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  Reviews by: patrickwils  

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Canon EOS D30

Review Date: Oct 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Famous colour tonality is true! Can be obtained for $300, excellent students/starters DSLR, very forgiving to lens quality (sharpness, CA). The best 3 Mp you will ever see, Accurate AF (better than 10D in general) Sturdy build, much better than 300/350D, good ergonomics
Newer cameras have better high ISO usability, but ISO 400 is still very good AF needs some light as everyone knows, AF is slowish. In-camera jpeg not recommended; use RAW

What a great unique camera this is! I bought it 2 years ago for about $700 and have liked it eversince. I also got a 10D a few moths before this one and although the 10D was THE camera in 2003/2004, I can nowadays say that the D30 has special qualities that now seem to have returned in the shape of the 5D: the wonderful tonality of skin tones and saturation of warm colours. Compared to the 10D the D30 needs less adjustments to colour, they have a natural saturation to start with. Be careful with the white balance however: it sometimes is a bit off and needs adjustment in the RAW converter.

The 3Mp are the best and surpass any 5/6 Mp P&S camera and can be used upto 8x12" prints without much processing (just the standard unsharpen mask in Photoshop: 0.8,100,0)

The rest has been said a thousand times, see pros & cons.

For the 1001st time: It is a specialty!!!

Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Oct 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, light, decent build quality, useful range on 1.6x DSLR Good contrast Sharpness ok when stopped down a bit
28-135 IS USM is not much more expensive nowadays and may be a better option for the money

Excellent small allrounder on my 10D. It seems to be a forgotten lens since the EF-S lenses exist. It offers much better optical quality than the 18-55, and the 24-85 range is still very useful on a 1.6x crop camera.

Canon EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 II USM

Review Date: Oct 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: light, useful range, DC version is cheap and has silent & fast focusing like the USM. 10D focuses accurately with it. D30 likes it too, which it actually fits very well to because of the D30's 3Mp resolution. Good sharpness from f/6.3 onwards as long as you use it in the 35-80 mm range!
wobbly front element which rotates when focusing Forget the USM version (DC is cheaper & much more worth its lower price) Small DOF not possible because of small aperture. 28-35 and 80-90 mm range are clearly add-ons: poor sharpness, vignetting and distorsions

It is not as bad as is often said, but I seem to have a good copy. For beginners on a limited budget who want to start with a 2nd hand DSLR like the old D30 (which I still can fully recommend if you can find it for $300-350!).
The 28-90 replaced my old EF 35-105 which was full of dust and unsharp in the bottom right; I was happily surprised with the improved sharpness and the light weight has its pluses too.

I like the silent quick & precise focusing (don't touch the front element after having focused as it will wobble out of focus again..) I think only Canon has reliable focusing at this price level; Sigma comes nowhere near.

Forget the USM version: it is not better, nor faster, nor quieter, but it costs 50% more, and that is a waste of money, since we're talking budget lens here. If you are prepared to pay more for a lens, you'd better spend it to the next quality level.

Contrast is rather poor compared to the 24-85, but that one is known for good contrast and costs 3-4x as much.