Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Review

by Reads (23,418)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 6
    • Features
    • 8
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 7.25
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


  • Pros

    • Long optical zoom
    • 720p HD video
    • Feature-rich
  • Cons

    • Slightly soft images
    • Expensive
    • Noise at ISO 400

Quick Take

The PowerShot SX30 boasts an impressive 35x zoom range, but image quality at long telephoto lengths and mid-to-high ISO fall flat.

The public’s ongoing love affair with portable high-tech gadgets is beyond doubt. On-the-go people who talk (and text) on cell phones, listen to music (and watch videos) on MP3 players and shoot pictures and/or video clips with digital cameras while they work, walk, run, shop, drive, relax and watch TV are nearly ubiquitous.

Canon PowerShot SX30

The new PowerShot SX30 IS, which replaces last year’s very popular SX20 IS as the top dog in Canon’s super-zoom digicam market niche is aimed squarely at this very broad demographic. The SX30 IS seeks to be to be the ultimate bridge camera – an all-in-one photographic tool that can do almost anything, nearly anytime, virtually anyplace, for just about anyone.

While the SX30 IS and SX20 IS share many features, they don’t look much alike. Similar to the SX20 IS, the SX30 IS features full manual exposure capabilities, a tilt-swivel LCD (and an electronic viewfinder), a 720p HD video capture mode, a Mini-HDMI output and a hot shoe. So what’s new? The SX30 IS gets a boost in resolution to 14 megapixels (the SX20 IS was a 12 megapixel digicam), but what really sets this chunky ultrazoom apart from every other digital camera out there is its new lens – a whopping 35x (24-840mm equivalent) super-stabilized optic that is currently the longest zoom lens available on any camera. Here’s what that range looks like:

Canon SX30 Sample Image
Canon SX30 Sample Image
Canon SX30 Sample Image
Canon SX30 Sample Image
Canon SX30 Sample Image

Other features include Canon’s Quick-bright mode which makes it easier to frame and compose images in bright outdoor light, Servo AF/AE (which constantly adjusts focus and exposure with moving subjects), and a new Zoom Framing Assist button to aid in tracking and capturing sometimes small subjects in the midst of vast environments at very shaky super-telephoto distances.

Does the SX30 IS hit the mark? Is this the new “super camera” we’ve all been waiting for? Read on.

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