Canon EOS 30D Review
Metering isn't something we normally cover in our reviews, primarily because it's a fairly "known quantity" and the characeteristics of metering between different brands varies. However the EOS 30D is important in this respect as it is the first 'consumer / prosumer' level Canon digital SLR to have spot metering (yes, it has taken this long). Below you will find a comparison of the different metering modes available on the EOS 30D as well as the Nikon D200. Where available we have indicated the approximate metering area with a semi-transparent red overlay. Note that this test scene is deliberately designed to test spot metering, strong backlight and a small subject.
Canon EOS 30D
As you can see the strong backlight is too much for Evaluative or Center weighted average metering, the 'good old' Partial metering actually copes fairly well however it's a whole stop different to the Spot metering result which is the best here (for our required outcome).
The Nikon D200's metering modes produced similar results to Canon's Evaluative, Center weighted average and spot metering. Although it's worth noting that in spot metering mode the metered area is even smaller than the EOS 30D.
Artificial light White Balance
The EOS 30D's automatic white balance in artificial light appears to be identical to the EOS 20D, that is pretty mediocre under incandescent light (even using the incandescent preset) and very good under fluorescent light (although interestingly better in auto than with the preset). This warm color cast on incandescent shots appears to be a decision made by Canon to 'preserve the natural look of the original scene'. If this is the case and if the camera can truly produce white in incandescent light then the choice between the 'natural look' and the technically correct look should be a custom function option.
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red: 7.7%, Blue: -12.1%, Average
|Incandescent - Incandescent preset WB
Red: 3.4%, Blue: -6.3%, Average
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red: -0.1%, Blue: -0.9%, Excellent
|Fluorescent - Fluorescent 1 preset WB
Red: -1.2%, Blue: -3.4%, Good
Long Exposure noise reduction / Night shots
The EOS 30D has typical 'dark frame subtraction' noise reduction for exposures of one second or longer, this can be enabled or disabled via a custom function. Dark frame subtraction NR works by taking a second equal exposure immediately after the first but with the shutter closed, any hot pixel noise in this second exposure can then be subtracted from the first to produce a cleaner image. With noise reduction off we were not able 'hot pixels' in our 30 second exposure.
|Noise reduction Off||Noise reduction On|
|ISO 100, 30 sec, F9||ISO 100, 30 sec, F9|
Just like the EOS 20D and 5D the 30D features E-TTL II metering which utilizes distance information provided to the camera by the lens (although not all lenses provide this). Using the kit lens (EF-S 18-55 mm, F3.5-F5.6 II) the built-in flash has a specified range of 3.7 m (12.1 ft) at wide angle and 2.3 m (7.5 ft) at telephoto (all at ISO 100).
|Built-in flash direct||Canon 430 EX direct|
|Canon 430 EX bounced||Built-in flash direct|
Overall Image Quality / Specifics
It won't come as much of a surprise if we were to say that we are just as impressed with the EOS 30D as we were with the EOS 20D, no surprise because they share the same sensor and image processing engine. Because of this then it's remarkable that eighteen months after the introduction of this sensor / image processing combination (in the EOS 20D) we've still not really seen any competition that can get close to this overall package of resolution, quality image development and low noise at high sensitivities.
One big change from the EOS 20D is of course the introduction of PictureStyles, the Standard PictureStyle approximately equating to the EOS 20D's 'Parameter 1'. As I said in my EOS 5D review I wasn't initially a big fan of PictureStyle but it has grown on me. The only advice I would give to anyone new to PictureStyles is to spend time experimenting and tuning each PictureStyle to suit you (for instance I prefered to have color saturation down one step in the Landscape PictureStyle).
AI Servo interference banding
This issue gained a lot of attention around the time of the introduction of the EOS 5D. However, tracking back through older forums postings it's clear that this has actually been around for a couple of generations of Canon EOS digital SLR's. The issue relates to the use of certain lenses at high sensitivities in AI Servo (continuous auto focus) mode. This combination can sometimes lead to banding interference artifacts, most clearly in shadow areas. This appears to be some kind of radio frequency or electrical interference from the auto focus motor. Obviously this is a fairly specific issue which would only be an issue if you do a lot of continuous auto focus shooting with certain lenses.
|EF 50 mm F1.4, ISO 1600||EF 50 mm F1.4, ISO 3200|
|50% crop (Brightness boosted slightly)||50% crop (Brightness boosted slightly)|
|_MG_5100 by tim and jan|
from Welcome to the Saloon!
|The Grimm 11 year old by Ryan Gardner|
from Trick or Treat
|Heron with fish by APenza|
from A Big Year - birds
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm F1.4 lens is being relaunched in 7 different mounts, including: Sony A, Sony E, Canon EF, Nikon F, Fujifilm G, Pentax K, and Leica L. Got an extra three grand lying around?
In January, Kodak announced it would bring back the beloved slide film Ektachrome. The timeline has been pushed back a bit, but Kodak says you can expect to purchase Ektachrome again in 2018.
Instagram popularity is threatening some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US, as hordes of 'nature lovers' trample over the same spots over and over again in search of the same exact shot.