The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS is Canon’s latest entry in the super zoom bridge camera field that’s become rather crammed in 2010. It’s just gone on sale, and we got a chance to take one around London town to test out its insane 35x optical zoom. And yeah, it’s insane. See for yourself in our Canon PowerShot SX30 IS review: First look.
The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS’s big USP isn’t its 14 megapixel sensor, or the fact that it shoots 720p HD video. It’s the positively telescopic 35x optical zoom, which can extend to 144x digital zoom. That alone is stunning, but what struck us today is just how well implemented it is. There’s scope for an awful lot to go wrong when zoomed in so far, but Canon’s catered for that.
While nothing really stood out about the image quality of the snaps taken with the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS mid to close range, the stabilisation on super zoom shots was nothing short of sensational – even in low light, and even with our shaky hands. The snap below of the BT Tower was taken on Primrose Hill on North London – just to give you some idea of how close, how in focus it stays, even at 35x. Oh, and by the way, the BT Tower is two miles away from Primrose Hill.
That our shots even vaguely resemble buildings at this distance is incredible, though of course we hope no one goes using its skills to a nefarious end. We’re also quite taken with the quick zoom out button on the top right of the back face, Hold it down and you can pan out to track a moving object more easily, then snap right back in again.
Build wise, the Canon PowerShot X30IS is nice and sturdy, with a lens barrel that doesn’t feel at all rickety, and nice smooth plastic that won’t smudge. The 2.7-inch swivelling LCD screen is eminently visible even in broad daylight (Though perhaps a bit prone to oversaturation). The mode dial on the top of the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS feels a bit too tough to twist without a considered effort, but we’re nitpicking.
You can check out two sample HD videos we shot with it below – one in daylight on an open top bus, and another indoors in low light. We suggest sticking around for the latter, if only to see ice cream being made with liquid nitrogen (seriously).
Canon does HD video well, and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS manages 720p video in daylight with aplomb – you can see it start to crumble under the weight of noise indoors, but it’s silky smooth throughout, and the audio is impressive.
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The takeaway from our morning spent with the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS? This isn’t a camera worth paying much mind to if you’ve ever owned a DSLR, but for any prolific holiday snappers who wants a truly versatile, all in one solution that’ll keep them happy for years to come, the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS looks ideal.
We’ll have a full Canon PowerShot SX30 IS review for you shortly, but if there’s anything else you’d like to know about it, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll endeavour to answer it for you.