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Canon's PowerShot SX30 IS is capable of producing some excellent images, but it's best to keep to the lower sensitivity settings if you want to make A3-size prints.
It's a shame that images cannot be recorded as raw files to allow experienced photographers more control over the noise reduction that is applied to their high-sensitivity images. Canon has added raw capability to its bridge cameras with a firmware update in the past, and I wonder if it will do so this time?
The SX30 is very easy to use and although the focusing can be a bit slower than usual when the lens is at its longer point, the incredible focal length span makes it a great choice for family day trips to the zoo etc.
The PowerShot SX30 IS's key features are its incredibly wide spanning lens, articulated LCD screen and its advanced exposure modes that are backed up with entry-level modes.
Build quality: 3/5
There are no real surprises here: the body of the SX30 is well put together, but it has a plastic look and feel to it – for obvious reasons.
This is a difficult one, as an EOS 1000D (body only) can be purchased for less than £300 these days. However, buying a range of lenses (or lenses and teleconverters) to cover the full focal range span of 24-840mm will set you back considerably more, making the £449.99 RRP of the PowerShot SX30 IS seem very reasonable.
With a 1/2.3in sensor, the image quality from the SX30 IS is never going to compete with that from an APS-C-format DSLR, but it is nevertheless impressive. A superzoom lens usually demands a few compromises in the image quality, and although chromatic aberration is visible in some images, it is not as big an issue as I might have feared.
Canon's PowerShot SX 30 IS is an excellent choice of camera for someone who wants something a bit more than the average compact model, yet doesn't want to go down the route of having interchangeable lenses. The feature set is extensive, the camera is easy to use and the results are generally good, allowing you to make prints at sizes up to A3.
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