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  Reviews by: Blakemore  

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Canon EOS 30D

Review Date: May 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid build, quiet shutter (compared to the 20D), Huge screen, 1/3 stop ISO, Spot meter, 5fps (or 3fps), EFS mount, Low noise at high ISO, AFFORDABLE!
None really. Not at this price or what this camera is intended for.

I purchased a 20D when they hit shelves in 2004. It was an excellent camera but I always felt it was lacking just a little. I was very excited when the 30D came out just because of the 1/3 stop ISO but felt that this wasn't a "real" upgrade to the 20D. I sold my Rebel XT and purchased the 30D anyway just to see. I can tell you, this isn't just an upgraded 20D. It really is a whole new camera. They only things the 30D and 20D share is the same sensor and processor, everything else is fresh and refreshing!

The screen is amazing. Not only is it huge, but has a much better viewing angle. the 1/3 stop ISO is great, opens up many more creative options when shooting in low light. The shutter is much quieter. I don't shoot JPG too often, but picture styles are nice to have when I go that route. 1000 images in a folder isn't near as annoying as only 100. Spot metering is GREAT! One simple change I really like is the rotate option. It will not rotate them on the camera's LCD, but will save the file as a vertical shot so it's correct when opened on a computer. Overall, I love this camera. Great value, great purchase.

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Feb 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp; RANGE!; wide angle, it's nice to have 17mm (27mm equiv) on 1.6x crops; Image Stabilization!; close focusing distance, USM!; Solid build
Price, price, price; no hood or pouch included. at this price, they really should include them; not gasketed against dust; some CA

At the time I purchased this lens, there were no 17-40 f/4Ls in stock at my local camera shop (yes, I still buy in my hometown and support local business instead of running straight to the internet) and the owner suggested I try it. My initial impression is this was a well built lens. I still feel that way except for it not being gasketed against dust like my 24-105 f/4L IS. I have a couple of specks inside and before long I'm afraid I will have to send it off for cleaning. It is very sharp even at f/4, though not as sharp as the 24-105L which is to be expected. This lens is, however, overpriced when purchased new, especially to not come with a hood and lens pouch. The hood cost me $40 extra, FOR A FREAKIN' HOOD! Price is this lens' major downfall. If you can find one used that is in "like new" condition at a good price, I suggest getting it and not buying new. I have seen them on teh FM forums as low as $450. There is some CA, though not as bad on mine as some people have experienced. The IS is one redeeming quality. USM is awesome. Focus is very snappy. Minimum focus is .35m or 1.2ft (very nice). I have found that it really works and does give 3 stops as Canon promises. It offers a very nice and practical range. I will still purchase a 17-40 in the near future and just use the 17-85 as my personal "vacation" lens.