REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonPowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera
 
4.5

(based on 297 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (165)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (115)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (195)
  • Zoom range/performance (194)
  • Good image quality (178)
  • Image stabilization (143)
  • Large clear LCD (135)

Cons

  • Lag / shutter delay (36)
  • Poor image quality (12)
  • Poor flash (11)
  • Short battery life (10)
  • No image stabilization (6)

Best Uses

  • Travel (161)
  • Family photos (156)
  • Landscape/scenery (154)
  • Wildlife (113)
  • Low light (79)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (92), Casual photographer (83), Semi-pro photographer (27), Pro photographer (8), Photography student (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (181), Yes (30)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

It's more and better than I expected

I lost my little Canon point-and-shoot back-up travel camera and looked to replace it. My use is mostly nature, wildlife and landscape photography as a sophisticated amateur, plus some people pictures both close...Read complete review

I lost my little Canon point-and-shoot back-up travel camera and looked to replace it. My use is mostly nature, wildlife and landscape photography as a sophisticated amateur, plus some people pictures both close up and long range. I print to 11X17 on some occasions and crop images for enlargement, so a high number of pixels is important. Same, since images are often projected on large screen. Accurate color is important, too, but I can tolerate a little image distortion. I don't try to cure bad images, but do Photoshop some for exposure, contrast, and minor color tweaking. I test new equipment with home-made setups before taking it into the field.
I discovered the SX30 on this website and was impressed with the X35 optical zoom without loss of other features and decided to move up a notch, mostly because of the telephoto close to what I have for an SLR. I'm glad I did. I discovered that the new XS30 has more features on the menus than I had imagined, almost as many and varied as my favorite SLR cameras. Some are not easily accessed since getting to them is not intuitive, but I'm still learning. This is an objection since the user manual is on disk. I've printed a hard copy of parts so I can use some of the customizing features when overseas without access to a computer.
The automatic white balance works well enough for most work, but having custom white balance available is great. I have a home-made color chart I made for testing new films (I sure miss Kodachrome!) with a wide range of colors and surface textures and have been able to easily get images with the SX30 that reproduce the colors when printed. An unexpected feature on the camera is the ability to selectively intensify some colors at the time of shooting, such as emphasizing green to enhance foliage, or red for sunsets. Having the option of bracketing exposure is also useful for getting good color and evaluating it in the field (as well as you can on the on-camera screen).
I like the eye level viewfinder (although I wish the image appeared larger) since the camera is light weight and is much easier to hold steady than when using the large LCD screen. It's much easier to use the eye level viewfinder for steady image when taking movies. (I tested this only by moving the camera for different light levels and focal distances.) A rotatable screen ala a video camera is a real plus, too. I do find that the extreme zoom (840 mm equivalent) is beyond the ability of the image stabilizer to compensate for my unsteadiness. Bracing against something fixed helps, but a tripod or beanbag is almost essential at the high end.
I've used macro with the lens almost touching the object and get good sharp images with surprising depth of field. You can sometimes brace the edge of the lens housing against the object and have enough depth of field to get a good image. There's good depth of field in the mid-zoom range when shooting with only dim incandescent lighting. I test image sharpness and distortion by photographing an engineer's scale with fine graduations at a known distance and then enlarging the image. The SX30 did quite well when compared with a very good quality 300 mm zoom lens on an SLR.
I have not tested the camera for portrait type work. I have not tested flash much more than to know it works.
The focusing speed is a little weak, partly because the camera is deciding what to focus on if the scene is complex. (Spot focusing helps that.) It can also be slow activating the shutter after the button is pushed. The interval between exposures when bracketing is longer than I like, All of these may be issues when I am trying to capture moving wildlife. They also make image stabilization somewhat iffy since the camera may move before shutter activation.
The SX30 is heavier and bulkier than a cigarette-package size point-and-shoot for a backup camera, but the added features more than offset that. The customizing features and excellent images make this a suitable front line camera for many uses. When space and weight are tight, this camera could easily replace a good SLR with a bag of lenses.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

A little underwhelmed

Sorry, but I can't agree fully with my fellow reviewers. I've been a dedicated Canon camera for years, having owned the 20D, 40D and 50D, along with many Canon lenses.
Read complete review

Sorry, but I can't agree fully with my fellow reviewers. I've been a dedicated Canon camera for years, having owned the 20D, 40D and 50D, along with many Canon lenses.

However, there are times that when doing outdoor activities, I don't want to lug around a lot of weight and for many years have carried the S5-IS and later the SX-10IS. I purchased the SX30IS primarily for the long lens capability and the 14mp sensor. So far, after about 300 images, I'm disappointed. Image noise is no better that the 8mp sensor in the S5-IS and image sharpness is no better either. In fact, withe the SX-30 IS, I have found it necessary to use the Topaz plug-in feature in PhotoShop to gain acceptable images.

