Verdict

The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is something of a tale of two halves. The good news is that it exhibits a fine build and is generally pleasing to use, with good response across most aspects of operation. It generally performs well from the imaging side of things too, even if it doesn't quite match the level of control offered elsewhere. If you want a no-nonsense camera with a broad zoom range, and most of the decision-making left to it, the SX730 HS may just be what you’re after.

The flipside of this is that the PowerShot SX730 HS lacks several of the features of its rivals, despite being one of the dearest options of its kind. 4K video, touch operation, an electronic level, even the option to move the focusing point; if you want any of these you'll have to look elsewhere. A viewfinder or raw shooting aren’t expected at this level, but they are certainly an option at this price point; the fact that Canon doesn't even supply a USB cable in the box is also irritating, particularly as the camera can be conveniently charged in this way.

Competition

Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90

The 20.3MP Lumix ZS70 (TZ90 outside the US) may have a shorter 30x optical zoom range that culminates in a focal length equivalent to 720mm, but with raw shooting, 4K video recording and even an electronic viewfinder squeezed in, it certainly makes the PowerShot SX730 HS look overpriced. And if you’re not fussed about the tilting LCD screen, the older ZS60 / TZ80 offers pretty much everything else the ZS70 / TZ90 does at a more attractive price.

Nikon Coolpix A900

The Coolpix A900 equals the PowerShot SX730 HS in many key areas, with a 20.3MP sensor, 1cm macro mode, 180-degree LCD screen and five-axis VR system for video. The 35x optical zoom reaches to a very respectable focal length equivalent to 840mm, but the main difference is the inclusion of 4K video, which makes the A900 slightly more appealing. 

Sony Cyber-shot WX500

The Cyber-shot WX500 may appear to come up a little short of the PowerShot SX730 HS on paper, but its significantly cheaper price tag makes it well worth considering if you’re looking to save money. It combines an 18.2MP back-illuminated sensor with a 30x optical zoom, together with a tilting LCD screen and both Wi-Fi and NFC.