EOS D30 impressions part 1 "the body"

By Hitoshi Doi (doi@usagi.org) Revision 0.7 (2001.12.17)
Revision 1.0 (2001.12.25)
Revision 1.1 (2002.01.03)
Revision 1.2 (2002.01.11)
Revision 1.3 (2002.01.22)
Revision 1.4 (2002.08.23)
Revision 2.0 (2004.02.09)

[D30] I was lucky enough to have an event on 2001.12.16 which allowed pictures. I tried out my D30, and the first thing I noticed was that the body sucks. Since the D30 isn't that cheap, I wish it was based on a better camera than the cheap EOS-55 (called ELAN IIE in the USA). Compared to my other cameras (EOS-1N HS and EOS-7), it's so hard to use as it's lacking in so much functionality.

Some of my thoughts on the "body" features of the EOS D30 are as follows.

Since this was originally written in 2001, some of it may be outdated. - H.Doi (2004.02.09)

AF (auto focus)

The AF seems to be slow, and not as accurate as my EOS-7, especially for events with low lighting (or colorful lighting). Of course the EOS-7 is pretty weak at low lighting too, compared to the EOS 1N.

The D30 only has three focusing points.. I wish it had at least 5.


The D30 doesn't have spot metering. The evaluative and weighted average type of metering doesn't work well when taking pics of cute girls during events.. (;_;)

(The EOS-7 doesn't have it either. Basically this is my only complaint I have against the EOS-7.)

focal length

The focal length for the D30 becomes 1.6 times the normal 35mm film. This is good in that it makes my 70mm - 200mm F2.8 lens work out to be around 100mm to 320mm. So I don't need to use the teleconverter for most events. I need to try out my 300mm F4. lens sometime.. 480mm would be very nice. (^_^;

However this also makes my 50mm F1.4 lens a 80mm lens, and my 85mm F1.8 lens a 135mm lens. So I can't take pictures at close range any more with those lenses.

It might be time to invest in a good 28mm - 70mm or 24mm - 70mm lens. I already have one, but it's too slow and not very good.

I bought a 28mm F1.8 lens, and this works well at close range. (^_^) However, even a 28mm lens only has the coverage of 45mm, there are many times when I felt I needed a wider lens.

speed (frames/second)

The D30 can only take 3 frames per second, and the buffer can only hold a maxium of 8 shots (at large/fine JPEG mode). I had never used such a slow camera before..

While the camera is writing out the data from the buffer to the CF (compact flash), you can't do anything with the camera. More on this in impressions part 2.

shutter delay

The D30 shutter seems very slow. Of course it is much faster than compact digital cameras, but it's not in the same ballpark as good film cameras (EOS-1N) or even average ones (EOS-7).


The D30 wouldn't synchronize with my 540EZ (speedlite). So I sold the 540EZ and bought a 550EX. (^_^; But for the 12/16 event, I used the built-in flash, which is way too underpowered to be used at events. The D30 is useless while the built-in flash is recharging.

Using the 550EX, ETTL works fine.

power off

The D30 has a feature the shut itself off when it has been idle. This is to save the battery life. So I can keep the switch at the "ON" position, and not waste the battery. This is nice. The camera will turn itself on when I push the shutter. This is nice too. But there is a delay that's longer than one second (I didn't time it exactly) for the camera to get ready. So if I need to take a photo at an instant's notice, I can't. A normal film camera wins here.

If I can afford to buy two more batteries, I can always keep the camera at the "ON" state, and not worry about the power off feature.

[HD's digital cameras]

> Digital Cameras


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