicker to use,BUT they’re bulkier,more expensive,and the supplied lenses are of limited use.
“Bridge” cameras still capable of some excellent results,can tackle all subjects,near and far,and are better at macro,and much more portable,hence their continuing popularity.

6:27 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#34 zebarnabe

@Doug Sinnott,

I actually prefer Panasonic ‘brains’ (older ones… these new have their issues) and sigma foveon sensors >_> ...

For small prints, you are correct. For a ‘family’ camera that is also accurate. There is no need for a DSLR for most of those, it’s just a matter of defining how good is good, that’s why i suggest people to check samples and view them for themselves…

Not all people are equal, some would find a 1.3MP mobile phone shot printed at 6x4 enough (not joking)

But Canon SX30 IS cromatic aberrations are visible in small prints, right from the center, and for some fuzziness as well! Also if you crop a picture is PP, any image defect will be more visible…  yes ... you need to have certain conditions to get the worst (or the best) of a camera, but it’s always good to know with what we can count…

And yet, the sharpness at 840mm is rather impressive…

Price wise, for someone who seeks something more towards family events, personal mementos, bridges are perfect… but then again… 840mm is a bit overkill (but is always good to have it anyway)

If one is seeking something more ... they may fail to deliver it… a good example of that is a friend of mine who brought an Olympus SP-800UZ, just to complain about it and how bad it was… i suggested him a Pentax K-x with the dual kit that reaches 450mm ... that fit the bill for him…

I have a micro43 camera (GH1), it’s roughly the same size of a bridge with the 10x zoom lens… a bit heavier… surely a lot more expensive…

It’s nothing wrong with knowing the options, pros and cons of each, accepting the compromises is up to the person who wants the camera ...

Bridges win in versatility (big zoom range at a flick of a finger), size, weigh and price…

DSLR win in quality, speed, and ... versatility (tons of lens from where to choose)

That kinda reminds me… why should i care? Just let the people get whatever they think is right for them… ...the wisest will search for samples, feature usage and issues… and not let themselves being blindly guided by someone on the internet…

Good luck with your search, i’ll contain myself of commenting any further ...

8:22 pm - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#35 Daniel

thnx zebarnabe for replying….

9:19 am - Thursday, October 14, 2010

#36 Jono

Thanks to all who have contributed so far!  I have a birthday coming up and if I suggest to my wife that I would like to have the SX30, will I find myself sleeping on the couch having made a terrible mistake?!

Seriously, if not the SX30 what would you suggest that is broadly similar (specs and price-wise), for an ordinary holiday / family photographer like me.

1:50 pm - Thursday, October 14, 2010

#37 doug sinnott

You do make some obvious comments,I.E suggesting to a friend that a DSLR with a couple of lenses would outperform an Olympus “bridge” camera.
Of course it will,but it will be heavier,more expensive,etc.,etc.,you know all the pros and cons,as everyone should by now!
I think you’ve made the right decision to not make any more comments,at least for now!
Why don’t people make a shortlist,and a budget,and just go out to their camera shop,and see what suits them best.
Before the Internet that’s what we all did after all.
These days people seem to be scared to buy a camera,in case there’s something better on the way!They spend their time trawling sites like this,and ending more confused than when they started!
I personally think cameras are getting too complex for a lot of buyers,and they’re getting function “overkill”

And Jono

Stupid comment of the week!
How can you make a “terrible mistake” buying a Canon SX30,or any of the current crop of “superzooms” come to that?
You’re not gambling the family home,or selling your children after all.
It’s only a camera!
It’s a great superzoom,and will be more than adequate for a keen amateur.
The only mistake you could make is spending too much!

3:21 pm - Thursday, October 14, 2010

#38 Mike

Well, i started looking at the Canon SX30 is and now I am stuck at the Cannon Rebel T2i with a Canon EF 28-135mm IS USM Standard Zoom Lense.

I have $250 credit from Amazon so I can get the whole package for $912.06… yeah I know it’s a different price range from what SX30 would have cost me $179.00…

So the question is should I pay extra $833 and get the D-SLR? Ugh….

I like taking photos, but I am not sure of how much time I’ll have on my hands to go and shoot around with my T2i so it can make sense shelling all that cash..

Sorry to bother you guys with this stuff.
I appreciate zebarnabe’s comments but doug does make a point that “The only mistake you could make is spending too much!”


3:34 pm - Thursday, October 14, 2010

#39 jono

Doug Sinnot

Thanks for the advice!  With the South African rand strengthening against the US$ I should be able to find the SX30 at a reasonable price.

5:36 pm - Thursday, October 14, 2010

#40 Doug Sinnott

Yes,pay more for the DSLR by all means,if you are going to become serious about your photography,want to produce some produce some really big prints,and don’t mind the extra bulk.
This bulk can be a drawback on holidays,as sometimes you just don’t feel like lugging the extra weight around,and you wish you had something smaller instead.
If you mainly shoot travel shots whilst on holiday
or pictures of your family,or wildlife,while out on walks in the country,and are unlikely to print bigger than 10x8,and want somethingt you can take anywhere,then the SX30 should do fine.

5:39 pm - Thursday, October 14, 2010

#41 Natalie

from all the reviews sx30 seems good for me. But some one please tell me what is the difference between CMOS censor and CCD censor, many cams are having the CMOS censor like p100, HS10 and many DSLR’s but sx20 and sx30 comes with CCD.
so, what will be the difference in image quality if i am using CCD?

