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Canon D30/60 FAQ
AF & MANUAL FOCUS

How can I get the best performance from the D30 AF?
Instead of letting the camera automatically select a focus point based on contrast, it's better to manually choose which focal point you want active. This way, the D30 can concentrate on focusing specifically with just 1 sensor instead of all 3.

Keep in mind that the outer focusing points detect contrast on a single-axis. Therefore, the outer focusing points are aligned vertically when you hold the D30 horizontally, and visa versa. Fortunately, the camera has a central cross-type sensor that diverts this problem by finding the contrast horizontally and vertically at the same time regardless of the position of the camera. With this in mind, it's best to use the central point as your default choice for the majority of your shots.

For optimal results with the D30 AF, find contrast in the image your shooting with the central point and then reframe your shot.

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How can I use the ST-E2 wireless transmitter as an infrared light aid for AF?
The ST-E2 can be attached to the D30 for triggering external flashes (like the 550ex and 420ex) and also as a AF aid for the camera.
When attaching the transmitter, the camera will operate the exact same way as if a flash is attached. Because the transmitter has no flash, it exposes entirely to the ambient light and uses the camera's metering the same way it would if a flash was being used. Also, if you are using the custom function 2-1, you will loose the ability to lock the exposure when pressing the shutter button halfway. The side effect of this, is that when reframing your shots, the exposure may be off. A workaround is to use custom function 2-0 and use FEL to lock exposure when using the transmitter.

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DRIVE MODES

How do I decrease shutter lag when using the D30 in continuous drive mode?
Start by manually selecting the AF point. I recommend using the central point whenever possible. Then, change the custom function from the default 2-0 to 2-1. After, select AI servo and continuous drive mode.
Try to anticipate your shot. After a section of continuous shooting, don't release your finger from the shutter button when the buffer is full. Instead just release your finger halfway from the button. As soon as there is space for one or more shots, the buffer will open up the space necessary to continue shooting. Otherwise, if you completely release your finger, you'll have to wait until the buffer is 100% empty before you can re-shoot.

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When using AI SERVO drive mode, is there a way to determine whether or not the subject you are tracking remains in focus?
Yes, look for a green flashing dot in the viewfinder below the picture area. When the AF system is tracking the subject, the indicator remains off. So if the indicator blinks rapidly, it means that your subject is out of focus.

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FLASH & LIGHTING

Can I use the flash white balance preset when using any Canon flashes like the 550ex or 420ex?
You can, but I don't recommend it. Studio strobes work better with the flash white balance setting on the D30. The Canon flashes work better with the daylight preset which is 5500K. So, when using any of the canon flashes, the daylight, auto, or custom white balances are your best choices. However, it's a matter of personal taste whether you use daylight or flash white balance with strobes and it depends on the look you want.

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When using an external flash how can I achieve perfect exposure?
There are two methods I recommend. It depends on whether or not you are reframing the composition. First, when reframing the composition the only way to achieve good exposure is to use "Flash Exposure Lock," or FEL for short. It lets the camera memorize the flash meter reading from the D30 active focusing point by pre-flashing the subject. Make sure to set custom function 2-0 as your default. Then, all you need to do is press the AE lock button while making sure that your subject is covered by the active focusing point. After you see the pre-flash, recompose your composition with confidence. The second method is not to reframe your composition. Instead you can manually choose your focusing point, and make sure that the focus point you have chosen covers your subject.

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How do I reframe my shots when using the built-in or external flash without using FEL and get a good exposure?

There is no way to reframe your shots without using FEL to get good exposure when using a flash. The workaround is to toggle between the 3 focusing points until you have your main subject covered by one of the points. E-TTL flash exposure remains linked to that point. This way, you won't have your main subject always framed in the dead center of the image and there is no need for FEL or reframing.
However, I advise using FEL whenever possible, for better flexibility.

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Can I use FEL when using Custom function CF 2-1 or 2-3?
Unfortunately this is not possible.
The only way to use FEL is to change it back to CF 2-0.
It would be welcome as a firmware upgrade, which could give us more options.

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What recommendations does Canon make regarding the D30 when used with their EX speedlight series?
Canon has put together a letter informing D30 users on how to properly use their EX speedlight series (550EX or 420EX).

You can view this letter here.

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LENSES & ACCESSORIES

Name the IS lenses that are currently available for use with the D30
EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
EF 300mm f/4L IS USM
EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM
EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM
EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
EF 600mm f/4L IS USM

And recently announced the 70-200 f/2.8L IS and 400mm f/4 DO IS

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Can I protect my D30 LCD from scratches?
There are two great choices for protecting your D30 LCD.
The best one I've found is the clear screens made for the Palm IIIc (the color version). You will have to cut the screen to fit the D30 LCD. It does not distort the images and protects against scratches, dust and moisture.

Make sure you get the Palm IIIc kind, since the company makes others for black and white Palms and they WILL distort the images.

It's called Writerights and can be found at Compusa, Bestbuys and Office Depot. It cost $20 (12 sheets).

The second choice is the DaProducts "Oly Protector".http://www.daproducts.com/dpoly.htm
It works very well and it even protects against shock impact against the LCD. The downside about this LCD protection is that sometimes dust gets in between the protector and the screen.

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WHITE BALANCE

Why should I use a gray card instead of white card to sample my custom WB?

When using the custom WB preset it's best to sample a neutral surface, to avoid a colorcast. In my experience, a calibrated gray card like the ones made by Kodak work better than white cards. The white surface sometimes tends to overexpose and isn't always neutral.

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Which WB preset should I use when sampling a gray card for custom white balance?

It's irrelevant. As a test, try sampling from a gray card in indoor light with the D30 set to Cloudy WB, or any other unusual combinations. You'll see that the white balance stays accurate.

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What are the color temperatures of the WB presets?
AWB: From 4000-7000k
Custom WB: From 2000-10000k
Tungsten: 3200K
Fluorescent: 4000K
Daylight: 5500K
Flash: 5900K
Cloudy: 6000K

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METERING

Can I use evaluative metering when in manual focus mode?
In theory yes. But, in practice when using manual focus mode, the exposure is measured using a larger area around the "middle" focus point only. This becomes the main consideration when the camera is calculating exposure. When in AF mode the evaluative metering gives priority to the "active" focusing point when determining exposure.

Manually focusing your shots, actually helps when using a flash because the metering won't be so concentrated on the active focusing point. Thus, giving you better exposure when reframing your shot without using FEL.

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