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Canon D30

by Philip Greenspun, January 2001


The Canon D30 is a good digital camera for photographers who want creative control and are already invested in the Canon EOS lens system. The camera is heavy, nearly the same weight as an EOS-3 or EOS-1 body, and comparable in bulk to a mid-range Canon EOS body, such as the Elan 7.

The camera's 15x23mm CMOS image sensor is smaller than the standard 24x36mm frame of a 35mm camera. Thus the image that you see in the viewfinder and on the flash card is magnified 1.6X, i.e., a 50mm normal lens becomes an 80mm portrait lens, the popular 17-35/2.8L zoom becomes 27-56mm, and the fabulous 600/4 IS supertelephoto becomes a 960mm bird-stalking lens.

The viewfinder has the typical Canon amount of eye relief, i.e., just barely sufficient for the average eyeglass wearer. You'll be able to see the entire image and the LCD display just underneath. The image seems smaller (a lot) and dimmer (a little) than that of the EOS-3.

Digital photo titled opera-fruit This is a 3.1 megapixel camera, producing an image 2160x1440 in size. The images are 8 bits deep when producing standard JPEGs (1.3 MB each), 12 bits deep when storing RAW images (3.4 MB each). Resolution isn't everything, as you can see for yourself by looking at the quality of the pixels in full-resolution JPEGs coming out of the Canon S100, G1, and D30 cameras:

To my eyes, the raw pixels from the D30 are the sharpest and clearest of the bunch.

Digital photo titled kfc Contrasty scenes quickly overwhelm the standard 8 bits of the JPEGs. At right, for example, is a photograph of one of the 7 Michelin 3-star dining establishments in Paris. Notice how the subtleties of the sign in front are washed out. This would have been a good time to use the RAW mode. Unfortunately the RAW images have to be manually processed with Canon-supplied software, whereas JPEGs can be batch-processed with ImageMagick (the way that we've done the 10,000 or so images at photo.net; see http://philip.greenspun.com/panda/images for background on this subject). Below is another Parisian scene, the Centre Pompidou, that suffers from the 8-bit limitation of the JPEG. If you'd taken this scene with color negative film, a machine print might look similar to what you see below but a custom print or a little work in Adobe PhotoShop would be able to restore the the lost detail. If you originate 8-bit JPEGs in a digital camera, though, the detail is lost forever.

User Interface

Digital photo titled tuileries-minotaur-statue

The D30 operates just like the other mid-range to professional EOS bodies. In manual exposure mode, shutter speed is set with the finger wheel by the shutter release while aperture is controlled by the thumbwheel on the back of the camera. In autoexposure mode, the priority setting (aperture or shutter speed) is set with the finger wheel, exposure compensation with the rear control dial. In program autoexposure mode, the finger wheel shifts the program.

Like the other fancy EOS bodies, the D30 facilitates simultaneous use of manual and auto focus. Using Custom Function 2, you can shift autofocus from the shutter release to the AE lock button on the rear of the body. (See the photo.net review of the EOS-5 for why this is so important.)

The controls are reminiscent of the EOS-5. There is a control dial on the top left, with "idiot" and "creative" modes. Sadly the middle position is not off; there is a separate on/off wheel on the back. The one really serious user interface lapse is that on the other side of the rear LCD panel is another small wheel labeled "on/off". This is the switch that turns the rear control dial on or off.

The camera is modeless, more or less. You don't go from "off" to either "camera" or "playback". If you want to review some pictures that you just took, press the review button on the back. Your old pictures will start appearing on the LCD screen. Is a French guy riding past on his bicycle with baguettes clamped in the back rack? You don't have to fumble for the "off/camera/playback" switch. Grab the camera and press the shutter release. The D30 will take the picture.

There is a dedicated depth-of-field preview button to the left of the lensmount. Missing features? If you're used to a point-and-shoot style digital camera, you'll miss the real-time image preview on the rear LCD monitor. Don't go looking for the button to turn this on. Remember that this is a single-lens reflex. If you can see the image through the viewfinder, that means there is a mirror in front of the sensor. Only at the instant of exposure does the mirror flip up and permit light to flow through to the shutter/sensor system. This lack of continuous sensing precludes the "panoramic assist" mode that is standard on point-and-shoot style digital cameras. You can still stitch together photos after the fact but you'll probably have to use a tripod to keep the horizon level.