7:53 am - Friday, October 15, 2010

#42 zebarnabe

Short answer: No.

Long answer:
Nowdays there isn’t much of difference… In the past most good cameras had CCD as it proved to be less noisy… Today, since quality is mostly the same, there is a tendency to CMOS sensors number to increase as they are cheaper to make…

CCDs are prone to pixel bloom, where a read out channel of the sensor gets overflowed, making vertical or horizontal stripes, this is less likely to happen with modern sensors…

CMOS are prone to more noise at lower ISOs (but often lower noise at higher) ... this was also improved with modern generations of sensors…

9:42 am - Friday, October 15, 2010

#43 Natalie

thanks zebarnabe for reply….ooo now i come to know why sx20 is costly than p100, because of censor.but p100 have more feature than sx20.
i dont think their is any big difference in sx20 and sx30 except zoom and battery. now i am thinking of sx20. i am confused now….sx20 or sx30 or HS10 or p100

12:42 pm - Friday, October 15, 2010

#44 zebarnabe

Check the samples you have for all of them…. see the ones you like more, check the camera (at the very least the ergonomics) on the store…

If possible, search in photography foruns for issues, samples and other related stuff…

HS10 has manual zoom, this can be seen as good or bad… same goes for the AA’s it uses

Spec wise, SX30 can zoom a lot more than SX20 (good for birds)...
Also it can focus really close (good for tiny subjects like bugs)...

But, as i said before, suffers from some issues on image quality… check the samples to see if the quality provided is good enough…

Remember that when checking 1:1 on screen those 14MP will make stuff bigger (image defects - noise, aberrations, etc - will appear bigger, but in reality they are not as big as if it was from a 10MP picture)... so check the pictures at a identical size to have an idea (for examples match pictures’ height with your screen’s height)... my browser does that and i have to click on image to see it at 1:1

Good luck :]

2:25 pm - Friday, October 15, 2010

#45 Derek

I am looking for a little assistance.  I am looking for a camera that has great zoom, a little better picture quality than my little cannon P&S, takes great video (instead of carrying a video camera also), can take action shots (my little guy playing baseball, hockey, soccer, etc.) and is easey to use.  I am going to Disney World and I want to bring 1 camera for video & pictures.

I noticed last time I went to Disney I never used my video camera because it was a pain to switch back and forth.  I also believe this would be true with lense switches with DSLR.

I am thinking the SX30IS would be perfect all round camera but I am looking for anyone elses feedback to see if I am missing something or if I should be looking at some other camera.

Thank you in advance for your help, it is appreciated.

2:33 pm - Friday, October 15, 2010

#46 Natalie

but sx20 can also focus on tiny objects. both cams (sx20,30) are having super macro mode through which i can focus objects from distance of 0 cm.

2:37 pm - Friday, October 15, 2010

#47 Doug Sinnott

This is my last contribution!
It’s too much hard work,it just goes round in circles! Aren’t some people indecisive?
The same questions by people who seem incapable of reading camera reviews,or instruction books,or indeed,making an informed decision to go out and buy anything,and despite help and feedback from experienced people like zenarbe and others,including myself,it all just seems to fall on stony ground.
Don’t bother zenarbe!
Get a life!

3:01 pm - Friday, October 15, 2010

#48 yin shan


you are a good man. keep helping other people. its a good cause, your suggestions are really helpful.
thankyou from every one :)

3:12 pm - Friday, October 15, 2010

#49 zebarnabe

@Yin shan,

Doug is right about people being indecisive.

I guess i shouldn’t bother about helping (or trying to), but it’s in my nature to help others when i can… ...i believe everybody should help each other when possible

... But please, don’t expect someone to be always right or to give the best tips… ...don’t just accept the fish, but learn how to fish as well.

On a side note, most of people misread/write most of my nicknames (i can remember of at least 3 of them that are quite hurt by that), i’m used to it and i really don’t care :]

4:27 pm - Friday, October 15, 2010

#50 yin shan

i salute you zebarnabe

may i see some pics captured by you?will you please share them on picasa or any where else.

4:42 pm - Friday, October 15, 2010

#51 zebarnabe

I usually dump stuff i test to flickr:

Some of the older stuff was taken using a mobile phone..

Currently i’ve been playing with post-processing, composition and bokeh…

It has a 1024x768 size limit, so don’t expect print quality… but is more than enough for web view.

I also has a picasa account, but only mobile phone shots there, some photos can be found on both picasa and flickr, others just in one side… i use picasa when i want to send a photo to someone (some folders are private), and flickr when i want to share it…


On flickr i often add details on description about how i achieved a given effect on the photo… hope it helps someone ...

