You'll undoubtedly only be considering this camera if the versatility of an extremely broad focal range is highest on your tick list of wants. Though it doesn't boast quite the same reach - but almost - we actually prefer the build quality and even chunkier glass offered by Fuji's FinePix HS10, which overall we feel offers slightly better value for money too.
That said, there is no denying that the SX30 IS proves to be a versatile tool, allowing any number of framing and compositional combinations with its one camera, one lens set up. It's not only easy to use, but as our test shots show, it's also reasonably easy to achieve decent results with it too. It has obvious appeal to families, who perhaps want better pictures than their pocket snapper will deliver, but are put off by the perceived learning curve of a digital SLR or compact system camera.
The negatives are that it costs as much as an entry level DSLR equipped with a standard kit lens, has a slight plastic-y feel that even Canon starter DSLRs have, and images tend to lack contrast and necessary visual 'oomph' straight out of the camera, so require a couple of minutes of tweaking to get them looking their best. If you can live with that and really do need a 'big one', then the SX30 IS could prove to be a solid choice for any number of applications.