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Canon 30D Comparison Review

The Canon EOS 30D is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was officially introduced in February 2006 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 8.2 megapixel.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Canon 30D vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon 30D vs credit card front
30D versus credit card top view
30D and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon 30D alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 30D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i
Canon 7D« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699- i
Canon 50D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i
Canon XTi« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i
Canon XT« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899- i
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999- i
Nikon D80« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999- i
Nikon D200« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 32.5 oz 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699- i

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon 30D was launched in the US market at a price of $1,399. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Canon 30D features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon 30D among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Canon 30D sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
Canon 7D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
Canon 50D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364
Canon XTi« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462
Canon XT« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162
Canon 10D« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.110.957157
Nikon D80« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.111.252461
Nikon D200« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.558364

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 30D along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 8000 5.3 Y n
Canon 7D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 8.0 Y n
Canon 50D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 6.3 Y n
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n
Canon XTi« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon XT« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n
Canon 10D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D80« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D200« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n
 

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 30D handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 30DHiRecHiRecrevrev- Feb 2006 1,399- i
Canon 60D« »Rec79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i
Canon 7D« »HiRec84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699- i
Canon 50D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon 40D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i
Canon XTi« »HiRecHiRecrev4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i
Canon XT« »80/100HiRecrevrev- Feb 2005 899- i
Canon 20D« »-HiRec-rev- Aug 2004 1,499- i
Canon 10D« »-HiRec-rev- Feb 2003 1,999- i
Nikon D80« »RecHiRecrev4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999- i
Nikon D200« »HiRecHiRecrev5/5- Nov 2005 1,699- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 30D FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the 30D.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the 30D?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the 30D with the DIGIC 2 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the 30D?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.

Does the Canon 30D feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp build-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The 30D's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Which battery does the 30D use?

The camera gets its power from the BP-511A, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

 

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of camera models, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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