Flash Photography

Digital photo titled flower-interior The full range of Canon off-camera flash cords and flash control systems work with the D30. Sadly, you don't get even the basic TTL metering with older EOS flashes such as the 540EZ. You really need to use the newer EX-series flashes to get any camera control of flash output. Here are some test images made by mounting the MP-E 65 macro lens to a tripod, bayoneting the D30 to the back of the lens, using "Off-Camera Shoe Cord 2" in the hot shoe, and a 380EX flash to the upper left of the flower. To even out the light a bit, I held the mostly-white back of D30 user's guide to the right of the flower as a reflector. Holding the flash and the reflector used up both of my hands so I turned on the D30's self-timer, which gave me 10 seconds to get the flash and reflector into position before the camera exposed the image. Digital photo titled tulips-for-sale-on-rue-cler

Tips

Use Custom Function 12 so that the SET button, when taking pictures, will let you change the ISO speed quickly. The native CMOS sensor is fairly slow, at ISO 100, and you'll want to be able to quickly push it into ISO 400 mode for indoor or shaded light. Only use the maximum ISO speeds of 800 and 1600 when stuck. Below are some comparisons of ISO 400 versus 1600. To my eyes, the ISO 1600 images have too much noise in the shadows.

ISO 400 ISO 1600
Digital photo titled stadium-400 Digital photo titled stadium-1600
Digital photo titled trocadero-400 Digital photo titled trocadero-1600

We recommend purchasing the BG-ED3 battery grip (about $200). It replicates the camera's most important controls for convenient vertical images and holds two BP-511 battery packs, the same as used by the camera. Canon says that each battery is good for making 540 photographs. The included battery charger system is so huge that you're probably better off stocking up on BP-511 batteries (about $60 each) and charging them all before leaving home.

For tripod photography, get a Canon electronic remote release switch. The self timer on this body operates with a fixed 10-second delay and cannot be set to 2 seconds as with most other Canon bodies. Thus it is annoying to use the self-timer as a pseudo cable release.

Digital photo titled hood-shadow If you're using the 17-35mm lens and relying on the on-camera flash as your primary source of light (i.e., you've not read the Light chapter of Making Photographs), be sure to remove the lens hood. Otherwise you'll get a dark shadow on the bottom quarter of the frame.

Gripes

Digital photo titled agence-de-decoration One glaring problem with the EOS D30 is that it does not understand when it is being held vertically. Thus all the portrait-format JPEGs, once transferred into Canon's little PC application, are incorrectly oriented. You have to right click the mouse on every picture that you exposed vertically and then select "rotate 90 degrees left". The actual operation takes a few (long) seconds on a 700 MHz Pentium. There are plenty of consumer-priced devices, e.g., the new Minolta Maxxum 7, that contain small mercury switches to sense orientation with respect to gravity. Every digital camera should have the ability to make an educated guess as to the correct ultimate JPEG orientation.

Another problem with the D30 is that the autofocus system is rather slow and stupid. The body has 3 sensors, comparable to the $250 Canon Rebel body, and overall AF performance seems similar. If you're accustomed to the 40 sensors and fast sure decision-making of the EOS-3 AF system, you will be unpleasantly surprised by the D30.

Bottom Line

Digital photo titled strange-shoes-galerie-vivienne If you have a big Canon EOS system of lenses and EX-series flashes, the D30 is a great camera. If you don't own any Canon EOS products, you should probably consider

  • the Olympus E-10 (less than $2000, simple all-in-one convenience, sealed system with non-interchangeable lens means no danger of getting dirt on the image sensor)
  • the Nikon D1 or Fuji S1, which use Nikon lenses (be cautious in reading about the Fuji, which is sometimes presented as a 6 megapixel camera but in fact has a 3.5 million pixel CCD sensor, comparable to the D1 and D30)
Digital photo titled granary-cemetery-sign Digital photo titled paul-revere-grave

Where to Buy

The D30 is stocked by Adorama, a retailer that pays photo.net a referral fee for each customer, which helps keep this site in operation.

More

Gallery

One of the best things about a digital SLR with interchangeable lenses is the macro capability. Here we've hooked up the MP-E 65 macro lens again. The four images are (1) low-voltage living room light (3 seconds at f/11), auto white balance, (2) same light and exposure but tungsten white balance set explicitly, (3) 380EX off-camera flash, (4) 380EX off-camera flash plus reflector.

