First Look: Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
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First Look: Canon PowerShot SX30 IS

2:12 /

The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS is a point-and-shoot camera with a 35x zoom lens. As long as you're not expecting much more than that, it's a very good megazoom.

-Hi, I'm Josh Goldman, Senior Editor for CNET Reviews, and this is a look at the Canon PowerShot SX30IS. It's Canon's current top-of-the-line 14-megapixel megazoom, featuring a zoom lens that goes from an ultra-wide angle 24 mm to 840 mm. That's a 35X zoom packed into a camera body that's only slightly smaller than digital SLR. Other features include a Vari-angle 2.7-inch LCD on the back, an electronic view finder, a hot shoe for adding an external flash, a one-touch button for recording movies at resolutions up to 720p HD, and an abundant set of shooting modes from full auto to full manual. Controls are fairly easy to master, though there are a couple of things I didn't like, such as the control dial that has no tactile feedback, and the lack of a button for quickly switching from EVF to LCD. Instead, Canon makes you cycle through two display options to get back and forth from the LCD to the EVF. Also, the lens moves too slowly, which makes tracking any sort of moving subject difficulty. There is a zoom frame assist that draws the lens back a bit so you can find your subject. But, it too, is slow. With a lens this long, the zoom really should be manual. Lastly, despite its long lens and digital SLR-like looks, and that it includes manual and semi-manual shooting modes, this is a pretty ordinary point-and-shoot camera, and it behaves like one. Its shooting performance is fairly slow with a noticeable shutter lag and long shot-to-shot times. And while the photo quality is very good for megazoom, photos still look soft and have visible noise at low ISOs when they're viewed at full size. Still, with a little editing and understanding its limitations, the camera can deliver very nice snapshots of subjects that are very, very far away. I'm Josh Goldman, and that's the Canon PowerShot SX30IS.

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