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Steve's Digicams

Canon EOS D30

Introduction & Physical Views

Review posted 10/27/00

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Canon EOS D30
Click on the D30 to take a QuickTime VR tour

(04/10/02 update: Canon delivers the 6-megapixel EOS D60 SLR for $2199)

The Canon EOS D30 is important for several reasons, it's the first prosumer camera to employ a large-area CMOS imager, it's the first all-Canon SLR and it's currently the lightest weight (1.6 lb) and most compact digital SLR with interchangeable lenses (as of October 2000.) The D30 was never intended to be a competitor for the Nikon D1, Canon is currently working on that camera which will arrive sometime in 2001. (December 2001 update, Canon delivers on its promise, the EOS-1D pro SLR is here)

The D30 is aimed at the high end of the amateur market and will be of great interest to those with EOS 35mm cameras and lenses. The only other digital SLR in this price class is the Fuji S1 Pro. They are both excellent cameras, the major difference between them is the lens mounts (Canon vs Nikon) and the image sensors (CMOS vs CCD.)

Canon EOS D30

In the past Canon partnered with Kodak to make its digital SLRs such as the Canon EOS D2000 and Kodak DCS 520. The D30 has been built from the ground up by Canon and uses a newly developed 3.25 megapixel (15.1 x 22.7mm) CMOS sensor that captures 36-bit full color 2,160 x 1,440-pixel images and stores them in standard JPEG format or in Canon's RAW format. Accurate color reproduction is attained through the use of an RGB primary color filter. The D30 features a Canon EF mount and can use the more than 40 Canon EF lenses or compatible third-party lenses.

Canon EOS D30
D30 shown with optional BG-ED3 battery/grip

CMOS sensors are well known for their low power usage and robust signal processing capabilities. Canon employs an "Image Engine" DSP chip that provides a high speed, high definition image processing with a significantly improved signal to noise ratio. With conventional digital cameras, the longer the exposure time, the greater the noise. The D30 overcomes these problems by automatically enabling its noise reduction system for exposures that exceed one second. To see how well this works just check out the 30-second shot on my D30 Sample Pictures page.

Canon EOS D30
Common 3-megapixel CCD (on left)
and the D30's 3.25-megapixel CMOS sensor

Exposure options are abundant with full AUTO mode or Program AE, shutter speed priority, aperture priority, full Manual or one of the EOS Image Zone modes (Sports, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Night.)   Burst capture at 3 frames per second up to a maximum of 8 frames in JPEG Large/Fine mode. Shutter speeds from 1/4000 to 30 seconds plus Bulb.

Auto exposure bracketing (AEB) captures three exposures, taken with a single shutter release, at stops over and under the targeted exposure. TTL metering is accomplished with a silicon photocell in one of three modes: 35-zone evaluative (matrix), 9.5% partial (spot) or center-weighted averaging.

ISO sensitivity is adjustable between 100-1600. White balance can be automatic, one of five presets or manually customized. The D30 features One-shot AF, AI Servo AF with focus prediction, AI Focus AF or manual focus. The autofocus system is wide-area AF with three selectable focusing points.

Canon EOS D30

On the back is a 1.8-inch TFT color LCD with 114,000 pixels of resolution that is used for image review and menu operations. Most all of the controls on the rear are for the digital section of the D30, the camera and exposure controls are located on the top.

Canon EOS D30

On top is the Mode Dial, hot shoe flash with TTL contacts for Canon speedlights, metering and flash exposure compensation button, drive mode button, AF and white balance button, main command dial, the shutter release and a large monochrome data display (explained in detail on page 2).

Canon EOS D30

Canon EOS D30 Canon EOS D30

Canon EOS D30

A flat bottom with a metal tripod socket and the access doors
for the main battery and the memory backup battery.

Canon EOS D30

The key to the D30's light weight is shown here by its construction. The outer body is highly durable polycarbonate material, underneath is a heavy guage steel skeleton to provide rigidity and protection for the delicate internals.

Fuji S1 Pro and Canon EOS D30

The Fuji S1 Pro and Canon EOS D30 SLRs.

