Gordon from CameraLabs has always been one of my favorite content creators and reviewers throughout the years and I love the fact that he circles back and reviews the older gear to remind us of just how far we've come.

I remember when the D30 came out, I was still rocking my EOS-3 at the time and thinking I'd never go to digital. Film for life. Basically, I was this guy, with a little more hair at the time.

Ultimately, I gave in. But the D30 wasn't my first digital camera (the Canon 20D was my first) as I gave into the digital era a bit later.

The Canon D30 was Canon's first foray into CMOS sensors and it combined that CMOS sensor in a relatively “inexpensive” camera. It really rocked the industry. The basic specifications seem pedestrian now, but at the time, they were state-of-the-art.

  • 22.7 x 15.1 mm CMOS sensor (APS-C)
  • 3.1 megapixel effective (3.3 megapixel total)
  • Max resolution 2160 x 1440
  • FOV crop (1.6x)
  • Canon EF lens mount (excludes EF-S)
  • 3-point auto focus
  • 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 ISO speed equivalent
  • 30 to 1/4000 s shutter speed and bulb
  • TTL 35 zone SPC metering: evaluative, center weighted, partial
  • Exposure compensation -2 EV to +2 EV in 1/3 EV or 1/2 EV steps
  • Auto White Balance (plus 5 positions & manual preset)
  • Eye-level pentaprism viewfinder
  • 1.8 in (46 mm) color TFT liquid-crystal monitor
  • E-TTL flash mode
  • Built-in Flash
  • 3 frames per second continuous shooting (max. 8 frames)
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 150 x 107 x 75 mm
  • Weight (body only): 780 g

Phil Askey from dpreview's distant past gave it a glowing review and stated;

Sure, there are things I'd like to see improved, the odd little niggle here and there, nothing that would change the photography experience itself. Value for money? Unbeatable (at the time of writing this review). I have no doubt that Canon will sell every single D30 they ever produce, the question is can they make enough of them?

Here's Gordon's review, sit back and enjoy.

So how did Gordon like shooting again with the D30?

Shooting with the D30 23 years after it was launched, I was struck by just how familiar it still looks and feels. In fact it’s testament to Canon’s design and ergonomics that one of the biggest changes on later models was simply moving the buttons on the left of the D30’s upper screen to run along the top instead. These are all cameras any Canon owner can pick up and start using straightaway.

If you prefer to read than watch a video, then take a read through Gordon's review and enjoy the look back at what can easily be the camera that defines modern digital photography.

Source: CameraLabs

Go to discussion...

22 comments

  1. Honestly, I'm more interested in your thoughts about the EOS-3.
    Or how the Sony A9-3 is going to affect the successor to the EOS-3 R3 and how soon.

    The only D30 owner I ever knew said it was a piece of junk.

    Update: I did own an EOS-3. It was the best film camera I ever owned. Like the 5D3, it borrowed its focusing system from that generation's pro model.
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  2. Honestly, I'm more interested in your thoughts about the EOS-3.
    The EOS-3 was great. 45 point AF, eye controlled focus, etc. blazingly fast AF and FPS for the time. 7 fps at the time was pretty unheard of for the non-professional series of cameras (1 series and nikon F5,etc). the ultimate prosumer film camera. I have to admit though having picked one up after playing for decades with Canon's later digital mag alloy full construction DSLR's and it felt rather pedestrian - which of course, wasn't my thought at the time.

    Most of my friends were Nikon users, and all of them would drool over the EOS-3 and 24-70 F2.8L .. as Nikon at the time had the much slower and far more antiquated feeling and sounding screw drives lenses.
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  3. Or how the Sony A9-3 is going to affect the successor to the EOS-3 R3 and how soon.
    It's funny Craig and I were batting around things Canon could do for the R1 a few months ago, and I was pro-global shutter as what Canon needed to do. I think the A9 III seals the deal on that.

    Over the last 5+ years I've written about .. dozens? maybe more? of patent applications that Canon has filed on global shutters. it's certainly something they have been researching for a very very long time.

    Outside of that, what the R1 will have that the A9 III doesn't? well, easy.. it's not a Sony. But really the claim on the A9III is that sensor, what else would Canon have to worry about?

    The A9III also has a base ISO of 250 so not sure what the DR would be for the A9III. AF with EV - 5.0EV is pretty pedestrian (even if it's at a F1.8 so EV -6 for 1.2). whereas even Canon's older generation sensor in the R3 is sitting at EV -7.5. Video at 4K120p, R3 already does that. No in camera RAW video output. Doesn't seem that you can shoot 6k on it either. R3 already shoots at a max of 195 fps (granted AE/AF locked). DOn't get me wrong, it's looking like a beast of a camera, but Canon's certainly in the position where they can 1, or even 2 up Sony before it's even shipping.
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  4. [...]Outside of that, what the R1 will have that the A9 III doesn't? well, easy.. it's not a Sony. But really the claim on the A9III is that sensor, what else would Canon have to worry about?[...]
    The A9III is also limited by using CFe type A, and its buffer only fits 96 full size RAWs (192 compressed RAWs), so you're limited to 0.8 seconds of burst shooting. I don't think Canon is going to size the R1 buffer (plus writing to card) to be less than 1 second at maximum burst speed. The R1 might require a CFe type B card that can do 1700Mbyte/s sustained write for that, though.

    The 0.8s buffer doesn't diminish the impressive specs, but does show how Sony limits even their pro bodies in ways that will impact day to day shooting.
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  5. The A9III is also limited by using CFe type A, and its buffer only fits 96 full size RAWs (192 compressed RAWs), so you're limited to 0.8 seconds of burst shooting. I don't think Canon is going to size the R1 buffer (plus writing to card) to be less than 1 second at maximum burst speed. The R1 might require a CFe type B card that can do 1700Mbyte/s sustained write for that, though.