Digital photo titled jelly-ambient-awb Digital photo titled jelly-ambient-tungsten Digital photo titled jelly-just-flash Digital photo titled jelly-flash-plus-reflector

With an SLR, as opposed to a point-and-shoot digital camera, you can conveniently choose your shutter speed for best creative effect. In the image below, of a street merry-go-round set up next to Opera Bastille, the D30 was set at 1/6th of a second in order to blur the moving lights:

Digital photo titled carousel-one-sixth-second

With the ability to slip into ISO 1600 at any time, the D30 makes a nice evening companion:

Digital photo titled champs-elysees-at-night Digital photo titled eternal-flame-arc-de-triomphe


Text and photos (c) Copyright 2001 Philip Greenspun.

Article created January 2001

Readers' Comments


Add a comment



Alan Schietzsch , January 13, 2001; 08:35 P.M.

Choosing between the D-30 and the D-1 and S-1, our studio settled on the S-1, despite its inferior body, which is least of our concerns. For commercial work, image quality overrides all else. The D-1 would be our choice for photojournalism (great body), but the colour rendition (particularly of red-magenta tones) was unacceptable for our purposes. The Canon impressed us too, but the Fuji S-1's colour accuracy (using its very well implemented colour balance function) exceeded what we get un-tweaked from our drum scanner! I like the Canon better "as a shooter", but the Fuji's final image is better than its competitiors (so far.) Very film-like tonality, and settable in both contrast and saturation to simulate different emulsion choices. Can't wait to see what the next generation of cameras wil be like!

Darron Spohn , February 04, 2001; 12:24 P.M.


Cropped D30 image

I borrowed a D30 from another photo.net member and used it for two days at Laguna Seca this week. Overall, I'm really impressed. Despite not having time to read the instructions (I was trying to make money), I managed to get some excellent photos of people riding their motorcycles on the track.

Sure, the D30 is no EOS3 or EOS 1v when it comes to motorsports, but treating it like a manual focus camera worked fine for getting action shots of people with their knees on the asphalt. Considering the money I'm paying for two days worth of film and processing, buying the D30 would pay for itself in about five track days.

The bottom line is that I could make more money with the D30 than with an EOS3 or EOS1v. It's a business decision, and digital cameras have finally reached the point where they make business sense for me. I'll probably buy two.

Steve Rosenblum , February 06, 2001; 10:48 P.M.


Snow Monkey Shot with D30 and 100-400L IS Lens from a monopod

Using the D30 is really a lot of fun!! That is not to say that it is a toy, it is a very useful photographic tool. But, it is the way that it changes your workflow that is fun. I took mine to the Detroit Zoo the other day to shoot some of the animals that love cold weather. I used it with the 100-400L IS zoom lens, which turns into a monster zoom on the D30 because of the 1.6x multiplication factor. So first of all, I'm getting these great closely cropped images of the animals, dead on the eyes, using the camera and lens mounted on a monopod. Since I have an IBM microdrive in the camera I can just fire away at will for hundreds of images if I want without having to change film. If I set the camera to show me instant reviews of each shot I can immediately tell if I got the composition and exposure that I intended instead of waiting a week for the mailer to come back from A and I. Because of this I am definitely getting more "keepers"--I am climbing my learning curve faster. Every hour or so I sat down on a bench and reviewed the images I had taken thus far, deleting the ones that I didn't like. Before I even got into my car to go home I had already "sorted out" most of the images. At home I loaded the RAW files onto the computer and burned them onto a CD, thereby storing my digital "negatives" semi-permanently. A few tweaks in PhotoShop and a little unsharp mask and I'm printing absolutely beautiful images onto archival paper with an Epson 2000P. Today a couple of them are sitting on my desk at work. This is a really exciting way to work. I have total creative control over the whole process and can go from taking the shots to finished prints in a few short hours. When the sensor prices drop and the novelty wears off so that a similar body costs less than a thousand dollars these puppies will sell like hotcakes. The detail in the high compression JPEG of this snowmonkey is not well conveyed on the web but here is a shot that printed very well.

Kah Heng Tan , February 11, 2001; 08:38 P.M.

Thanks for the review Phil.

