Posts Tagged ‘Canon EOS 30D’

Saturday, April 5th 2008

Saturday Photo Excursion

I was bored this morning and felt like some photography, but I just couldn’t think of anything to shoot, especially since it was around 10 and the light was very bright and sharp.

So I decided to do some location scouting instead. I packed my camera bag and went for a slow bike ride, more or less randomly around Eskilstuna. Tried to go where I had never gone before.

First I came across Eskilstuna Art Museum. Although I had read about it at work I hadn’t really understood where it was.

At the entrance there was this cool piece of art1:

Glass monument outside Eskilstuna Art Museum

Glass monument outside Eskilstuna Art Museum

It is made out of sheets of glass stacked on top of each other, and I’m guessing that the naked girl visible in the block is cut out of all the sheets.

Glass monument outside Eskilstuna Art Museum

Glass monument outside Eskilstuna Art Museum

Later on I found a train yard with loads of old rusty engines and wagons. But I didn’t bother taking any pics in the harsh light. Instead I’ll go back some evening.

Then I found this fellar (?) fluttering about. He was unusually patient when he finally settled down though.

Small Tortoiseshell, Nymphalis urticae

Well, it wasn’t that much, but at least I got some fresh air… 🙂

1) I don’t take to art very easily so this should be considered quite the compliment.

Tuesday, March 18th 2008

Favourites on Flickr

I’ve been going through my photos and putting together a collection of my favourites. I’m quite pleased with the outcome. It looks very colourful when they’re all put on the same page:

Thumbnails of favourites from Flickr

To get the large versions of the photos, click View as slideshow at the top of the page.

Tuesday, March 18th 2008

Interesting: Sigma 50mm f/1.4

Sigma 50mm 1:1.4 EX DG HSM

Sigma just announced the new Sigma 50mm 1:1.4 EX. Since I’m a bit disappointed with the performance of my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, this might be an interesting alternative if the price is right. (I find the Canon 50mm 1.4 is only usably sharp from about f/2.2.)

Edit: Just realized I published a quick sharpness test of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 last year.

Saturday, June 2nd 2007

New toy: Sigma 10-20mm or Wide angle is fun

I’ve sort-of been wanting a really wide angle lens for a while. You can do so many cool things with them, and they’re actually quite useful as well. For instance, you can easily make really goofy portraits:

Wide angle portrait Sigma 10-20mm

The widest lens I’ve had before was 17 mm, so going down to 10 mm makes quite a difference. Especially in tight spaces and for landscapes. So, having had what felt like my first ever real pay check a few days ago, I ordered a Sigma 10-20mm 1:4-5.6 (and a UV filter to go in front of it). It arrived yesterday. Included was a great carrying pouch and a lens hood.

Contents Sigma 10-20mm 1:4-5.6 DC HSM lens hood carrying bag pouch

[@Tommy: Den finns med Nikonfattning också.]

After work and dinner I went out and played with it for four hours 🙂 in town.

First I headed for the historic parts of the town. Basically a large collection of 17th century smithies, now functioning as a tourist attraction with restaurants, etc.

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna Sigma 10-20mm

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna Sigma 10-20mm Tullgatan Rademachergatan

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna Sigma 10-20mm Rademachergatan

This bell tower worked quite well from below I thought. Sadly you can’t actually make out the bell here:

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna klocktorn bell tower Sigma 10-20mm

Close to the old smithies I found what looked like a half deserted factory building.

deserted factory övergiven fabrik Eskilstuna

rusty pipes plumbing rostiga rör


blue grafitti orange wall

Just as I was going to leave, I saw this bracelet haning on a hinge on the fence:

lonely heart bracelet hanging

The last three photos were taken with my old 75-300mm lens.

Then I headed back home, but got stuck at the church which looked pretty good against the blue sky.

Klosters kyrka church Eskilstuna

There were plenty of cool cars rolling around, so I had a go at improving my panning skills. Not sure what the first one is though… some kind of Chevy perhaps?

panning shot photo car

panning shot photo car rover mini

By now it was so dark I decided to go back into town to have a shot at some lit-up fountains that I pass every day going to work.

Going there, the view of the river was pleasing to the eye. I was lucky enough to get a horde of jackdaws in the shot.

wide angle shot Eskilstuna river jackdaws Sigma 10-20mm

Canon 75-300mm IS fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

Sigma 10-20mm fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

Sigma 10-20mm fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

Sigma 10-20mm fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

And a last shot of the church from across the river before I went home. This time I actually did go home.

