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Canon EOS 30D Review

April 2006 | By Phil Askey

Review based on a production EOS 30D, Firmware Version 1.0.4

The model line in which the EOS 30D sits has seen a total of five models, each offering either an upgrade in features, resolution or both. From the EOS D30 to D60 we saw a doubling in megapixel count as well as numerous feature upgrades, from the EOS 10D to 20D again we saw an increase in megapixel count and performance (continuous shooting up to five frames per second). So eighteen months after the EOS 20D comes the EOS 30D, which honestly has to be one of the least exciting upgrades so far. The real headline improvements are a larger LCD monitor, standardizing on 'Picture Style', spot metering, third stop ISO selection and selectable continuous shooting speeds. Despite this subtle update there's still a huge amount of interest around this model, Canon has taken the "if it ain't broken don't fix it" approach to the image pipeline, the EOS 30D has the same sensor and image processor (DIGIC II) as the EOS 20D, and that camera has for the eight megapixel digital SLR benchmark since it was introduced.

Model line history

Model Announced Effective pixels Auto focus Continuous (JPEG) LCD monitor
EOS D30 Apr 2000 3.1 mp 3 point 3.0 fps, 3 frames 1.8"
EOS D60 Feb 2002 6.3 mp 3 point 3.3 fps, 8 frames 1.8"
EOS 10D Feb 2003 6.3 mp 7 point 3.3 fps, 9 frames 1.8"
EOS 20D Aug 2004 8.2 mp 9 point 5.0 fps, 23 frames 1.8"
EOS 30D Feb 2006 8.2 mp 9 point 5.0 / 3.0 fps, 30 frames 2.5"

Canon EOS 30D vs. EOS 20D feature and specification differences

Canon EOS 30D

Canon EOS 20D
Metering modes • Evaluative 35 zone
• Partial (9% at center)
• Spot (3.5% at center)
• Center-weighted average
• 1.0 to 20 EV metering range
• Evaluative 35 zone
• Partial (9% at center)
• Center-weighted average
• 1.0 to 20 EV metering range
ISO steps 0.3 EV steps 1.0 EV steps
Image parameters "Picture Style"
• Standard
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Neutral
• Faithful
• Monochrome
• User 1
• User 2
• User 3
• Parameter 1
• Parameter 2
• User 1
• User 2
• User 3
• B&W
Custom image parameters • Sharpness: 0 to 7
• Contrast: -4 to +4
• Saturation: -4 to +4
• Color tone: -4 to +4
• B&W filter: N, Ye, Or, R, G
• B&W tone: N, S, B, P, G
• Sharpness: -2 to +2
• Contrast: -2 to +2
• Saturation: -2 to +2
• Color tone: -2 to +2
• B&W filter: N, Ye, Or, R, G
• B&W tone: N, S, B, P, G
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD (wide viewing angle)
• 230,000 pixels
• 1.8" TFT LCD (wide viewing angle)
• 118,000 pixels
Histogram • Luminance
Continuous speed • 5 frames per second
• 3 frames per second
5 frames per second
Continuous buffer Up to 30 JPEG or 11 RAW frames Up to 23 JPEG or 6 RAW frames
Playback file size display Yes, MB No
Playback jump • 10 images
• 100 images
• By date
10 images
Record review magnify Optional No
Shutter life 100,000 shutter cycles Not quoted
ISO in viewfinder When changing Not shown
Custom functions 19 custom functions with 53 settings 18 custom functions with 50 settings
Dimensions 144 x 106 x 74 mm (5.6 x 4.2 x 2.9 in) 144 x 106 x 72 mm (5.6 x 4.2 x 2.8 in)
Weight • No battery: 706 g (1.6 lb)
• With battery: 785 g (1.7 lb)
• No battery: 685 g (1.5 lb)
• With battery: 764 g (1.7 lb)

About this review

As much of the EOS 30D is identical to the EOS 20D we have used our review of that camera as a basis for certain sections of this review.

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X, Y, and Z and ideally A, B, and C.

This article is Copyright 1998 - 2015 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Total comments: 2

The 30D had a 50 mm lens and the 5D had an 85mm lens and that could account for the difference in reading the globe etc.

marc petzold

Not really, the 5D is Fullframe, (x1.0 crop) whereas the 30D is Canon APS-C, and therefore with x1.6 crop - so the 50mm Lens behave itself like a 80mm lens compared to full frame, which is close to the 85mm Portrait focal lens onto the FF 5D.

1 upvote
Total comments: 2