Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Preview

September 30, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | Comment |

First impressions of the new 35x zoom Canon PowerShot SX30 IS compact camera, including some full-size sample photos.

Apart from the obvious changes to the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS, like the large zoom and the overall appearance, the features of the SX30 are so similar to the SX20 that I wonder if it’s difficult to tell the two cameras apart. The SX30 has the largest optical zoom of any bridge style camera at 35x, which takes the nicely wide 24mm lens to an eye-watering maximum telephoto setting of 840mm. Perfect for those lazy days when you simply don’t want to walk anywhere.

With 14 megapixel resolution, the SX30 IS sits at 2 megapixels more than the SX20 IS, which is negligible with image quality but could make a difference at high ISO. Other minor changes or updates to make the camera more topical include SDXC compliance, a 2.7" screen which is bigger than the 2.5" screen on the SX20 IS, and it’s also Windows 7 friendly.

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Preview

The way the SX30 is designed makes it look quite menacing as it squats down with the flash hanging over the lens barrel. All the buttons are easily located and comfortable to reach while the wheel on the back is easy to use and responsive. I like the grip, it’s comfortable to use and the weight of the camera makes one hand shooting easy. Adding to that the rotating screen for high/low angle shooting or self portraits and the SX30 is a very versatile camera.

Image quality is great at low ISO and the inclusion of an Image Stabiliser is not only welcome but also necessary. Focusing is fast and the camera has a pretty good dynamic range. In fact in my short time with the PowerShot SX30 IS, I was stuck to find anything I didn’t like about it.

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Preview

First impressions of the new 35x zoom Canon PowerShot SX30 IS compact camera, including some full-size sample photos.

I like the way that the PowerShot SX30 IS works in all aspects, it’s fast and responsive with what seems like minimal shutter lag. Obviously, the more that I zoomed in the more the camera struggled to cope with the lack of light but that’s to be expected and it still does quite well. Putting it in auto ISO can avoid you having to worry about ISO as well as shutter speeds and apertures, but it can be quite keen to ramp up the setting to ensure the response, so look out for that.

The PowerShot SX30 IS is a worthy camera which, thanks to the massive optical zoom has an even broader market place to open itself up to. Bird and nature photographers, sports and airshow photographers will all benefit from this camera, to name just a few. The quality of the lens is great and the image stabiliser works brilliantly to keep your images still. The colours that the PowerShot SX30 IS produces are true to life although the day I tested it, it was overcast so there were no saturated blue skies, but the colours I did get were realistic.

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Preview

Priced at £399, it’s more expensive than some DSLRs but not with that zoom range, so if you need over 800mm of focal length, the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS is a worthy option to consider.

Thanks to our friends at Jacobs Photo & Video in Sheffield, UK for this hands on preview.

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Preview JPEG Images

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