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Canon D30 vs Nikon D2X

The Canon EOS-D30 and the Nikon D2X are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2000 and September 2004. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 3.1 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon D30 versus Nikon D2X
Canon D30 Nikon D2X
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
3.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-800 (100 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8 LCD, 114k dots 2.5 LCD, 235k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
540 shots per battery charge3800 shots per battery charge
150 x 107 x 75 mm, 750 g 158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1252 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-D30 and the Nikon D2X? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon D30 and the Nikon D2X is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 D30 vs Nikon D2X
Compare D30 versus D2X top
Comparison D30 or D2X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D2X is considerably larger (48 percent) than the Canon D30. Moreover, the D2X is substantially heavier (67 percent) than the D30. It is noteworthy in this context that the D2X is splash and dust-proof, 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. 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 (D30) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D2X).

Concerning battery life, the D30 gets 540 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the D2X can take 3800 images on a single charge of its EN-EL4a power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D2X 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 D30, Canon provides the BG-ED3 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon D30 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 26.5 oz 540 n May 2000 2,999i
 
Nikon D2X 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999i
 
Canon T7 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon SL2 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon T7i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749i
 
Canon 80D 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon 40D 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 30D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Canon 10D 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
 
Canon Rebel 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899i
 
Canon D60 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.2 oz 620 n Feb 2002 2,999i
 
Nikon D2Xs 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699i
 
Nikon D200 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 32.5 oz 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
 
Nikon D2H 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 37.7 oz 2900 Y Jul 2003 3,499i
 
Nikon D1X 6.2 in 6.0 in 3.3 in 38.8 oz 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999i
 
Nikon D1 6.2 in 6.0 in 3.3 in 38.8 oz .. 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.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 D30 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the D2X, 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.

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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 D2X is 13 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (D30) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon D30 and Nikon D2X sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the D2X offers a higher resolution than the D30 (3.1MP), but the D2X has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.52μm versus 10.29μm for the D30). Yet, the D2X is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 4 months) than the D30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D2X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D2X for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.5 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.2 x 11.4 inches or 43.6 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.3 x 9.5 inches or 36.3 x 24.1 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-D30 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D2X are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

D30 versus D2X 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
 
Canon D30 APS-C 3.1 2160 1440none........
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p........
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
 
Canon D60 APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none........
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
 
Nikon D2H APS-C 4.0 2464 1632none18.910.035240
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none........
 
Nikon D1 APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........
Neither the D30 nor the D2X 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.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D30 and the D2X 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 D2X offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D30 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the D2X has a higher magnification (0.57x 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 D30 and Nikon D2X 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
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
 
Canon D30optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon T7optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T7ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Canon D60optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D2Hoptical Y 2.5 211 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 n n
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n
 
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 D30 has one, while the D2X does not. While the built-in flash of the D30 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D30 and the D2X 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-D30 and Nikon D2X 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
 
Canon D30Y-----1.0---
 
Nikon D2XY-----2.0---
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon T7iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
 
Canon D60Y-----1.1---
 
Nikon D2XsY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D200Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D2HY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D1XY-----FW---
 
Nikon D1Y-----FW---

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

Both the D30 and the D2X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D30 was replaced by the Canon D60, while the D2X was followed by the Nikon D2Xs. 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon D30 better than the Nikon D2X 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-D30:

  • More compact: Is smaller (150x107mm vs 158x150mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 502g or 40 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 (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2000).

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Advantages of the Nikon D2X:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 3.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 98%.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.54x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (235k vs 114k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (3800 versus 540) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D30 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D2X is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D30 05:12 D2X

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon D30 and the Nikon D2X 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D30 and the D2X in practical situations. 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

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon D30..+ +...... May 2000 2,999i
 
Nikon D2X..+ +..o.. Sep 2004 4,999i
 
Canon T7o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon SL2+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon T7i..80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 30D+ ++ +oo.. Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Canon 10D..+ +..o.. Feb 2003 1,999i
 
Canon Rebel..+ +..o.. Aug 2003 899i
 
Canon D60..+ +o.... Feb 2002 2,999i
 
Nikon D2Xs......o.. Jun 2006 4,699i
 
Nikon D200+ ++ +o5/5.. Nov 2005 1,699i
 
Nikon D2H..+ +..o.. Jul 2003 3,499i
 
Nikon D1X..+ +..o.. Feb 2001 5,999i
 
Nikon D1..+ +...... Jun 1999 5,499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon D30:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D2X:
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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon D30 vs Nikon D2X

    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 D30 Nikon D2X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date May 2000 September 2004
    Launch Price USD 2,999 USD 4,999
    Sensor Specs Canon D30 Nikon D2X
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.9 mm 23.7 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 327.8 mm2 372.09 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.6 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 3.1 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 2160 x 1440 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 10.29 μm 5.52 μm
    Pixel Density 0.95 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 59
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 476
    Screen Specs Canon D30 Nikon D2X
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.57x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 114k dots 235k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon D30 Nikon D2X
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 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 D30 Nikon D2X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 1.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon D30 Nikon D2X
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-511 EN-EL4a
    Battery Life (CIPA)540 shots per charge3800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 150 x 107 x 75 mm
    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    158 x 150 x 86 mm
    (6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 750 g (26.5 oz) 1252 g (44.2 oz)

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