Updated (February 2011): Compare the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS vs Nikon Coolpix P500

Nikon Coolpix P500 vs Canon PowerShot SX30 IS

Nikon Coolpix P500


Canon PowerShot SX30 IS



Reasons to buy the Nikon Coolpix P500

High resolution screen
Screen resolution
920k dots
High speed movies
High-speed framerate
240 fps
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
10 fps
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama

Reasons to buy the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS

Wide aperture
External flash
External flash
Better lighting


Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon Coolpix P500.


Nikon Coolpix P500 Competitors

Nikon Coolpix P530

Nikon Coolpix P530

Super zoom

$199 - $297

Aperture Wider aperture
HDR Has in-camera HDR
High-speed framerate Lower speed movies
Nikon Coolpix P610

Nikon Coolpix P610

Super zoom

$365 - $427

Zoom Significantly more zoom
Aperture Wider aperture
Continuous shooting Shoots slower
Nikon Coolpix L830

Nikon Coolpix L830

Super zoom


Aperture Wider aperture
HDR Has in-camera HDR
Screen flips out Screen does not flip out

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Competitors

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

Super zoom

$284 - $350

High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
Zoom More zoom
Aperture Significantly narrower aperture
Canon PowerShot SX400 IS

Canon PowerShot SX400 IS

Super zoom

$149 - $536

Size Significantly smaller
Screen size Significantly larger screen
Aperture Significantly narrower aperture
Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

Super zoom

$389 - $480

High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
Zoom Much more zoom
Aperture Significantly narrower aperture


Advantages of the Canon SX30 IS

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Significantly wider aperture
f/2.7 vs f/3.5
At its widest zoom, the SX30 IS's lens captures slightly more light (0.7 f-stops)
Image stabilization
Better image stabilization
  1. Lens
  1. Sensor shift
Less risk of blur
External flash
Supports an external flash
Yes vs No
An external flash often produces better looking flash images
Macro focus
Better macro capability
0.0 cm vs 1.0 cm
Almost the same
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
15s vs 2s
7.5x longer exposures
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Learn more about
the Canon SX30 IS

Advantages of the Nikon P500

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High-speed framerate
Records high-speed movies
240 fps vs None
Capture events too fast for the naked eye and play them back in super-slow motion
Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 230k dots
4x higher resolution screen
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Screen size
Significantly larger screen
3" vs 2.7"
More than 10% larger screen
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
10 fps vs 1.1 fps
More than 9x faster continuous shooting
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
116×84×103 mm vs 123×92×108 mm
Around 20% smaller
Wide angle
Slightly better wide angle
23 mm vs 24 mm
Almost the same
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
3,200 ISO vs 1,600 ISO
The P500's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
481 g vs 601 g
Around 20% lighter
Slightly thinner
4.1" vs 4.3"
Almost the same
Fastest shutter speed
Faster max shutter speed
1/5000s vs 1/3200s
Around 40% faster max shutter speed
Nikon Coolpix P500 Learn more about
the Nikon P500


Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent super zooms, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Canon PowerShot SX30 IS 47
        You save
        50 Nikon Coolpix P500 Nikon Coolpix P500
              You save


              Compared to recent digicams

              Common Strengths
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Macro focus Good macro capabilities Help
              SX30 IS0.0 cm
              P5001.0 cm
              Viewfinder Both have digital viewfinders Help
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              SX30 IS1/3200s
              Common Weaknesses
              Light sensitivity (boost) No boost ISO Help
              Lacks boost light sensitivity
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              SX30 IS4.3"
              Weight Heavy Help
              SX30 IS601 g
              P500481 g
              Supports RAW No RAW support Help
              Less editing fidelity
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              SX30 IS1,600 ISO
              P5003,200 ISO
              Size Large Help
              SX30 IS123×92×108 mm
              P500116×84×103 mm

              Compared to recent super zooms

              Common Strengths

              Snapsort is not aware of any interesting strengths shared by these two products.

