Canon SX30 IS vs Nikon P100 Any opinions on which camera to buy? Pros or Cons on either on these cameras. My main concern is fast shutter speed (little lag time between shots). I have small children and I hate missing "the moment" while my current digital camera is waiting to take the shot.
I saw the Nikon in the store and it seemed good and I liked the feel. But while doing research online, I found some recommendations for the Canon.
asked by L. Taylor on December 28, 2010
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I was interested in comparing the Canon SX30 v. Nikon P100 in image stability with high zoom. I found both cameras on display at Best Buy and tried out the hand held jiggle at full zoom in the store. I was so amazed at how poorly the Nikon performed that I asked a salesman if I was doing something wrong - he said I wasn't. The Canon was rock solid. Consumer Reports has tested both cameras, giving Nikon an overall score of 68 and the Canon 67. But for some reason they rated the Nikon better for image stability. From my test, I can't believe this, so I recommend that you do your own testing as I did before making a choice, if this is important to you.
Rangeley22 answered on February 15, 2011

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@L. Taylor - if you haven't bought yet, I would also compare the sx30is and p100 with the Panasonic FZ100 (latest model) or Panasonic FZ 28. For the FZ28 look at various photography websites like Adorama or use Google's shopping feature and you can find it for much less than what I've seen listed here. The FZ 28 is an older model but I've been using it for almost 3 years and treated it pretty roughly and it still takes incredible pics and great video very easily and quickly. The image stabilization, low light shots, and clarity when zoomed in are amazing when you add the battery life and great video it's pretty much unbeatable when it comes to comparable cameras in it's class in the same price range.

It has been a few years since I bought it and I saw that there were a lot of cool new options (like GPS tagging) and we need a second camera for my husband to replace his tiny p&s, so I shopped around to upgrade before the holidays and bought a Sony NEX 5. I returned it after a week because it was slow & difficult to change settings (had to go into onscreen menus to do anything, I like buttons and dials for ease of use and speed) and I didn't see a difference in picture quality to justify the extra cost (to be fair I did not play around much with manual settings since most of my use is in the Intelligent Auto or pre-set modes). The Sony is also heavy, costs more, and has some white balance issues, the accessories are also more expensive because so many are proprietary.

I had never really considered Panasonic for cameras but when I saw the FZ28 and the great reviews, I thought I would give it a try. Before that, I had been using a small point and shoot and noticed that I used video on it a lot more often than my camcorder, but the quality was only OK and the sound was horrible. When I had to replace my old camera, I decided to make video quality a big factor since my son was so young. Since it was built into the camera I always carried, I captured a lot more of those important moments (first steps, cute things my son said, my toddler filled with joy over some minor thing).

When I got the FZ28, I was amazed at how easy it was to get great pics out of it in Auto/pre-set modes and even happier when I looked at the first videos from my very low-light living room. The sound was good, the video quality was far and above what I had ever imagined a still camera (as opposed to a dedicated video camera) could do. I was also impressed with the lack of lag (many digital cameras are slow and you miss important shots) and how well it did in Sports/Action mode with my very active son (3 at the time). With the dial you're able to quickly shift from photo to video and can zoom while recording. The ease of use for the quality is incredible and the battery lasts a long time, even with extensive video use.

I know some don't think video is important, but when you have small children it's worth it's weight in gold because you catch so many more precious moments that otherwise would have been missed because the video camera is only taken along on special occasions and usually isn't at hand on the spur of the moment. Another pro is that I don't need specific software to transfer the pictures - Windows XP, Vista, and Win7 have all been able to recognize the photo format and import it. On Vista I occasionally had trouble with Video (had to use a free separate program) to watch the video, but it transferred perfectly well. With Windows 7 it's no problem to unload and watch.

I am now looking at upgrading to the Panasonic FZ100 because my husband needs his own camera that's better than his tiny point & shoot and keeps stealing mine. I'm still trying to decide between a compact/bridge camera like the sx30, fz100, and p100 or a more expensive DSLR with video like the Canon TS2i. The FZ100 looks good because it has a hot shoe to attach a stronger external microphone, flashes, and other accessories. If I can't find something I love that seems worth the upgrade, I will probably buy another FZ28, it's just that good.
Amazon Customer answered on January 10, 2011

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So, i did buy the Nikon shortly after I posted this message. I do like the camera a lot. But I'm a novice camera user - I've always had point and shoot cameras so this is a step up for me. I'm getting a lot more good photos of my young daughter. I think the camera is pretty easy to use and understand. There has been a slight learning curve for me but nothing bad. But like my poster said, the image stability at high zoom is not good on the Nikon but I don't use it zoomed all the way out much. I've never had the camera freeze up on me. And I bought an extra battery so i didn't have to charge the battery with it in the camera.
L. Taylor answered on February 17, 2011

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I've tried both cameras. I decided not to purchase either one of them as I settled on the slightly older Canon SX20is model, which suits me just fine and have been very pleased with it's results.

