With a huge 35x optical zoom lens and 14.1-million-pixel sensor, the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS could be the most exciting bridge camera we’ve ever seen. Richard Sibley finds out just how good it really is

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Canon PowerShot SX30 IS

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Canon PowerShot SX30 IS review


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Canon PowerShot SX30 IS review – Introduction

Bridge cameras provide the perfect compromise between size, cost and functionality. Although cheaper DSLRs have reduced their popularity, bridge cameras still have a lot to offer, particularly because of their huge zoom lenses.

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS review – Features

The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS has a 35x optical zoom, the equivalent of a 24-840mm lens (in 35mm format), so it is ideal for a range of photographic subjects from landscapes to wildlife. That such a huge magnification is possible is partly down to the fact that the SX30 IS uses a small compact camera sensor, in this case a 14.1-million-pixel, 1/2.3in CCD sensor.

In real terms, the sensor in the SX30 IS measures around 6.16×4.62mm, which is staggering when you consider it has 14.1 million photosites. Of course, there is always the risk that using a sensor with such a high resolution could lead to significant image noise and a low dynamic range, but more on this later.

With such a large magnification, the lens also features optical image stabilisation, with Canon claiming that it offers as much as a 4.5EV increase in the usable shutter speed. I have to say that the stabilisation system is superb and keeps the image very steady, making the 840mm focal length usable even at slow speeds such as 1/125sec.

The SX30 IS also features a full complement of manual-exposure modes and a built-in flash with a hotshoe to allow external flashguns to be used. Composing images is achieved using a 2.7in vari-angle LCD screen, with a resolution of 230,000 dots, or a 202,000-dot electronic viewfinder. One major omission from the SX30 IS is the ability to save images as raw files.

  1. 1. Canon PowerShot SX30 IS review - Introduction
  2. 2. Build, Handling & Performance
  3. 3. Image quality
  4. 4. Our verdict
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  • Prakash Duryodhan Shinde

    Canon Cameras D1100

  • stu

    My wife bought me a canon 1100d for my birthday last may and i have used it everyday since. it is quite a good camera with many lens options, but stay clear of old none digital lenses as they sometimes suffer from auto focusing problems. you would be better off buying old “slr” 35mm film lenses on the “FD” mount, but you can only use the on manual focus, unless you buy a adapter ring.all in all its a good entry level camera, but since may i have obtained a canon 5D mk111 and a nikon D800.so have given the 1100d to my daughter.but i do recommend the 1100d. 8/10

  • Christie Chandler

    As my first dslr, it is very easy to use. The auto focus does a brilliant job, but i prefer to use the manual focus where ever i can. I have not yet had the chance to use a lot of its features, but am going to a wedding shortly, so i am planning to experiment a lot then.

  • David Souch

    A helpful review of the Cannon 1100D. There are however no tests on the taking of show jumping of horses and air shows which need a fast reaction of the shutter, auto-focus and exposure in order to photograph with precision the subject i.e.horse over a jump, which is moving at speed. Also will it operate with Sigma lens which operate well with the EOS1000F and the Canon Zoom lens 80-200 mm, both of which are AF types. Can the camer be set to either a pre-determined focus point i.e on a show jump, or set fixed on infinity when photographing aircraft.

  • Susan Pyakurel

    I am much interested in life science photography,mostly wildlife..but it’s really saddening for me to say I can’t afford a DSLR..is there any sponsership for a guy like me??

  • martin

    I own this camera and it is fantastic!