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  Reviews by: Rene Kiesler  

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Canon EOS 30D

Review Date: Jun 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,470.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Important settings can be changed quickly, Thumb-Wheel, Responsive, uncluttered interface, very little noise, quick auto-focus, well-balanced, pleasing surface finish
No live-preview, no live-histogram, no swivel-display, no anti-dust system, raw buffer limited to about 11 pictures, no weather-sealing, auto white balance sometimes lacking, no ISO 50, no ISO 6400, no mirror-lockup setting (could complement the drive setting) / button, sometimes shutter does not fire -- would like some kind of "override", no ISO indication in view-finder

The EOS 30D is my first SLR, I bought it in April 2007 after trying a Nikon SLR from a friend first. I still have the camera I had before the EOS 30D, the Canon PowerShot S2. So naturally, I'm comparing those two.

The EOS 30D is really responsive, images made with 5fps are sharp if you take care of the appropriate focus points and af settings. The downside: a 11 frame buffer for RAW is not enough for events like sport-aerobics, where things change all the time quickly. And shooting JPG would mean loosing flexibility for post-processing.

What I'm really missing compared to the PowerShot S2 is the live-preview on the swivel display. On the S2, I immediately see a preview of exposure and focus, even on the display. This is like a angular-finder on drugs, just excellent. A lot of pictures from the weirdest angles I did on the S2 turned out great, I wouldn't be able to repeat them on the EOS 30D.

The Olympus SLRs already seem to have a working live-preview on a tilt-able display -- as oposed to the fixed one on the 1D Mk. III -- combine that with the S2 swivel-display and you have a killer.

For me, this SLR is a luxury item. I'm a hobby shooter, photography is one of many hobbies. While the S2 is with me most of the time, the big SLR pack with the heavy lenses stays home often. Still, the EOS 30D's picture quality (combined with for example the 24-70/2.8L) is amazing, if I don't mess up with exposure. And it's a rather reliable and responsive tool, good for most events where the buffer size is not the limit.