There's more at http://www.dpreview.com for those who don't know that that excellent digicam review website exists.

E-10:

I thought I'd say a few things as a working pro who has been shooting extensively with the Olympus E-10 for the last two months.

First, I'd have to agree with the person who said that the sensor is noisier than the rest of the cameras mentioned. It's really not the kind of noise that will make the camera unusable (i.e., crappy) though.

It's however a camera in a market all of its own and doesn't seem meant to compete head on with the interchangeable lens small-sensor pro/semi-pro digicams (just look at the much lower retail price, and remember its for a camera plus pro level lens - albeit a built in one).

What I have personally found is that it's an excellent camera that *is* indeed highly suitable for a variety of professional uses. I have been shooting editorial assignments (even full double page spreads) and a variety of print ads with the camera. It's also an ideal low cost high performance camera for shooting catalog pictures.

I have found it excellent value for the low price, and one of the great things about it is the outstanding lens covering the kinds of focal length a lot of pros would use - equivalent to 35-140mm in the 135 format.

The E-10 isn't also something targetted at photojournalists I am afraid - you do have to live with shooting at ISO 80 for the best results, and no interchangeable lenses. The JPEGs (@2.7x compression) at this ISO setting are outstanding with RAW even better.

For the kinds of things I shoot, I am more than pleased with the camera. In fact, I can think of a heck of a lot of other pro (aka, money making) uses for this 'noisy' camera.

See very well done reviews here:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse10/

http://www.imaginginsider.com

David Bell , February 20, 2001; 09:52 P.M.

After reading this reviewer's impressions of the D30 it seems apparent that he/she may not be aware of the Kodak/Canon joint agreement that Canon agreed for Kodak to use Canon bodies to develop Kodak branded Pro digital cameras. The terms of this contract did not allow for Canon to produce and market any Canon branded Professional digital cameras until the expiration of this contract in 2002. Hence the reason many of the Pro features are left out of the D30, the least of which being pixel resolution. My only comment regarding this is a simple one: if this is Canon's first effort at producing a "non-professional" digital SLR, I can't wait until 2002 when they are free to produce their own full blown Pro Series!!

George Rossano , March 01, 2001; 03:55 P.M.

I have used the D30 to shoot indoor sports in well lit arenas at 400 and 800 speed. The picture quality is great but compared to using an EOS1V-HS adjustments in shooting style are necessary. If you shoot sports in portrait orientation the vertical grip is a necessity and also better balances the body when used with a large zoom or long telephoto.

The autofocus seems pretty similar to what was used on the old 10s bodies so if the subject does not fill the frame, focus does not track as well/fast as the modern systems. There is a long pause between when you activate the body by half depressing the shutter button and when you can actually take a frame. One must think ahead and periodically wake up the body to cover intermittent action. It would have been far better if they had used the 5-spot autofocus system out of the A2 or 1N.

At 3 frames per second for only a handfull of frames, the body is barely adequate for bursts of frames, and again one has to think ahead and shoot carefully or the body will by writing to disk while you might want to shoot. The internal memory buffer is just too small compared to the Nikon. I use compact flash cards for memory and a card reader on my laptop to upload pictures. Drop the 1GB drive on a concrete arena floor in the heat of battle and it is toast.

The most serious problem I have encountered is the body "crashing" far too often - one or twice an hour during heavy (few hundred frames) use. The body locks up and gives an error code, but no explanation of the error - just a cryptic "take me to a service center" suggestion in the manual. The manual says turn the body off and on to recover, but one must also switch out the flash card. If you cycle the power and continue shooting with the previous card the file structure on the card is trashed and all shots are lost. It seems to occur most often when trying to take a shot while the internal buffer is being written to the flash card, but also occurs at other times. I have spoken to other photographers who do similar jobs as I do and they also experience this problem. I infer this is inherent to the firmware used in its little pea computer brain, which needs to be improved.

Technical support at Canon is very poor. I was never able to reach a live person at Canon and their e-mail response to inquiries (which took several days to receive) provided no useful information at all. Their only advice was to send the body to NJ for examination.

The D30 is no substitute for film in a 1V but for many application it is a useful tool despite its problems and limitations, especially with the price starting to come down into the $2500 range. If one does not already have an EOS system, however, the next generation Nikon may be a better choice.

