Canon PowerShot SX730 HS Review

May 22, 2017 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


Canon’s newest superzoom travel compact camera, the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS, builds on the specifications of its predecessor, the SX720. The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS features a 20.3 megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, and a 40x optical zoom which is equivalent to 24-960mm in 35mm terms. These specifications are shared with its predecessor, as well other features including Full HD video recording and a Digic 6 processor. Where there is a difference is that the new Canon PowerShot SX730 HS has a tilting-screen, which is useful for taking selfies. There’s also the introduction of Bluetooth connectivity which means you can maintain an “always-on” connection with your phone. The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS retails for £379 / $399.

Ease of Use

The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS, like the SX720 before it, is an impressively slim camera considering the 40x optical zoom lens it houses. On the front of the camera is a slightly protruding grip which has a rubberised texture on part of it to help it feel secure in your hand.

Canon has increased the size of the SX730 ever so slightly in order to accommodate a new tilting-screen, but it’s not a hugely noticeable increase and you can still comfortably fit the camera into your pocket (apart from extremely tight jeans pockets, perhaps).

There aren’t a huge amount of differences between the newer model and the predecessor, but there have been a couple of button switch arounds. For example, the mode dial now sits on top of the camera (from the back), while the Zoom Frame Assist button has moved from the side of the camera to a more obvious place on its back.

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Front of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

The top of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS sees the shutter release, which is surrounded by the zoom switch. It feels reasonably sturdy, and zooming the lens in and out is quite a fluid movement - being neither too quick nor too slow. There’s also a video record button and an on/off switch. It can be all too easy to press the video record button when you’re first getting used to the camera, but Canon has placed them reasonably apart enough to get used to knowing where each one is.

As already mentioned, the mode dial is now on top of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS. Enthusiasts will be pleased to see a full range of semi-automatic and manual modes, such as aperture priority and shutter priority. There’s also of course a full complement of automatic options, including the interesting “Hybrid Auto” mode. This mode works by capturing a 2-second video before each shot is taken and compiling them together at the end of each calendar day. It can be great for holidays and events where you get a bonus video to accompany your images - on the downside, you can’t edit what appears in the video, which would be even better.

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

A new mode added because of the new tilting-screen is selfie mode. This is found on the mode dial, and allows you to change the background blur and the amount of skin smoothing you want to apply to your image. You can apply skin smoothing in other modes, too, if you like, but it’s directly accessible here. Also on top of the camera is the camera’s flash which you need to use a small catch on the side of the camera to release when you want to use it.

On the back of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS, the buttons are grouped to the right hand side, which is beneficial if you’re using the camera one handed. The buttons are perhaps a little on the small side, which is something to consider if you have particularly large hands. They’re also a little cramped together, which can make things a little awkward at times.

There’s a scrolling dial, which is used for a variety of different things depending on the shooting mode you’re in. For example, if you’re working in aperture priority, moving the dial will alter aperture. You can also use it in playback to move through the images you have already taken. The  scrolling dial also doubles up as a four-way navigational pad, with each of the directional keys having a specific function assigned to it. Up controls exposure compensation, left switches on manual or macro focusing, down changes the camera’s display, and right is used for altering the flash mode.

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Tilting LCD Screen

Four more buttons surround the scrolling dial which have various functions. One of the most useful buttons is the Zoom Frame Assist button, which as mentioned has moved from the side of the camera to the back. It’s used when shooting at long telephoto lengths - if you lose sight of your subject, hold down the Zoom Frame Assist button and the lens will momentarily zoom back out until you find it again. Release the button and the zoom will return to the same focal length you were previously using. It’s a great way to keep track of subjects at the longer focal lengths, especially if the subject moves.

Another button gives you direct access to the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS’s Wi-Fi settings. The first time you press it, you’ll be asked to set-up the camera ready for connection. Once connected you can send images across to your phone for quick sharing, or remotely control the camera from your phone. That makes it useful for group shots or perhaps even some awkward angles. You can also pair with your phone using Bluetooth, which means that an always-on low-powered connection will be maintained. You can use this to remotely control the camera, but you’ll need the higher power of Wi-Fi if you want to see a live view output to your phone.

The final two of the four buttons are the playback button, and the main menu button. There’s also a central button in the middle of the navi pad which has a couple of useful functions. If you press it when in normal shooting mode, you’ll bring up the “function” menu, which acts as a quick menu, giving you access to a number of different settings that you might want to change reasonably frequently, such as ISO speed and white balance. The central button can also be used as a confirmation button for certain settings. Unfortunately it’s not possible to customise the camera to assign different functions to different buttons.

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS In-hand

Despite offering full manual control, there are a couple of let-downs for enthusiast photographers here with the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS. For a start, it’s not capable of shooting in raw format - giving you just the choice between standard and super fine JPEGs. Secondly, there’s no option to change the focus point. For AF modes you can choose between Face AiAF, Tracking AF and a single frame in the centre. The latter means you need to focus and recompose if you want to photograph something on the edge of the frame.

