Canon PowerShot D30 Review - Canon's latest waterproof compact follows on from some impressive predecessors, but can it match their performance both in and out of the water?
Canon PowerShot D30 Review – Image Quality
The D30’s overall image quality is also very similar to that of the D20, not too surprising since it has the same lens, sensor and processor.
Colour and White Balance
As is usually the case with Canon cameras the colour reproduction in the default setting is very neutral, which can look a little bit under-saturated in the final print.
However switching to the more saturated Vivid colour mode produces richer, more lively colours that look a lot nicer. Automatic white balance is excellent as usual, coping well with everything from a slightly hazy spring day to mixed indoor lighting.
Exposure metering is also very good, coping well with strong back-lighting, low light and bright colours. Dynamic range is a bit limited by recent standards, clipping some highlights and losing a bit of shadow detail, but it’s not bad for a small-sensor compact.
The D30 has only 12.1-megapixels resolution, compared with the current norm for mid-range compacts, which is more like 16 megapixels. 12MP is still pretty decent though, and is more than capable of a good A3 print, although the claimed A2 print size is a bit of a stretch.
The lens quality isn’t really high enough to make use of a higher resolution sensor, and most buyers are only going to use the D30 for snapshots anyway, so this is no real disadvantage.
Unlike the majority of recent compacts, which have maximum ISO settings of 6400, the D30 only goes up to 3200. Image quality at the maximum setting is pretty good, with some noise in darker areas and a little colour distortion, but on the whole decent detail and contrast.
At lower settings the noise control is excellent, with virtually no noise at all up to 800 ISO.
The only weak link in the image quality chain is the lens. Like a lot of vertically-mounted “periscope” lenses it suffers from a number of optical problems, including blurring and chromatic aberration towards the corners of the frame, barrel distortion at wide angle, and a general softness that rod images of some fine detail.
The position of the lens also makes it vulnerable to finger marks and other dirt on the glass cover, which is easy to overlook and will further degrade image quality.