Eero Simoncelli , March 06, 2001; 11:21 A.M.

I've had a Canon D30 since November and overall, I'm pretty happy with it. A summary of my impressions:

Pluses:

  • Modeless interface is a huge win (compared to the play/record mode-switching on most digicams).
  • Shooting speed is great (compared with most digicams), but note that it's HIGHLY card-dependent. I gained a factor of two by switching to a Kingston card!! See Rob Galbrath's card comparison page.
  • Metering seems quite accurate with the 550EX E-TTL flash, which is very smart about fill-flash, etc.

    Mixed:

  • Autofocus will probably seem inferior to an EOS-1v user (i.e., slower, hunting in low light), but is impressive compared with non-SLR digicams (i.e., Nikon 990, Sony DCS775, Olympus 3030Z...). Note that low-light performance improves if you have an EX series flash mounted.
  • 12-bit raw images are worthwhile for capturing higher dynamic range, but the Canon software is pretty clumsy.

    Minuses:

  • Auto-white balance is annoying (although no worse than any other digicam I've played with). If one shoots with fill flash, it never seems to get the colors right.
  • Powerup delay (from standby) is a bit long (but still much better than most digicams).
  • The camera feels reasonably solid except for the flimsy flash compartment door.
    I take the card in and out constantly (I read in my laptop PC-slot), and am just waiting for it to bust.
  • I agree with Philip that a auto-orientation sensing would be a welcome improvement.
  • Robert Lavelle , March 27, 2001; 10:38 A.M.

    A quick comment on the D30 versus the E10 from Olympus.

    You have to compare apples and apples here. The D30 uses a 35mm aspect ratio while the E10 uses an aspect ratio that is essentially 4x5. This means that an image from the D30 enlarges to 8x12 with no cropping while the E10 image enlarges to 8x10 with (essentially) no cropping. This has significant resolution implications if you print these images. If you want 8x12's as your final output then the resolution difference between the cameras is pretty much irrelevant. If you print 8x10's then there is a real difference.

    Email me if you want the math but the executive summary is this: If I crop a D30 image to 8x10 and compare it to an uncropped 8x10 image from an E10; the E10 image contains 30% more information .... YES, I said 30%! And you can plainly see the difference in the resolution. Now the other side of the coin is that the E10 image is going to be very noisy. Sorry Olympus-philes, the E10 is a VERY noisy camera and that's a plain fact. In a very dynamic image the noise gets lost and itÂ’s not a real problem. In an image with large areas of monochrome tones (blue sky, snow fields, ect.) and/or skin tones this noise is a serious flaw in the camera.

    At this point, unless you want to move to Nikon's new 6 meg cameras, you cannot have your cake (the clean images of the D30) and eat it too (the resolution of the E10). What's the answer, the answer is either 1)DCS560 (read:$$$$$ and a 200asa limit) or 2)wait until the new 6meg pro canon body comes out sometime??? this year. Also remember that Contax's body also debuts in the spring, at about $7K! What do I do?, I shot mostly with the DCS560 and D30. The noise in the E10 drives me crazy; so much so that I'm going to sell it.

    Keith Shearon , July 03, 2001; 12:17 P.M.

    I have run a couple thousand images through the D30 and two issues cause me concern. The first issue is how many images before I reach shutter failure. I know the 1N/1V are built for many more cycles than the EOS5 (Pro vs. Prosumer), but how many shutter cycles before I can expect to replace the D30 shutter. Is the shutter even made like a normal shutter?

    Second and biggest on the list is my serious need for a microprism focusing screen for this camera. The autofocus is so unreliable during wedding ceremonies that I must manually focus. But without a microprism manual focusing is a crapshoot in low light.

    Dave Deacon , July 15, 2001; 02:44 A.M.

    E10

    The noise on E10 images is absolutely NOT a problem. If you want to sit at a computer screen and get out a magnifying glass, then you do have a problem. However, at normal viewing distances be it on a monitor or a wall noise is NOT I repeat NOT a problem.

    I think too many have 'heard say' there is noise and 'drive themselves mad' looking for it. I have seen noise on all digital cameras - even the D30 - so they will find some noise. Look, if it does not hit you in the face, then forget it and get on with taking the great pictures it can take - in the right hands.

    It is very fast to focus and takes 3 fps. Unfortunately having filled its 4 frame buffer you have to wait until at leat one is saved before being able to shoot again. That is not usually a problem.