Due to the length of the 40x optical zoom lens, the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS takes a couple of seconds to start up and be ready to shoot. If you have plans to take a lot of shots in quick succession, you’d do well to leave the camera switched on. Otherwise, the camera is very quick in operation, moving through images in playback with no hesitation.

Autofocusing speeds in good light are very quick, dropping a little as the light darkens, but there’s an AF assist lamp on hand to help with that if you’re shooting somewhere very dark.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20.3 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 8Mb.

As is often the case with cameras of this ilk, the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS performs best in bright light where the small sensor is capable of producing some beautiful images. Colours have that warmth and vibrancy that Canon is known for, while detail is well represented at lower ISOs.

You can get some nice shallow depth of field effects if you activate macro focusing and get close to the subject, despite the fact that the maximum aperture is a relatively narrow f/3.5 at the widest part of the lens.

The overall impression of detail is good up to around ISO 800, while even at ISO 1600, images are decent enough when sharing at normal printing and web sizes. If you examine closely you can see there’s some loss of detail and smudginess, but it’s not too worrying unless you’re shooting somewhere really dark.

All-purpose metering does a reasonably good job of keeping exposures correct, and it’s rare you need to touch the exposure compensation controls unless you’re photographing something in a very high contrast situation.

At the far reach of the telephoto lens, images are a little softer than that the wide end, but if you’re only planning on using the images at normal printing and web sizes, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The best performance is from the middle of the zoom, rather than at its furthest reaches.


The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS has seven sensitivity settings at full resolution. Auto mode uses a range between ISO 80 and ISO 3200, or you can switch to one of the creative shooting modes to manually select these settings.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso80.jpg iso100.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso400.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)


Focal Range

The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS' 40x zoom lens achieves a maximum wide-angle focal length equivalent to 24mm, and is capable of a telephoto reach of 960mm (in 35mm camera terms).





Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS handled chromatic aberrations fairly well during the review, with purple and green fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The close focusing of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS at wide-angle is a mere 1cm. It does mean that there's little light getting in when you do that and the edge definition drops off leaving around 50% of the image in focus.




The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS' flash can only manage a relatively weak 4m range and hence there's some fairly obvious vignetting in our wide-angle test shot taken at a distance of 1.5m. The flash has four modes: Auto, On, Off and Slow Synchro, plus a separate setting to enable or disable red-eye reduction. Whether this is active or not, the camera successfully avoids any trace of red-eye.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (960mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (960mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots.

Flash Off


Flash On


My Colors

The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS offers 11 different My Color modes.

MyColors1-Standard.JPG MyColors2-Vivid.JPG
MyColors3-Neutral.JPG MyColors4-Sepia.JPG
MyColors5-BW.JPG MyColors6-PositiveFilm.JPG
MyColors7-LighterSkinTone.JPG MyColors8-DarkerSkinTone.JPG
MyColors9-VividBlue.JPG MyColors10-VividGreen.JPG

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS camera, which were all taken using the 20 megapixel JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 21 second movie is 61.2Mb in size.

Product Images

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Front of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Front of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS / Turned On

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Side of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Side of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS / Image Displayed

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS / Turned On

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS / Function Menu

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS / Main Menu


Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Tilting LCD Screen

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Tilting LCD Screen
Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Top of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Bottom of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Side of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Side of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Side of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Front of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Front of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Battery Compartment / Memory Card Slot


Canon is of course very experienced in making cameras, and its range of PowerShot travel compact cameras has always proven popular. The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is a great little pocket friendly camera that is ideal for travelling when the most important thing is the zoom reach, rather than anything else. 

Images are pleasingly saturated and detailed, so long as you can keep to shooting in bright sunlight. While images taken in lower light aren’t awful, smudginess tends to become a problem from ISO 1600 or above in particularly dim conditions. 

As it stands, a 40x optical zoom lens is the longest available on the market, and that’s arguably one of the best things about the SX730. If your main concern is having ultimate flexibility in focal length, then this will be the camera for you. 

However, what lets it down is a lack of other features, especially considering the relatively high price it commands. It’s just £20 cheaper than the Panasonic TZ90, yet there’s no electronic viewfinder, no touchscreen, no raw format shooting, no ability to change focal point and no 4K video recording. 

Although not every user of this camera will be after those kinds of features, it means that the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS as a whole is a less-rounded proposition for much of the market. Whether it bothers you will be up to the individual, and the needs you have. 

The biggest difference between this camera and its predecessor, the SX720, is the addition of a tilting screen. While that comes in very useful for selfies, it’s a shame that touch-sensitivity hasn’t been added. Still, for the travelling photographer who likes to capture themselves in front of various tourist attractions, it could be very useful. If you’re not too bothered about selfies, you could opt for the SX720 and save yourself some money. 

