Canon PowerShot SX30 IS review
The enormous 35x zoom is tempting but neither the lens nor the sensor lives up to expectations at this price.
Review Date: 12 Feb 2011
Price when reviewed: £335
Reviewed By: Ben Pitt
Now that some compact-shaped cameras come with up to 18x zoom lenses; bulkier, pricier ultra-zoom cameras need to do something special to justify their existence. A 35x zoom lens ought to do it, though – with it the PowerShot SX30 IS comfortably outstretches the 30x zoom on the previous record holder, the Fujifilm HS10.
The SX30 IS is quite a departure from its predecessor, the 20x zoom SX20 IS. Bulbous curves are gone in favour of a more angular design that looks smarter but isn’t as comfortable to hold. The switch from four AA batteries to a Li-ion rechargeable cell is welcome, reducing the weight and making recharging less fiddly. It also removes the cost of buying batteries separately, but the new model is around £50 more expensive than the old one.
The articulated screen is bigger at 2.7in across, although that’s still smaller than the 3in screens of almost all other ultra-zoom cameras. The hotshoe for an external flashgun is concealed underneath a rubber cover - easy to miss.
The controls and options are the usual fare for an ultra-zoom camera, with manual exposure and focus and a wheel encircling the navigation pad for quick adjustments. ISO speed and focus area are within easy reach, and a customisable button can be assigned to various roles including white balance. There’s also a button that momentarily pulls back the zoom. It proved highly useful when we’d zoomed in so much that it was hard to find the intended subject on the LCD screen. There’s still no RAW capture, though – a serious omission for this type of camera.
The comment, 'the hotshoe for an external flashgun has sadly disappeared.' makes me wonder if the reviewer has ever actually physically handled this camera. They certainly can't have spent much time with it.
By fordtelstar on 12 Feb 2011
The Canon SX30 has a built in hot shoe. It comes with a hot shoe cap & a case for that cap. You may use any Canon flash with this camera.
By eliedata on 15 Feb 2011
Expert Review ?
Yes, once again I agree with the other members, in fact I purchased my Canon Speedlite 270EX when I bought the camera ...
For me such a major mistake makes me wonder how valid the whole review is !
For its money it is a good little camera and as an ex-pro photographer I think it is good/excellent.
Yes, you can get better models with more features, and even a top of the range Canon if you have £2,300 to spare.
I still have my Canon New-F1 FULL kit which cost me over £6,000 at the time, worh aboiut £200 now though !
Reviewers should look at features vs. cost the Fuji HS10 is about £100 more but has features that I would never use anyway (gimmicky) so I rate this Canon 9/10.
By parity on 21 Feb 2011
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