Canon EOS 30D Review Round-Up

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Get information and user reviews for this camera at Amazon: Canon EOS 30D 8.2MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

Imaging Resource

The new Canon 30D offers impressive noise performance at high ISOs, with the result that its images at ISO 1600 are remarkably clean-looking, and its shots at ISO 3200 are very usable. Simultaneous with the increase in resolution, the Canon EOS 30D also brings improved shooting speed, with a 5 frame/second continuous mode and unusually deep buffer memory. For all its technical sophistication though, the camera avoids any sense of needless technology for technology’s sake: The Canon EOS 30D is clearly focused on a single purpose: Helping photographers capture excellent images. READ FULL REVIEW

Other Canon EOS 30D Reviews

Camera Labs

When Canon announced the EOS 30D would employ the same sensor as its predecessor, it was hard not to be both surprised and a little disappointed. After all, for its previous generations of digital SLRs, Canon lead the market by always developing new, higher resolution sensors. Standing still like this just didn’t seem right. But it’s important to look at the 30D in context. It replaces the EOS 20D which was already an excellent camera. Certainly few if any complained about the 20D’s image quality, so as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Consequently the 30D enjoys the same detailed, silky smooth images with very low noise even at high sensitivities. Where people did complain about the 20D though, Canon’s listened. So the 30D features a larger screen and long-overdue spot-metering facilities, along with tweaked ergonomics, improved battery life, a larger continuous shooting buffer and the 5D’s Picture Styles also thrown-in for good measure. So while people caught-up by the numbers game were inevitably disappointed the 30D didn’t feature a new 10 or 11 Megapixel sensor, the fact is an excellent camera is now even better. That said, the 30D faces tough competition coming from both above and below. READ FULL REVIEW

Digital Photography Review

With the EOS 30D they have addressed lack of spot metering, fixed continuous shooting rate, limited range of image parameter adjustment, small LCD monitor and ISO sensitivity not displayed on viewfinder status bar while being changed. It wasn’t surprising to see a certain level of disappointment among existing Canon owners in the evolution that is the EOS 30D, I’m sure some were at least expecting a nominal megapixel upgrade as well as the changes included. There are a few minor gripes, from an imaging point of view there’s the risk of AI Servo banding which can manifest itself with some lenses at high sensitivities and there’s also the average incandescent white balance performance. From a usability front I would like to have seen the pretty pointless print/share button customizable, the option for user memories and perhaps embedded comments which can be set in-camera. Compare it to the competition and it’s clear that the 30D really can hold its own. Nobody should be too surprised that the EOS 30D, despite its relatively minor range of updates still deserves our Highly Recommended rating. It’s a great camera to shoot with, image quality is excellent and the high sensitivity performance is still notably better than the competition, the EOS 30D inspires confidence and delivers shot after shot. READ FULL REVIEW


Aside from a few performance tweaks, the Canon EOS 30D is the same camera as its predecessor. It has the same well-balanced, magnesium-alloy body with its intelligently laid-out controls; an almost identical set of pro-level, extremely customizable features; and roughly the same, excellent performance. Also, thanks to the identical 8-megapixel CMOS sensor and image-processing system, it yields the same superb photos, especially at high-ISO sensitivity settings. Among the few key enhancements to the 30D, Canon has upped the number of sequential frames that you can capture in continuous-shooting mode to 30 JPEG or 11 raw shots, from 23 or 6, respectively; however the 5fps rate remains. In practice, however, it typically delivered 14 raw shots until the buffer slowed it down, as well as essentially an unlimited number of highest-quality JPEG shots, albeit at a clip of 3.5fps. … There are a few aspects of the 30D that Canon didn’t change but that could have used an update. … Nonetheless, it remains the top-notch model that the 20D was. If you don’t need the better continuous-shooting performance, spot metering, or the larger LCD, you might as well save about $200 and buy a 20D while you still can. READ FULL REVIEW

The Canon 30D is an upgrade of the Canon 20D. The two cameras have the same sensor (1.6x APS-C format, 8.2 MP) but the EOS 30D adds a number of new features. Noteworthy are a 2.5″ LCD screen, spot metering, RGB histograms and an increased buffer size. The EOS 30D uses the same 9-point AF system that’s used in the EOS 20D. I couldn’t really detect any difference between the AF of the EOS 30D and EOS 20D in normal operation. Canon have said that “…with regard to AF precision, further fine tuning has been incorporated compared with the EOS 20D..”, but it’s not something that’s obvious and my brief testing didn’t reveal any significant difference. The shutter of the EOS 30D is rated by Canon for 100,000 cycles. I think this is also the rating on the EOS 20D shutter, though it’s hard to find that number in print. Canon also say they have taken steps to match the durability of the built in flash to the life of the shutter, which suggests that perhaps the flash lifetime may have been increased over that of the EOS 20D. Shutter lag time is specified at 65ms, the same as that of the EOS 20D. READ FULL REVIEW

Ken Rockwell

The 30D (or 20D) is what I’d have if I shot sports all the time and this was what fit my budget. Since the 20D is 95% the same camera for 80% of the price, consider it, too. Like all Canons, the colors and images look great. They are smooth, sharp and detailed, without being harsh. If you’re in the Canon system, the 30D is the first choice of weekend pros and serious amateurs. Full-time pros use the 1D Mk II N, and people who just want the same great photos in a lighter, less expensive camera get the Digital Rebel XT. The new Digital Rebel XTi has more resolution than any of these, but not the ruggedness or speed of the other non-Rebels. I prefer my Nikon D200, but that’s just me, and it costs more. READ FULL REVIEW


There was really no good reason for Canon to replace the EOS 20D. And so, commendably, it didn’t. The new EOS 30D ($1,400 street, body only) might well be considered a “20D II” or a “20DN,” given that it uses the same 8MP CMOS sensor, processing engine, viewfinder system, chassis, and control layout of the now-discontinued 20D. But you now get a bigger LCD screen (a 2.5-incher), a spotmeter, more burst capacity, a tougher shutter mechanism, and assorted other new or upgraded features. Given everything that this camera can do, and do well, it ranks as a near-perfect advanced amateur/semi-pro camera. Notice the “near-perfect.” In field use of the 30D, we were reintroduced to the few quirks and inconveniences of the 20D: Setting a custom white balance, for one, is unduly complex — a five-step procedure, when most other DSLRs in this class can do it in two. But that’s it for the Complaint Department. The rest is brilliant. READ FULL REVIEW

Photo Review

While many observers anticipated a sensor upgrade before Canon announced this year’s first new DSLR, the new EOS 30D sticks with the EOS 20D’s 8.2-megapixel CMOS chip, while offering some noteworthy improvements over its predecessor. The camera body has been re-designed to accommodate the same 2.5-inch, 230,000-pixel rear LCD monitor as the EOS 5D and, although this makes the 30D slightly larger and heavier, it provides a bigger, better display with a much wider viewing angle. Although few significant improvements have been made to its imaging system, the EOS 30D remains an important new addition to Canon’s line-up. We believe new DSLR purchasers will inevitably compare it with the very successful Nikon D200, and here there are some factors they should consider. For starters there’s cost: at $2899 for the body alone, the D200 is $600 more than the 30D body. READ FULL REVIEW

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