5:13 pm - Friday, October 15, 2010

#52 clif

I just got back from the airport with my Fuji HS10 and it beat the pants off of the sx20 I just sold to buy the HS10. The pictures from the SX20 were just too soft and showed little detail on the planes in the air. With the HS10 you could almost read the small decals on the aircraft. I looked at the sx30 over at Shutterbug and came away disappointed. The zoom was not very responsive, sometimes did not want to work at all and the autofocus was very slow. I took some pictures of posters in the mall and when blown up on the screen were very soft and hard to read any small print. They use a very expensive battery, like $42.00 at the store. Still a small screen in comparison to others. HS10 has a very nice 3 inch screen. The power zoom is slow but with the HS10 you crank it right there like a DSLR. The build quality of the HS10 is a lot more robust and has a big firm hand grip. I think it used to be a lot easier to buy a camera before the internet because a lot of opinions are abviously biased or written by the competition. We all have different likes and dislikes so the best thing to do is go out and handle the cameras, see which fits your hands best take a few pictures, look at them, do you like manual zoom or power zoom and go on from there, and don’t read these things so much.

10:56 pm - Saturday, October 16, 2010

#53 Mike the "K" Man

I just purchased the new SX30is a few days ago and put it up against my SX20is I’ve owned for 8 months now. I took dozens of shots with both cameras on the same subjects in various ranges and lighting conditions.  With both cameras on equal settings (auto or programmable manual) the SX20is won in picture color reproduction quality and fine detail.  It seemed he SX30 is had trouble dealing with red / burgandy colors (making them look more light/dark brown) and greens (making them lighter in the pics than they really are).  Yes, the effective zoom is greater than the SX20is, BUT only slightly.  Surprisingly, photos from the SX20is at 80X digital zoom were croppped and enlarged to compare with anything the SX30is had to over from 35X-140X and STILL the color and detail quality was better in the SX20is shots. 
  Suffice to say, I didn’t have a chance to try out the HD video.  At that point, poorer image quality at a premium price had me itching to return the new SX30is for a full refund.
  The SX30is has since been returned and now I hold a greater appreciation for my SX20is!

12:48 am - Sunday, October 17, 2010

#54 Mike B

If you want a light weight ‘super zoom’ camera then go for the Panasonic FZ100.

If you want a light weight camera with better IQ, and can afford it, then go for the panasonic GH1 (or GH2).

If you don’t have the money and can ditch the need for a long zoom, go for the Panasonic G10 (forget the GF1 and Sony NEX-3 or Olympus PEN as you only get a 50g to 80g weight saving but gain lots of compromises).


5:34 pm - Sunday, October 17, 2010

#55 Derek

@ anyone

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on my original post.

I have done so much research reading reviews & articles for the last 6 months, including reading this review and all the comments. I want to make sure I am getting the right camera.
P100- has noisy zoom in hd movie recording mode so it sucks
HS10 -  same issue as the p100

Any thoughts are appreciated
Thank you.

6:15 pm - Sunday, October 17, 2010

#56 rich

I have the SX20IS, having upgraded from an old S2IS a few months back. I have noted the overexposure issue.  I think Canon continues to go for megapixel gold since that is easier to sell to the average consumer than image quality.

In order to compensate for too many pixels on too small a sensor, I set my camera on 8Mp rather than 12, and it seems to have taken away a lot of the “fuzziness” that some folks have reported.

10:36 pm - Sunday, October 17, 2010

#57 zebarnabe


HS10 isn’t noisy (well… it can be), but since it’s manual and it’s not very smooth on rotation it can be a hell to use, making zooming not smooth making the video jumpy when zooming…. of course, this is user dependent…

Most users don’t need more than 6MP unless they are postprocessing by cropping.

Megapixel race after 12MP starts to have many issues on my opinion, because lens optics must be more perfect to avoid the detection from sensor extra resolve power… fuzziness, soft focus and other effects are usually due to lens or jpeg processor unit (when more MPs mean more noise)

Setting to 8MP if you don’t need more is more than wise as it will give you more space on memory card :]

8:32 am - Monday, October 18, 2010

#58 Rich G

There is a compromise in every super zoom. Like to compare the software adjusted results. No buy decision yet with new models almost everyday. Waiting for more reviews of the Sony A55. Technology looks like a game changer.

7:28 pm - Monday, October 18, 2010

#59 Thomas

What the hell was done with the second picture (the one with the blck cab and bus)?
Either the miniature effect was on or the picture was edited… Anyway, such thing should obviously not be done, except if it were to proposedly show the miniature mode result (which was not explicited anywhere so far). Well, so what is the explanation? (question to reviewer)

10:21 pm - Monday, October 18, 2010

#60 zebarnabe

Yep ... I suppose it was “Miniature Effect”, in the camera it’s a software trick, but it would be more interesting if sensor was really tilted :] - gawd, imagine that feature on a premium compact like LX5, S95 or G12 - i guess there is a patent for that…

They did not review shooting modes… there is a bunch of them… so, i wonder as well, what’s with that picture? Is it the “Miniature Effect”?

