Canon EOS 30D review
The overriding design factor is the inclusion of the larger screen. However, there’s still plenty of space on the camera’s back.
The rest of the design ethos of Canon cameras remains intact, and this model is instantly recognisable as a Canon model. It’s very well made and comfortable to hold, thanks to its robust and sturdy build, and also owing to the rubber grip.
The top-plate has a large LCD screen with readouts for photographic controls such as aperture, shutter, white balance, file format, drive mode and exposure compensation. There’s also a battery status symbol.
Many of these settings can be changed with the buttons placed close by, in combination with the front controller and rear command dial. The left side has the mode dial, featuring the usual array of manual through to program modes. There’s also an auto mode and a set of scene modes, although considering the camera’s target audience of enthusiasts and semi-professionals I think these are perhaps unnecessary, or even condescending.
In the centre of the top-plate on top of the pentaprism is a hotshoe and built-in flash. The flash covers up to 17mm lenses (equivalent to 27mm) and has a guide number of 13m – not too shabby.
On the side of the camera is a PC socket for attaching external flash units or studio lights. This socket is protected by a tough rubber cover, also covering the remote control, USB Hi-Speed and video out ports.
The back houses the LCD, the menu controls, and the rear command wheel, which allows menu and picture scrolling, with a central ‘set’ button. It doubles as aperture control and exposure compensation setting, which I always find awkward to use, as you need to set the power button to an unlabelled white line, which doesn’t give the game away. Finally there’s a toggle switch to allow manual control of the nine AF points, in conjunction with the AF selection button at the top right.