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The only other significant change is in the colour adjustment system in the menu. The 30D has a wider range of adjustments for colour tone, saturation, contrast and sharpness, which can be grouped into ‘Picture Style’ settings. This makes it a lot easier to set up shots to cope with difficult lighting conditions, or to produce specific effects, especially if you need to store those settings for later re-use.
The body, the control layout and all other internal systems are, as far as I can tell, identical to the 20D. It still has the same 35-zone evaluative metering system, 9-point AF system and 100-3200 ISO range. According to the spec sheets for the two cameras, the 30D is 2mm wider, although for the life of me I can’t see any difference when comparing the two models side by side. It is also approximately 20g heavier, however on a camera that weighs 785g with the battery this isn’t likely to make that much of a difference.
Also largely unchanged is the price. The EOS 20D is still available while stocks last, and can be found for around £725 body only. While the recommended retail price of the 30D body is £1099, it is already being advertised for around £780.
While I was out shooting the sample pictures for this review, I bumped into another photographer who was using a 20D. We chatted for a while, and compared the two cameras. I explained the few changes and the many similarities between the two models, and let him have a go with the 30D. He looked it over, took a few shots, and then informed me that since he couldn’t really see any advantage to changing, he’d be keeping his current camera, and to be honest I can’t say I blame him. After all, this exactly what Canon has done.
I think everyone was expecting that the EOS 30D would have a 10MP sensor, to put a bit of space between it and the 8MP EOS 350D. The problem with that however is that it would then have been undercutting the market for the £1800 12.8MP EOS 5D. In terms of image size there’s a lot less difference between 10MP and 12MP than there is between 8MP and 10MP, so people who were considering splashing out on a 5D might have been tempted to save themselves over £1000 and go with the 30D instead. The only other option, increasing the price of the 30D to a mid point between the 350D and the 5D, say £1200, would go against the market trend of falling prices for improving specifications.