10:55 pm - Monday, October 18, 2010


I have taken test pictures with the HS10, this camera and the Olympus P800UZ in a highstreet store inside and outside, and the Olympus was sharper and clearer than the other 2.
I bought the SP800 for a safari trip and many many shots were at 30x zoom without a tripod. We got some fantastic shots and have blown up and framed a couple, they were very sharp, really pleased. The SP800, i have seen selling for around £180 on ebay, so if your budget is tight, dont rule it out. It does not have many manual controls, but is light and easy to carry around and the stabilzing system works well. The low light capability is not brilliant, it loves strong light, but keep the ISO below 400 (50 to 100 gives really good results) and you get some great shots.Video is very very good as well, but cant zoom if you have the sound on, strange i know, look on this forum for reviews on the olympus camera and my links to flicker with the comparison pictures. cheers tim

11:27 pm - Friday, October 22, 2010

#62 tim777jet

link look right at the end for comparison picture links

11:35 pm - Friday, October 22, 2010

#63 Mike Mario

Thanks for getting a full review out so fast.
This super zoom ‘war’ is getting crazy.  I bet a tiny tiny percentage of photos are taken beyond about 10x optical zoom.  Maybe bird and wildlife photographers will find a use for the extreme range?
The purple fringing looks just like the Olympus super zooms did about 8 or 10 years ago!  And why a 14mp sensor when Canon have sensibly used a 10mp sensor in the G11 and S90/95?  Sorry if I sound grumpy but I even find the zoom range on my Panasonic FZ35 more than I need.

8:42 am - Monday, October 25, 2010

#64 Geoff

I’ve been considering the following for photograghy walking in mountains and skiing
The Canon SX30is SX20is Panasonic FZ100 and Panasonic TZ10 I have also considered the P100 and HS10.
The reason the tz10 is in the list is that it is very handy to put in a pocket whereas all the others are quite bulky and would need to go in a bag on my back and would be less convinient on a chair lift for instance?
Any constructive advice regarding best for snow and long range mountain views

1:08 pm - Thursday, October 28, 2010

#65 Warren Lyons

In a previous comment on this camera, I stated that I would not buy either the SX30is, or its polar opposite, The G11, as an only camera, prefering instead, a Fujifilm finepix s200exr.  Last week I did buy the SX30is, and am quite pleased with it, while at the same time, aware of its limitaions;  poor low light performance, (like any small, high zoom optical instrument, purple fringing of buildings, and sometimes awkward focusing.  It does take impressive landscape, foliage, and seaside shots at the 14 megapixel setting.  Depending on one’s needs, I do suggest a backup, when the extended zoom is not needed, and depending on one’s budget and needs, that could be a premium point and shoot, a entry level DSLR like the Pentax KX, or a micro 4/3 camera from Olympus or Samsung

5:02 pm - Friday, October 29, 2010

#66 geoff

Thanks in the context of what you said earlier I presume you have something else to fill the quality gap why else would you buy a camera you you said you would not buy. I think I had already written out the SX30is and was moving towards the FZ100 or the TZ10. The revue here for the Fujifilm finepix SX200 exr campares very well with the FZ100 while being 3/4 the price. I do like the feel of canon cameras and the SX 20is seems well built and there should be some bargains about as it has been outzoomed? I do fancy a long zoom but 18 to 20 times is certainly enough to shoot mountains, they can,t run after you can they?

Incidently C J if you read this dont take the jibes about you canon A540 to heart, I’m a Canon A700 user, its supposedly so ugly no respectable snapper would be seen dead with it but I get some really nice shot even straight into the sun.

8:08 pm - Friday, October 29, 2010

#67 Warren Lyons

Geoff; if you are referring to my previous comment, I noted that I wouldn’t buy either the sx30is or the G11 as an ONLY camera.  I tried to find a fujifilm s200exr but had no luck.  At the present time, I have two other cameras; a kodak easyshare z950 and a Nikon coolpix P80.  both take excellent outdoors shots, as long as you don’t zoom them to their respective limits (10x and 18x).  Neither take great flash pictures, but 90% of my photography involves landscapes, boating, wildlife, and other outdoors activities. When my expenses subside, I probably will get a micro 4/3 camera as my “sidearm” while using the canon sx30is for “sniper” work

9:00 pm - Friday, October 29, 2010

#68 Becca

Okay, so I have to admit, when I first saw this camera I got very very excited about finding the possible perfect camera.
I have been in the phase of possibly looking for a new camera for a couple months now but honestly, don’t know where to begin really.
I currently use a Kodak Z1012 IS (12X Optical IS Zoom and 10.1 MP). I bought it about 7 months after its release and have been pretty happy with it. However, it is coming to a time where I just want more out of a camera.
One huge use I want to be able to get out of it is being able to get great pictures of live music events. I have been right up front on the barrier of concerts and gotten great pictures with my Kodak - but if it wasn’t for being so close, they wouldn’t be so great… I want to be able to get good pictures even if I’m not right in front of a stage. In some of these situations, there will be a lot of darkness and contrast with light shows and what not going on up on the stage (and quickly changing light).
Not only with that I’d like to be able to do good photography of people, wildlife, landscapes, etc. I pretty much use it across the border.
I’m not a professional photographer and am aware of this, but I love it and hope to keep climbing up this little ladder of experience.
The catch of my dilemma is that it can not be an SLR camera. Only because a lot of the photography I’ll be doing will be in situations where I will not be allowed to have an SLR (only hired professionals will be able to do that).
Sorry for the long question, thank you!