Also, I want to echo one reviewer regarding the instruction manual. I don't want to have to refer to an e-manual every time I have a question. OK Canon, charge a few bucks more and include the manual! Having said the foregoing, I will say that if the user has owned previous PowerShot cameras, it doesn't take long to become proficient with the SX-30IS.

Here's a feature that I like: when zooming to the extreem, it's easy to loose the subject, and the quick zoom out and in is pretty neat.

I'll edititoralize just a little more if you please. I have have hoped for many years that Canon would relize that there's a niche market for a camera that's in between the Rebel and the PowerShot series, that is, one that is easily portable,with a decent size sensor, capabile of long focal lengths, manual focusing, and other quality features and in the $500.00 range. I don't think I'm alone with this proposal.

Bottom line: the SX-30IS is a pretty good camera but for me at least, Canon missed the mark.

Reviewed by 297 customers

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4.0

great camera awesome zoom

By shutterbug

from no cali

About Me Casual Photographer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Good Image Quality
  • Good Image Stabilization
  • Great Zoom
  • Large Clear LCD

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Family Photos
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Travel
    • Video
    • Weddings/Events
    • Wildlife photos

    Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

    I love this camera, had it for a year now, awesome zoom. no changing lenses, which is gr8 for hikes, i take it everywhere.

    • Ease of Operation:
    • 8
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Excellent for Tele shots

    By Dilshan Rupasinghe

    from Sri Lanka

    About Me Photography Student

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Fast/accurate auto-focus
    • Good Image Quality
    • Good Image Stabilization
    • Good in Low Light
    • Great Zoom
    • Large Clear LCD
    • Nice Body Color
    • Short Lag Time
    • Small / Compact

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Travel
      • Wildlife photos

      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

      Its very useful for traverllers and who are interesting on wild life photography.

      • Ease of Operation:
      • 6
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Perfect !

      By Caio

      from São Paulo, BR

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Fast/accurate auto-focus
      • Good Image Quality
      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Good in Low Light
      • Great Zoom
      • Large Clear LCD
      • Nice Body Color
      • Short Lag Time

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Family Photos
        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Travel

        Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

        This is the most interest camera. The quality is awesome.

        • Ease of Operation:
        • 10
        • Was this a gift?:
        • Yes

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Nice addition for a backup

        By Bunny Jean

        from Wisconsin

        About Me Photography Student

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Image Quality
        • Good Image Stabilization
        • Good in Low Light
        • Great Zoom
        • Large Clear LCD
        • Nice Body Color

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Travel
          • Wildlife photos

          Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

          I purchased this camera as a backup for the Big guy to carry around when the other one is too big.
          Love the zoom factor. It is very comfortable to hold, (not so small) Still learning all the bells and whistles..

          • Ease of Operation:
          • 7
          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          Very nice camera

          By Missy

          from Barnhart, MO

          About Me Casual Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Fast/accurate auto-focus
          • Good Image Quality
          • Good Image Stabilization
          • Great Zoom
          • Nice Body Color

          Cons

          • Lag / Shutter Delay

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Travel

          Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

          We use camera for general pictures, just wanted better quality pictures, so much better than smaller camera. zooms in really close to subjects haven't found any bad things.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

          Share this review

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          It's the zoom!

          By RicoLatino

          from Oregon

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Good Image Quality
          • Good Image Stabilization
          • Great Zoom

          Cons

          • Lag / Shutter Delay
          • Not so great in low light
          • size

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Travel
          • Video
          • Weddings/Events
          • Wildlife photos

          Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

          Amazing zoom, with GREAT image stabilization, yet it's very good for wide-angle shots too, all with the same lens! For a regular party or meeting picture of a few folks holding drinks, it's better (wider lens) than my old camera, which was quote good at that, or so I thought.

          • Ease of Operation:
          • 8
          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Digital Cameras Keep Getting Better!

          By kindigit

          from Milford DE

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Fast/accurate auto-focus
          • Good Image Quality
          • Good Image Stabilization
          • Great Zoom
          • Large Clear LCD

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Travel
            • Wildlife photos

            Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

            I use this camera for family photos, vacation photos, and architectural photography. I am not a professional and this camera gives me nearly pro performance without bulky expensive DSLR gear. Fairly easy to use menu, great folding screen and amazing zooooom.

