My Initial Review Of My 30D

Started Mar 31, 2006 | Discussions thread
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FerretSnapper
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My Initial Review Of My 30D
Mar 31, 2006

I decided that the 30D was worth the upgrade from my 20D and I needed a new body so I dropped the hammer.

I'll spare you all images right now, but I'm glad to report the 30D ACR hack works, except that you get no preview in Adobe Bridge.

My 2 cents:

The new body looks slightly better than the 20 with more pleasing flowing lines. The prism hump is smoothed out and the left side of the body is more filled out. The mode dial looks better and has a different click, but feels good. The multicontroller is definitely easier to actuate and seems to have a lighter touch.

The new screen is absolutely striking and quite easy to read. However, it is affected by glare in bright sunlight.

With the new BG-E2 the camera feels a hair tighter than my 20D, but that's probably because it's new. The body grip seems "beefier" and it feels slightly better to my hand with 24-70 f/2.8L.

The ISO in the viewfinder is fan-frickin-tastic. I can't say enough about 1/3rd stop ISO and being able to change it while looking thru the viewfinder, it's quite the morale booster.

The shutter is NOTICEABLY quieter. Id's say it's slightly muffled and sounds like a higher quality unit. The burst is quite good and I haven't hit the buffer yet! Low speed drive is very useful for shooting people in social situations. I cant be certain but the viewfinder blackout seems to be improved.

The RGB histogram is also quite nice and with more screen acreage you can really evaluate your shots. You can also opt to show focus point in RGB view and zoom in the check your focus. Like all LCDs, focus checking is not perfect, but notably improved over the 20D.

As for image quality it is very similar in all respects to the 20D. Noise handling is virtually identical. The improved controls, including the spotmeter, give the photographer the edge in doing it just a little bit better.

As for focus issues I'm happy to report that the AF is very good, I'd say I already like it a hair better than on my 20D. I think the new algorithm makes a slight, but good difference. The camera is reliable in low light as well.

I tested my lenses for front/back focus in real worlld shooting and not with that slanted ruler every pixel peeper is so keen on. I shot some wide-open macro, people, animals, sheds, and a tree with all my lenses and find my focus to be dead on. The lenses I tested were all Canon: 10-22ef-s, 50f/1.4, 24-70f/2.8L,70-200f/2.8L IS. I had very good results with the 50mm wide-open and at f2.0 and 2.8 it was sharp and dead on. My 24-70 and 70-200 at both ends were crisply focused wide-open. Excellent!

I did a stopped down blue sky shot at near, middle, and infinity focus and can report that dust is at normal levels, the same as with any camera I have tested like this. In practice, I saw no dust in any "normal" shot. I blew the body out with a Giottos Rocket and I'll be happy for now.

My opinion on the 30D is that it is a significant evolution of the 20D. The features that were added improved control, metering, noise(shutter), and speed. Upgrading from a 20D to a 30D is best reserved for serious photographers who like control and more professional features. Amateurs may not notice much improvement, but a serious photographer will see that the evolution of this succesful sensor/design definitely adds value to the package while reducing cost.

So far, I am quite happy with my purchase.

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