7:17 pm - Sunday, October 31, 2010

#69 Becca

And the question was obviously… if not this camera (and with the lack in total quality, I’m assuming it probably isn’t this camera…) What cameras would you suggest I purchase for my given uses? Thank you! -Becca

7:19 pm - Sunday, October 31, 2010

#70 Warren Lyons

Becca, you are about as likely to find a “perfect” camera for all purposes as you would find a perfect husband for all prospective wives, or vice versa.  Like yourself, i do outdoors photography, often of distant landscapes, and have been, for the most part, delighted with the results of my SX30is.  I do find that its performance in low light settings is poor if you put it in the Auto mode.  There are more than enough manual options to compensate.  My suggestion is to get the SX30 when you need the zoom, a quality pocket camera for purse or pocketbook, and a micro 4/3 model for everything in between.  you might also consider getting an sx20 or Panasonic FZ38.  You give up a bit of zoom for better image quality and low light performance

7:36 pm - Monday, November 1, 2010

#71 marberfa

I will not waste your time on technical issues as most who read these reviews are at least acquainted with them. Ultimately, most decision-making is subjective, anyway. That said, here’s what works for me at present:

I have yet to find a bridge camera that matches the SX10 for overall goodness, and I’ve tried most of them. Even the non-HD video provides beautiful quality…and doesn’t fill up your flash memory card.

I have also carried an SX210 since June. Its 28-392mm lens is truly a “pocketful of miracles;” quirky, but immensely capable if one has the intelligence and patience to master it. It also has the 720 video that the SX10 lacks, and conforms to pretty much the same controls regime as the SX10, 20 and 30.

If you can find an SX10, buy it, and for carrying around in your pocket, get an SX210…so many twits have trashed the thing, it’s selling for nearly $100 less than its original price. If I were allowed to own just one camera, this would be it.

8:11 pm - Monday, November 1, 2010

#72 Michael Gardiner

Tried this camera in a store, and liked it so much, I bought it. Now I have it home and have done some experimental shooting, I’m convinced this is a really nice point-shoot device, it’s not a DSLR despite the fact that it looks like one. The zoom feature is pretty nicely sorted, with a good usable range. Video quality is less than perfect, but hey, if you want good video, buy a video camera! Controls are simple, the ergonomics are reasonably good too. I like the wheel for manual focus, great for macro work. Incidentally, this lens is great for close picture taking, if that’s what you are into. There have been comments about noisy pictures at certain focal lengths. My only response to this is that no single lens can promise to do it all for every situation, and at this price range frankly you are not going to get the perfect picture all the time. Spend more money and get better camera and a selection of lenses!

I’d rate this as a decent camera, and consider my money well spent, as it’s now occupying the #2 slot in my stable. Perfect for someone who wants good versatility, at an affordable price.

10:26 am - Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#73 kickass


3:56 pm - Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#74 Herman

Which camera of the SX30 and its competition has the fastest flash? (Or fastest flash “loading” times”). I have an old Sony H2 and take many photos with the flash on and the delays between shots are just killing me! I lose many valuable shots (especially taking photos of kids). So how do they compare? Especially the P100 vs Sx30 and Sx20. Thanks

8:49 am - Thursday, November 4, 2010

#75 Mike

Herman, I have had the opportunity to try all 3 cameras.  The Canon SX30is, the Nikon P100, and the SX20is (that I currently own).

The Nikon P100 is the quickest of the bunch powering on aswell as processing times between shots.  It also shoots more frames per second than the Canons.  I didn’t like the IS system, the HD video quality, and the semi-swivel LCD.

IMO, the SX30is is only useable for it’s wide angle and it’s 35X zoom.  It has the CRAPPIEST picture quality when I compared it to the photos I took with the other 2 cameras. 

In terms of the most solid performer of the three, I picked (and still own) the SX20is.  The other 2 went back to where I bought them from.

8:04 am - Friday, November 5, 2010

#76 Chuck

I recently bought a SX30IS to replace a SX120IS. As I liked some of the features it had to offer. I have been a Canon fan for years. Point and shoot is basically where I’m at. Anyway, the camera went back fairly quickly as the pictures were so bad as to be unusable.Maybe I just got a bad Camera. Can anyone recommend a suitable all-in-one camera. A viewfinder is a must, 10-12 Mp, 15x zoom more than enough. Two features on the SX30 I really liked were the one button to video and the zoom back-off for following moving objects. I don’t want to get into DSLR or changable lenses. I’d appreciate suggestions. Thanks

8:17 pm - Saturday, November 6, 2010

#77 Coop

Someone earlier in the thread was tossing up about the T2i/550d. I went from the SX1is to the 550d, the image quality, even with the kit lens is quite simply not comparable, thumbs up to the 550d . . BUT . . one thing I dont like is the 550d does NOT have continous auto focus in movie mode, and if you want stereo sound you need an external mike (built in is mono but acceptable).

12:39 am - Sunday, November 7, 2010

#78 imarkcasti

So far, the best one among the group in the world but not the price.  Ive heard other rivals plan of pricing theirs’ at less than a $200 mark which I’m sure will click.

1:24 am - Sunday, November 7, 2010

#79 Shutter bug

I was quite curious about the newest member in the Canon family with the whopping 35x zoom and took a look at one on the shelf. I currently have the sx20is and love it, so I was hoping it had all the same features, with a stronger zoom. As soon as I had it in my hands and looked at the features and placement I was disappointed. For me, I will not own a camera that does not use double A batteries or a hot shoe—period.

I must be able to bounce my light to be truly happy and, I vowed to never miss another shot due to a dead battery ever again, after being in Tokyo and having a propriatory battery die. I missed out on some amazing shots until I find another one. In the Ginza district it still set me back about $60.00.