    It wil take a microdive. Most stable is the 340MB though many use 1GB. Still CF cards are now very cheap.

    The viewfinder is not dark. It has a nice wide lens to get enough light in there. The viewfinder darkens due to the aperture closing when the camera is not powered.

    Talking of power it will happily work off standard 1500 mAH NiHMs. A few sets are enough to shoot a few hundred images and load them into a PC.

    Believe me, this is a very well made and very capable camera which has, unfairly, gotten a name for noise. If anyone is truly obesessive, then set sharpness to soft and contrast to low and use the RAW format (ORF) which is truly noiseless - even on blue skies. You can then sharpen etc via Photoshop. Personally, I have sharpness and contrast at normal and use the 1:2.7 jpeg setting giving files of about 2.5MB. This produces excellent quality shots with no more noise than other digital cameras.

    To say it has more in common with a Canon G1 is truly dim and totally off the mark. I have used both...

    Many think the D30 images look to cartoony, that the surfaces and textures look unreal, too smooth. Criticisms on both sides... I actually like both the D30 and the E10 for different reasons. I have seen excellent shots produced with both which i would gladly hand on my wall or have on my monitor.

    Dave Deacon , July 16, 2001; 01:05 A.M.

    Some E-10 photos might make the point. Try this site:

    www.belgiumdigital.com

    Andrew Grant , July 20, 2001; 03:33 P.M.

    Robert Lavelle is correct about resolution applied to 8x10 prints. For 4x6 and 5x7s the D30 is at less of a disadvantage. However, the noise of the E-10 really put me off, reminds me of the C3000Z I used to have. The slow speed of the sensor negated the speed of the lens for me. The light splitter for the viewfinder probably didn't help. Although I have no Canon lenses I decided to buy the D30, and some Canon lenses of course. I decided on the 50/1.4 (a nice portrait lens on the D30), 28/2.8 (a rather slow normal lens), and a 70-200 F4 L which looks to me like a bargin, as with the $100 rebate it is half the price of the F2.8 version. I think primes become less practical at the longer focal lens as framing while walking around could involve quite a bit of walking.

    BTW The D30's built in timer WILL operate in 2 second mode. All you have to do is activate mirror lockup in the CF menu. If you are shooting off a tripod, you should be doing this anyway

    To answer Keith's question, the D30 uses a standard EOS shutter, probably similar in quality to an Elan7, but that is speculation on my part. To assist in focusing, you could try the ST-E2 IR transmitter which also has a focus assist light.

    Ron Smith , September 25, 2001; 08:01 P.M.

    I was thinking about buying a D30 and read all the great comments with interest. The one that jumped out the most was the Kodak/Canon relationship that was due to expire.

    I jumped to the Canon web site to find out more and much to my surprise, today Canon announced the new EOS -1D.

    Unsure of cost...but I am definitely going to forego the D30 and see what shakes out with the EOS-1D.

    Cliff Calhoun , October 08, 2001; 01:05 A.M.

    For reference, I have used a Canon EOS 5, an EOS 3, an Elan II, and now a D30, and I use the 28-70 f2.8 and the 70-200L f2.8 lenses. I am a serious amateur. I wanted to "upgrade" to the Canon digital SLR. However, I was concerned about what I had read about the D30s, seemingly poor AF performance.

    Here are some of my observations.

    The EOS 3 performs the best of all these bodies - fastest overall performance and AF.

    However, I have found that the D30 is no slouch in overall performance, and/or AF performance in bright light, shadows, or night shooting. Again, the EOS 3 is better, but my D30 instantly, and I mean INSTANTLY, locks onto the subject in good light, and seems to perform similiarly to the EOS 3, and EOS 5 in poor light, although the EOS 3 still has the edge here.

    I decided to switch to digital after some very bad experiences with scratched slides, poor service, etc. I finally got tired of losing control over some of the most important parts of the image making process.

    The D30 is a high quality camera, with above average AF performance for the work that I do.

    I'm sure that the EOS 1D will be better, and much closer, if not as good as, the EOS 1v in overall, and AF performance. But for me, the price to performance ratio of the D30 can't be beat, especially if you own Canon EF lenses.

    Again, these are simply my observations - your mileage may vary.