              Common Weaknesses
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              SX30 IS1/2.3" 6.16x4.62mm
              P5001/2.3" 6.18x4.55mm
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Movie format Poor movies Help
              SX30 IS720p @ 30fps
              P5001080p @ 30fps


              Nikon Coolpix P500 Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
              Nikon Coolpix P500 Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
              Nikon Coolpix P500 Canon PowerShot SX30 IS


              Nikon Coolpix P500
              Coolpix P500

              Report a correction
              Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
              PowerShot SX30 IS

              Report a correction

              Showing 25 comments

              Nillohit Mukherjee (11:10 AM, October 07, 2011)
              dear Alejandro22682
              go for some DSLR, not the digitial cams.  only DSLRs can meet your requirement.
              ahmed (6:05 PM, October 06, 2011)
              Anyone have tried new Firmware update for P500. It resolved quite a few problems https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/49736
              PGAcer11 (3:42 AM, October 06, 2011)
              Did U return the P500 and if so which DSLR did U get?
              Avatar for edwil658 edwil658 (8:33 AM, October 01, 2011)
              Advantage to Canon Sx30is for me because of the LCD screen 360 degree angles to flip the srceen completely around to see yourself in video's or photo's with timer. Color swap is my favorite & continuous shooting flashes with each shot, Nikon's continuous shooting is much faster but the flash doesn't work with continuous shooting. Ability to save your favorite settings & get to them in 1 touch. Ability to add a light on the hotshoe for dark video's.  Nikon p500 does none of these things which made it easy for me not to mention all the other stuff everyone else has already said & Batterie's don't even compare.
              Edwil658 (8:05 AM, October 01, 2011)
              Canon's hotshoe allows you to attach flash with constant light for dark night video's
              Edwil658 (8:00 AM, October 01, 2011)
              That 1.1 fps does work with the flash, Nikon doesn't. good for night party shots
              Alejandro22682 (11:31 AM, September 26, 2011)
              Hello Snapshot !! I wanted to know which camera (Nikon P500 or Canon SX30 Is) is better suited for taking pictures of faces very closely because I am a professional makeup artist and need very close and real photos. Thanks for your reply.
              Tonzer (3:59 PM, September 16, 2011)
              hi guys :)
              its really hard to choose one of these cameras .. both are really good
              i have not tried these cams yet .. but i will buy one of them soon
              i think sx30 will shoot high quality pictures with CCD sensor

              could you please help me in this .. i care about one thing .. picture quality
              what cam shoot better quality ?