Sigma 10-20mm Klosters kyrka church Eskilstuna across river Eskilstunaån

I’m getting close to 10,000 photos now. My camera has made 9949 exposures, and out of those I’ve kept 3604, or 36%. Sadly I haven’t printed very many, but I’m planning on making a few enlargements soon to put up on my bare walls.

Sunday, February 18th 2007

Vertical Grip BG-E2 is Great

A couple of weeks ago I got myself a vertical (battery) grip for my Canon EOS 30D. It’s wonderful!

It stops you from having to flap your elbow around when shooting vertical shots, and since the normal grip is made longer you can use your whole hand to support the camera.

Especially when I’m using an external flash or my EF 70-300mm IS it feels so much better to hold.

I can agree with those who say that it feels plasticky. It does feel less solid than the camera itself, but I would still recommend it to anyone who uses an external flash or a heavy lens (or both).

Monday, January 22nd 2007

Photography Tip of the Day: Warmer Flash Photos

I often think flash photos look unnatural. Flat and cold. Having an external flash which you can swivel to bounce the light off a ceiling or wall gets rid of the flat light, but you may still find the light looks unnaturally cold. This tip will give flash photos the feeling of being shot in ambient light.

The solution lies in adjusting the white balance setting of your camera. The trick is to manually set your white balance to 7000 K. (Or even higher – experiment!) By doing this your flash photos will end up a shade warmer than if you set the white balance to flash. When the camera is set to 7000 K it will interpret the light from the flash as slightly warm/yellow, since it has a colour temperature of 6000 K.

Hover the photo below to see the (slight!) difference this makes.

Differently coloured smarties

I know this is possible on the Canon EOS 30D, Canon EOS 5D, Nikon D200, Nikon D80 and the more expensive SLRs, but it may also be possible on some serious compacts. Fiddle around with your menus and settings and see what you find!

Edit: Here are some good articles on white balance and colour temperature:

Monday, January 15th 2007

Quick Sharpness Test of the Canon EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM

In response to this thread over at I decided to test my copy of the Canon EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM at various apertures.

The question posted in the thread is basically Can the Ef 50mm be used at f/1.4, or is it only sharp at f/2.8?.

Since it is late at night here, my test subject is rather boring. It’s a Volvo brochure laid out flat on my floor:

However, the tiny text is good for showing lens sharpness.

I shot test pictures at f/1.4, f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6 and f/8. Here are the obligatory 100% crops. I should add that the images where shot with sharpness set to 3 (out of 7) and contrast at -4 in my 30D.


As you can see, at f/1.4 the edges are slightly soft. The edges are sharper at f/2.0, and even sharper at f/2.8:



From f/2.8 and up, the results are pretty similar:




So, to answer the question: The Canon EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM is not as sharp at f/1.4 and f/2.0 as it is at f/2.8 and above, but I’d say it is definitely usable.

Saturday, December 30th 2006

Canon/Photography Tip of the Day

Here’s a tip for those of you who have one of Canon’s digital EOS cameras (30D, 5D, 1D Mark II, 400D) and possibly others too:

Turn the contrast down to -4.

This may sound strange. Won’t that make my pictures grey and boring?! you might think.

No, it won’t. But it will bring out more detail in highlights and shadows. It gives the impression of increasing the dynamic range in the photos, even though – technically – it doesn’t.

Below are two example photos. The shown image is at contrast 0. Hover the image to see contrast -4.

Vaksala Church (kyrka)

Vaksala Church (kyrka)

So … the last few days or so I’ve been re-developing all my (~2200) raw image files with the contrast set to -4.


Wednesday, August 23rd 2006

New Lenses – EF 70-300 1:4-5.6 and EF 50mm 1:1.4

On Tuesday I got myself two new lenses: the EF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 IS USM (phew!) and the EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM.

Canon EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM

I’ve been wanting the EF 50 1.4 for a long time, since it opens new opportunities in low light. On the 30D (with the 1.6x crop making it equivalent of 80 mm focal length with 35mm film) it also works great as a portrait lens.

Canon EF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 IS USM

I previously had the EF 75-300 1:4-5.6 III, which I got in a kit with my EOS 300 and an EF 28-90mm 1:4-5.6. This combination was great for learning, but neither of the lenses were any wonders of sharpness, so now I’ve replaced them both for lenses which can make the most of the 8 megapixels in my 30D. (I have the Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5 as my standard zoom.)

