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Old Jul 10, 2006, 12:36 AM   #1
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Well, I've had my 30D for two weeks now, and have tried it out in a variety of conditions. I mainly shoot surfing, wildlife and landscapes. I upgraded from an FZ20 and haven't looked back. Almost everything about the camera and the image quality is as good as or better than I expected. Here's a few thoughts/findings after flicking off a couple of thousand shots…



Build/Look/Feel – Really good, feels like a real camera. Only complaints would be the small buttons on the back which don't stick out as much as I'd like. I would also like the ISO/metering/focus buttons on the top, moved to the back for easier access.



Noise – Incredible! It seems like ISO 800-1000 on the 30D is equal to ISO 80 on the FZ20. I've been amazed at how good ISO 1600 and even 3200 are as well! Editing in photoshop is also much better. I used to find that noise became unbearable if sharpness or saturation were increased much on ISO 100 photos from my FZ20. I can crank both these up on ISO 800 photos from my 30D without noise increasing much at all.



Battery life – Amazing! Got more than a day of shooting on a single battery! Would have used at least four of my FZ20 batteries in the same time. Start up time is also incredible.



Continuous shooting – Amazing! Incredibly fast, although I've found that it can slow temporarily if using AI Servo and the focus point drifts onto a different subject. Can end up taking a huge number of shots though – which makes me worry about the shutter life! So good that viewfinder doesn't black out during shooting.



Focusing – Fast and accurate. Enough said! I'm also loving the lack of shutter lag – although I still find myself anticipating action and shooting early like I had to with the FZ20.



AI Servo – Have read quite a bit about this, mostly negative (locking on background instead). I've been using it both for sports shots and birds in flight, and have got good sharp shots of the subject 99% of the time! I use the centre focus point only, and providing I can keep it centred on the subject, it never fails!



Metering – Good and accurate in general, although I am struggling with it in some situations. Sunrises/sunsets are particularly tricky, and I haven't had much success yet. Any advice much appreciated! In situations with areas in sun/shade, it seems to perform less well than my FZ20, which is surprising. The spot mode is useful, although not as small a ‘spot' as I would have liked.



LCD screen – Was quite disheartened during my first day of shooting, as it seemed like almost all shots were underexposed. When I viewed them on my monitor, however, they looked fine. I found I had to increase the LCD brightness by +1 or +2 to get an accurate picture. I've also found that the picture on the LCD is not as sharp and clear as on my FZ20. I've found it very hard to tell if the photos are sharp or not using this.



20D vs 30D – I was very tempted to save money and go for the 20D. Really glad I didn't however, as I've used almost all the additional features extensively. ISO selectable in 1/3 steps is great, as is spot metering and a large LCD screen.



Lenses – To be honest, I've found it annoying at times to have to change lenses. I've been a bit lazy and have missed a few good shots because I couldn't be bothered changing the lens! For this reason, I miss my FZ20, although the added range and control over depth of field more than make up for it. I bought the 100-400L, 17-85, 10-22 and 50 f1.4. I'm impressed with all of them, and I can't notice too much difference in sharpness between the L and the others. Have noticed some strange bokeh in some shots from the 100-400: small diagonal splotches. I'm not too worried about it though, and it only really shows up in 100% crops. Also think I should have saved some money and got the 50 f1.8 instead of the f1.4!



Whew…that was a bit of an essay! Thanks for reading!
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 1:15 AM   #2
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having had an FZ20 for 18 months, and a 30D for 3, i must say, i agree with most of your comments. the 30D is a wonderful camera, and i'm having a blast with mine! i also find the 1/3 step ISO settings to be handy, especially in the higher ranges, where the "finer slicing" means i don't need to bump it up quite as high to get the exposure i need. after a year and a half shooting the FZ20, it's hard to overcome the aversion to high ISO settings, but i'm getting there! :G


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Old Jul 10, 2006, 3:23 AM   #3
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A point for you on exposure.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...se-right.shtml

It's the histogram that counts not how bright it looks on the screen.
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 12:47 PM   #4
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gardensurf wrote:
Quote:
Build/Look/Feel – Really good, feels like a real camera. Only complaints would be the small buttons on the back which don't stick out as much as I'd like. I would also like the ISO/metering/focus buttons on the top, moved to the back for easier access.
Quote:
How would you press those buttons with your face stuck to the LCD monitor? That's why those buttons are on the top.
Quote:
Continuous shooting – Amazing! Incredibly fast, although I've found that it can slow temporarily if using AI Servo and the focus point drifts onto a different subject. Can end up taking a huge number of shots though – which makes me worry about the shutter life! So good that viewfinder doesn't black out during shooting.
Quote:
Use center AF point only. Don't let the camera decide which AF point to use.
Quote:
AI Servo – Have read quite a bit about this, mostly negative (locking on background instead). I've been using it both for sports shots and birds in flight, and have got good sharp shots of the subject 99% of the time! I use the centre focus point only, and providing I can keep it centred on the subject, it never fails!
Quote:
yes, it happens, 20D/30D are still not anywhere near idMK2 in that regard.
Quote:
Metering – Good and accurate in general, although I am struggling with it in some situations. Sunrises/sunsets are particularly tricky, and I haven't had much success yet. Any advice much appreciated! In situations with areas in sun/shade, it seems to perform less well than my FZ20, which is surprising. The spot mode is useful, although not as small a ‘spot' as I would have liked.
Quote:
Post some shots.
Quote:
LCD screen – Was quite disheartened during my first day of shooting, as it seemed like almost all shots were underexposed. When I viewed them on my monitor, however, they looked fine. I found I had to increase the LCD brightness by +1 or +2 to get an accurate picture. I've also found that the picture on the LCD is not as sharp and clear as on my FZ20. I've found it very hard to tell if the photos are sharp or not using this.
Quote:
use histogram to check exposure.
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 1:36 PM   #5
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Thanks to the itinerant P for the link on exposure/histogram. After 3 or 4 readings, I am starting to "get-it."
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 1:36 PM   #6
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Thanks to the itinerant P for the link on exposure/histogram. After 3 or 4 readings, I am starting to "get-it."
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