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The Canon 30D is a mid-level digital SLR Camera, released in 2006. It's since been superseded by a couple of Canon releases (primarily the 40D), but it's still a capable & able camera.
The 30D was my first ever SLR, I bought it off Ebay & began to grasp the elements of exposure pretty quickly. With a few weeks I was pretty capable & I replaced the basic plastic 18-55mm lens that came bundled with it & began buying the Canon L Series range of EF Lenses.
I used the camera to photograph quite widely throughout England, making mistakes along the way & learning how to correct them. I used the camera until I upgraded to the Canon 5D about 18 months later. In fact, aside from the lower megapixel count, the in-built flash & the custom settings, there wasn't a huge amount of difference between the 30D & the 5D, the ergonomics & body design are almost identical (the 5D is a little chunkier).
The megapixel count is an effective 8.2m which in 2006 was a good number for this kind of price range. Other standard features include the ability to move in 1/3 EV steps (brightening or darkening your exposures gradually, rather than in whole f-stops).
One of the best things about this camera is the fact that it bridges the gap between amateur & semi-pro pretty seamlessly. Providing a range of 'Picture Styles' for the less discerning shooter, it is easy to set up for pleasing results with a minimum of fuss & without having to understand the theory. Yet you are also offered a number of more 'professional' settings (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority & fully Manual settings, amongst others), meaning you can build your knowledge incrementally without getting lost. If you can't figure something out, you can simply switch the camera back to an automatic setting, observe the results & then learn for next time.
The same goes for the in-built flash on the top of the camera, while it's direction is very limited (it only fires directly at the subject), if you're not getting the result you want, you can easily override where necessary.
Like with all mid-level SLR's, you can photograph in JPEG or RAW formats, or both simultaneously if you wish (you can also 'bracket' your photographs if you're unsure of the exposure.
The camera can be connected to your computer via a USB 2.0 connection, although on these older SLR's the transfer time can be very slow (using an external card reader is much more advisable). The build quality is very good & the ergonomics are nice, it feels comfortable to hold & is fairly easy to use.
Like most other similar cameras, this comes with 9 point AF focusing, instant switch-on, & the usual metering modes (evaluative, spot & centre weighted). The LCD screen on the back is decent enough (newer releases are far better) & the image magnification is sharp.
While this camera is no longer the best on the market, for the price you could pick one up for, there are worse options out there. It's a good solid camera that served me well, I've moved on to better cameras since but the 30D is still a solid camera in my eyes.
I bought the Canon 30D 4 years ago for about £900 and now you can buy it for a much cheaper price. I chose this one as I liked the feel of the body and i liked that you could grip both sides of the body whereas with some you can only really grip one side. The 30D has been so reliable and gives me great results. I use it every week to take photos at a nightclub and it performs really well in low light. The photos I get are really crisp and people always comment on how nice the colours come out on it. I don't think I will ever upgrade this camera because it does all what I want it to do. I am even using it most of the time with a standard kit lens and getting great results from it. I would recommend this camera to anyone who wanted to take good photos and have a good reliable camera.
The EOS 30D was produced to replace the popular EOS 20D, which was launched in August 2004. It is the latest in of a range of models which began in 2000 with the EOS D30. This was followed by the D60 in 2002 and the 10D in 2003.
Feel Good Factor
I bought the Canon EOS 30D to replace my Canon 300d which I've had for two years. I have a collection of Canon lenses so it makes economic sense for me to stick with the same system. The EOS 30D is what might be called a mid-range camera, aimed at keen amateur or semi-professional photographers. It is a The EOS- solid looking well-built D-SLR of standard size. There is a thick right hand grip that makes it easy to hold, even in one hand and the important controls are within easy reach. This is an ideal camera if you intend to print photos of 28cm by 35cm or larger.
