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Canon EOS D30 Digital SLR

Canon's first digital SLR packs 3 megapixels of CMOS sensor into a speedy, compact body! (Smallest/lightest digital SLR as of August, 2000)

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Page 5:Viewfinder

Review First Posted: 8/27/2000

The D30's viewfinder is excellent on all fronts, providing great information, easy use, and high accuracy. While we don't have a formal test for it, the "eyepoint" of the viewfinder seemed quite high, making it comfortable to use with eyeglasses. The dioptric correction is also excellent, covering a broad range from -3 to +1 diopters. We measured its accuracy at 96%, agreeing well with Canon's official specification of 95% frame coverage. The viewfinder display conveys a lot of information about exposure and camera status, as shown in the illustration below. (Courtesy Canon USA, Inc.)

Important to note in discussing the D30's viewfinder system is that the rear-panel LCD display is not usable as a viewfinder, but optical viewfinder by a mirror that intercepts the image on the way to the shutter and the sensor. Thus, when the camera isn't actively taking a picture, the light from the lens is directed only to the optical viewfinder, and so isn't available to the sensor to drive a live viewfinder display on the LCD. With the exception of the Olympus E-10 (which uses a beamsplitter prism instead of a mirror, at some cost in light sensitivity), all digital SLRs operate in this fashion.

While not strictly a viewfinder function, the capture-mode Info display shown on the rear-panel LCD screen probably deserves mention at this point. The optical viewfinder carries quite a bit of information about camera status as shown above, but there's even more available on the rear panel, just by pressing the "Info" button. Rather than the exposure settings shown in the optical finder, this display shows shooting mode, autobracketing and flash exposure compensation, shots and memory card space remaining, ISO setting, and the status of all custom-function options selected, albeit in a very terse numerical format. Between this screen, the optical viewfinder display, and the LCD data readout on the camera's top, the D30 is one of the most "informative" cameras we've yet worked with.

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