Canon 30D vs 5D
The Canon EOS 30D and the Canon EOS 5D are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2006 and August 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (30D) and a full frame (5D) sensor. The 30D has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the 5D provides 12.7 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon 30D||Canon 5D|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|8.2 MP, APS-C Sensor||12.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|no Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-1600 (100-3200)||ISO 100-1600 (50-3200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.5" LCD, 230k dots||2.5" LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|750 shots per battery charge||400 shots per battery charge|
|144 x 106 x 74 mm, 785 g||152 x 113 x 75 mm, 895 g|
Body comparison: Canon 30D vs 5D
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 30D and the Canon 5D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 5D is notably larger (13 percent) than the Canon 30D. Moreover, the 5D is markedly heavier (14 percent) than the 30D. It is noteworthy in this context that the 5D is splash and dust-proof, while the 30D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor (as in the 5D) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (30D). You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon 30D»||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 5D«||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299||-||Canon 5D|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS R« »||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 70D« »||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||950 g||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 60D« »||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1565 g||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999||-||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 350D« »||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D80« »||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 30D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 58 percent) than the 5D, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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: Canon 30D vs 5D
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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 30D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon 5D a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the 5D is 156 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 12.7MP, the 5D offers a higher resolution than the 30D (8.2MP), but the 5D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 8.25μm versus 6.42μm for the 30D) due to its larger sensor. However, the 30D is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the 5D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Canon EOS 30D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 5D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-3200..
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 5D offers substantially better image quality than the 30D (overall score 12 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 30D»||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.5||10.8||736||59||Canon 30D|
|Canon 5D«||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||-||22.9||11.1||1368||71||Canon 5D|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.6||12.4||2308||86||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 70D« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||22.5||11.6||926||68||Canon 70D|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 60D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.5||813||66||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.0||11.7||854||66||Canon 7D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||-||21.8||11.4||696||63||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.3||703||64||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.0||664||62||Canon 400D|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||-||22.3||11.2||975||66||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 350D« »||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||-||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.9||11.0||721||62||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D80« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.5||583||64||Nikon D200|
Feature comparison: Canon 30D vs 5D
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 30D and the 5D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the 5D offers a wider field of view (96%) than the one in the 30D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the 5D has a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.56x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 30D and Canon 5D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon 30D»||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 30D|
|Canon 5D«||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||3.0||n||n||Canon 5D|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||7.0||n||n||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS R« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 70D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n||Canon 70D|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||6.0||n||n||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 60D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||n||8000||5.3||Y||n||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||8.0||Y||n||Canon 7D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||3.9||n||n||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||6.3||Y||n||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||6.5||Y||n||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 400D|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||8.5||n||n||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 350D« »||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D80« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D200|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 30D has one, while the 5D does not. While the built-in flash of the 30D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 30D and the 5D write their files to Compact Flash cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 30D vs 5D
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 30D and Canon EOS 5D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 30D»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 5D«||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 70D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 60D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 350D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D80« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D200|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the 30D and the 5D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 5D was replaced by the Canon 5D Mark II, while the 30D was followed by the Canon 40D. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Canon website.
Review summary: Canon 30D vs 5D
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 30D or the Canon 5D – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 30D:
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (144x106mm vs 152x113mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 110g or 12 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (58 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the 5D).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 5D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.7 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 25%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (96% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.56x).
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2005).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 5D comes out slightly ahead of the 30D (8 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 30D or the 5D. 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.
Expert reviews: Canon 30D vs 5D
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Canon 30D»||++||++||o||o||-||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 5D«||88/100||++||o||o||-||Aug 2005||3,299||-||Canon 5D|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||++||87/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS R« »||+||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 70D« »||++||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||++||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 60D« »||+||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||++||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||-||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||++||++||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||++||++||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||++||++||o||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||-||-||-||-||-||Aug 2005||3,999||-||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 350D« »||80/100||++||o||o||-||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||-||++||-||o||-||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D80« »||+||++||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||++||++||o||5/5||-||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
|Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, 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.
- Canon SX730 vs Canon SX70
- Canon T4i vs Canon 700D
- Leica M10-P vs Canon 1D
- Nikon D7000 vs Canon 6D
- Olympus E-600 vs Olympus E-M5 II
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Sony RX100
- Olympus E-M10 vs Panasonic GX800
- Olympus PEN-F vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109
- Panasonic FZ2000 vs Canon T5
- Sony A7 III vs Canon 70D
- Sony NEX-6 vs Canon M10
- Sony RX10 II vs Fujifilm X-T20
Specifications: Canon 30D vs Canon 5D
|Camera Model||Canon 30D||Canon 5D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2006||August 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 1399||USD 3299|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 30D||Canon 5D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||36.0 x 15.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8.2 Megapixels||12.7 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3504 x 2336 pixels||4368 x 2912 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.42 μm||8.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.43 MP/cm2||1.47 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-3200 ISO||50-3200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 2||DIGIC 2|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||59||71|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||22.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||11.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||736||1368|
|Screen Specs||Canon 30D||Canon 5D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||96%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||2.5 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 30D||Canon 5D|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 30D||Canon 5D|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 30D||Canon 5D|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||BP-511A power pack||BP-511A power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
144 x 106 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
152 x 113 x 75 mm
(6.0 x 4.4 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||785 g (27.7 oz)||895 g (31.6 oz)|
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