The EOS 30D's viewfinder is identical to the EOS 20D. For a 'cropped sensor' viewfinder the view is actually quite large and bright with no distortion. The matte focusing screen proved to be good for manual focusing and checking auto focus (although obviously this depends on the maximum aperture of the lens in use).

The rubber surround can be removed and the supplied eyepiece cover (on the shoulder strap) can be slipped over to stop stray light from entering the chamber during long exposures. The eyepiece will also take E-series dioptre adjustment lenses to further expand the dioptre correction range.

Viewfinder view

The biggest change when looking through the viewfinder is the switch from the indicated partial metering circle to the new spot metering circle which according to Canon's specifications covers just 3.5% of the the viewfinder view (and is something users have been asking for since the EOS D30). In automatic AF point selection mode the AF points chosen by the camera are highlighted when you initiate AF (half-press shutter release / AF button), otherwise the selected AF point is highlighted*. In the example below all AF points are illuminated, this would only occur if you had pressed the AF point button with all points selected.

* In automatic AF point selection mode the AF point will only highlight once an AF lock has been achieved. With a single AF point selected it will blink once as you half-press the shutter release and once more upon AF lock (or not if no AF lock was possible). In AI Servo AF mode (with the shutter release half-pressed) the EOS 30D blinks the selected AF point once and then tracks AF, in this mode it would certainly have been more logical to highlight the AF point only when the camera is sure of a good AF lock.

Battery Compartment

The battery compartment on the EOS 30D is in the base of the hand grip, behind a simple clip- locked door. The door itself is removable (to make way for the optional battery grip). The EOS 30D is supplied with the BP-511A Lithium-Ion battery pack which provides 1390 mAh at 7.4 V (10.3 Wh). There's a tiny door on the inside edge of the hand grip where the cable from the optional AC adapter's dummy battery exits.

Battery Charger

As with the EOS 10D/20D the 30D is supplied with the CB-5L battery charger, it's relatively small and lightweight and easy to pack for travel. Charge time is around 90 minutes and the LED on the top of the charger indicates charge progress.

Battery Grip (optional)

The EOS 30D supports the same BG-E2 battery grip as the EOS 20D. The grip can take either two BP-511A (or BP-511/512/513) Lithium-Ion batteries or six AA batteries via a supplied magazine. The grip is attached to the body by removing the battery compartment door (which can be stored in the grip), inserting into the battery compartment and screwing to the grip mount. The grip and two batteries adds 374 g (13.2 oz) to the weight of the EOS 30D.

CompactFlash Compartment

The CompactFlash compartment on the EOS 30D is at the rear corner of the hand grip and is opened by sliding the door towards you and flipping outwards. The door itself has a metal hinge and opens with plenty of room to remove the CF card once ejected. It's worth noting that the CF activity light has moved from a hole in the compartment door to just below the quick control dial on the rear of the camera. The EOS 30D supports both Type I and Type II CompactFlash cards and cards greater than 2 GB in capacity (FAT32).

The same old design flaw

So I find myself having to repeat the complaint I've had with Canon digital SLR's for the last six years. As soon as you open the CF door the camera powers down and you lose any buffered images which haven't yet been written to the CF card. What's even more amazing is that the ever-so-simple fix has been available on the PowerShot G series since the G3 (and can be found on the latest, the G6). The fix is simply to have a beep alarm which sounds if you open the door and images are still being written, this beep sounds until writing has completed.


On the left side of the camera are all of the camera's connections, these are protected by a rubber cover which allows you to expose the PC sync and remote terminals while keeping the USB and Video out terminals covered. In summary from top to bottom: USB (2.0 Hi-Speed), Video Out, PC Sync (left), Remote terminal (right; N3 type).