Continue on to
Page Two

Canon EOS D30 Specifications

Camera Section

Type Eye-level single lens reflex (SLR) digital camera, 36-bit full color RGB capture (12bits per channel), one-shot type
Lens mount Canon EF mount (full electronic control type)
Lenses used Canon EF lenses (focal length conversion factor is approx 1.6X compared to full-frame 35mm film format)
Viewfinder Full-frame reflex type, coverage approximately 95% horizontal andvertical, 0.88X magnification and 20mm eyepoint
Focusing modes One-shot AF, AI Servo AF with focus prediction, AI Focus AF, and manual focus
Focusing points Wide-area AF with 3 selectable focusing points
AF working range EV (2-18) (ISO 100, standard chart)
Metering modes TTL maximum aperture metering with a 35-zone silicon photocell.
  1. 35-zone Evaluative metering linked to all focusing points
  2. Centerweighted average metering
  3. 9.5% central-area partical metering
Metering range EV 2-20 (at normal temperatures, EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, ISO100)
Shutter speed 1/4000 sec. to 30 sec. plus Bulb
maximum X-sync at 1/200 sec.
Continuous photography Up to approximately 3 frames per second for up to approximately 8 frames, when camera is set for Large/Fine recording.
Built-in flash Retractable-type. Guide Number is 12/39 at ISO 100, m/ft.
Flash contact Accessory shoe for EX-series Speedlites; PC socket also built-in on left side of camera body
Flash metering Supports E-TTL, FEL and FP flash (high-speed synchro) with built-in flash and EX-series Speedlites

Digital Section

Imaging elements High-sensitivity 3.25-million pixel CMOS sensor.
(Total pixels 2226 X 1460) (Effective pixels 2160 X 1440)
Sensor size 15.1 X 22.7 mm (aspect ratio 2:3)
Sensitivity Equivalent to ISO 100-1600
(adjustable in 1 EV increments)
White balance 7 type, including auto and custom
Recording media CompactFlash card, Type I or II, single slot
Microdrive compatible
File format Design Rule for Camera Format (DCF)
Recording methods JPEG and Canon RAW
  1. Large/Fine (2160 x 1440)
  2. Large/Normal (2160 x 1440)
  3. Small/Fine (1440 x 960)
  4. Small/Normal (1440 x 960)
  5. RAW Lossless compression (2160 x 1440)
Burst rate Approximately 3 frames per second for up to approximately 8 frames in Large/Fine mode or 17 frames in Large/Normal mode
Bulit-in LCD color monitor 1.8-inch low-temperature TFT type, approx. 114,000 pixels; displays captured images, menus, etc.
Interface Digital: USB; Video Out: NTSC/PAL (switchable)

Camera: N3 remote control socket, PC terminal for studio flash, dedicated accessory shoe for EX-series Speedlites
Driver software Comes with USB TWAIN driver for PC and Adobe Photoshop plug-in for Mac OS
Windows/ Type of computer: DOS/V machine, NEC PC-9800/9821 series, NEC PC98-NX series CPU: Pentium 133 MHz or above OS: Windows 95, Windows 98 (including Second Edition), Windows NT 4.0 (requires 3 or more Service Packs), Windows 2000 RAM: 32MB or more (Windows 95/Windows 98) 64MB or more (Windows NT 4.0/Windows 2000)

Macintosh/ Type of computer: Power Macintosh, PowerBook, iMac, iBook CPU: Power PC OS: MacOS 7.5.3 or above, QuickTime 2.1 or above RAM: 20MB or more applications memory

Power source
  1. BP-511 litium-ion battery
  2. AC operation via DC Coupler DR-400 and Compact Power Adapter CA-PS400
  3. Up to two BP-511 battery batteries via optional Battery Grip BG-ED3
Kit configuration

EOS D30 camera main unit, neckstrap, 16MB CF card, Battery Pack BP-511, Compact Power Adapter CA-PS400, AC power cord for CA-PS400, DC Coupler DR-400, Video Cable VC-100, Interface Cable IFC-200PCU, Canon Solutions software disk, Adobe Photoshop LE, Camera user's guide and Software quick start guide.

Dimensions 149.5(W) X 106.5(H) X 75.0(D) mm
5.9(W) X 4.2(W) X 3.0(D) inches
Weight 780g/27.5oz. w/o battery or CF card

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