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Author Topic: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60  (Read 454 times)

Tronhard

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Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« on: April 25, 2021, 06:34:38 pm »

This is my first post as a newbie member on this site.    :)

I was compiling information for a course on the history of photography and in doing so was looking at a book by Tom Ang, who actually lives not that far from me in Auckland, NZ.  On a double page spread was the Canon EOS D30, the first APS-C CMOS DSLR, and quite a pivotal camera in the digital era.   Intrigued, I found this site and read an in-depth article by Michael Reichmann on this camera, with details about how he tested the camera, the results and some responses to feedback that he received. 

By now totally intrigued, I went in search of one, expecting that whatever I found would be well worn, but I found a virtually new one on eBay for about $60.   Apparently, the unit was badly scratched along the back in an accident of unpacking, but otherwise unsold and new.  I bought it, considering that even if it didn't work it would make a great exhibit to show in my course.  When the unit arrived it was virtually like new except for the deep scratch.  I found an intact, but non-functioning one and got the local Canon service to combine the two to make one good body, and to check it out.  They confirmed that it was essentially like new inside.   So I took it out for a shoot, using the EF 17-40L lens that seemed to best suit the body.


The Old Pumphouse, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland.  Available Light, Hand-held.  EF 17-40L @ 17mm, f/5.6, 1/8sec, ISO-400

I was frankly amazed at the quality of the images I got, shooting in the dim light of my local transport and technology museum, and at ISO 400, the images were virtually noise free (mind you, at 3.3 MP the pixels were very large!)   Since then I have purchased a D60 as well and have enjoyed shooting with that too.

Having finally joined this site I was hoping to re-visit the article I first read, but I cannot seem to find it.  I note that references to it from DPREVIEW don't seem to work either.   Does anyone know if the article is still available and if so where I can find it please?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2021, 06:46:57 pm by Tronhard »
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mcbroomf

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2021, 05:46:13 am »

Ah the memories!  This was my 1st DSLR as well, although I must say that it's quality and AF were not terribly high (although for print quality I was comparing to LF film so hardly surprising that I was left wanting).  You have teased a very high quality image from it.  Nicely done!

Here is the DPR review
https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canond30
Phil Askey makes a comment similar to your observation
"The first thing that strikes you about the D30's images is their virtual lack of any noise (obviously some becomes apparent at higher ISO's but still impressive), zoom in as far as you like, all you'll find are smooth gradients and sharp details"

A few images by Michael from the D30
https://luminous-landscape.com/a-canon-eos-d30-portfolio/
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 05:49:17 am by mcbroomf »
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Tronhard

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2021, 07:59:42 pm »

Hi, and thank you for your gracious response!  :)

Actually, the D30 was a relatively recent purchase.  My first Digital was the venerable G1, which I still have.  THAT too was built like a tank, but the images were less that sterling.  I am surprised at the quality of the D30.   I have sold only a few of my cameras over my 40-odd years of photography: I still have one each of the Nikon F3's and Canon A1's that I started with.  Digital bodies lose their value as soon as you leave the shop, so I have never bothered to sell them and I can boast a veritable museum of predominantly Canon, but also Nikon, Sony and Olympus gear.   I still shoot with all of them to remind myself that photography is more about the technique than the tech.


Canon EOS D30, EF 28-105mm IS USM, 75mm, f/5.6, 1/250sec, ISO-200  Available light, hand-held

Since I have retired and been widowed I have been attending classes at the local university and one of them was on the history of photography, something that engaged both my love of photography, art and history.  One of the other mature students, I discovered, is still making Daguerreotypes!  Amazing...

Thank for enclosing the DPREVIEW link.  I was hoping that Michael's Luminous Landscape review was still available - certainly, the DPR link to that doesn't function.  His written review (I have his video), was interesting for the detail of his comparison process, which I admired.  Still, all is not lost.  I found my way to this site and hope to engage with like minds and enthusiasts.

