EOS D30 impressions part 2 "the digital"

By Hitoshi Doi (doi@usagi.org)

Some of my thoughts on the "digital camera" features of the EOS D30 are as follows.

Since this was originally written in 2001, some of it may be outdated. - H.Doi (2004.02.09)

[Nagai Nobuko] Revision 1.0 (2001.12.25)
Revision 1.1 (2002.01.07)
Revision 1.2 (2002.01.11)
Revision 1.3 (2002.01.31)
Revision 1.4 (2002.03.31)
Revision 1.5 (2002.08.23)
Revision 2.0 (2004.02.09)


The camera can save pictures in either RAW or JPEG/EXIF format. But since the RAW data is about 3 times bigger than the JPEG (large/fine) data, using RAW will fill the buffer right away, making the camera useless for event photos.

For the pictures I've taken so far, I see no quality advantage of RAW, so I'll use JPEG. The JPEGs I've taken so far seem better than the JPEGs I get from scanning positives with my Nikon Coolscan III scanner, so I am very satisfied by the picture quality.

I really like the EXIF photo data in the JPEGs! With this data, I can study the shutter speed, aperture, exposure bias, focal length, ISO speed, etc.. at a later time.

I have discovered that you can do a lot with the exposure bias with the RAW format, assuming you have some good software. The quality doesn't degrade like with JPEG, so this can be very useful. For indoor (or slightly dark) photo sessions that doesn't require speed, I might use RAW..

But with digital, I take a lot more pictures than ever before, so post-processing time is important. I don't have time to process RAW, so I just stick to JPEG.

white balance

I use AWB (auto white balance) 99% of the time, and it seems to be fine in just about any situation.


With a digital camera I can change the ISO film settings for each picture. This is very useful during events. I can take some pics at ISO 800 without a flash, and then switch to ISO 200 with a flash very easily. I don't have to wait for a roll of film to finish.

The only problem I have is that there is no way to see what the current setting is when taking pictures. I have to go to the menu on the back screen, and look at the ISO setting. If I can see it in the view finder, and can change it with some of the dial controls, it would be much easier to change it for each shot.


Writing the data to CF (compact flash) is slow. I had heard it was slow, but I didn't know it was this slow. The D30 can take 3 pictures/second and it has a buffer of 8 pictures (in large/fine JPEG mode). But it takes around 20 to 30 seconds (I didn't time it so it might be even more) to flush this buffer. While the buffer is being written, you can't do anything with the camera.

Since this depends on the speed of the CF (or micro-drive), it pays to use those with a decent speed. I wish the benchmarks of the various brands of CF were published somewhere, instead of just writing the specs as 8x or 12x or 16x. The benchmarks I've run with my CF cards are at Compact Flash benchmarks.

photo counter

I use the continuous counter method, so all my image files can have unique filenames. But once you go over 10000 pictures, the counter resets to 0001. So the filenames are the same as the old pictures..

battery life

I use the battery grip BG-ED3, so I always use two batteries. I haven't had any problem with the battery life so far, even though I had two events on 2001.12.24 (330 pics in the first, 160 pics in the second). On 2002.07.13, I took 760 pics in one event, but the batteries were fine.

sytem hanging!

On 3/31 2002, the D30 system hung while flushing the buffer! I'm not sure if I lost any of the pictures that were in the buffer, but the only way I could get the camera working again was to pull the batteries out of the camera.

I just hope this doesn't happen again..

I have had this problem a couple more times. (;_;)

[HD's digital cameras]

> Digital Cameras


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