Under your thumb

On the right side of the camera "under your thumb" are two buttons which will be familiar to EOS users. The first * by default acts as an AE or FE lock button, it can however can be reprogrammed through custom function 2 (table below).

The second button is for selecting AF focus area, a single press of this button then roll either the main dial or quick command dial to select automatic focus point selection or a particular focus point.

Shutter button / AE lock button function (custom function 2), most sports photographers will prefer to use setting 1 or 3 where you can control WHEN the camera AF kicks in, a simple press of your thumb will start AF, then you can fire off as many shots as you like (more quickly obviously) without the camera refocusing, plus you can manual focus once the AF has completed.

Custom Function 2
Setting Shutter button half-press AE Lock button
0 AE, AF AE lock
1 AE lock * AE, AF
2 AE, AF AF lock (no AE lock)
3 AE * AE, AF (no AE lock)

* With these settings the shutter release button takes on a shooting priority rather than focus priority, it will fire even without a good focus lock.

Rear of camera controls

On there rear of the D30 we'll find an array of controls, slightly confusing there are two On/Off switches (I'm sure they could have been labeled differently). The top On/Off switch is the main power switch for the camera, at first it seems a bit out of place but becomes quick and easy to operate, the small block protruding from the switch can be easily flipped with your thumb or fingernail.

Recent Videos

The large Quick Control Dial will be familiar to D2000 (DCS520) users and it's absolutely at home on the back of the D30, it can be disabled with the small On/Off switch directly above it (shaped to be easy to push with your thumb). By default in shooting mode the dial is used to set exposure compensation (this will only work when there's an exposure reading on the viewfinder status bar or top LCD), this can be in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps (custom function 4). The combination of this dial with the SET button can be programmed to change different settings (custom function 12):

Custom Function 12
Setting SET button function when shooting
0 Not assigned
1 Change quality
2 Change ISO (my preference)
3 Select parameters

Otherwise the Quick Control Dial and SET button are used in conjunction with the LCD menu system for navigation and selecting options. The rest of the buttons on the rear of the camera are associated more with playback and the LCD.

Button Operation
MENU Enter / Leave the Record Menu

Record menu is described on the following pages of this review.
INFO Information

With no playback image displayed the INFO button displays camera information (example on the next page). With an image displayed INFO switches between full LCD view of the image and a quarter sized image with histogram and exposure information.

Jump through playback images by 9 frames forward or backward.
Thumbnail / Zoom

With an image displayed (PLAY pressed first) toggles between:
   • Full image display
   • 3 x 3 thumbnail images (9)
   • 2 x zoomed image playback (use Quick Command Dial to scroll around zoomed image)

Immediately displays the last image shot (the last image on the card). The D30 is a "shooting priority" camera, that means that no matter what is displayed on the rear LCD this will be cancelled if any of the cameras photographic functions (example half-pressing the shutter release) are accessed.

Image preview (immediately after taking the shot): Erases the currently displayed image, requires a confirmation OK / Cancel.
Image review (Play pressed first): Displays the option to delete the current image or all images.

Lens mount controls

On the side of the lens mount are the final set of camera controls. First is the flash open button, a press of this (assuming the exposure mode allows flash) will pop-up the onboard flash (motorised).

Below the lens release button is the depth of field preview button (just right for a tap from your thumb when supporting the lens), press this and the lens stops down to the exposure aperture to give a preview of the depth of field through the viewfinder.

Sensor Cleaning

The D30 has a dedicated "Sensor Cleaning" mode which must be used in conjunction with the provided dummy battery / AC adapter (you can't do this on the battery). When enabled the mirror flips up and shutter opens. Canon recommend using a non compressed-air blower (the normal lens cleaning pump type without a brush).

Here's what the manual warns about sensor cleaning:

  • Never disconnect the camera power during cleaning. If the power is cut off, the shutter will close and possibly damage the shutter curtain.
  • Use a blower without a brush attached. Using a brush to remove dust from the image element can damage the element.
  • Do not insert a dust blower into the camera beyond the lens mount. If the power shuts off and the shutter closes, this may damage the shutter curtains.
  • Never use cleaning sprays or blower sprays. The pressure and freezing action of the spray gas may damage the surface of the imaging element.

Note: I had much LESS of a problem with the D30 gathering dust on its sensor than the S1 Pro, I've no idea why this is but I haven't yet needed to clean the sensor (over 1200 exposures).