Cheers:  Trevor 
« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 01:09:21 am by Tronhard »
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Rhossydd

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2021, 01:30:50 pm »

the Canon EOS D30, ..., and quite a pivotal camera in the digital era.
Itís interesting to look back and consider which digital camera really fired the move from film to silicon.
The D30 might seem significant, but at the time it was very expensive and the lack of resolution was becoming an issue as cheaper colour inkjets that could make really good prints up to A3 had just hit the market (Epson SP 1270).

Michaelís review of the D60 here was probably a major milestone.
It caused a lot of discussion and examination of what was possible with DSLRs, but it still didnít feel worth the big investment for many of us.

I think the pivotal camera was the 10D, better than the D60 in every way, cheaper and felt good in the hand. The price point was just affordable for serious amateurs and not difficult to justify for the middle ranking professionals.
(The Nikon D100 pretty much went hand in hand with the 10D if you already had Nikon glass.)

I assume that Michael's original reviews are now only accessible to subscribers.
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Tronhard

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2021, 04:21:35 pm »

Thanks for responding!

Of course, camera tech took many leaps forward in a short time - it still does!!  The D30 in 2000, D60 in 2002, 10D in 2003.  At the time of its release the D30 was only about $3,000 compared with ten times that for the Nikon 1 current at the time according to Michael in his video.   The size print size that was as good as film that was mentioned in the video is very close to that for an A3 print.

I am confused - I am a subscriber to the Luminous Landscape, to see his article do I have to subscribe to something else?
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Rhossydd

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2021, 05:54:59 pm »

I am confused - I am a subscriber to the Luminous Landscape, to see his article do I have to subscribe to something else?
Not sure, you'd have to search back through the articles available. It would be a real loss to the history of digital photography if Michael's seminal reviews from the early part of the century were no longer available at all.
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mcbroomf

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2021, 07:31:53 am »

You can be a member of LuLa and participate in the forums without paying the $12 subscription, but you cannot then access the articles.  You'll also see ads on the forum page. 

I did a search for both Canon D30 and Canon D60.  Several articles but no specific review that I could see.  I didn't delve further using different search terms.
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Rhossydd

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2021, 07:55:14 am »

Several articles but no specific review that I could see.
Michael's 'reviews' were never the same sort of 'review' as you might find on DPreview.com, always written more about cameras in actual use.

It would be disappointing if the current management here no longer allow access to these reviews as they were originally written to be freely available in the public domain.
Fortunately the Wayback machine has cached copies of the work;
D30 original 'review'
https://web.archive.org/web/20030609184110/http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/d30/d30.shtml

D30
https://web.archive.org/web/20030608185854/http://luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/canon_eos_digital.shtml

D30 vs film
https://web.archive.org/web/20030609003500/http://luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/d30/d30_vs_film.shtml

D60 vs medium format film
https://web.archive.org/web/20030622052116/http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/d60/d60.shtml

Canon 60D field report
https://web.archive.org/web/20030609184543/http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/d60/d60-field.shtml

Canon 10D
https://web.archive.org/web/20030626174756/http://luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/10d.shtml
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mcbroomf

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2021, 01:22:57 pm »

Good find.  The EOS threw off the searches I did...
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Tronhard

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2021, 10:26:03 pm »

Thank you to all who responded with links and kind suggestions.   I have followed the links and can find what I was looking for now, thank you.

I am looking to participating in more areas than this within the forum, but your helpfulness is a great start.

cheers:  Trevor
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Dan Wells

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2021, 08:49:10 pm »