            • Ease of Operation:
            • 8
            • Was this a gift?:
            • Yes

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Great Zoom

            By Rajeev

            from Los Angeles, CA

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Great Zoom

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                Excellent Zoom

                Share this review

                 
                4.0

                Great Xmas Present to my teenage niece

                By Beth V

                from Sao Paulo, Brazil

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Good Image Quality
                • Great Zoom
                • Large Clear LCD

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Family Photos
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Travel
                  • Wildlife photos

                  Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                  I'm already a Canon camera's fan. Got this camera to my teenage niece as her Xmas and graduation present. She loved!
                  She didn't even read the manual and knew how to use most of the features of the camera. It's very easy. And the pictures are amazing!
                  No regrets at all. Great camera + great price + prompt delivery during the holiday season = happy customer :)

                  • Ease of Operation:
                  • 9
                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • Yes

                  Share this review

                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  How I'll use my PowerShot SX 30 IS

                  By BibaResto

                  from LA, CA

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Good Image Quality
                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Great Zoom
                  • Large Clear LCD

                  Cons

                  • Lag / Shutter Delay

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                    My previous, and still used camera is a PowerShot S3 IS. While not unique to PowerShots, the folding and very large screen has become a necessity. I restore Alfa Romeo's for a living and need to take a multitude of photos both before and as the project progresses. Actually the old S3 works fine for this, but I needed a lot more mega pixels (as in ten more) when taking the finished product, along with other 'critical' photos.

                    Since I've only had the SX30 IS a few weeks, I'm anxious to find out how it will do with huge 3 x 5 (as in feet) 'photo' blow-ups. I have no qualms about grain, as long as the image convey's what I want.

                    Since the late 60's when I got my first real camera, I've never had anything but a SLR camera but always wished for one that I could hold over my head and see what I was shooting. Thank you Canon. And thank you B&H for offering this terrific camera at a bargain price.

                    • Ease of Operation:
                    • 8
                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Very happy with refurbed Canon SX30

                    By creativedaddy

                    from Bainbridge Island, Washington

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Fast/accurate auto-focus
                    • Good Image Quality
                    • Good in Low Light
                    • Great Zoom
                    • Large Clear LCD
                    • Nice Body Color
                    • Small / Compact

                    Cons

                    • Lag / Shutter Delay

                    Best Uses

                    • Family Photos
                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Travel
                    • Video
                    • Weddings/Events
                    • Wildlife photos

                    Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                    My spouse and 12 year old son want to get more into photography. They are somewhat familiar with Canon products since I have had the Eos XTI and 60D. I looked all over for this camera after another retailer dropped the ball just one week before Xmas. I and could not find it anywhere for a reasonable price. I hit on B&H and they had them on hand and got them to me by Christmas.

                    The cameras are like new and came with everything the new camera would come with. Both of my new shooters are giving the camera's a workout and so far have totally enjoyed the camera's. My son loves all the effects and settings allowing him to play and experiment with what he shoots.

                    • Ease of Operation:
                    • 8
                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    This is a great camera!!

                    By chemeng24

                    from Muskegon, MI

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Fast/accurate auto-focus
                    • Good Image Quality
                    • Good Image Stabilization
                    • Great Zoom
                    • Large Clear LCD

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Family Photos
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Video
                      • Wildlife photos

                      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                      This is a great ready to use camera.

                      • Ease of Operation:
                      • 10
                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • Yes

                      Share this review

                       
                      5.0

                      Excellant Camera

                      By Steve

                      from Myyrtle Beach, SC 29588-8112

                      About Me Casual Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Fast/accurate auto-focus
                      • Good Image Quality
                      • Good Image Stabilization
                      • Good in Low Light
                      • Great Zoom
                      • Large Clear LCD
                      • Nice Body Color
                      • Short Lag Time
                      • Small / Compact

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Family Photos
                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Travel
                        • Video
                        • Weddings/Events
                        • Wildlife photos

                        Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                        I like taking pictures, but cameras I have had in the past, did not give me the quality of photos I wanted. I am just a picture taker, not a professional. The pictures I have taken with this camera just have been the best. Also makes great vieos. I really cannot find any fault in the product. Very easy to operate.