With the 70-300 IS I’ll feel more comfortable using the 300 mm end, since the 70-300 IS is very sharp throughout the zoom range, as opposed to the EF 75-300mm that I owned before. Both sharpness and chromatic aberrations when shooting at 300 mm are much better/less severe with the new lens, thanks to a UD lens element (made with Ultra-low Dispersion glass).

Then, of course, the 70-300 also has image stabilizing which can truly work wonders in low light. Or what can you say when you get a sharp picture at the equivalent of 112 mm with a shutter speed of 1/8 sec?

I’ll be adding some images I took with the 70-300 on Monday to my Photography website.

Edit: I have now added two new galleries at my photography website, Now and Then.

Edit: Since this post was made I have re-structured my gallery and the Now & Then galleries don’t exist any more.

Monday, June 5th 2006

Aperture and Sensor Dust

One of the main problems with digital SLRs is their tendency to collect dust on the sensor. Every time you change lenses you risk getting more dust on the sensor.

I noticed dust on my sensor the other day when taking pictures of lightning, since I was using a very small aperture – f/22. (The dust only shows up in pictures taken with a small aperture.)

I thought I’d investigate how small apertures you can use without the dust becoming visible.

I simply shot a series of photos of my white wardrobe door, out of focus, at different aperture sizes.

I decided to make a little animation, running from f/4.5 to f/36:

Series of shots taken to illustrate how visible sensor dust is at different apertures.

It seems as if you won’t see the dust at all if you stick to f/8 or lower, and in most scenes you would probably not be able to find the dust at f/11 either. At f/16 you might see the dust in large single-coloured areas. Apertures f/22 and up should be used with care, since you risk getting very sharp black dots in the picture.

The good thing is that you seldom need more than f/8 or f/11 to get the depth of field you want, at least on crop SLRs such as the 30D and 350D. In other words, you shouldn’t miss those very small apertures much.

Sunday, June 4th 2006

Canon EF 28-90mm vs. Sigma AF 17-70mm

The full title of this should have been Canon EF 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 vs. Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5 at ~35 mm, but it got rather long.

I’ve just done a small series of shots at f/4, 5.6 and 8 with the Canon and the Sigma, at 35 mm focal length.

As you’ll see, this test displays more than anything why it’s worth spending some more money on getting a sturdy tripod. Even though I didn’t intentionally change the camera’s position, it has quite obviously moved between the shots.

Below are 100% center crops. The Canon 28-90 is on the left, the Sigma 17-70 is on the right. Oh, and I should say that the Sigma ended up at 36 mm, and the Canon at 35 mm. First up, f/4:

100% comparison between Canon Ef 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 and Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5.

Then we have f/5.6:

100% comparison between Canon Ef 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 and Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5.

Finally, f/8:

100% comparison between Canon Ef 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 and Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5.

Edit: I just realized that I forgot to write some kind of conclusion. The Sigma is a lot sharper at f/4, but it doesn’t get much sharper at f/5.6 and f/8. The Canon is, in comparison, pretty soft at f/4, but improves significantly to f/8. At f/8 the main difference between the two seems to be the colour. The Sigma looks slightly more saturated. I did have the camera WB set to Cloudy, so the difference shouldn’t be because of the AWB treating the photos differently.

Sunday, June 4th 2006

Taking Photos of Lightning

Yesterday we had a thunderstorm, so I decided to try and catch a flash of lightning with my new 30D. I had been thinking of this previously, so I already had a plan:

  • Rig the camera on my tripod, overlooking the active parts of the sky.
  • Set it to the smallest aperture, or something like f/16 depending on how dark it is.
  • Set the camera to ISO 100.
  • Set it to JPEG quality for improved buffer size.
  • Set the drive mode to high frame rate.
  • Use the shutter-release (RS-80N3) to lock the camera in drive mode, clicking away like mad.

Having the low ISO and small aperture made each exposure ~0.8 seconds, which was almost enough for the CF card to keep up. (A Sandisk 2GB Ultra II, if you’re wondering.) I later adjusted the camera to over-expose by 2/3 of a stop to get even longer exposures, ~1.3 secs. At this rate the JPEGs were written to the card as fast as they were being shot.

Having the camera set in drive mode with long shutter speeds meant that the camera was taking in light perhaps 2/3 of the time, or more. That means that the chances of a lightning strike ending up in a picture were fairly large.

About 20 minutes later I had 1,000 pictures to sift through. I caught four flashes, but none of the pictures are very awe-invoking. In fact, the last one you can barely see at all…

Flash 1

Well, this one is very small, but still one of the clearer sparks.

