Canon EOS 30D

At first glance, the 30D looks exactly like its predecessor. The camera has the same control layout as the 20D, but a glance at the back of the camera reveals a large 2.5in LCD screen – a marked improvement over the 20D’s 1.8in screen.

The 30D’s interface is a model of elegant simplicity: almost all of the controls that you’d use in everyday shooting are available from an external button, but because Canon doubles up the functions of the camera’s buttons, the unit is not over-laden with buttons and knobs.

The most important change to the 30D is the addition of a spot meter. While previous models offered a Partial Metering mode, which metered off of the middle 9 per cent of the viewfinder, the spot meter meters off of the middle 3.5 per cent. The spot meter works well and Canon’s mid-range cameras have long needed one, so this is a welcome addition. The Evaluative and Centre-Weight Averaging metering modes are still available.

Canon has also added the Picture Styles feature, originally found on its EOS 5D model. For JPEG shooters, this allows you to save up to nine sets of image-processing parameters. Other important new features include: the ability to adjust ISO in 1/3-stop increments; the inclusion of an in-viewfinder ISO readout, which lets you change the ISO without taking your eye away from the viewfinder; the option for a slower burst speed, which allows for more shots in a single burst; and a more durable shutter. All of these features are very welcome, but I’d still like to see the ability to auto-bracket more than three shots (and as few as two) and an easier-to-access
mirror lockup feature.

OUR VERDICT

The Canon EOS 30D is a welcome upgrade to an already great camera. The larger LCD screen and new features will directly affect everyday shooting, while the lower price tag will give you extra cash to spend on lenses.

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