All told, the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is a great little compact for travelling photographers. It has a huge zoom length and its capable of taking some excellent pictures. It’s a shame that there’s just a few things missing for it to be considered more seriously by enthusiast photographers, but beginners are likely to love it. 

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 3.5

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS.

Nikon Coolpix A900

The Nikon Coolpix A900 is a new travel-zoom compact camera with a 35x zoom lens. Retailing for around $399 / £369, the 20 megapixel Nikon A900 comes complete with built-in wi-fi connectivity, a 3-inch tilting screen and 4K UHD movie recording. Read our Nikon Coolpix A900 review to find out if this travel camera is worth considering...

Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 is a new travel-zoom compact camera for 2017. The 20-megapixel TZ90 (also known as the Panasonic ZS70) offers a 30x wide-angle zoom lens, flippable 3" monitor, 4K video recording, lens control ring, RAW file format, touchscreen control and an electronic viewfinder. Read our in-depth Panasonic TZ90 review now...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 is a new flagship travel-zoom compact camera for 2016. The TZ100 (also known as the Panasonic ZS100) offers a 20-megapixel 1-inch MOS sensor, 10x wide-angle zoom lens, 4K video recording, lens control ring, RAW file format, focus peaking, touchscreen control and an electronic viewfinder. Read our in-depth Panasonic TZ100 review now...

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V is a new premium travel-zoom camera with a 30x Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T-star zoom lens. The HX90V also features an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor, pop-up electronic viewfinder, lens barrel control ring, flip-up LCD screen, built-in wi-fi, NFC and GPS, full 1080p high-definition video with stereo sound, manual shooting modes, 10fps continuous shooting, ISO range of 80-12800 and fast auto-focusing. Read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V review to find out if it's the best travel-zoom camera on the market...


Image Sensor


1/2.3 type back-illuminated CMOS

Effective Pixels

Approx. 20.3M 1

Effective / Total Pixels

Approx. 21.1M

Image Processor


DIGIC 6 with iSAPS technology


Focal Length

4.3 – 172.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24 – 960 mm)


Optical 40x
ZoomPlus 80x
Digital approx. 4.0x (with Digital Tele-Converter Approx. 1.6x or 2.0x 2)
Combined approx. 160x

Maximum f/number

f/3.3 – f/6.9


13 elements in 11 groups (1 Hi-UD lens, 3 UD lenses, 2 double-sided aspherical lenses, 1 single-sided aspherical lens)

Image Stabilisation

Yes (lens shift-type), Approx. 3.0-stop 3. Intelligent IS plus 5-axis Advanced Dynamic IS




AF System/ Points

AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point), 1-point AF (fixed to centre)

AF Modes

Single, Continuous, Servo AF/AE 4, Tracking AF,

AF Point Selection

Size (Normal, Small)

AF Assist Beam


Manual Focus

Yes, plus MF Peaking

Closest Focusing Distance

1 cm (W) from front of lens in Macro

Exposure Control

Metering modes

Real-time metering using image sensor (Evaluative, Centre-weighted average, Spot (Centre))

AF Lock


Exposure Compensation

+/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments.

i-Contrast for automatic dynamic range correction

ISO Sensitivity

AUTO (ISO 80 - 1600), 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200



1 – 1/3200 s (factory default)

15 – 1/3200 s (total range – varies by shooting mode)

White Balance




Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten (Light bulb), Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom.

Multi-area WB correction available in Smart Auto & Hybrid Auto modes

LCD Monitor


Tilt type 7.5 cm (3.0”) LCD (TFT). Approx. 922,000 dots.


Approx. 100%


Adjustable to one of five levels. Quick-bright LCD



Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro

Slow Sync Speed

Yes. Fastest speed 1/2000 s

Red-Eye Reduction


Flash Exposure Compensation

+/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments. Face Detection FE

Flash Exposure Lock


Manual Power Adjustment

3 levels with internal flash

Built-in Flash Range

50 cm – 4.0 m (W) / 2.0 m (T)



Smart Auto (58 scenes detected), Hybrid Auto, Program AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, Creative Shot, Self Portrait, Sports, SCN (Portrait, Smooth Skin, Smart Shutter (Smile, Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer), Handheld Night Scene, Low Light (5.0 MP), Monochrome, Soft focus, Fish-eye effect, Toy camera effect, Miniature effect, Super vivid, Poster effect, Fireworks), Movie (Standard, Short clip movie)

Photo Effects

My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)

Drive modes

Single, Auto Drive, Continuous, Continuous with AF, Self-Timer

Continuous Shooting

Approx. 5.9 shots/s with AF: Approx. 4.6 shots/s (all speeds are until memory card becomes full) 5, 6, 7