Flash 2

A very weak one. Didn’t find it when looking through the photos the first time…

Flash 3

The best one. Click and zoom into this one, it’s quite nice up close.

Flash 4

This one is very weak, but if you look at the high-res version you can see that it extends quite far over to the left. Pretty cool.

Obviously, these shots are pretty lousy as lightning photos go… But I had a good time anyway, and I now know that the technique works fairly well. Although, having used up 1% of my shutter’s expected life-span I wish I’d got some better shots… 🙂

If you’ve got a digital SLR I suggest you try this sometime. (Perhaps when you’ve got a thunderstorm.) Do stand somewhere safe though.

An ND filter would allow you to get even longer exposures, so as to reduce the number of frames somewhat and increase the chances of catching a flash on film … um … CMOS. It might also allow you to use a slightly larger aperture, to reduce visible sensor dust.

It would probably have been easier to do this if it had been a little darker, too. A darker scene would also have made for more impressive-looking shots I guess.

I did notice, after 700 odd shots, that the shutter had slowed noticeably. The exposures were still 1.3 secs, so the write speed shouldn’t have been the problem. In fact, the buffer was empty, so write speed can’t have been the problem. So I’m not sure why the camera did this. It was perhaps getting over-heated or something. So if you do try this, keep an eye on your camera and abort the experiment if you see smoke coming out from between the seals or the lens mount… 🙂

Saturday, June 3rd 2006

30D – First Shots

I’ve had my 30D for about a week now, so it’s time to put up some first shots. Here are some that I had the pleasure to take during the last week. All were shot in raw and have been developed using Canon RIT, with the Faithful picture style and sharpness at +3.

Snail on wet grass.

Snail on wet grass. The close focusing of the Sigma 17-70mm is very handy. Technical stuff: 1/125 sec, f/4.5 @ 70 mm, ISO 100. (Sigma 17-70mm.) Cloudy white balance setting.

Reflection of blue sky in the windows of a building in front of grey clouds.

Blue sky reflected. Caught this scene on the way home from work. I hope the mood of it comes across. Technical stuff: 1/800 sec, f/5.6 @ 70 mm, ISO 100. (Sigma 17-70mm.) Cloudy white balance setting.

Old houses.

Old houses. Went for a walk around town to see what there was to photograph. Found this charming street. Technical stuff: 1/200 sec, f/8 @ 21 mm, ISO 100. (Sigma 17-70mm.) Shade white balance setting.

00113 - 2006-06-01 kl 19.11

Bleeding heart. In our garden. Technical stuff: 1/250 sec, f/4.5 @ 70 mm, ISO 100. (Sigma 17-70mm.) Daylight white balance setting.

Wilted rose.

Wilted rose. In our lounge. Technical stuff: 1/800 sec, f/5.6 @ 75 mm, ISO 800. (EF 75-300mm with close-up lens 500D.) Shade white balance setting.

Some sort of violet flower.

Violet bud, unknown species. In our garden. Technical stuff: 1/250 sec, f/7.1 @ 120 mm. (EF 75-300mm with close-up lens 500D.) Cloudy white balance setting.

Unknown pink flower.

Unknown Species II, The Return of Pink. Technical stuff: 1/400 sec, f/7.1 @ 80 mm. (EF 75-300mm with close-up lens 500D.) Cloudy white balance setting.

Saturday, June 3rd 2006

Canon EOS 30D and Sigma 17-70mm, Second Thoughts

Well, I got my 30D on Monday. (Finally!) I ordered it basically a month ago. Oh boy is this a nice camera… I’ve had the lens since the 16 May, but obviously haven’t been able to use it properly until now.

Canon EOS 30D box

Thought I’d give you a little review of it here. If you’re wondering, I’m not having second thoughts about my purchase. I just thought it would be wrong to title this First Thoughts, since I’ve had it for about a week now 🙂 All the same, it won’t be a complete review – there are plenty of those out there for you already. I’ll just comment on a few different aspects of the camera.

The size of the grip.

This is the main reason I got the 30D instead of the 350D. I’m not so bothered about the 5 frames per second, although it is nice at times. Having tried the 350D with a ~400 gram lens and a flash attached, I am convinced I made the right choice. For me, the 350D was far to small to feel comfortable. I got the feeling I was only holding it with my fingertips.

