Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Canon EOS 30D review Gordon Laing, July 2006
Canon EOS 30D design and build quality

At first glance the Canon EOS 30D looks almost indistinguishable from the earlier 20D, but place them side by side and subtle differences emerge. The 30D’s grip is fractionally larger, while certain surfaces and joins are more rounded, lending it a slightly chunkier appearance. The surface connecting the left side of the body with the lens mount is more angled-out for example, resembling the 5D. The most obvious physical difference between the 20D and 30D though is the latter’s larger 2.5in screen – a much needed increase from the 20D’s 1.8in model, but more on that later. The 30D is pictured below, alongside the 5D.

Support this site by price checking below

Canon EOS 5D

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EOS 30D kit
Canon EOS 30D and Canon EOS 5D

In terms of build quality, the 30D feels pretty much the same as the 20D and 5D bodies. It’s solid and comfortable to hold, with key surfaces coated with a mottled rubber finish for durability and grip. If you’re coming from the 300 or 350D / Digital Rebel line, it’s a significant step-up in build quality, although as we mentioned in our 5D review, the Nikon D200 ultimately feels tougher – although to be fair it’s also priced higher than the 30D.

Canon EOS 30D right side view

Like its predecessor, the 30D’s equipped with a popup flash above its Pentaprism head, with coverage to 17mm (27mm equivalent). Some photographers consider popup flashes on SLRs to be a waste of time, but we personally find them very handy, especially as fill-ins on dull days. Indeed a popup flash is one of the things we miss the most on the 5D. If you’re after more serious illumination, the 30D also sports a PC Sync port and hotshoe for EX series Speedlites.


Canon EOS 30D rear view

If you’re familiar with the 20D or the 5D, you’ll feel immediately at home with the control layout of the 30D which is dominated by the same thumb-operated command wheel on the rear. This navigates menus and cycles through various settings and is tactile, intuitive and fast to use.

The wheel itself can be disabled or enabled depending on the position of the three-way power switch to its lower left, although most will leave it active. In this position it can be used to adjust exposure compensation in all but Manual mode, where it instead controls the aperture.

Again like the 20D and 5D, most of the key controls are located on the top surface. The main command dial offers the usual Auto (green square), Program, Manual, Shutter and Aperture Priority modes, along with five scene presets, an auto depth-of-field option and a setting which disables the flash. Unlike the 5D, there’s no separate Bulb setting on the dial, but you can select it in Manual mode. Shutter speeds range from 1/8000 to 30 seconds plus Bulb, while the fastest flash sync speed is 1/250. The 30D has inherited the 5D’s shutter block, which is rated for 100,000 fires.

Canon EOS 30D top view

To the right side, three buttons above the backlit LCD status screen adjust a pair of settings each, with either a turn of the rear command wheel, or the finger wheel by the soft-touch shutter release.

The left button adjusts the three autofocus modes (One Shot, AI Focus and AI Servo) and the nine white balance options (including both custom and user-selectable temperatures between 2,800 and 10,000K).

The middle button adjusts the four drive modes (single, continuous, continuous high and self-timer) or the ISO sensitivity in third-stop increments. Standard ISO settings range from 100 to 1600, although a custom function – see later – extends the upper end to 3200 ISO, although unlike the 5D, there’s no 50 ISO equivalent. Finally, the right button selects between the four metering modes of centre-weighted, spot, partial and evaluative, along with adjusting flash compensation between +/-2EV in third-stop increments. Spot metering wasn’t featured on the 20D, and like the bigger screen, it’s a much-needed and welcome improvement.

The same scale on the upper LCD screen is used for both flash and exposure compensation adjustments, with the latter taking priority during normal operation. A small icon then reveals if any flash compensation has been set, but you’ll need to press the right button to actually check the value. Similarly you’ll need to press the middle button to reveal the ISO sensitivity. Other than the ISO and flash compensation values though, all other main settings described here, along with shutter, aperture, picture quality, battery life and remaining shots are shown at all times.

Nestled in the top right corner on the back of the camera just behind the status screen are the exposure lock and focus point buttons. The latter offers manual selection of the nine focus points, using a guide temporarily shown on either the LCD status screen or superimposed through the viewfinder. Both buttons double-up as zoom controls during playback.

Canon EOS 30D connectivity and battery

All the ports are hidden behind a single large rubber flap, although it’s designed in two sections which can be unfurled independently. Behind the upper section are the mini USB 2.0 and video out ports, while behind the lower section are the PC Sync flash port and a plug for an N3-type remote control.

Canon EOS 30D left side view

Behind the right flap are a USB-2 port and video output. Wireless connectivity is possible with the optional WFT-E1 module which screws to the base of the body. Like the 5D, there’s no option for audio recording, and unlike the Nikon D200, no GPS connectivity either.

The 30D’s powered by a single BP-511A Lithium Ion battery pack and is supplied with a mains recharger. The pack’s rated at 1390mAh and Canon claims to have extended its effective life over the 20D, quoting 750 shots per charge at 20 degrees Celsius under CIPA testing conditions. Like other Canon DSLRs, the battery life is indicated by a two segment icon alone which begins to flash when you’re close to expiring. As we mentioned in our 5D review, it’s a shame Canon hasn’t followed Nikon and Sony’s leads in providing finer indication of battery life.

That said the BP-511A is an excellent pack which delivers an impressive lifespan. If you’re after longer still, the 30D can handle the same BG-E2 battery grip as the 20D, offering a portrait grip and room for two BP-511As, or six AAs if you’re really desperate.


If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs