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Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Ken McMahon, October 2010

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS results : Real-life resolution / Sharpness mid-range / Sharpness telephoto / High ISO Noise

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS vs Panasonic Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 vs Lumix FZ100 Real-life resolution (approx 300mm)

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To compare real-life performance mid-way through their focal ranges, we shot this scene with the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS, Panasonic Lumix FZ 45 / FZ40, and the Panasonic Lumix FZ100 within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The lenses on each camera were set to approximately the same field of view to evaluate their performance around the middle of their zoom range. We opted for an equivalent focal length of around 300mm on each model.

All three cameras were set to Program mode at the lowest available ISO sensitivity - 80 ISO on the PowerShot SX30 IS and Lumix FZ45 / FZ40, and 100 ISO on the Lumix FZ100.

The above image was taken with the PowerShot SX30 IS in Program mode. The lens was set to 56.1 mm (313mm equivalent) and the metering selected an exposure of 1/1000th of a second at f5 with an ISO setting of 80. The original 4320 × 3240 pixel image had a file size of 3.7MB.

Predictably, the mid-range results from the PowerShot SX30 IS are a significant improvement on those shot at the extremes of the zoom range. The biggest problem, fringing caused by chromatic abberation, has all but disappeared and fine detail looks to be better resolved. These crops are generally crisper and punchier than those from the wide angle and telephoto ends of the zoom range. While it's great to have a super-zoom with such huge range, without a doubt, if you want to get the best from the PowerShot SX30 IS lens it pays to stay away from the extremes if you can.

In a reversal of the situation with the wide angle crops, the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 turns in a sharper, more contrasty result than the PowerShot SX30 IS. But if you look closely at the crops there is a granular, noisy quality to them and it doesn't look as if the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40 lens is actually resolving any more detail than that of the PowerShot SX30 IS. Despite the fact that it was shot at the lowest ISO sensitivity setting of 80, the crops from the Lumix FZ45 /FZ4 actually look like they are from a higher ISO image.

The crops from the Lumix FZ100 share the granular look of those from the Lumix FZ45 / FZ40, but they lack the edge contrast and look very soft in comnparison to those of both its stablemate and the PowerShot SX30 IS. Take a look at the detail in the vertical bars of the balcony rail in the first crop, the brickwork in the second and the roof tiles in the fourth and final crop, in each of them the Lumix FZ100 comes last in terms of the amount of detail you can make out.

If you haven't done so already, be sure to take a look at our wide-angle resolution and telephoto resolution test pages before seeing how they compare at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
Panasonic Lumix FZ45 / FZ40
Panasonic Lumix FZ100
56.1mm (313mm) f5, 80 ISO
48.8mm (271mm) f4, 80 ISO
47.5mm (264mm) f4.5, 100 ISO
56.1mm (313mm) f5, 80 ISO
48.8mm (271mm) f4, 80 ISO
47.5mm (264mm) f4.5, 100 ISO
56.1mm (313mm) f5, 80 ISO
48.8mm (271mm) f4, 80 ISO
47.5mm (264mm) f4.5, 100 ISO
56.1mm (313mm) f5, 80 ISO
48.8mm (271mm) f4, 80 ISO
47.5mm (264mm) f4.5, 100 ISO

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS results : Real-life resolution / Sharpness mid-range / Sharpness telephoto / High ISO Noise

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