I actually ordered the vertical grip (BG-E2) as well, but canceled it when I read that it wasn’t very high quality, and sometimes could cause power-cuts. I would definitely like the vertical grip for that last bit of hand to fit onto the camera in landscape orientation, and obviously not having to hold your arm up for verticals would be nice. However, having a battery grip on when using a tripod is not optimal in my experience, which is half the reason I decided to skip the BG-E2.

The 2.5-inch display

This, obviously, is very nice to have. Some have complained about the brightness not being good enough for outdoor use. I agree that the default (middle) brightness setting is a bit low for daylight use, but you just need to up it two notches for it to be fine. However, remember to turn it down again, or your pictures will look overexposed when you review your photos in less light.

The viewfinder

Some mean that the viewfinder of the 20D and 30D is on the small side. I feel it’s just right, probably mainly because of me wearing glasses. With it not being huge, I can easily see all of it at the same time. If it were any bigger I would have to keep moving my eye in relation to the camera to see the edges of the frame.

The USB connection

(See the edit at the end of this post.) My largest disappointment with the 30D must be the non-functional USB-to-computer connection. The CD doesn’t seem to include any so called WIA drivers for the camera, which may be why the connection keeps dying in the middle of transfers. I’ve given up completely on moving pictures directly from the camera, because it seems impossible to move more than a few before the camera disconnects from the computer. I’ve ordered a CF card reader. While some may say that I should use a card reader all the same, I feel it should at least be possible, if a little slow, to transfer pictures straight from the camera. Canon, are you listening?

The Auto White Balance

Some reviews have complained about Canon’s AWB not handling tungsten light very well. My thought is that this is because they don’t want to risk taking the warmth out of photos shot at dawn and dusk. I’d love to hear what you think on the subject – leave a comment if you think I’m right or wrong.

The Multi-Controller

There is a small joy-stick thing on the back of the 30D (and the 20D) which is used for moving around when reviewing photos. One of the custom functions (nr 13, set to 1) lets you use this multi-controller for quickly selecting which AF point to use. I think this should be the default behaviour, since it is much quicker and easier than having to press the AF-point selection button first.

The Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5 DC

Without having made any direct, scientific comparisons, this lens seems very sharp. have done though, and the charts show that this lens is better than the EF 17-85 IS USM in many ways, apart from the fact that it doesn’t have IS of course. I’ll do a comparison with my EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 later just for the fun. I realize they will be like day and night, optically. They definitely are quality-wise anyway.

The Over-All Feeling

This is a camera I will have lots of fun using, hopefully for many days to come!

Edit: After consulting my fellow photographers in the MBP Forums, I tried reinstalling all the Canon software. If I had read the manual I would have seen a warning to not connect the camera before installing anything. I must have done just that, because it works fine now that I have reinstalled.

Wednesday, May 3rd 2006

Ordered My Canon 30D Yesterday

Well, just as I suspected, I couldn’t resist the temptation. Yesterday I went down to Allradio, were I’ll be working this summer BTW, and ordered a Canon EOS 30D body and a Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC lens. Can’t wait to get clicking.

Tuesday, April 25th 2006

Great Review Of The Canon EOS 30D

I found a very detailed and interesting review of the Canon EOS 30D, which highlights things I haven’t heard about in previous reviews.

Canon EOS 30D on a transparent background.

Here are some of the interesting facts I didn’t know until reading this review:

While still able to shoot at a fast 5 fps rate, the Canon EOS 30D is also switchable to a low-speed 3 fps continuous shooting rate. The 30D can also shoot at rated speed with non-USM (Ultrasonic Motor) lenses while the 20D fell back to 3.5 fps when using these.

The emphasis there was mine. Then they compare the shutter sound of the 30D and the 20D:

Those shooting in quiet venues such as weddings will like the Canon EOS 30D’s quieter shutter sound. The 20D shutter has a “CLACK” sound to it whereas the 30D has a more subtle sound.

However, having used the 30D previously, and having listened to the provided sound files (20D, 30D), I don’t find the difference to be so huge. They both are fairly loud, but the 30D perhaps has a slightly softer, muffled flock, as opposed to the 20D’s sharp clack. Anyway, until now I thought they had identical shutters. It’s also nice to know that the 30D shutter is rated at 100,000 shots, while the 20D was only rated at 50,000. That should let you fire away whithout worrying about the shutter waring out 🙂

The following was also news to me… (Quoted, I think, from a Canon press release.)

Shapes around the flash head and lens mount have been changed subtly to suggest Canon’s upper-range models. The mode dial now has a metallic finish. The grip below the shutter button has been extended for better purchase with the middle fingers and improved overall handling. A new groove where the middle finger falls improves comfort and security.

