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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Canon PowerShot SD30

Canon Digital Cameras

   


Canon PowerShot SD30 Review

Review Date: Feb 13, 2006

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Canon PowerShot SD30

User's Experience

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 - Here's what I receive in the box:

  • PowerShot SD30
  • Wrist Strap
  • Rechargeable Battery, Camera Station and Compact Power Adapter
  • Wireless Remote Controller and Lithium Battery
  • 16MB MultiMediaCard (MMC)
  • Interface Cables: A/V; USB
  • Documentation (English and French): User Guide Basic, User Guide Advanced, System Map, Direct Print User Guide, Software Starter Guide
  • Software CDs: Digital Camera Solution 25.0

The Canon PowerShot SD30 Digital ELPH is a beautiful ultra compact digital camera that gives great looking pictures. If you take a lot of flash pictures, the results come out very good as long as your subject is portrait distance away (i.e. waist shot). It looks really good in black (with silver/chrome accents), but if you fancy something in another colour, it also comes in red, gold or violet.

The Canon SD30 is quite small, so I was at first a bit worried whether it would be arkward to hold and operate. Well, not to worry, the elongated design means that you've got space to rest your thumb (which might also be spending lots of time resting on the 4 Way Controller) at the back and enough room for your fingers at the front without getting in the way of anything. It is well built and there is an overall feeling of high quality.

The camera comes with a Camera Station: simply place the camera on the station to recharge the battery. The station is necessary because you cannot plug the USB cable (or A/V or DC-in) directly to the camera; it plugs into the station.

There is no optical viewfinder and the 1.8 in. LCD monitor looks small these days. I took out my ruler and measured the LCD diagonally to see if it would be possible to fit a larger LCD on the same size body. Well, it looks like it would not be a problem to fit a 2-in. LCD monitor, and if you went all the way to the very edges of the body, you might just be able to squeeze a 2.5-in LCD monitor on this body. Perhaps slightly bigger dimensions would accomodate a larger LCD screen. We'll see what the future holds.

Improvement suggestions:

- Larger LCD with more resolution;

- an LCD that gains up well in low light to permit composing.

In the Menu, you can obtain a Framing Guide of horizontal and vertical lines overlayed on the screen by setting Grid Lines ON. This is very helpful if you take lots of pictures of buildings or with lots of horizontals and/or verticals.

There is a very effective AF Illuminator and the AF is quite fast and precise at all times. Even in extreme low-light, at wide-angle focal length, it locks focus quickly and accurately without hunting.

In the field, the Canon SD30 performed very well. There was no fumbling with the controls, no frustration trying to set the functions you want, and the camera was point-and-shoot simplicity. Even though most of the functions are accessed thru the FUNC. menu, I found it well implemented and fast.

There is not much optical zoom, only 2.4x, but the tele focal length of 90 mm is good for portrait shots.

Transferring images to your PC is simply a matter of placing the camera on the station and connecting the USB cable (from PC to station) and either using the Canon ZoomBrowser EX to index the images or simply drag-n-drop in Windows Explorer.

Canon ZoomBrowser EX

The ZoomBrowser EX software is very user-friendly and complete. Each image's filename is clearly visible and you do not need to launch another window to view the EXIF info. You can do basic image editing, re: Red Eye Correction, Auto Adjustment, Color/Brightness Adjustment, Sharpness. In the above image, we selected the Preview Mode. Another included software that is very useful and easy to use is PhotoStitch which allows you to stitch images taken as a Panoramic shot.

There are 2 User Guides: a Basic and an Advaced one. They are both well illustrated and written, and the print font is easy to read.

Available in 4 different colours and with a striking design, it is certain that the ultra-compact Canon PowerShot SD30 is a fashion item; it also happens to take great shots, especially flash portrait shots. Small enough to carry in your trousers pocket or small purse, it'll go with you anywhere, ready to record all the important events of your life. It is point-and-shoot easy to use, and the more advanced photographer may even find enough fun settings to play with.

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