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Canon Powershot D30 Waterproof Review

Gary Wolstenholme reviews the Canon Powershot D30 - waterproof down to 25 meters how does this compact camera perform?

|  Canon Powershot D30 in Compact Cameras
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Canon Powershot D30 Blue (2)

The Canon Powershot D30 is a waterproof, freezeproof and shockproof digital camera, with a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens, a 3inch screen and geotagging via built in GPS. 

Canon Powershot D30 Features

Canon Powershot D30 Blue (3)

The Canon Powershot D30 features a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor, a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28mm to 140mm, and optical image stabilisation to help with taking sharp shots in low light conditions.

Waterproof to 25 metres, drop-proof from 2 metres, and freezeproof to -10C, the camera should be able to withstand the trials and tribulations of pretty much anything you can throw at it. The specified waterproof depth should even be suitable for some scuba diving or snorkelling activities without any additional waterproofing.

FullHD video is recorded at 24fps and optical zoom is available during recording. The camera can also record high-speed video at 120 and 240fps, at a reduced resolution. The camera can shoot at 1.9fps at full resolution, which isn't especially fast, especially for a camera of this type.

Canon Powershot D30 Blue (5)

Key Features

  • 12 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens, 28mm-140mm equivalent
  • Optical image stabilisation (lens shift)
  • 3inch screen, 461k dots
  • Waterproof (25m) / freezeproof (-10C)
  • Shockproof (2.0m drop)
  • 1080p video at 24fps with IS and zoom
  • My colours digital filters
  • ISO100-ISO3200
  • 1cm macro mode
  • 1.9fps continuous shooting
  • GPS

Canon Powershot D30 Handling

Canon Powershot D30 Blue (4)

The Canon Powershot D30 feels extremely robust, with heavy duty plastics complimented by a coloured metal face plate and chunky rubberised finger grips that provide a secure grip over the camera body, even underwater. A wrist strap which can easily be tightened for extra security is also provided.

Buttons are also quite chunky and well spaced, which should make operating the camera when wearing gloves possible. The shutter button on top of the camera is large and surrounded by a recessed power button and a video recording button. The shutter button feels a little spongy to operate, which can make half-pressing it for focus a little more difficult than with other cameras and the position of the video recording button can result in it being pressed accidentally if care isn't taken.

Compartments for battery, memory card, USB and HDMI connections are located behind tough locking flaps on the side and base of the camera. The latches that hold these flaps closed can be quite difficult to operate, which can make accessing the memory card, battery or connection quite difficult when out and about, especially if your fingernails aren't long enough to lift the latch. Even so, at least the latches are very secure, which will prevent ingress of dust and moisture when using the camera in challenging conditions.

Canon Powershot D30 Blue (6)

Menus - To change settings you can press the function button, located within the circular 4-way controller on the rear and this will bring up a number of common settings on the screen. To adjust more advanced settings you simply press the menu button and the options are spread over two screens. The menus laid out well, and will feel very familiar those who have used a Canon compact camera before.

Battery Life - Battery life is rated at 300 shots according to Canon / CIPA test results with GPS off, which is quite good for a compact camera. Using GPS will reduce battery life and the battery will last 48 hours of continuous use using only the GPS logger.

Canon Powershot D30 Blue (1)

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response 0.08secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.16secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.31secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.52secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 1.92secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 3.9secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
1.9fps (>100 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash 1.6secs

Shutter response and focus are both excellent, and although the continuous shooting speed is a little disappointing, it will continue to shoot at this speed until you release the shutter button, the battery runs out, or the memory card fills up, whichever comes first, which is impressive.

Canon Powershot D30 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Canon Powershot D30 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images are free of red-eye and colour is good, although skin tones can be a little pink. Images don't have masses of detail in them, especially at ISO settings of ISO400 or greater and on the whole, they could be sharper, which may have an impact on producing larger prints from the images. However, images are fine for sharing on the web via social networking.

Canon Powershot D30 Lens test images

Lens Performance - The lens isn't the sharpest fitted to a compact camera that we have seen, with images displaying softness across the frame at the telephoto end and soft corners in macro shots. The 1cm macro mode is handy for taking frame filling close up images, although corners can be soft.

Canon Powershot D30 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is fairly low in between ISO100 and ISO400. Beyond this, noise starts to become apparent in shadow areas of images and the camera's noise reduction system smooths over detail in an attempt to control the noise present. Even so even images taken at ISO3200 should be fine for sharing on the web, although this setting is probably best avoided for producing prints.

Canon Powershot D30 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a slightly warm cast under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving more accurate colour. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, with their being little to tell between the result using AWB and the fluorescent preset. 

Canon Powershot D30 Other sample images

Canon Powershot D30 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of colour options to choose from in the My Colours section of the function menu. These apply a variety of colour effects to images, such as making one colour more vibrant or applying a sepia tone to images. 

Video - The camera records 1080p video at 24fps with sound, and optical zoom is available during recording. Image stabilisation helps keep the shot fairly steady while recording, although it can take a while to compensate after movement or zoom. Video quality is fairly good, although it would be nice to have higher frame rate options.

Value For Money

The Canon Powershot D30 is available for £259 which makes it good value for money, particularly up against the following cameras, shown below:

Nikon Coolpix AW120, 18m, Wi-Fi, GPS, £279
Panasonic Lumix FT5, 13m, Wi-Fi, GPS, £269
Ricoh WG-4 GPS, 14m, GPS, £289
Olympus Tough TG-3, 15m, GPS, £349
Olympus Tough TG-850, 10m, £259

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Canon Powershot D30 Verdict

The Canon Powershot D30 is a well specified camera that is built to survive much of the punishment it may encounter during action pursuits. It is well priced and waterproof to a greater depth than much of the competition around the same price, which makes it especially good value for those who enjoy water-based activities, such as snorkelling, caving, canoeing etc. However, images produced by the camera could be sharper and more detailed, and noise could be better controlled for a camera of this price.  

  The Canon Powershot D30 is waterproof to an impressive 25m, far beyond the depths of what the competition has to offer, making it great value for money.

Canon Powershot D30 Pros

Good colour and exposure
1080p video with sound and zoom
1cm macro mode
3inch screen
28-140mm equivalent lens
Waterproof to 25 metres
Continuous shooting never slows down

Canon Powershot D30 Cons

Images could be sharper and more detailed
Only 24fps when recording 1080p video
Slow maximum continuous shooting speed
Lacks panoramic mode


Canon Powershot D30 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.9 - f/4.8
35mm equivalent28mm - 140mm
Optical Zoom5x
Image Sensor
Pixels12.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4000
Pixels (H)3000
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution461k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1600sec
Shutter speeds longest15sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Centre Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting1.9fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS24fps
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6LH
Battery Life (CIPA rating)300shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsDigital Camera PowerShot D30, Wrist Strap WS-DC8, Battery Pack NB-6LH, Battery Charger CB-2LYE, AC Cable, User Manual Kit

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Photographs taken using the Canon Powershot D30

13 Will be lucky for someone!East from PorthcurnoSurfing ReflectionsMarbled MeadowTenby TideMen at Work: Block workMen at Work: Wall PlasteringCarpenterBalloon DollwalkingConstruction siteEmpty PacketElectric ForestCity Below

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