I also think this new 35x zoom is too much and is designed for bragging rights. If you crank out that much zoom on any camera you better have a tripod: That would get old very quickly.

My sx20is responds and delivers like a dslr once I learned its limitations. Simply shooting in manual (to control everything nicely) and turning off the annoying auto focus made me warm and fuzzy with delight. I could not recommend the 20is enough—it is truly impressive.

11:09 am - Sunday, November 7, 2010

#80 Fannie

Hi, I’m looking for a nice camera to take lots of action shots with (football, soccer, etc). Some close up & some from a distance. I know NOTHING about all these manual settings. I would just prefer to be able to switch the camera to the sports mode, use a continuous burst mode, & have awesome shots with NO blur. HELP!!

5:12 pm - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

#81 zebarnabe

No auto mode is perfect, i suggest you learn how to use a camera before you buy one.

If you want to freeze movement you need to decrease exposure time (shutter speed) ... often this option is offered by S or T modes (depending on camera brand).

Since a photo is ‘nothing more’ than recorded levels of light on a given surface, if you decrease the time of ‘recording’ you’ll need to compensate somehow… either:
- allowing more light to go through the lens (by increasing aperture size - decreasing f value)
- increasing how sensitive is the surface (this is the ISO)

The first point is limited by the lens, and decreases the focused area

The second by the camera sensor, it often hits image quality by reducing dynamic range, saturation and increasing noise.

A good camera for sports should have:
- some lens with a big aperture, like f/2.8 or smaller value (and often a range around 200mm equivalent - that is if you are shooting in a stadium or a race track)
- a capable sensor - at very least a good ISO 800
- a shutter that allows something like 1/2000s exposures (this depends on the speed of the subject - you may need 1/4000s)

Another good point is how much light is there iluminating your subject… if you’re thinking in shot at night on a skate park a bridge will quite likelly be unable of shooting anything useable… even a DSLR might struggle to give good results

That said, even the worst of the cameras is able to freeze motion if you can set the shutter speed to something like 1/1000s and there is enough light… So all depends on what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend…

5:56 pm - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

#82 wolve

The color pixel from this camera is amazingly good, except the clarity is a little disappointed. I wonder if this camera has improve it speeds though. I’ve a nightmare own Canon twice, slow picture to picture taking time and also start up lag. I always missed the best moment because the camera plus the battery die fast.

2:10 am - Thursday, November 11, 2010

#83 Ankit

i bought this cam last weekend and clicked some shots.  this is my first cam. as much i know about the photography…this cam performed really well, many of the daylight shots are outstanding but a bit disappointing in low light captures, some times it creates problem in focusing in low light conditions. zoom at 35x is excellent, some time it takes nice shots at 140x too but with some noise. overall cam is too good.
i am totally novice in photography, but i would like to share my album.


8:46 am - Thursday, November 11, 2010

#84 Ankit

i will feel good if you give some comments and tips for photography to my album.

thanks zebarnabe for helping in decision making.

8:52 am - Thursday, November 11, 2010

#85 CJ

No RAW = Useless Paperweight.  Why give you a great lens, and no ability to record RAW 14 megapixel images?  Even the Kodak EasyShare Z981 camera for under $200 has slow but usable RAW image storage - because their JPEG images are a noisy mess too!

11:22 am - Monday, November 15, 2010

#86 jsm

Hi Zebarnabe,

Could you highlight the the pros and cons of Nikon P100 ? What is your opinion about this camera? Is the image quality seriously bad as many people claim.

11:26 am - Monday, November 15, 2010

#87 Ankit

@ jsm

i compared p100 with sx20 and sx30 in stores, i found that it create problem in focusing the near objects in macro mode on other hand sx20,30 are able to focus the object from distance of 0 cms that is almost nil distance from lens and it vibrates a lot in comparison to sx20,30 cams when ever its tries to focus.

11:57 am - Monday, November 15, 2010

#88 Bugster

The review states you can change the in-camera sharpening.  So how do you change the in-camera sharpening level?  I haven’t found it yet.

11:06 pm - Tuesday, November 16, 2010

#89 Gordon

The SX30IS has its place as a nifty hobby camera.  What it lacks in overall image quality, in terms of excess noise and chromatic abberation, it makes up for in zoom and image stabilization.  The noise and chromatic abberation raise their ugly heads in low lower light and higher contrast composition.

Both problems do not really show up until the image is digitally enlarged to full resolution.  The work around is using a progammable ISO of 80-100 maximum and making good use of the 35x optical zoom so that full resolution enlargement does not become necessary.

Because of these problems the camera should only be selling for $300 or less, simply because it is a hobby camera.  The 14.1 mega pixel resolution does give better detail than a 12.1 mega pixel resolution at the same digital magnification.

The 720p HD video with 35x zoom makes it worth about $300 even if the still photo high resolution lacks better quality standards.  As a hobby camera, most of the photos can be taken at lower resolution and still be perfect for quality photo album purposes.

My suggestion to Cannon is that they need to produce the same basic camera but with larger light sensor CCD for much improved still quality, higher burst speeds, higher resolution on video with RAW capability.  They could ask for more money and would get it from both professionals as well as enthusiasts if they would only deliver.