    The 0.8s buffer doesn't diminish the impressive specs, but does show how Sony limits even their pro bodies in ways that will impact day to day shooting.
    to be fair to Sony, they do have to keep some stuff for the A1
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  6. The R1 might require a CFe type B card that can do 1700Mbyte/s sustained write for that, though.
    I hope the R1 supports CF Express 4.0 and has an unlimited buffer.
    That is the only way pre-burst would be acceptable in a camera like that.
    If it fills up the buffer then pre-burst is not helping.
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  7. I hope the R1 supports CF Express 4.0 and has an unlimited buffer.
    That is the only way pre-burst would be acceptable in a camera like that.
    If it fills up the buffer then pre-burst is not helping.
    A regular RAW file from the R5 is about 50MiB at low ISO, so with a full speed CFe 4.0 type B (3500MiB/s) you'd be limited to 70 fps. If the R1 stays 24MP it could in theory do 120fps with unlimited buffer. If it is 40 or more MP, you'd need to fall back to CRAW or Canon has to lift the restriction on writing alternatingly (is that a word?) to both cards.
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  8. The EOS-3 was great. 45 point AF, eye controlled focus, etc. blazingly fast AF and FPS for the time. 7 fps at the time was pretty unheard of for the non-professional series of cameras (1 series and nikon F5,etc). the ultimate prosumer film camera. I have to admit though having picked one up after playing for decades with Canon's later digital mag alloy full construction DSLR's and it felt rather pedestrian - which of course, wasn't my thought at the time.

    Most of my friends were Nikon users, and all of them would drool over the EOS-3 and 24-70 F2.8L .. as Nikon at the time had the much slower and far more antiquated feeling and sounding screw drives lenses.
    I had forgotten eos-3 had 45 af points! I hope I will remember when I need to purchase another film camera.

    It is funny how as technology progresses it changes our perception for what was available in the past.
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  9. I hope the R1 supports CF Express 4.0 and has an unlimited buffer.
    That is the only way pre-burst would be acceptable in a camera like that.
    If it fills up the buffer then pre-burst is not helping.
    Could it somehow limit fps from the pre-burst to compensate or even that wouldn't be helpful?
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  10. A regular RAW file from the R5 is about 50MiB at low ISO, so with a full speed CFe 4.0 type B (3500MiB/s) you'd be limited to 70 fps. If the R1 stays 24MP it could in theory do 120fps with unlimited buffer. If it is 40 or more MP, you'd need to fall back to CRAW or Canon has to lift the restriction on writing alternatingly (is that a word?) to both cards.
    I hadn't thought about these ideas.

    What about making max fps dependent on the resolution?
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  11. I hadn't thought about these ideas.

    What about making max fps dependent on the resolution?
    Canon bodies stop for a while to drain the buffer, shoot a few images at max fps and stop again. Nikon bodies drop down to a frame rate that matches the card speed.
    If Canon adopts a similar strategy you’d get a much improved shooting experience after the buffer has overflowed.
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  12. Could it somehow limit fps from the pre-burst to compensate or even that wouldn't be helpful?
    It could but Canon has cheap cameras with 30 FPS pre-burst.
    Their flagship camera can't be less than that.
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  13. Canon has to lift the restriction on writing alternatingly (is that a word?) to both cards.
    I sure hope they don't.
    BMD reliability is nothing to strive for.
    Leave that to Magic Lantern.
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  14. I hadn't thought about these ideas.

    What about making max fps dependent on the resolution?
    the image file size is directly comparable to the resolution. the bigger the file, the longer it will take to be written out from the camera's buffer.

    so let's say your camera can handle 1GB / second throughput (50MB files at 20 frames per second), if your card right is only 500MB / second, then to have 2 seconds worth of buffer you need to store 500MB (the difference between camera write and card write) x 2 seconds = or 1 GB of buffer, after that, the camera slows down to the speed in which the buffer can be written out to the card (500MB / second - or 10 fps - a drop from 20 fps to 10fps) if the files are larger, then that happens quicker and fps drops down to a lower amount.
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  15. the image file size is directly comparable to the resolution. the bigger the file, the longer it will take to be written out from the camera's buffer.

    so let's say your camera can handle 1GB / second throughput (50MB files at 20 frames per second), if your card right is only 500MB / second, then to have 2 seconds worth of buffer you need to store 500MB (the difference between camera write and card write) x 2 seconds = or 1 GB of buffer, after that, the camera slows down to the speed in which the buffer can be written out to the card (500MB / second - or 10 fps - a drop from 20 fps to 10fps) if the files are larger, then that happens quicker and fps drops down to a lower amount.
    Right, so my thought was to allow the selection of a low resolution and the camera would allow you to shoot the maximum fps, but if you selected the maximum resolution, it would only allow shooting at a modest speed.

    I can't really guess if it's something Canon would consider or if many people would accept it. There would definitely be trolling about it, like almost everything.
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  16. My first DSLR was the EOS 60D. I loved it, and in fact my profile picture was taken with that camera and the grand-daddy of in-lens image stabilization, the 75-300 IS. :). I don't remember, but I may even have been using the Tamron 1.4x teleconverter on that shot. Attached is the original full image, converted from RAW, with the Canon software of the day.
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  17. Tech really advanced a lot....D30 is heavier than R7 with less performance.

    And for the R1/a9iii discussion. Internal SSD(Nvme)+CFB seems a better solution. First write to the SSD, then the camera can make copies to CFB after.
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