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Canon 50D vs D30

The Canon EOS 50D and the Canon EOS-D30 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2008 and May 2000. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 50D has a resolution of 15.1 megapixels, whereas the D30 provides 3.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 50D
versus
Canon D30
Canon 50D   Canon D30
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 3.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 1.8 LCD, 114k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
6.3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
800 shots per battery charge540 shots per battery charge
146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g 150 x 107 x 75 mm, 750 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 50D and the Canon EOS-D30? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon 50D and the Canon D30 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 50D vs Canon D30
Compare 50D versus D30 top
Comparison 50D or D30 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon D30 is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Canon 50D. However, the D30 is markedly lighter (9 percent) than the 50D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 50D is splash and dust resistant, while the D30 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 50D gets 800 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the D30 can take 540 images on a single charge of its BP-511 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
2.
 
Canon D30 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 750 g 540 n May 2000 2,999i
3.
 
Canon 90D 141 mm 105 mm 77 mm 701 g 1300 Y Aug 2019 1,199 i
4.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
5.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749i
6.
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
7.
 
Canon 7D II 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i
8.
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
9.
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
10.
 
Canon 7D 148 mm 111 mm 74 mm 860 g 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699i
11.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
12.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
13.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
14.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
15.
 
Canon D60 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 855 g 620 n Feb 2002 2,999i
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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 50D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 57 percent) than the D30, 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

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D30 is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon 50D and Canon D30 sensor measures

With 15.1MP, the 50D offers a higher resolution than the D30 (3.1MP), but the 50D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.69μm versus 10.29μm for the D30). However, the 50D is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 3 months) than the D30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 50D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 50D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23.8 x 15.8 inches or 60.4 x 40.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19 x 12.7 inches or 48.3 x 32.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.8 x 10.6 inches or 40.2 x 26.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon D30 are 10.8 x 7.2 inches or 27.4 x 18.3 cm for good quality, 8.6 x 5.8 inches or 21.9 x 14.6 cm for very good quality, and 7.2 x 4.8 inches or 18.3 x 12.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 50D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS-D30 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

50D versus D30 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
2.
 
Canon D30 APS-C 3.1 2160 1440none........
3.
 
Canon 90D APS-C 32.3 6960 46404K/30p24.013.5184883
4.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
5.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.713.1158680
6.
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
7.
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
8.
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
9.
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
10.
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
11.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
12.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
13.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
14.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
15.
 
Canon D60 APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none20.39.830147
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
The 50D offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The D30 lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 50D and the D30 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 50D has a higher magnification than the one of the D30 (0.59x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 50D and Canon D30 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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 50Doptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
2.
 
Canon D30optical Y1.8 / 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon 90Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 11.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon SL2optical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T7ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 80Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon 70Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon 60Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
10.
 
Canon 7Doptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
12.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
13.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Canon D60optical Y1.8 / 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 50D and the D30 write their files to Compact Flash cards.

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 50D and Canon EOS-D30 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 50DY- / ---mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon D30Y- / ----1.0---
3.
 
Canon 90DYstereo / monoYYmini2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SL2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon T7iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon 80DYstereo / monoYYmini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon 7D IIYstereo / monoYYmini3.0---
8.
 
Canon 70DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
9.
 
Canon 60DYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 7DYmono / -Y-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Canon 30DY- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Canon 20DY- / ----1.1---
15.
 
Canon D60Y- / ----1.1---

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

Both the 50D and the D30 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D30 was replaced by the Canon D60, while the 50D was followed by the Canon 60D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 50D or the Canon D30 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 50D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.1 vs 3.1MP) with a 120% higher linear resolution.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.54x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 114k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.3 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (800 versus 540) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (57 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 3 months of technical progress since the D30 launch.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-D30:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in May 2000).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 50D is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 1 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. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

50D 11:01 D30

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 50D and the Canon D30 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 50D or the D30. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 50D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
2.
 
Canon D30......+ +.... May 2000 2,999i
3.
 
Canon 90D4/5+4.5/585/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2019 1,199 i
4.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +4/578/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
5.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..3.5/580/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
6.
 
Canon 80D4/5+ +4.5/584/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
7.
 
Canon 7D II4.5/5+3.5/584/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i
8.
 
Canon 70D5/5+ +..83/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
9.
 
Canon 60D5/5+..79/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
10.
 
Canon 7D5/5+ +..84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699i
11.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
12.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
13.
 
Canon 30D..+ +..+ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
14.
 
Canon 20D......+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
15.
 
Canon D60......+ +o.. Feb 2002 2,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 50D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon D30:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 50D vs Canon D30

    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 50D Canon D30
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2008 May 2000
    Launch Price USD 1,299 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Canon 50D Canon D30
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.0 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 327.8 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 26.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.1 Megapixels 3.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4752 x 3168 pixels 2160 x 1440 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.69 μm 10.29 μm
    Pixel Density 4.53 MP/cm2 0.95 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.4 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 696 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 50D Canon D30
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x 0.54x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 1.8inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 114k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 50D Canon D30
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6.3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 50D Canon D30
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 1.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 50D Canon D30
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-511A BP-511
    Battery Life (CIPA)800 shots per charge540 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    150 x 107 x 75 mm
    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 822 g (29.0 oz) 750 g (26.5 oz)

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