Panasonic DMC FZ100 vs Canon Powershot SX30 IS Comparison

Panasonic DMC FZ100

Panasonic DMC FZ100

Canon Powershot SX30 IS

Canon Powershot SX30 IS
Rating 86
Rating 85

The Canon Powershot SX30 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ100 are two of the most powerful digital cameras available. They offer a combination of lens length and advanced features. Which one is right for you?

If you are looking for extreme lens power then the Powershot SX30 IS offers a longer lens than any other compact digital camera at the time this comparison was written.

Both cameras are aimed at the serious photographer with an interest in subjects such as sports or wildlife where a long lens is essential for getting in close to your subject.

Basic Specification

Panasonic DMC FZ100

14 megapixels
24x Optical Zoom
3 inch LCD screen
Macro Focus: 1cm
Wide Angle Lens
High Definition Movies
Dimensions 124.3 x 81.2 x 95.2mm
Weight: 540g

Canon Powershot SX30 IS

14 megapixels
35x Optical Zoom
2.7 inch LCD screen
Macro Focus: 0cm
Wide Angle Lens
High Definition Movies
Dimensions 122.9 x 92.4 x 107.7 mm
Weight: 601g


Key features include fully manual exposure, manual focusing and a RAW capture mode. For close up photography each camera can focus from more or less next to the subject. Be aware though that it you get too close it can cause difficulties drawing enough light into the picture.

Both cameras have vari angle LCD units. This means you can pull then away from the camera body and twist them round to a comfortable shooting angle. The screen on the Lumix DMC FZ100 is larger at 3 inches compared to 2.7 inches, but the Powershot SX30 IS offers the ability to twist the screen through 270 degrees as opposed to 180 degrees. Electronic viewfinders have been added to each camera.

One point I like about the Powershot SX30 IS is it has a thread for using filters. A hot shoe is available on both models for adding external flash units.

Although both cameras have advanced movie modes it is the Lumix DMC FZ100 that offers one of the of the most complete movie modes available. As well as 1080i definition it also has stereo sound and the ability to shoot high speed movies that can be played back in slow motion.

Another area where the Lumix DMC FZ100 has an advantage is that it can shoot up to 11 frames per second.


These cameras have a fairly typical design for models with this length of lens. They look a lot like Digital SLRs. I found that especially with the Powershot SX30 IS there was plenty to hold onto to get a really firm hold of the camera while taking a shot. Both cameras felt sturdy and well made.

Both cameras have flash units that pop up away from the body. There are two advantages with this method. The first is it allows for a larger, more powerful flash unit. The second is that it moves the flash away from the lens unit. This makes it less likely to reflect back into the lens from someone's eyes. This reduces the risk of portrait photos suffering from red eye.

Power Supply

Power is supplied by lithium ion batteries. A battery and charger are supplied with each camera.

Shutter Lag

There is very little difference between these two cameras when it comes to firing off a single shot without flash. In all other instances I found the Lumix DMC FZ100 faster to respond. It is noticeably faster when you use flash.

Picture Quality

It is hard to fault the picture quality produced by either of these cameras. If you want better quality than these cameras offer you are likely to need to step up to a Digital SLR.

Looking at the dynamic range of each camera I found the Lumix DMC FZ100 was able to drag out a touch more detail in the darker areas of a shot. The difference is quite marginal though. I also felt the Lumix DMC FZ100 produced a level of clarity that the Powershot SX30 IS found difficult to match in places.

Taking the extreme length of lens into account the Powershot SX30 IS does well to keep control of any purple fringing. A small amount of fringing can be seen, especially when the lens is fully extended, but it is visible to a much lesser extent than you tend to see on cameras even with much shorter lenses.

Ease of Use

With so many features on offer neither of these cameras can be described as easy to use. There are fully automatic modes available, but if you only ever use those then you will only scratch the surface of the features that are on offer from the two cameras

. Personally I find the menu system used by Panasonic to be the clearer of the two. Canon splits settings into two areas. There is a button to access functions and one to access the menu. I have never found the functions section as easy to use as menu systems from other manufacturers.

The vari angle LCD screens that both cameras have make them easier to use than lots of competitor cameras. I also found the jog dial on the Lumix DMC FZ100 very useful. Access to this will make changing settings much quicker for you.


These are both excellent digital cameras. In many areas I feel the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ100 has a slight edge when it comes to performance. Against that the Canon Powershot SX30 IS offers you significantly more zoom power and this may well prove to be the deciding factor for you.

Product Shots

Front View
Panasonic DMC FZ100
Panasonic DMC FZ100 Front View

Canon Powershot SX30 IS
Canon Powershot SX30 IS Front View

Back View
Panasonic DMC FZ100
Panasonic DMC FZ100 Back View

Canon Powershot SX30 IS
Canon Powershot SX30 IS Back View

Top View
Panasonic DMC FZ100
Panasonic DMC FZ100 Top View

Canon Powershot SX30 IS
Canon Powershot SX30 IS Top View

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