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Canon EOS 30D

Review Date: Jul 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,299.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent camera, excellent pictures and performance, high quality, lighter than most others, great ergonomics, great 2.5 inch display, extremely user friendly.

This is an excellent camera and I would highly recommend it.

The form, fit and functions are fantastic. Great viewfinder, display, and control wheel.

I tried the EOS Digital Rebel XT, though a nice camera, very light weight and too much plastic feel. The EOS 30D feels perfect in the hands and has the professional quality aspects.

I also tried the Nikon D70s and D200. The EOS 30D is superior to D70s, therefore, no comparison. As far as the D200 which is a very nice camera and has some better features than the 30D, I still prefer the 30D. The D200 is bigger, heavier, feels like a brick and the menu set up in the Nikon is inferior to Canon. The menu tabs in the Nikon are on the left side of the screen instead of the top in Canon. In my opinion, this kind of positioning is not as user friendly. Imagine using a computer having the pulldown menus on the side of the screen.

Additionally, Canon seems to offer more selection of lenses (i.e., specialty tilt lenses) than Nikon.

The built-in flash, when set appropriately, is more than sufficient for indoor photography.

Overall, the EOS 30D with an L-type lens is a winning combination. Unless, you need a more professional high-end camera, look no further. Canon is a leader and has the edge in digital photography.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jul 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,195.95 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, excellent images, build quality, IS, great all around zoom.
F/4.0, slight edge distortion at 24mm (perhaps typical for any wide angle lens)

This is a great all around lens. I purchased this lens along with a Canon EOS 30D. I am very happy with the combination, and so far this is the only lens always on my camera. It would have been nicer if the lens was f/2.8. Those who are new to D-SLR photography may need some practice to get the indoor lighting right in the Creative Zone Modes of the camera.

The slight edge distortion at 24mm is perhaps typical for a zoom lens.

Although I learned the following painstakingly, I hope it might help some of the readers. A few nights ago, I was taking pictures of the full moon. Each picture I took (with the moon in a different location in the viewfinder) had one small dark greenish tone circle at some varying distance away from the moon. I knew it was not a dust spot. Plus, the spot would not go away at different f-stop setting.

I was very frustrated and disappointed with the lens after paying such a high price. I took the lens to the local Canon Service Center and was told that the spot was generated by lens flare. There was nothing they could do about it. My lens was also not one of the early batch lenses with flare problem. The next night, I researched on the internet and learned that some pro photographers -- at times -- don't like to use lens filters. I was using a UV filter on my lens. I took the lens filter out and took more pictures of the moon. Bingo! The spot was not there. It was the filter causing the flare issue.

As part of lessons learned, those who have had flare issues taking nighttime photos (with a protective UV filter on the lens) may be able to eliminate the flare by removing the lens filter.

Overall, this is a great lens and I highly recommend it. No flare issues with this lens.