The DSLR market wants a higher end point and shoot camera with 35x telephoto lens built in with the option of manual zoom as well as motor activated zoom, providing the image quality is there.  So far, Cannon is punting when they should be making a touchdown.

8:57 pm - Wednesday, November 17, 2010

#90 tim

100 % agree, I made a similar statement a while back, ref to the Olympus SP800UZ, put in a higher quality larger sensor and charge a higher price, to get better low light capability. At ISOs 100 to 200 images are fine, but above that, the quality suffers. I only want one camera, with a super zoom we have everything at our finger tips. This is prob why they dont fit a top of the range sensor, who is going to buy the additional lenses to fit their bodies on DSLRs, not rocket science really.
When you think about it, with digital photography, we have no need to print every picture, view and store on computer or erase. Thats why I would pay double the price of the camera just for a better sensor and low light capability, buy it once and keep it for life, very little additional cost. cheers tim

10:39 am - Thursday, November 18, 2010

#91 Gordon

Yes Tim, it is all about the money with the manufacturers.  Even so, sooner or later, one of the manufacturers will come out with a real point and shoot with built in 35x telephoto that has the larger CCD with professional quality still photo capability, but the price will be at least $1000 - $1500.  Then all the rest will enter in with their offerings.

The DSLR will continue for the special purpose and the purist professional but will eventually become less and less until they disappear altogether, like the dinasour that they are.

2:01 pm - Thursday, November 18, 2010

#92 Warren Lyons

I think both Tim and Gordon are on to something.  My Powershot SX30 is certainly big enough to accomodate a DSLR sized censor, but were Canon to put one in this model, it would cost them sales of more profitable DSLR bodies and lenses.  For the same reason, you won’t see Toyota and Lexus in the same showroom as many buyers would skip the lexus when they can get a similar toyota for far less.  Perhaps Olympus and Fujifilm would consider such a model as they don’t make their money from DSLRs and needn’t worry about cannibalizing their own profits

6:48 pm - Friday, November 19, 2010

#93 Garfield Beemer

I have just bought a powershot sx30 Is in the manual where it shows the dail to put it in Outo mode it doesn,t tell you nothing about the other sembles are for. Could you send info on the rest of the dail. thankyou Garfield Beemer

8:37 pm - Friday, November 19, 2010

#94 zebarnabe

Warren Lyons,

It’s not physically possible to make 35x lens that cover (illuminate) the area of a, let’s say, 1/1,7” sensor with the same size that SX30 IS has them…

Also, 35x zoom comes with some compromises in image quality…

A very pleasing camera would be something like S100EXR or S200EXR with some better designed lens with less aberrations, a bit more wide (sacrificing tele), faster focus, faster drive mode and a better sensor - i have to admit that they were quite good and still are - and perhaps some movie mode and some extra gimmics

Basically, some less greedy lens on a good bigger sensor with good AF and shoting speed… ...or you could buy something like a micro four thirds, some lens and glue them .... there .... a bridge with bigger sensor xD

11:05 pm - Friday, November 19, 2010

#95 Gordon

Does anyone know what is behind the issue with the chromatic aberrations.  Some noise I can live with but the aberrations are really bad.  Is it the smaller CCD imaging device, the extreme zoom lense composite, the internal firmware that over processes saturation and hue, or any combination of the above?

I would like to know if the issue is actually resovable or if this is a design that marries extremes at the unavoidable cost of high contrast chromatic aberrations.  The noise issue is understood as a result of smaller CCD.

However, if the chromatic aberration is unavoidable, then it is merely a trade off in order to obtain extreme versatility.

11:26 pm - Friday, November 19, 2010

#96 Gordon

I inquired with Canon USA regarding the issue of chromatic aberration with the SX30IS and here is an excerpt from their prompt response.

“Lateral Chromatic Aberration (LCA) or more commonly known as fringing results in loss of sharpness and white light objects or areas having
colored halos (commonly a reddish or purple cast) around the edges.

LCA is caused by light which is made up bands of different wavelengths (as seen when light passes through a prism). These bands focus at different points and different magnifications. Since a camera lens can only focus light at a single point, wavelengths falling on either side of that point will be slightly more diffuse and less focused. Only through the use of specially ground lens optics which are generally found only in professional grade lenses can LCA be controlled.

LCA is most often seen in areas of high contrast or areas with a great difference in exposure levels. You may wish to try switching your Photo
Effects setting to NEUTRAL, this setting will help in such settings.

Another cause of LCA can be that a lens has an optic that is out of alignment and would require servicing.  I have included service information if you would like to have your camera checked out.”

Based upon what this Canon service tech is saying, the issue is either the result of the limitation of the lenses themselves or it is the alignment of the lenses.

It may be the unavoidable limitation of the super wide angle/super telephoto setup that results in a trade off of quality vs. versatility.

Because it was a service tech who responded and not one of the engineers, it is hard to say what the real issue is.  Suffice it to say that the aberration is a lens issue.  Either it is an issue in the quality of the manufacturing (grinding) of the lenses themselves, or in the assembly of the lenses, or in the limitation of the high powered telephoto configuration, or any combination of the above.

Since the fabrication and grinding of lenses is computer controlled, the quality is probably not as much an issue as the assembly itself.  Beyond that, the configuration of the lenses may have certain limitations that are unavoidable.