Another pivotal early camera was the Nikon D1, released in 1999 (first integrated DSLR - anything earlier was a film SLR with a very large digital back unit attached, sometimes permanently, sometimes it could be replaced with a film door). The D1 is the size of a dual-grip pro DSLR and feels a lot like a modern one, while the earlier "body and back" cameras (mostly Kodaks) were a couple of inches taller than that, and definitely feel like they have a giant bottom protrusion. The D1 was released about a year before the D30, and its CCD sensor didn't match the similar-resolution D30's CMOS for image quality. The D1 was a $5500 camera, to the D30's $3000. It used a pro body related to the F5 and F100 (the D30 was a mix of Rebel and Elan body design, which were much lower end). The D1 was known for its creative color rendering (and not in a good way), but photographers learned to work around it. While some of the even earlier Kodaks were also APS-C, it was the D1 that really popularized that sensor size - the Kodaks had been all over the place - some were APS-C, some very expensive models were a bit bigger than APS-C (but not full-frame), some were significantly smaller than APS-C (2.6-2.7x multipliers). A few early cameras were weirder than that - multiple sensors with beamsplitters, or very small sensors with odd magnifying lenses in the body! Really everything between the D1 and the first FF cameras was APS-C, and most cameras were APS-C for years afterward (full-frame was an expensive curiosity until at least 2008 or so, if not later)...

The Nikon D70, a few years after the Canon D30, is also worth a look. It was the second sub-$1000 DSLR (the first digital Rebel came first), but it was a much better camera than the early Rebel - a closer competitor to the EOS-10D. It also had a really nice 18-70mm kit lens, and color that was a lot closer to standard than most cameras that came before it... In a twist I'd forgotten in the past couple of decades, it uses a CCD sensor - Canon was pretty much alone in their use of CCD sensors until significantly later (2008 or so, when the ubiquitous Sony CMOS sensors started appearing).



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mcbroomf

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2021, 05:25:16 am »

Another pivotal early camera was the Nikon D1, released in 1999 (first integrated DSLR - anything earlier was a film SLR with a very large digital back unit attached, sometimes permanently, sometimes it could be replaced with a film door). The D1 is the size of a dual-grip pro DSLR and feels a lot like a modern one, while the earlier "body and back" cameras (mostly Kodaks) were a couple of inches taller than that, and definitely feel like they have a giant bottom protrusion. The D1 was released about a year before the D30, and its CCD sensor didn't match the similar-resolution D30's CMOS for image quality. The D1 was a $5500 camera, to the D30's $3000. It used a pro body related to the F5 and F100 (the D30 was a mix of Rebel and Elan body design, which were much lower end). The D1 was known for its creative color rendering (and not in a good way), but photographers learned to work around it. While some of the even earlier Kodaks were also APS-C, it was the D1 that really popularized that sensor size - the Kodaks had been all over the place - some were APS-C, some very expensive models were a bit bigger than APS-C (but not full-frame), some were significantly smaller than APS-C (2.6-2.7x multipliers). A few early cameras were weirder than that - multiple sensors with beamsplitters, or very small sensors with odd magnifying lenses in the body! Really everything between the D1 and the first FF cameras was APS-C, and most cameras were APS-C for years afterward (full-frame was an expensive curiosity until at least 2008 or so, if not later)...

The Nikon D70, a few years after the Canon D30, is also worth a look. It was the second sub-$1000 DSLR (the first digital Rebel came first), but it was a much better camera than the early Rebel - a closer competitor to the EOS-10D. It also had a really nice 18-70mm kit lens, and color that was a lot closer to standard than most cameras that came before it... In a twist I'd forgotten in the past couple of decades, it uses a CCD sensor - Canon was pretty much alone in their use of CCD sensors until significantly later (2008 or so, when the ubiquitous Sony CMOS sensors started appearing).

Dan, did you mean "Canon was pretty much alone in their use of CMOS sensors ... "?  So far as I recall the Canon 1D was the last camera Canon made with a CCD sensor
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Rhossydd

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2021, 05:53:01 am »

Another pivotal early camera was the Nikon D1,
The D1 certainly revolutionised a lot of routine press work, but the lack of pixels made it unsuitable for most professional work where there was any possible need for a larger output than 10x8.

It's huge price stopped it from being bought by amateurs, so an interesting and significant camera for it's niche, but I'm not convinced it's as 'pivotal' as the cameras that really started the digital photo revolution for everyone a few years later.
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Tronhard

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2021, 02:52:11 am »

The D1 certainly revolutionised a lot of routine press work, but the lack of pixels made it unsuitable for most professional work where there was any possible need for a larger output than 10x8.

