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Canon EOS D30

D30
Review Date: Dec 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: nice image quality, good battery life, intuitive menus, features
Cons:
terrible AF in low light, lots of noise at higher ISOs, smaller sensor size but what can you expect from a 4 year old camera?

I bought this camera about 6 months ago, upgrading from a small Nikon P&S, and I am very happy with many of the results from this camera. Image quality is smooth and velvety, producing excellent results in situations where there are variable types of light in the same scene (such as when light filters in through windows into a darkened room). Of course lots of features for even the pros. Buffer seems a little bit slow, but burst rate is nice. Flash sync could be a little faster as well, but don't even get me started on the AF. Craps out even in halfway decent light (in restaurants, for instance). I would suggest getting an external flash and letting the AF assist light on that flash guide the lens, because the AF assist light on the D30 is very distracting to human subjects. Nice custom functions.

Nice bright LCD screen, good battery life (if you buy a new battery), intuitive menus and controls. Images are sometimes a little soft but this may be due to camera shake ... also, shooting at high ISOs (800 or 1600) produces a LOT of chromatic noise.

It might seem like I have more problems with this camera than I actually do... I quite like it because of all the features it offers. For the person willing to sacrifice the smaller CMOS sensor and slow AF for superior image quality even when compared to today's better digital SLRs at a fraction of the price, the D30 is still a great performer.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

3029ef_50_18_1_
Review Date: Sep 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $65.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, uncluttered and easy to use, very sharp at all apertures, nice bokeh
Cons:
plastic build and mount, no distance meter on the Mark II, not very wide on a 1.6 crop

I can vouch that the 50 mm 1.8 is very very sharp... nice maximum aperture gives smooth, low depth of field wide open. Lens is easy to use, crisp, sharp, light, and produces little or no halo effects or chromatic abberation. The 52 mm thread size is very common so it's easy to put standard polarizers and filters on it.

The only problem with this lens is that on a DSLR with a 1.6 crop factor, it's not wide at all ... it is a good portrait lens only if you stand pretty far away from your subjects. For a "standard lens" it is quite zoomed on my D30. But other than that I really like it a lot, and the price can't be beat.

NOTE: Some pictures seem a little soft, but I think that is the nature of the D30, and not the lens.