    James W. , February 25, 2002; 09:16 P.M.

    I found the D30 to be an excellent camera in all aspects except one. Motor driven images. I shot a model in my home and locked up the camera a few times. Once I locked it up so bad that I had to take the batteries out and reinitialize it. I was shooting a few frame bursts and continuing. Not holding down the button all the time. It could not handle RAW images like that. The buffer is too small. I sold it right away. Gee if I did the Indy with the thing I would have thrown it in the garbage. Even my Fuji 6900/4900 can do five frames per second. Ahh..well the 1d is out so I will stop bitchin.

    Also one other thing, forget Canon software and get www.breezesys.com software. I got 18.7mb per image after using Chris's cheap software.

    Bashir Lunat , April 15, 2002; 04:47 P.M.

    I recently purchased a D30 and I found it to be a near perfect digital camera.I also use Nikon 990 which has same pixel counts.But it is not all "pixels!".Bytheway I would like to draw your attention to imaging siftware callen VF Zoom.Try it as I did.You wont regret!.Also there is Genuine Fractals pro for scaling-up images to almost limits of your printer.I used both,however,VFZ is better for the end result though it has a awful interface.Has anyone tried any of these softwares?

    Edward Kang , October 26, 2002; 02:36 P.M.

    I just recently got a Canon D30, and here is my list of REALLY INTERESTING STUFF. Yes, it just has to be in all caps, it's that COOL.

    1. Custom Function 12 set to 2 allows me to change the ISO of the camera just by pressing the "SET" button with my thumb. Then I twiddle, and all of a sudden my shutter speed up to 5 stops faster in Av mode. This is about 100 IQ points higher than putting your "other hand" in charge of ISO selection. This alone makes me quiver with glee.

    2. The lack of a motor drive is really neat. I mean really neat. The camera claps like an EOS-5 (actually, I think it's a bit louder for some reason), but then there's no whir. Street photography melds into stealth instead of becoming an exercise in aggravation. I feel like Henri Bresson whispering around the streets of Paris (yeah, just like that).

    3. An actual, plain english menu format for setting custom functions renews my faith in Canon engineers.

    And, the requisite annoyances:

    1. The power on/off switch should have been a copy of the control dial on/off switch. Unfortunately, it's not, and turns more like the remote control plug on a nikon camera. It's way too small, and there's no way to operate it with a single finger.

    2. The flash seems to use the EOS-5's mechanism (whir-click, motor opening). I saw my share of these mechanisms break on EOS-5's and I'm hoping they improved reliability in this version.

    3. The cheap feeling memory card door makes the camera feel a bit...squeaky, when gripped.

    4. Where's my flash sync plug? It's always missing. Please come back, flash. sync. plug.

    Overall, a great camera, although if I had the money, I'd skip straight over the D60 and go directly to the EOS-1D, which is a much better camera than the D30 and D60, in virtually all respects.

    Andrew Daniel , July 03, 2003; 12:52 A.M.

    I just got my D30! Havent had it long (June 2003). Yes, its an older camera by today's standards. Yes, it was used. And, yes, it has a lot of clicks on it. The image count is at 2.5 million, and counting. The camera functions just as a new one does, perfect and flawlessly. The focus works well enough, I cannot gripe about it because there are ways to help the focus, so thats not a problem. The colors are rich, the noise at lower ISO is non-existent, the sharpness is amazing. It performs extreamly well, I have yet to miss an action shot due to buffer purge when using continous drive mode. People, if you want an excelent camera, and cant afford the D60, 10D and up, go get a D30... I can promise you will be thrilled. I could in fact go on and on, and at some time may put together a site dedicated to this camera, but then again, you can just get one and realize it was a smart buy. It was a used D30 or a used E10, and Olympus still hasnt figured out how to keep the purple artifact out of white edges, so I went D30 and am ever so glad I did. (BTW, the E20 shows purple too, just at a higher resolution :-)

    Paul Thurlow , August 13, 2003; 05:27 P.M.


    PainTubes D30 natural lighting

    I sold my EOS 1 for a D30.I was a little disapointed in the early days, as my previous digital camera was Toshiba 3.3 PDR M70, which made me a lot of money. 2 Months on, and i can't leave it alone. It is extremely good for the price, and has enabled me to go to the higher end of digital imagery. Nice review, but the photos could have been better


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