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Canon 30D vs Nikon D1H

The Canon EOS 30D and the Nikon D1H are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2006 and February 2001. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 2.6 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 30D versus Nikon D1H
Canon 30D Nikon D1H
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
8.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 2.6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 200-800 (200 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 2.0 LCD, 120k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
750 shots per battery charge1200 shots per battery charge
144 x 106 x 74 mm, 785 g 157 x 153 x 85 mm, 1100 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 30D and the Nikon D1H? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 30D and the Nikon D1H. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 30D vs Nikon D1H
Compare 30D versus D1H top
Comparison 30D or D1H rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D1H is considerably larger (57 percent) than the Canon 30D. Moreover, the D1H is substantially heavier (40 percent) than the 30D. It is noteworthy in this context that the D1H 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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (30D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D1H).

Concerning battery life, the 30D gets 750 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the D1H can take 1200 images on a single charge of its EN-4 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D1H has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the 30D, Canon provides the BG-E2N vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
2.
 
Nikon D1H 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 4,499i
3.
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
4.
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
5.
 
Canon 7D 148 mm 111 mm 74 mm 860 g 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699i
6.
 
Canon 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
7.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
8.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
9.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
10.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
11.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
12.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Nikon D2Xs 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699i
14.
 
Nikon D2X 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999i
15.
 
Nikon D2H 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1070 g 2900 Y Jul 2003 3,499i
16.
 
Nikon D1X 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999i
17.
 
Nikon D1 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g .. Y Jun 1999 5,499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 30D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 69 percent) than the D1H, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D1H is 9 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (30D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 30D and Nikon D1H sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 30D offers a higher resolution of 8.2 megapixels, compared with 2.6 MP of the Nikon D1H. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 6.42μm versus 11.93μm for the D1H). However, it should be noted that the 30D is much more recent (by 5 years) than the D1H, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 30D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 30D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 17.5 x 11.7 inches or 44.5 x 29.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 14 x 9.3 inches or 35.6 x 23.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 11.7 x 7.8 inches or 29.7 x 19.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D1H are 10 x 6.6 inches or 25.4 x 16.7 cm for good quality, 8 x 5.2 inches or 20.3 x 13.3 cm for very good quality, and 6.7 x 4.4 inches or 16.9 x 11.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

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 Nikon D1H are ISO 200 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-3200.

30D versus D1H MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
2.
 
Nikon D1H APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........
3.
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
4.
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
5.
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
6.
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
7.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
8.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
9.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
10.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
11.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
12.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
13.
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959
14.
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659
15.
 
Nikon D2H APS-C 4.0 2464 1632none18.910.035240
16.
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none........
17.
 
Nikon D1 APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........
Neither the 30D nor the D1H offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 30D and the D1H 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 D1H 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. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the 30D has a higher magnification (0.56x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 30D, the Nikon D1H, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D1Hoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 5.0 n n
3.
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 60Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
5.
 
Canon 7Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
7.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
8.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
14.
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
15.
 
Nikon D2Hoptical Y 2.5 211 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 n n
16.
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n
17.
 
Nikon D1optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 1.5 n n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 30D has one, while the D1H 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 D1H write their files to Compact Flash cards.

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Connectivity comparison

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 Nikon D1H and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D1HY-----FW---
3.
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon 60DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon 7DYmono-Y-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon 50DY----mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
8.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
9.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
11.
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
12.
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
13.
 
Nikon D2XsY-----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D2XY-----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D2HY-----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D1XY-----FW---
17.
 
Nikon D1Y-----FW---

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the 30D and the D1H have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D1H was replaced by the Nikon D2H, while the 30D was followed by the Canon 40D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 30D better than the Nikon D1H or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 30D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (8.2 vs 2.6MP) with a 76% higher linear resolution.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.56x vs 0.53x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 120k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (144x106mm vs 157x153mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 315g or 29 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (69 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years of technical progress since the D1H launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D1H:

  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (96% vs 95%).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/8000s) to freeze action.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1200 versus 750) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2001).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 30D emerges as the winner of the contest (9 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

30D 09:06 D1H

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 30D and the Nikon D1H place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 30D or the D1H perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
2.
 
Nikon D1H....+ +.... Feb 2001 4,499i
3.
 
Canon 70D5/5+ +83/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
4.
 
Canon 60D5/5+79/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
5.
 
Canon 7D5/5+ +84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699i
6.
 
Canon 50D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
7.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
8.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
9.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
10.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
11.
 
Canon 10D....+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
12.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Nikon D2Xs.......... Jun 2006 4,699i
14.
 
Nikon D2X....+ +.... Sep 2004 4,999i
15.
 
Nikon D2H....+ +.... Jul 2003 3,499i
16.
 
Nikon D1X....+ +.... Feb 2001 5,999i
17.
 
Nikon D1....+ +.... Jun 1999 5,499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 30D:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D1H:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 30D vs Nikon D1H

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 30D Nikon D1H
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2006 February 2001
    Launch Price USD 1,399 USD 4,499
    Sensor Specs Canon 30D Nikon D1H
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.5 x 15.0 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 337.5 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 8.2 Megapixels 2.6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3504 x 2336 pixels 2000 x 1312 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.42 μm 11.93 μm
    Pixel Density 2.43 MP/cm2 0.71 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 200 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO 200 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 59 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.5 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 736 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 30D Nikon D1H
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.56x 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 120k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 30D Nikon D1H
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    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 Nikon D1H
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 Firewire
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 30D Nikon D1H
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-511A EN-4
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge1200 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 144 x 106 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
    157 x 153 x 85 mm
    (6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 785 g (27.7 oz) 1100 g (38.8 oz)

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