Canon EOS-D30 Review
Working with a D30 (cont.)
(Phil: Originals for all the pictures on this page and many more are available in Neil's D30 gallery).
One of the best features of the Kodak DCS 520 is the excellent software that comes with it. Here the Canon loses. As a photojournalist I use the naming, viewing and captioning elements of the Kodak Acquire plug-in (TWAIN on a PC) before opening the images in Photoshop. The Canon software doesn't re-name or batch caption pictures so a third party solution is a must for me. What would have taken about two hours with the Kodak was a four hour chore with the Canon - even using Fotostation 4. I obviously hadn't established a decent workflow, a must when you handle up to 500 images a day!
The pictures themselves were on the whole really great. Good colours, reasonable sharpness and even contrast at 100 and 200 ISO, little noise at 400 and still good at 800. The 800 ISO images were less noisy than the Kodak DCS ones without using any noise reduction software. With Quantum Mechanic the two types of files are pretty similar at 800, with the Canon just winning in the shadows which is where problems will show up. Having shot under most types of lighting on the first day I had found the photographs to have pretty good colour which was easily adjusted in Photoshop. On balance the colour was easily as good as the Kodak images and image sharpness was as good too. The pre-set white balances that I tried on day one were all well set up but I found the custom white balance to be largely unuseable. It uses the whole frame and unless you use a grey card it's a real lottery to use. The Canon images are as easy to work with in Photoshop as the Kodak ones. Lesson number four: be prepared to optimise images in Photoshop rather than relying on the in camera sharpening and contrast controls.
Write Speed Concerns
At the end of day one my final thought concerns write speeds. The Lexar cards seem to be quicker than the IBM microdrives to both write and read. I have never been a microdrive fan, mine never really worked in my DCS520s. I've had no problems with the 340Mb card in the D30 but the Lexar seems to handle bursts better. This is an un-scientific opinion, but after two years shooting digital I'm pretty sure that I'm right.
Day two was a lot less hectic, with a portrait out in Buckinghamshire of film director Stephen Frears ("My Beautiful Laundrette", "Grifters" and "Dangerous Liaisons"). The quality of the 100 ISO files convinced me to use the D30 for the big set-piece portrait. I set up two Lumedynes on the main sound stage which was undergoing a major set re-build and shot a couple of test frames with the press officer standing in for him. I got the electrician to rig up and switch on two big (10k and 12k watts) lights and I was ready. The LCD screen review worked very well in this situation and I shot some pictures that looked good on it. Lesson number Five: The D30 LCD is very reliable. What it shows is pretty accurately what you have shot. Five minutes on, and he was off to teach some film students. I followed and in the classroom I put a Canon 550ex, set to slave mode, on a stand with a Sto-fen diffuser. I had the STE-2 on the camera which was on 400 ISO and shot some live teaching pictures with the flash on the main subject. Another ten minutes and we were off to an edit suite where Stephen Frears was working with a single student. Having a room full of cables, monitors and junk food makes shooting pictures difficult, but with STE-2 and two 550exs I worked away at making pictures. By this time I'd been on site for two hours and shot pictures for only 20 minutes.
Back in the office I was determined to refine the workflow (click here for Neil's D30 Workflow article) before shooting a couple of product shots on white backgrounds with Elinchrom lighting and big soft boxes.
Day three has been spent shooting portraits of an 86 year old ballet student at her home in Surrey and saying gooodbye to our editor who is leaving us today. Nothing much new has come up with the D30 except that I have heard the microdrive spinning, which shows how quiet it can be out of the city.
At the end of day three I have really got to grips with the D30 and I am very impressed with it. Obviously it was built down to a price so it hasn't got a lot of the professional features that the DCS520 has (waterproofing, fast autofocus, voice captioning, large internal buffer memory, top class software etc.). There were many features of the D30 that I would build into a hybrid D30/DCS520 camera, which in turn would go a lot of the way to providing a feature set for Canon's eagerly awaited professional model next year. The weight and size of the D30, it's exceptional E-TTL flash peformance and 800/1600 ISO quality would all go in. The autofocus, custom white balance and AF assist light wouldn't make it. The D30s batteries are excellent and will surely be used in the next model, although the tiny orange catches that hold the batteries in place will need to be beefed up for a pro' version. A lot has been said about the D30 and shutter lag. My perception is that it is no worse (and may well be better) than the DCS520, the difference comes in the shutter release action which on the DCS is progressive and easy - against the on/off quality of the D30. Any future professional model will have to match the EOS1v both in shutter lag and pressure sensitivity to please everyone. For 90% of applications the D30 shutter lag isn't an issue, and it hasn't bothered me at all.
Finally we come to the big question: would I buy this camera? Yes. It's not up to the standard of the DCS in most areas, but the images are as good and the flash kicks butt!! At less than half the price of a DCS520 it represents a bargain for photographers moving into digital ahead of the much anticipated fully pro model due within twelve months.
You can find more of Neil's work at his website: www.dg28.com
|scrum break away by al booth|
from Sport competition
|Chinese Acrobat by lim yau tong|
|Parking Deck by Olaf R|
from Your City - Parking Garage
|Communication Tech by alberto_b|
|With & without by OBellini|
from Empty - Full
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II brings more resolution, better autofocus and faster continuous shooting to Canon's entry-level full-frame camera. And we've had the opportunity to shoot with one.
The Canon 6D Mark II will ship to consumers in August, but we've been able to do some shooting with a pre-production unit well in advance.
Rumors have been swirling around for a while, and Canon has just unveiled the long-awaited successor to the popular and long-serving EOS 6D. Read all about it in our hands-on preview.
Canon's latest entry-level DSLR is here. The new Rebel SL2 (EOS 200D) is the belated successor to 2013's Rebel SL1, billed at the time as the smallest and lightest DSLR on the market.
Nearly five years after the announcement of the EOS 6D, Canon has finally replaced it with the EOS 6D Mark II. The Mark II features an all-new 26.2MP Dual Pixel AF full-frame sensor, 6.5 fps burst shooting, a fully articulating touchscreen, 1080/60p video and much more.
Canon has announced the EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D), which replaces the aging SL1. This ultra-compact DSLR features a 24MP sensor, DIGIC 7 processor, Dual Pixel AF system and a 3" fully articulating touchscreen LCD.
When one of his friends got a filter stuck on his $1,700 Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L, former MythBuster Adam Savage removed it using an unlikely, terrifying tool: a band saw.
The New Yorker asked Magnum's famed photographers, in town for the agency's 70th anniversary, to go out and capture 'the fleeting beauty of New York City's golden hour.' This is what they shot.
Roger Cicala is a difficult man to impress, but he's been waxing lyrical over at Lensrentals about Sony's new 12-24mm wide zoom.
Glassware is one of the most challenging subjects to photograph, especially against a white background. This tutorial shows you how to do it with hardly any gear.
Handevision is now shipping its all-metal Iberit 90mm F2.4 short telephoto lens for Leica M-mount 35mm and full-frame cameras.
Isocell comprises four sub-brands: Bright, Fast, Slim and Dual which are tailored to specific mobile device market demands.
The new store will be located at the Fotografiska center for contemporary photography in Stockhom, Sweden and carry the full range of Hasselblad products.
A recent vacation gave Richard a chance to think about the needs of travel photography – and how our reviews might recognize the perfect travel camera.
Need more evidence that 2017 is the year analog begins its comeback? Well, welcome another new film stock to the world.
The winners of the 10th annual iPhone Photography Awards have been announced, and they're striking.
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.