Image Size

4:3 - (L) 5184 x 3888, (M) 2592 x 1944, (M1) 3648 x 2736, (M2) 2048 x 1536, (S) 640 x 480
16:9 - (L) 5184 x 2912, (M1) 3648 x 2048, (M2) 1920 x 1080, (S) 640 x 360
3:2 - (L) 5184 x 3456, (M1) 3648 x 2432, (M2) 2048 x 1368, (S) 640 x 424
1:1 - (L) 3888 x 3888, (M1) 2736 x 2736, (M2) 1536 x 1536, (S) 480 x 480

Resize option available in playback


Superfine, Fine


(Full HD) 1920 x 1080, 59.94 / 29.97 fps
(HD) 1280 x 720, 29.97 fps
(L) 640 x 480, 29.97 fps

Movie Length

(Full HD & HD) Up to 4 GB or 29 min 59 s 8 (L) Up to 4 GB or 1 hour 9

File Types

Still Image Type

JPEG compression, (Exif 2.3 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant


MP4 [Video: MPEG-4 AVC / H.264, Audio: MPEG-4 AAC-LC (stereo)]

Direct Print

Canon Printers

Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and Canon Inkjet Printers supporting PictBridge 10


Yes (via USB or Wireless LAN)

Other Features

Operating Environment

0 – 40 °C, 10 – 90% humidity


GPS via Mobile (via Canon Camera Connect app with compatible smart devices via Bluetooth®)

Red-Eye Correction

Yes, during shooting and playback

Intelligent Orientation Sensor

Yes, with Auto Rotate


Yes, during playback

Playback zoom

Approx. 2x – 10x

Self Timer

Approx. 2, 10 s or Custom

Menu Languages

English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Simplified Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Farsi, Hindi, Malay, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Hebrew



Hi-Speed USB dedicated connector (Micro-B compatible)


HDMI Micro (Type-D) Connector


Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11b/g/n), (2.4 GHz only), with Dynamic NFC support 11

Bluetooth® (Specification version 4.1, Bluetooth low energy technology) 12

Memory Card


SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS Speed Class 1 compatible)

Supported Operating System

PC & Macintosh

Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 SP1 14
Mac OS X 10.9 / 10.10 / 10.11 / 10.12

For Wi-Fi connection to a PC:
Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 SP1
Mac OS X 10.9 / 10.10

For Image Transfer Utility:
Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 SP1
Mac OS X 10.9 / 10.10 / 10.11 / 10.12



CameraWindow DC
Map Utility
Image Transfer Utility

Camera Connect app available on iOS and Android devices

Power Source


Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-13L (battery and charger supplied)

Battery life

Approx. 250 shots

Eco Mode: Approx. 355 shots
Playback Mode: Approx. 300 min

A/C Power Supply

Charging via USB available with Compact Power Adapter CA-DC30E 15 or other typical USB charging methods


Power Supply & Battery Chargers

Compact Power Adapter CA-DC30E
Battery Charger CB-2LHE
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-13L


Interface cable IFC-600PCU

All data is based on Canon standard testing methods (according to CIPA Standards) except where indicated.

Subject to change without notice.

  1. Image processing may cause a decrease in the number of pixels.
  2. Depending on the image size selected.
  3. Values at maximum optical focal length. Cameras whose focal length exceeds 350 mm (35 mm equivalent) are measured at 350 mm.
  4. Some settings limit availability.
  5. Under conditions where the flash does not fire.
  6. Depending on memory card speed / capacity / compression setting.
  7. Sustained continuous shooting function requires compatible SDHC/SDXC UHS Speed Class 1 memory card, total number of frames captured varies depending on shooting subject.
  8. The following Speed Class memory cards are required for maximum record time: (HD) 1280 x 720 Speed Class 4 or above. (Full HD) 1920 x 1080 Speed Class 6 or above. (iFrame) 1280 x 720 Speed Class 6 or above.
  9. Depending on memory card speed / capacity / compression setting.
  10. Not compatible with following PictBridge compatible SELPHY CP200/ CP220/ CP300/ CP330/ CP400/ CP500/ CP600/ ES1
  11. Wi-Fi use may be restricted in certain countries or regions. Wi-Fi support varies by device and region. For more information visit
  12. Equipped with Bluetooth® low energy technology. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by the Bluetooth
  13. Bluetooth connection requires smart device to be equipped with Bluetooth version 4.0 (or later). Also requires smart device to be using operating system iOS 8.4 (or later) or Android 5.0 (or later) as well as latest version of Camera Connect app installed
  14. Software applications compatible with Windows 10 in Windows 10 Desktop Mode only
  15. Charging via USB requires Interface Cable IFC-600PCU (Sold separately) or similar cable with USB Micro-B to USB type-A connectors. Charging time varies depending on the remaining battery power.

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