Compared with the earlier 20D model, the 30D has a bigger 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD screen with a wider viewing angle than that of the 46mm model on the 20D. The image is also sharper at 230,000 pixels. This camera also has more in the way of ISO settings at 1/3-EV intervals and incorporates very useful spot metering. There is also a bigger image buffer, an RGB histogram function, a second lower speed continuous shooting setting, and a supposedly more durable shutter mechanism. You can now see any changes to the ISO setting in the viewfinder. There is also a wider range of adjustments for colour tone, saturation, contrast and sharpness. There is a useful picture style setting that enables you to balance colours and contrast.
Recharging the Battery
When you need to recharge your the battery, you just slot it into the included CG-580 charger. It takes about 100 minutes to fully charge the battery
I've taken pictures in a variety of weather conditions from overcast to sunny skies and I've found that you can still get excellent shots just by shooting in program mode with default colour settings. This is no doubt partly due to Canon's excellent 8.2MP CMOS and DIGIC II processor. Exposure was near-perfect even in difficult lighting conditions. I took some lovely pictures of my sister's pussycat Nunez, although she always was very photogenic cat. Unfortunately she is now in pussycat heaven.
Image Editing Software
Canon includes image editing software with the 30D: ImageBrowser for Mac users and ZoomBrowser for Windows PCs. There is also included Digital Photo Professional. This is for the more enthusiastic or professional user. With this software you can download images from a camera (via the EOS Utility program), view and print your photos as well as edit them. Editing functions include trimming, redeye removal, and the ability to adjust levels, color, brightness, sharpness, and the tone curve. There's also an auto adjustment feature available. Anyone familiar with photoshop type software will know what I'm talking about. If you really know what you're doing you can also edit RAW images. RAW images contain unprocessed image data direct from the camera's image sensor. Since the data isn't processed on the camera you must do it yourself on your computer in order to get it into more usable formats like TIFF or JPEG. With this software you can control all the major RAW properties, including exposure, contrast, sharpness, and color, and color space. I am accustomed to using Photoshop so I tend to stick to this although it can't handle RAW images.
There a number of drawbacks to this camera. The battery didn't last that long. I took about 200 shots during a one week period before it ran out. Although it hasn't affected my photos yet the on board flash is known for casting a shadow when using some lenses at wide-angle focal lengths. You will also only be able to see 95% of the scene in the viewfinder. As is the case with many D-SLRs, a memory card is not included with the 30D. Fortunately CompactFlash cards are getting cheaper and I'd recommend a 1GB card as a good all rounder.
Despite these negative points I still like this camera because it seems to perform very well in low light without the need for flash. It seems much faster and more responsve than my previous camera and the controls are relatively straight forward.
Magnesium alloy body: Dimensions (WxHxD) mm 144 x 105.5 x 73.5mm
Weight (Kg) 700g.
8.2 Megapixel - 22.5 x 15.0mm CMOS sensor
5fps, 30 JPEG image burst
Picture Style image processing
High precision 9-point wide-area AF
Finely adjustable 100 - 1600 (H:3200) ISO range ISO
Shutter durability of 100,000 cycles
Digital Photo Professional software
Max Image Resolution: 3504 x 2336
Focal Length Conversion Factor: 1.6x
Storage media (card not supplied): CompactFlash
Compatible with MicroDrive
Max Consecutive Shots: 23
Battery Type Li-ion: (BP-511A)
Connection Type: USB 2.0
Video Out: PAL, NTSC,
Exposure Modes: Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Picture Modes, Manual,
Metering Modes: Evaluative, Partial Metering, Centre Weighted, Spot,
White Balance Modes: Auto, Manual, Preset, White Balance Bracketing,
Focusing Modes: One-shot AF, AI Servo AF, Manual,
Operating System: Windows 98 SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Mac OS 8.6-9, Mac OS X,
Compatible with all EF/ES-S lenses and EX Speedlite flashes.
In the Box
EOS 30D body
Battery Pack BP-511A
Software CD ROM
I bought my camera at Jessops for £850 (body only) but I've since seen it at Amazon.co.uk: for £784.84