Canon digital 35mm SLR: EOS 30D - Approved
(NOT approved for commission-based work)

Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5

File Size: 23.4 Mb

Color space: Adobe RGB 1998

Usability/Handling: 4 out of 5

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Report by: Richard Newstead, Digital Editor, Getty Images
Canon has recently released the Canon EOS 30D, a refined version and replacement to the previously released EOS 20D.

The camera uses an 8.2 MP CMOS sensor which produces a 23.4Mb Tiff file in 8bit color. The sensor features a built in low-pass filter and infrared filter, which helps to eliminate problematic noise and moiré effects.

We have recently tested the 30D in various shooting situations and have been pleased with the results we have achieved. The image quality is of a professional standard, producing good detail across the whole frame. The tonal range is very neutral, with an impressive looking color range. Shadow detail was good, although lacked the subtleness of graduation when compared to other, higher pixel count cameras. The files have a very similar look and feel to it's bigger brother the 5D, the major difference being the smaller file size. The 30D is a definite improvement over the 20D it has replaced and will be approved for use for Getty Images submissions.

The camera shoots in Canon's 'CR2' format, which can be processed in all popular RAW processing software including Capture One and Photoshop CS2 (once the latest RAW profile updates have been installed). The camera comes bundled with Canon's 'DPP' RAW software which is adequate for processing, but does not compare with the quality of Capture One for optimum processed files.

The processed Tiff's at 23.4Mb will need to be resized to 48Mb prior to submission. It should be noted that when some of example files from the 30D were resized they became too soft. I would not recommend cropping any more than 10% of the originally captured frame, as this will reduce the original file size too much, causing problems with softness when re-sized.

For optimum quality, the lowest ISO setting achievable should be used (ideally below 200iso). High ISO settings can cause excessive digital noise, which can hinder overall image quality, especially within darker areas. As always, good exposures and focus is the key to optimum quality. Please be aware that this camera may not be suitable for low-light conditions.

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Report by: Coneyl Jay, Photographer, Getty Images

•  The 5fps continuous mode writes quickly to the card and has a very robust buffer [30jpgs or 11 raw].
•  The 8.2 mp sensor is still the same size as the 20d it replaces.
•  The larger 2.5inch lcd is a lot easier to see and has a better viewing angle.
•  The camera has many of the high end feature set found on the 1ds mkII, such as the ability to write raw and jpeg files simultaneously, e-ttl flash, 3200 iso and the addition of spot-metering.
•  On chip noise reduction, low pass and infra red filters contribute to very good long exposure functionality.
•  To shoot with it feels very responsive [65ms shutter lag same as 20d], in the hands it feels very compact, build quality has been improved with extended shutter and flash cycle durability.

In conclusion; this feels like an improved 20d although a step in the right direction at this price point it is not a major step forward.

Notes:
•  AI Servo [continuous af] interference banding issue [on certain lenses with high iso settings]
•  No permanent iso setting display
•  Canon sensor has the edge over its main competitor the Nikon d200 especially at higher iso ratings

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Report by: Nick Mullord, Production Manager, Getty Images

Initially when preparing this review we felt that this camera would produce very similar results to the 20d - which we have previously not approved. Certainly at this price range we had assumed that its capabilities may be limited. Generally though, this has not proved to be the case.

The test images shot on the 30D are of a high quality, they appear sharp and color reproduction is excellent. Texture and fine detail are captured exactly and when resized don't display any of the unnatural effects other units have produced.

The files hold a wide range of tonal values, particularly in the shadow areas where it is possible to access plenty of detail when adjusting the curves in Photoshop. Colors and tones graduated well with no evidence of banding or separation.

When using this camera, it is advisable to apply minimal sharpening after resizing the image from its converted 23Mb file size as interpolation tends to make images soft when enlarged. This should be done in Photoshop using the amounts advised in the digital training resource section of the contributor's website.

Whilst no significant issues were apparent in the images shot for this review, adhering to advice given about exposure and ISO settings will be necessary for successful results.

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To see examples of pictures taken with the Canon 50D in the following settings:

Location
Studio

Download the image by clicking on the link that you require on the left of this page. Please note that these are high res files and make take some time to download. To save time, right mouse click, go to 'Save Target As' and save the files to your computer.

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Please note: - The Canon 30D is NOT approved for commission-based work.

As with all equipment and media, the acceptability of the material produced is dependent on the skill of the user, rather than the theoretical performance of the technology.