Afer reviewing “Digital Camera Review” online review of the SX30IS, they had this to say about chromatic aberration and image sharpness.

“When light rays pass through a camera lens they separate into various color waves and dispersion (all colors don’t focus at exactly the same point) can become a problem. Dispersion causes axial chromatic aberration - the fuzzy colored edge blurring image degrading phenomenon popularly known as purple fringing. The SX30’s f/2.7-5.8 4.3-150.5mm (24-840mm equivalent) zoom is constructed of 13 elements in 10 groups and includes one Hi-UD element, one UD element (to reduce chromatic aberration), and one double-sided aspherical element.

A 35x zoom designed for a DSLR would be so long that you’d need a pick-up truck to transport it and so heavy that it would require three men and a boy to carry it. Canon’s technical folks did a remarkable job - this lens is amazingly compact and astonishingly light-weight. But this is a super corrected lens, and as optical complexity increases, lens faults and optical aberrations are magnified exponentially. Images do show some visible corner softness and barrel distortion (straight lines bow in toward the center of the frame) at the wide-angle end of the zoom range is noticeably above average. Pincushion distortion (straight lines bow in toward the center of the frame) is (as expected) above average at the telephoto end of the zoom. Chromatic aberration (purple fringing) is also above average, but not as much above average as expected.”

I think this last comment should answer my above question.  The SX30IS appears to be at its own design limitation with a super corrected lens system.  Apparently, the chromatic aberration is less than expected (“not as much above average as expected”) for that much lens correction.

So this seems to be my answer.  It is apparently a legitimate trade off between image quality and extreme versatility.  That being confirmed, I can now go and purchase this camera knowing that it is not an exercise in smoke and mirrors.  For this much versatility, there is a bit of an image quality trade off under certain circumstances.

A larger CCD might get rid of some of the high resolution noise but there is no certainty of that given the very highly corrected lens system.  In other words, there is no guarantee that a larger CCD would make any affective difference in low light high resolution noise in this camera.  This appears to be as good as it gets.

4:04 am - Sunday, November 21, 2010

#97 Jan

I just returned my new Panasonic FZ100, because I wasn’t satisfied with the immages in low light conditions. The viewfinder was also a drawback. A want in any case a turnable LCD screen.

The test-immages I found on the internet of this SX30 are a lot better, so I think I’m ordering this SX30.

I’m not a pro and I don’t want to carry lots of stuff and I’m not loaded with a lot of money…

I’m still using my good old Panasonic FZ50.

Jan from Amsterdam

11:12 am - Sunday, November 21, 2010

#98 Matt

Hello, thanks to everybody for you comments!
I’m looking for super-zoom camera to make some surf pictures.
I’m not a professional user, so it would be cool to have something easy to use (for me and for my friends) to take some shots.
Usually the beach is quite far from the lineup, and the most of the times a 20x zoom is needed to get a good pic.
The Canon has the 14MP sensor, while the others has 10.3MP (12 for the SP90UZ)...I print just a few pics, usually in A4 size or smaller.
I’m not really into videos so I don’t care much about it.
What model do you recommend?
Sx30, HS10, FZ100, P100, SP-90UZ?
Thank you for the help

4:00 pm - Sunday, November 21, 2010

#99 Gordon


That is a question only you can answer for yourself.  If the 20x zoom gets you the magnification you need, you will likely have better full resolution image quality with that than going with a 30x or 35x telephoto.  Of course, that depends upon the camera.

I would go to “Digital Camera Review”, as their camera reviews are the best in my opinion.  They only gave the SX30IS a 3.5 out of a total of 5 rating, but also said that it was probably the best in its class for extreme wide angle/super telephoto.

Because of the SX30IS’s excellent image stabilization technology, it is probably the best of the super telephoto offerings when used as a hand held.  However, if you plan on using a tripod, everything changes and you will need to take a closer look at other options that may work better when image stabilization is not an issue.

If you are only printing A4 size or smaller, then most of these issues may be mute with any of the cameras you mention.  Using a tripod means you would do well with any of the offerings you mentioned.  Without a tripod, you will need excellent image stabilization, such as is available with most Canon products.

I was not as impressed with the image stabilization in offerings that were not Canon.  Nikon was not that good at all.  However, the Panasonic technology was comparable to Canon IMO.

5:50 pm - Sunday, November 21, 2010

#100 Matt

Gordon : thank you for this quick reply!
I usually use a tripod : it’s not really a professional one, but it’s enough to keep the camera in place while I shoot.
I read several reviews and in the end it’s quite difficult to decide…I thought that I could have a better quality at 500mm than the one you can have with almost every one of the cameras I looked for…
The best ones seems to be the HS10 and the sx30IS, and I should choose I think that canon is the best one, also because Fuji is not recommended for action photograpy.
On the other side : this site give 3.5 to the Canon (sept. review) and 4.5 to the HS10 (april review).
I can find a Hs10 for 310 € and a sx30is for 360€, so it’s difficult to make a choice…
Thank you once again!

1:51 am - Monday, November 22, 2010

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, compact, 720p, hdmi, super-zoom, 2.7 inch LCD, 14 megapixel, tilting, super zoom, Canon, PowerShot, 2.7 inch, sx30, 24-840mm, sx30is, 35x zoom, Canon PowerShot SX30 IS, SX30 IS, Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Review

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