It's huge price stopped it from being bought by amateurs, so an interesting and significant camera for it's niche, but I'm not convinced it's as 'pivotal' as the cameras that really started the digital photo revolution for everyone a few years later.

I certainly tend to agree with Michael's reviews that, given the performance of the new CMOS sensor, compared with the price drop - remember the D1 was selling for about 10x the D30, it put a (at that time) high-performing digital camera in the hand of prosumers.  Consider now that R5 is a big step forward for Canon with its AET and IBIS, and look at the prices that it and the R6 command - not to mention what the R1 and R3 may come in at.

Perhaps another step forward for Canon was the 20D, the first to use the APS-C mount and use lenses specially made for that to take advantage of the flange distance.  Up until then it was a crop sensor with FF lenses...

Still, that is one of the cool things about history, it has many facets and perspectives!  ;D
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Rhossydd

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2021, 04:02:09 am »

Consider now that R5 is a big step forward for Canon with its AET and IBIS, and look at the prices that it and the R6 command - not to mention what the R1 and R3 may come in at.

What's significant for one brand, isn't necessarily important to the general history of photography.

I'd suggest that the next major camera (after the 10D/D100) to influence the whole of the industry is the Canon 5Dii which was the first DSLR to offer professional HD video recording. It made a significant impact beyond just stills photography and had great influence into television and film production.

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Perhaps another step forward for Canon was the 20D, the first to use the APS-C mount and use lenses specially made for that to take advantage of the flange distance.
There is no flange difference, both EF and EF-S use 44mm. The difference is about lens coverage and how far back the optical components are allowed to project inside the body.
Overall it's not a significant development for anything other than the Canon amateur DSLRs.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 07:55:18 am by Rhossydd »
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Tronhard

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2021, 03:06:43 pm »

What's significant for one brand, isn't necessarily important to the general history of photography.

I'd suggest that the next major camera (after the 10D/D100) to influence the whole of the industry is the Canon 5Dii which was the first DSLR to offer professional HD video recording. It made a significant impact beyond just stills photography and had great influence into television and film production.
There is no flange difference, both EF and EF-S use 44mm. The difference is about lens coverage and how far back the optical components are allowed to project inside the body.
Overall it's not a significant development for anything other than the Canon amateur DSLRs.

The development of cheaper APS-C lenses was a major part of Canon's success in penetrating the consumer market,   Canon has, since then, been the dominant player in that area.  That's not a small thing IMHO.
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mcbroomf

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2021, 03:54:39 pm »

It's interesting how we all have different views on the major historical steps in digital cameras over the last x years.  To my mind after the initial flurry of digital APSC cameras the Canon 1DS was the big step.  The 1st full frame CMOS camera, and one that didn't have an exorbitant price tag that the 1st FF Kodak cameras had, albeit an $8k MSRP (as were all the 1DS bodies).  I think this drove the industry forward in many ways.
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Rhossydd

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2021, 12:27:14 pm »

The development of cheaper APS-C lenses was a major part of Canon's success in penetrating the consumer market,   Canon has, since then, been the dominant player in that area.  That's not a small thing IMHO.
I think if you look back in thirty years, the EF-S mount won't have much overall significance in the way photography developed.
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Rhossydd

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Re: Doing some Historical Research on the Canon EOS D30 and D60
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2021, 12:30:15 pm »

To my mind after the initial flurry of digital APSC cameras the Canon 1DS was the big step.  The 1st full frame CMOS camera, and one that didn't have an exorbitant price tag that the 1st FF Kodak cameras had, albeit an $8k MSRP (as were all the 1DS bodies).  I think this drove the industry forward in many ways.
$8k not exorbitant ???? It was a pro only camera, a move forward certainly, but I don't think it will stand the test of time as being a pivotal development in camera history.
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