If you're stuck on making a decision on only buying one of these two models, I would HIGHLY recommend the Nikon P100.

The ultimate factor is the fact that the Nikon will consistently give you better quality images. The SX30is (in me experience) produced far less impressionable pictures than the P100. The images were grainy, quite often slightly out of focus, the colors were washed out and a poor representation of real life. Also at higher zoom there is a great loss of picture detail with the SX30is. I believe Canon shot themselves in the head when they designed this SX30is with 14.1 MP on a tiny CCD sensor. If you're a wildlife photographer and interested in photoshopping your images most of the time, go for the SX30is.

But you can argue the optical zoom, image stabilization, and extra added features in the SX30is far outweigh the P100, but what good are they when you have to live with crappy pictures. Many people lose sight of this fact.

By the way, I'm not saying the P100 is the best megazoom out their. In fact, I did have it for a 3 week test period and was generally satisfied with it's performance. The telephoto lens did lock out on me during the odd occasion, and a few other small issues made me return it. But if I ultimately had to decide on either the SX30is or the P100, I'd choose the P100. Better overall and reliable image quality. Bottom line.
freestyleFrEaK answered on February 24, 2011

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For a different view of Nikon v. Canon super zooms regarding color and image quality, look at the professional testing of these two cameras by imaging-resource.com Their listed conclusions were that the Canon SX35 had "very good color reproduction", while the Nikon P100 had "good overall color" with "bright greens and yellows a bit muted", and "somewhat soft images", "high chromatic aberration at telephoto", and "loss of detail from noise suppression". Each camera had its own share of foibles - you should read the full reports to judge the characteristics most important to you. They gave a recommendation for both cameras; there was no clear winner as some other postings here would imply.
Rangeley22 answered on March 11, 2011

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I was in the same situation. after doing my research i ended up buying the canonsx30is. I was not happy with the purchase and ended up returning it. The reason i didn't like it was because of the poor image quality. Although the zoom is really nice but indoor photos under low light came up worse than the ones i take with my phone. All the pictures had a yellow tone to it which made faces look like they had jaundice or something. i wasn't happy about that and i tried to fix it but it was the same. When i chose to select the option for lighter skin tone it made the face way too white which was hard to even see the full face. So now i ordered the p100 but i haven't tried that one yet. i am hoping it has better picture quality than the canon. I would recommend the canon for those who take nature pictures outside but not for inside. hope this helps!
F. Ahmadi answered on March 1, 2011

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I am in the same boat as well. Most camera review websites that I have been doing research on say the canon is better overall but just slightly. I am leaning towards the sx30 over the p100 mainly because of the higher optical zoom, better flash, external battery, and the all the modes it offers.
adamspeaks87 answered on December 28, 2010

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I have the same problem, still don't know which one is the best. What I love about the sx30 is the optical zoom and it has a better wide-angle another things is the capability for external flash but in my case is not 100% necessary because I like to travel light, for camping or hiking. What I love about the P100 is lighter, the picture quality is much better thanks to the CMOS sensor also take pictures faster than the SX30. About the external battery you can buy a spare one for the nikon with the charger.
N. Castro-Lopez answered on December 29, 2010

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I did more reading last night and I think I'm going to buy the P100. Mainly due to the low shutter lag and it is lighter. I'll buy the a spare for the P100 so I don't have to worry about charging the battery with my camera.
I did read the video on the Canon was better but I'm not going to be shooting that much video on it. I mainly want the camera for photos.
L. Taylor answered on December 29, 2010

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I have the sx30is and like it alot but there are some advantage and disavantages. I've also tested out the p100 at best buy. So far the sx30is has a better and longer zoom, and is faster to focus because of the USM. But the p100 has a faster sutter lag. So if your taking pictures of nature or still shots the sx30is is better. But if you want to take multiple shots of your kids playing then i'd recommend the p100. My only dislike was the lag time after each shot, because my old canon sd600 can take faster shot.
Rajwinder S. Gill answered on January 1, 2011
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