I've been using the EOS 30D for 2 months and have found that it has allowed me to produce some impressive results.
* Picture quailty is excellent even to A3 size.
* Start - up and general speed (autofocus etc) is excellent, when using canon lenses I've experence no noticable lag.
* Read/Write time to the CF card is very quick. However that the times do depend upon the speed of the CF card used and I would recommend at least Ultra II style card.
* Battery life is very impressive, over a week period averaging 200 shots per day I did not need to recharge.
* Build quality is very robust, although LCD screen on back is a little exposed and requires film protection to prevent damage.
* User controls after a little study are well laid out and easy to use.
* User software with camera easy to use.
* LCD difficult to see in bright light.
* Viewfinder is small and with only 95% coverage, you have to frame your shots carefully.
In summary I've found this an excellent camera if a little expense. If you are wanting to use this camera as a point and shot the fully automatic system is fine, however you would not be using this camera to its full potential and be wasting your money.
This camera is well suited to the intermediate photgrapher and I would highly recommend it. Please be aware that to help get the finer quality images you must invest in good quality lenses.
The camera arrived promptly and was in very good condition. There were some specks of dust and crud on the sensor, but this was easily removed with a sensor cleaning kit, so it is now as good as new. A good second-hand buy.
I bought my EOS 30D in May 2006 and very few days have passed without it being used. What can I say about this amazing camera? Firstly, it is a joy to hold, feeling like it was designed specifically for my not very large hands. (I bought the 17-85mm IS lens with the camera and it has proved to be an excellent marriage.) Secondly, the controls allow you to either do it the easy way, full auto, or to become more and more creative by using the maual controls.
With the autofocus system, taking pictures is so easy, almost too easy. My last SLR was a Canon FTb with full manual everything, from exposure to focussing - which meant many a lost picture, and then you had to wait for the developed film to come back before you knew whether or not the pictures you took were good or not. Now, with the ability to see the picture moments after pressing the shutter = wow!
I won't bore you with the technical side or the jargon, suffice to say that this is one hell of a camera. I thought I had left my enthusiastic days of snapping in the past with my dark room, chemicals and hours of developing and printing, but now my enthusiasm is back with avengence - nothing is safe anymore, no tree, flower, bird, friend or indeed sunset will ever be ignored again.
If you want to awaken your inner creative genius, then this baby's for you. Buy it, it might change your life forever - is has mine.
I moved from my beloved Canon EOS3 to the 30D a few weeks before climbing Kilimanjaro and was concerned that I would not have enough time to adapt to the new body before the trip to Africa.
I was wrong, this camera feels and works like all Canon EOS SLR's which is exactly what I wanted. There are of course many new controls on the 30D compared to the film bodies but the exposure controls fall to hand in the same way as my EOS3.
The image quality is excellent and the new version of the Raw software that Canon ships with this body make using Raw files a joy. I have longed for a 5D for a long time but there is almost £1000 difference between the 5D and 30D which I could not afford or justify. Although the 5D will produce better images for the amateur I do not think the difference will come close to justifying the extra money.
I would however recommend that you buy the body and a good lens (such as the 17-40 F4 L series) rather than the kit with lens. The kit lens whilst OK is not capable to get the best out of this body.
Oh and the 30D performed brilliantly on Kili, all the way to Uhuru peak :)
This is an excellent photographic tool built to last. It has a solid feel (magnesium body), isn't a small camera but instils confidence and delivers the goods shot after shot. Canon's own Raw processing software is good, but since purchasing Adobe Lightroom (from Amazon at an excellent price) I have found that processing the raw images is way ahead of Canon's Software, good as it is. If you are serious about using Raw then go for it.
I bought the 30D body with the EF17-85mm lens. I found this lens disappointing and traded it for the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Zoom (pricey but also available from Amazon). It's a large lens but the definition and build quality is superb. Your camera is only as good as the lens you use. No one considering the Canon 30D should compromise on the excellent performance of the camera by using a low spec lens. It will just not do justice to the excellent sensor in the camera.
This Camera has one of the lowest noise levels up to ISO 400 and I now don't hesitate to shoot at that setting. It's also fast, no shutter lag and the recorded images are viewable immediately. You will need a Sandisk Memory Card - preferably Ultra II - 1 gig (I got mine from Amazon). This card really allows the camera to perform at its best. All other info you can get from Amazon's review section.
This is the third Canon Digital SLR I've owned. The first a D60 was stolen whenn we were burgled! I replaced it with a 350D and then splashed out on a 30D. I bought it body only and then bought the Canon 17:55 EFS IS lens which is very good. The whole kit with a battery grip is quite heavy but feels indestructable. I use it virtually daily and use Photoshop Elements 5 for editing.
I went on a course for a day to learn all about the camera and how to get the best out of it. One of the best £100ish I've ever spent.
I don't know how one would need to improve on this camera as an enthusiastic amateur. I sometimes hanker after a 5D but then common sense takes over.
The 5 frames per second function is amazing and has brought a new dimension to shooting moving targets.
I use Sandisk Extreme III CF cards and have always found them great.
Finally I subscribe to EOS magazine which is always a great read and features Canon digital SLR's only. I know it's partly Canon self promotion but I love to read about only Canon product.
I would thoroughly recommend the 30D to any serious photographer.