                        • Ease of Operation:
                        • 10
                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        The Canon SX30: Almost Too Many Options

                        By Lauren AKA Larry

                        from San Francisco, CA

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Use
                        • Fast/accurate auto-focus
                        • Good Image Quality
                        • Good Image Stabilization
                        • Great Zoom
                        • Large Clear LCD
                        • Nice Body Color
                        • Short Lag Time

                        Cons

                        • Short Battery Life

                        Best Uses

                        • Family Photos
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Sports/Action
                        • Travel
                        • Video
                        • Weddings/Events
                        • Wildlife photos

                        Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                        The Canon SX30 IS digital camera is a high tech marvel. The lens is the center piece of the camera. It boasts a true 24 mm setting at the wide end with a 35x optical zoom for 840 mm at the telephoto setting. (These are 35 mm equivalent specs.) It also offers a 4 x digital zoom with remarkable clarity at the top end, a little soft and in need of a bit of sharpening in Photoshop. The camera is fully automatic with Auto and Programmed functions. If you'd like, you can choose Aperture Preferred mode or Shutter Preferred mode, as well. And if you want to go all the way with professional choices, the Canon supports fully manual mode. IS stands for image stabilization, which is always on and is effective most of the time. The shots are a little soft and can usually use a little sharpening with Photoshop's Unsharp Mask filter. The Canon is also capable of taking high quality HD video as well as standard NTSC video (640x480 dpi) as an option.

                        • Ease of Operation:
                        • 10
                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Love it.

                        By Clyde

                        from Beaufort, SC

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Use
                        • Good Image Quality
                        • Good Image Stabilization
                        • Great Zoom
                        • Large Clear LCD
                        • Nice Body Color

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                            As a frequent, but not fancy photograhper I am extremely happy with this camera.
                            The extended capabilities of the lens, from wide to zoom work just fine for indoors and outdoors.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            5.0

                            Superb Camera

                            By YSR

                            from San Ramon, CA

                            About Me Casual Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Use
                            • Good Image Quality
                            • Great Zoom
                            • Nice Body Color
                            • Small / Compact

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Travel
                              • Video
                              • Wildlife photos

                              Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                              The guide provided by the team is really good and easy to use it. It helped me a lot

                              • Ease of Operation:
                              • 8
                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              4.0

                              Great Camera

                              By BusyPAMom

                              from Lincoln University, PA

                              About Me Casual Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easy To Use
                              • Good Image Quality
                              • Great Zoom
                              • Large Clear LCD

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Family Photos
                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Travel
                                • Video

                                Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                                Easy to use camera with many point and shoot features but also the flexibility of manual settings too. Only issue is that sometimes the auto focus is way off where I want it to be focusing.

                                • Ease of Operation:
                                • 9
                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • Yes

                                Share this review

                                 
                                1.0

                                Would not recommend

                                By Disappointed

                                from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy To Use
                                • Nice Body Color

                                Cons

                                • Poor Image Quality

                                Best Uses

                                • none

                                Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                                We had an old Canon Powershot camera that we absolutely loved and needed to be replaced due to normal wear and tear. We loved so many of the features of our last camera and were basically looking for the same camera only the newer version. When we found this camera we were excited because it had so many of the same features and what looked like several great upgrades. When we got the camera and tried it out, though, the picture quality was absolutely horrible. Every single image we took was grainy, regardless of the lighting, object, etc. Our old camera we were trying to replace, even in it's dying phases, took much, much better pictures than this "upgrade". Regardless of all the gadgets and gizmos on a camera, you ultimately want a nice picture and this just didn't happen in our experience. Again, from looking at so many prior reviews, this camera looked like it had all the right features to earn 4 or 5 stars, it makes me wonder if we just happened to be one of the unlucky ones to get the defective one.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                4.0

                                Good Starting Camera

                                By Aaron the camera man

                                from Roseville Ca

                                About Me Photography Student

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy To Use
                                • Good Image Quality
                                • Good Image Stabilization
                                • Great Zoom
                                • Large Clear LCD
                                • Nice Body Color
                                • Small / Compact

                                Cons

                                • Poor Flash

                                Best Uses

                                • Family Photos
                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Sports/Action
                                • Travel

                                Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                                I bought this camera as a present for my brother in law who recently lost his old cannon power shot, which he loved. I began to research and i found this camera and really liked it overall. It has a good balance of settings for auto as well as the ability to shot manually. The lens is also nice with its focal length and range. When i got it in the mail i made sure everything was in tact and tested it out. It worked very well and i was surprised at the good image quality and overal quality of the camera. I would buy this for any beginning photographer as it is the pre-DSLR. This is really a good camera to test your skills on and see if you are interested.

                                • Ease of Operation:
                                • 9
                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • Yes

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                "Smile your in my camera"

                                By Irene

                                from Chesapeake, VA

                                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy To Use
                                • Good in Low Light

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Family Photos
                                  • Travel
                                  • Weddings/Events

                                  Comments about Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Digital Camera:

                                  Originally wanted to order the SX40. Hope my husband enjoys the SX30 Powershot for Christmas!!

                                  Irene Lano

                                  • Ease of Operation:
                                  • 7
                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • Yes

                                  Share this review

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