And, the reviewer concludes:

The first thing I noticed when picking up the 30D was the grippier surface on the rubber grip. The reshaped grip is nice, but just slightly different than the 20D.

Sounds good. Only a small improvement, but hey, don’t fix what ain’t broken.

I also found some interesting info in the official 30D white-paper. Specifically, they explained the Picture Styles very well:

Style 1 – Standard is for users who do not intend to do any post-processing of their images. Right out of the camera, the pictures look crisp and vibrant, with the sharpness set to 3 and the color tone and saturation set to obtain vivid colors. Excellent prints will eventuate without any further adjustment. It is equivalent to parameter 1 on the EOS 20D.

Style 2 – Portrait has color tone and saturation settings that yield natural skin tones. The sharpness is set one step weaker than the Standard setting so that skin and hair look softer.

Style 3 – Landscape has color tone and saturation settings that give vivid blues and greens for skies and greenery. The sharpness is set one step stronger than the Standard setting so that the outlines of mountains, trees, and buildings look more crisp.

Style 4 – Neutral yields natural color reproduction, and no sharpness is applied. This setting is ideal for post-processing and is the same as the EOS-1D Series defaults.

Style 5 – Faithful is intended to match the original as closely as possible. It is the same
as Faithful in Digital Photo Professional. When the subject is photographed in 5,200K
light, the color is adjusted colorimetrically to match the subject’s color. No sharpness is applied. This setting, too, is designed for workflow that includes post-processing.

Style 6 – Monochrome with filter effects and color tones, is the same as the EOS 20D’s monochrome setting.

I also downloaded the full 30D manual and read about the custom functions. Some which I found particularly interesting were…

  • SET-button options (no. 1). You can link it to recording quality or Picture Style selection. I would definately set it to the latter, since it would be very useful to have quickly available when shooting.
  • AF-assist beam options (no. 5). Allows you to disable the AF-assist beam when you haven’t got an external flash unit. I’ll probably do this since I find the stroboscope style AF-assist of the built-in flash really annoying.
  • Mirror lock-up (no. 12), to reduce shake when shooting long exposures at long focal lengths on a tripod.
  • Quick focus point selection with mini joystick (no. 13). The default setting requires you to press the AF point selection button first. With this custom function enabled you can use the mini joystick directly.
  • Second curtain flash sync (no. 15)

Getting more and more tempted for each day… Just need to wait until I get my next pay. A whole month! I guess the price might go down in that time… (Nothing wrong in hoping, right?)

Here’s what I’m hoping to get:

  • EOS 30D body, no kit lens. (Read about the kit lenses here.)
  • Sigma AF 17-70mm 2.8-4.5 DC macro. (Sharper, cheaper and faster than the kit lenses.)
  • 2 GB CF card (Or 4 GB? For travelling you want plenty…)

I plan on selling my EOS 300 with the 28-90mm lens, but I’ll hang on to my 75-300mm for now. Hopefully I’ll get the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM sometime in the future. (Which is sharper than my current lens, and has 3-stop image stabilizing.) I already have the 420EX flash, which will work great with the 30D.

I’ll let you know when I buckle under and order it.

Tuesday, April 18th 2006

Really Wanting the EOS 30D + Sigma 17-70mm

Can’t stop thinking about it. The Canon EOS 30D. I got to play around with it last week-end, and ever since, I can’t think of anything else.

I’ve been wondering whether I should get a second hand 20D instead, but I’d really like to have the spot metering of the 30D, as well as the larger screen. The 20D’s 1.8 inch screen feels tiny when you’ve tried the 30D. Also, the direct access to the ISO setting is very useful, so I don’t think I’ll be getting a 350D since you have to use a menu to change the ISO there.

I’ve also read up on the lens tests over at Photozone. I’m a bit skeptical about Canon’s EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 USM IS, since it seems to fair rather poorly. It has serious chromatic aberation, vignetting and barrel distortion. The
Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC macro is a much better buy, costing around 3500 SEK (€ 370) compared to the Canon’s roughly 6000 SEK (€ 670). It is sharper (higher resolution) and suffers less from distortion and chromatic aberration. The vignetting is only slightly less pronounced in the Sigma. It doesn’t have the Image Stabilizing that the Canon lens has, but instead it has a larger maximum aperture, by nearly a full stop. (2.8 vs. 4.0.)

Well, we’ll see if this ever becomes more than just a dream… Extremely tempted right now anyway.