              thank you :)
              have a nice day
              Ravichavan1 (6:44 PM, September 06, 2011)
              Nikon p500 is best
              Dino (7:58 PM, August 31, 2011)
              I will be getting one of them nikon P500 or Cannon SX30IS, but after googling a lot find Cannon SX30IS is the winner due to some battery life, but on pen and paper Nikon's CMOS sensor should do better than Cannon's CCD Sensor. Any views in this regard??? else inclined to get Cannon. Please comment
              Merilin (5:10 PM, August 22, 2011)
              1.1 fps for SX20 and SX30 is a crap. If Canon solve this on the next SX40IS the camera will be a Oscar!
              Jwbaez (4:27 PM, August 15, 2011)
              Forget about specs, both have great specs but doesn't mean good results, I've have the chance to try both and definitive SX30IS is much better than P500, on P500 the pictures blur very easily and record video only with low zoom because at high zoom if you not using tripod is a crap. SX30IS is not perfect but produce wonderful picture results most of time and 720p HD video is enough for 47' Tv, you can't see difference with 1080p at that size. The battery life in Canon is far superior I can take more than 900 shots and with Nikon only around 300.
              Robin (6:58 PM, July 07, 2011)
              My husband and I went back and forth over these two models. We ultimately chose the Canon SX30IS and have not regretted it at all! We took some test shots while driving down the road: the stability is AMAZING and the zoom feature is outstanding. I like to use the view finder and Colin uses the screen...both work great. The color replacement feature is fun to use. We bought the camera for our upcoming trip to Europe but it's great to have for daily use, too!
              We HIGHLY recommend the Canon for two main reasons: Stability (even while moving and in windy conditions) and Zoom (Colin took an amazing shot across a soccer pitch of a friend of ours-so clear!). You will not be disappointed with this camera!
              Anne (10:04 AM, June 26, 2011)
              Hello! I want to buy either a P500, a SX30 or a Fuji HS-20/22. Which should I buy once I care a lot more about photography than video and I really want good quality images, good stabilization and great color?
              Luoka46 (9:01 AM, June 18, 2011)
              this one may work..http://www.internetbestsecrets.com/2011/06/how-to-fix-nikon-p500-battery-problem.html
              Luoka46 (1:40 AM, June 17, 2011)
              huh...ur liar p500 is nice..ur only newbie..u dont know how to use p500...
              Do (8:35 PM, June 09, 2011)
              So from this message I can conclude that Canon has a much longer battery life than Nikon? I'm going to buy a camera to take pictures at a backpacking holiday so I can't use a camera that needs recharching every 100 pictures. I'm also considering to buy an extra battery but if it lasts for 1900 pictures I'm good with just one....
              3girlymom (1:42 PM, June 08, 2011)
              I am torn.  I bought a Nikon P500 from Costco and returned it after 5 days.  Pics were great.  Video blurry when zooming.  Battery life wasn't long.  My P500 wouldn't stop blinking for the battery charge.  After about 85 pics it needed recharging. I called Nikon about the light not going off for the battery charge.  They told me when the battery needed recharging to watch it. It would only need 2 - 2 1/2 hours to charge.  After 3 hours the camera was still flashing that it was charging.  They told me to buy a new battery and charger, or return it, or send it to them.  I returned it.  Pics I took were great.  Not sure if I buy this again or go for a Canon XS30IS. My MIL has the Canon.  Side by side the Nikon zoom was better, so were some pictures we took of the same objects.  I do like how the Canon image orientation will change on the screen pending how you are holding it.
              Sherif_soaida (10:43 AM, May 18, 2011)
               i got the p500......and used it for a month now. during video u can get excellent snaps at 2 megapixles.......this is even better than canon sx30is as snaps r taken smoothly without affecting the video or producing any sound, but with the canon snaps creates a pause in the movie u r taking and gives a snap sound. as regards the zooming during video recording.......there is good focusing......may b delayed for milliseconds, but good and dont bother u on play back. go and recheck
              Adig (6:41 PM, May 06, 2011)
              Hello, I really don't which one to chose...actually i'm not that into making movies but pictures, all kind, outdoor, portraits, details, dark, light...i'm reading all kind of things and what i see is quite 50/50 opinions...help me please ;)
              Leonardo nobile (2:23 PM, May 06, 2011)
              EnriGor (2:48 PM, May 01, 2011)
              I had the oportunity to try both cameras on the store and "play" with them for arround one hour. I had in my mind that the Nikon was much better but anyway I tried the Canon and if you have enough time to go trough all the menus and test the photos at full zoon you will see the Canon is way better. Some facts I saw on the store but haven't found online: 1. Cannon has two procesors, it makes you can take pictures while recording a video (Nikon don't). 2. Nikon at full zoom starts to "move" the picture, and you feel there is a motor moving all time within the camera, while Canon has a very good stability on full zoom. 3. if you are recording a video with the Nikon and zoom in, there is no focus correction, so the video is completely blur while in the Canon the focalization is the same as with the pictures.
              There are many more reasons. Try yourself, find a store with both cameras and test them at the same time. Good luck.
              Thakurdalipsingh (0:44 PM, April 29, 2011)
              no other camera has raw and manual zoom except Fuji HS11/22.
              Nikon is slightly better with 1 mm wider angle but slow max apertuyre 3.5 agains puts it back.
              fernando rodriguez (5:51 AM, April 25, 2011)
              you should consider the battery life and the flash hot shoe
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:30 PM, April 21, 2011)
              I do not think you will be disappointed with any of these cameras. What types of photos will you be taking with this camera and is video important to you?