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Canon EOS 30D

By: Shawn Barnett and Dave Etchells

Myriad minor feature and interface tweaks make a great SLR even better.

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Page 2:Comparison with the EOS-20D

Review First Posted: 04/14/2006

Canon 30D Comparison with the EOS-20D

Canon EOS-30D vs. EOS-20D Comparison
Camera EOS-30D EOS-20D
List price at introduction $1399 $1499
Sensor type 22.5 x 15.0mm CMOS w/ RGBG filter 22.5 x 15.0mm CMOS w/ RGBG filter
Sensor resolution (effective) 8.25 megapixels 8.25 megapixels
Dimensions/Weight 5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in.
(144 x 105.5 x 73.5 mm)
24.5 oz (700g)
Two mm thinner,
15 grams heavier.
5.7 x 4.2 x 2.8 in.
(144 x 105.5 x 71.5 mm)
24.0 oz (685g)
Ergonomic changes
  • Slightly thicker body and deeper grip make for better hold on camera.

  • Front of grip is more sculpted for middle finger, below shutter button.

  • Multi-controller's diagonal operation is improved

  • Wake from auto power-off by half-pressing shutter button, pressing playback button, pressing menu button, or pressing AE lock button
(Wake from auto power-off by half-pressing shutter button only.)
LCD display size/resolution 2.5-inch,
230,000 pixels
118,000 pixels
LCD viewing angle 170 degrees,
vertically and horizontally
80 degrees,
vertically and horizontally
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100 - 1600
(extendable to 3200)
Adjustable in 1/3 stop increments from 100-1600
ISO 100 - 1600
(extendable to 3200)
Adjustable in full-stop increments
Metering 35-zone Evaluative, 9% Partial, Center Weighted Average,
3.5 degree spot metering
35-zone Evaluative, 9% Partial, Center Weighted Average
Image parameter adjustments New "Picture Styles" added from EOS-1D Mark II N and EOS-5D

Provide 5 options akin to film types on film cameras, with each option user-modifiable
Similar controls, but minus the user-friendly "style" presets, somewhat less convenient to access
Shutter life Rated at 100,000 cycles No rating, but Canon calls attention to the 30D's "greater shutter durability"
Flash life No spec, but Canon makes note of "highly durable Xenon tube, incorporated to increase the service life of the built-in flash. -
Autofocus system Same system, but Canon says "further fine-tuning has been incorporated compared with the EOS 20D." -
Continuous modes High Speed 5 fps,
Low speed 3 fps
5 fps only
Burst speed with DC motor (non-USM) lenses in AI Servo AF mode 5 fps 3.5 fps
Continuous burst lengths Large/Fine JPEG: 30 frames
RAW: 11 frames
RAW+JPEG: 9 frames
(Same buffer memory size, but more efficient usage)
Large/Fine JPEG: 23 frames
RAW: 6 frames
RAW+JPEG: 6 frames
Improved non-burst cycle times Added feature from EOS-1 series: Press shutter button to take a photo, then only release half-way before pressing again. Preserves AF and exposure info, lets camera fire much more quickly. -
Improved folder handling Up to 9999 images per folder
File numbering manual reset added, creates new folder, starts file numbers at 0001
Only 100 images per folder
Startup time 0.15 second 0.25 second
Long-exposure noise reduction modes On, Off, Auto On/Off
Viewfinder display ISO is now displayed when ISO button is pressed.

FE (flash exposure) lock icon added to info display.

Center metering zone mark reduced in size to correspond to the spot metering circle.

Error displays New display added for image transfer failure display with WFT-E1A WiFi transmitter. Message now displays on both the LCD data readout and the main LCD monitor -
Playback options Histogram can now be RGB or brightness only

Info display adds file size

Playback display optionally shows AF points used for shot

New option (C.Fn. 17) allows zoomed playback during review interval (without switching to playback mode)

Jump display adds options to jump by 100 images or shooting date

Image auto-rotate adds a "computer only" mode

Brightness-only histogram

File size not displayed

No display of AF points

Zoomed display in playback mode only

Jump display only lets you jump 10 frames at a time

Auto-rotate of images affects display on the camera and on the computer both

Camera settings display (record-mode info display on main LCD screen) Adds Picture Style setting, including settings of individual parameters, AFT-E1A image transfer failure indicator.

Drops AEB setting, processing parameters, image confirmation time

PictBridge printer support
Print/Share button added to back of camera, for easier user interface

Canon printers only:

  • Can make "contact" sheet prints or layouts including EXIF shooting data
  • Picture Style settings fully supported in direct printing
  • Fine adjustment off image quality settings such as color balance, color space (including Adobe RGB), brightness, face brightness contrast levels, and red-eye correction.
  • Extended paper selection options, including paper type and print size
Basic EXIF functions only, much more limited options for print size and paper type
File transfer to host Supports direct transfer, using PTP standard No direct transfer support
Battery life
Improved battery life, despite larger LCD display:
  • 68F, no flash ~ 1100 shots
  • 68F, 50% flash use ~750 shots
  • 68F, no flash ~ 650 shots
  • 68F, 50% flash use ~500 shots
Battery life indicator 4 levels
(More advance warning before shutdown)
3 levels
(Shutdown can happen rather abruptly)


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