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Next step up from the 30D


I purchased a used Canon EOS 30D in December to try a digital SLR without spending a bundle. The 30d with the 70-300 and 18-135 lenses has been great. But as I only paid $50 for the camera body, I'm wondering if i should  now move up to a more "modern" body for these lenses.  Recommendations for what camera body I might consider as a move up? Again I'll be looking for refurbished to keep cost reasonable and likely do a trade in.



What *doesn't* the 30D do for you now?


Any camera you purchase will be an "upgrade" from the 30D because of the age of the camera. No doubt you will garner many recommendations, from the latest DSLR to mirrorless.

But, depending on what you choose to photograph and how you share your photos the end result may not be any better. 

What are you currently shooting and how is your current setup not meeting your needs? 

How are you sharing/showing your images? Email, Instagram or wall size prints?

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

I got the camera because I wanted higher quality wildlife and bird photos. Thus far I've been satisfied with the 30d as to quality/sharpness. I share photos via a couple of media outlets  - Facebook,and Smugmug, as well as email to friends. Wish it had the option of using either the eyepiece or view screen when taking the photo. Also the chip it uses is not easily found in local shops - have to order online. 

We all love that new car smell. If your budget can support it the EOS 90D is the latest version of the XXD series. But, if you are happy with the 30D don’t expect a major improvement; your use case doesn’t seem to be challenging the capabilities of the 30D. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

Well, you could move to a 40D cheaply and have Live View, but I'd advise not to. I've had two 40Ds and both died of the same problem. A 50D would have Live View and still use the same CF memory cards (not "chips") as the 30D.  They are plentiful online....eBay has smaller ones than you can buy new nowadays.  A 50D wouldn't cost much and if you buy from a reputable used dealer (Roberts, KEH, MPB for example) you'd get a good warranty with it.

60D and newer use SD cards. The newer model you get the more it costs, naturally. I have a 50D and a 60D and they both are great cameras.


By and large I would agree with John's comments.  However, since you said that you were keen on wildlife, the ability to track animals is a huge benefit and, in IMHO, the best Canon DSLR body at tracking is the Canon EOS 7DMKII.

It's Canon pro-grade crop-sensor DSLR, and while it is getting long in the tooth, it still has the best tracking of any APS-C DSLR, it's rugged and weather sealed. I have it, plus the 80D and 90D and still consider it superior for wildlife.  You may well find one of these if you look out as many people are moving to the new generation of Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras (MILCs).  I still have mine and use it frequently with the 70-300 lens.  Both the 70-300 and 18-135 lenses are good units.  BTW, it has dual card slots - one SD and the other the CF cards you used on the 30D.  You can set the camera up to record to just the SD card, or to both simultaneously, thus the CF card can be a backup to your SD card.

For specs and a review see: This 

The following two were taken as part of a sequence as the bird flew past at some speed.
Some images taken with the 7DII and the 70-300.
Golden Eagle 30 K copy.jpg
Canon EOS 7DMkII, EF 70-300 @ 81mm, f/7.1, 1/2,500sec, ISO-320

Golden Eagle 30 L2 copy.jpgCanon EOS 7DMkII, EF 70-300 @ 81mm, f/7.1, 1/2,500sec, ISO-320

The following images were taken at a gannet colony
Canon EOS 7DMkII, EF 70-300MkII, 140mm, f/7.1, 1/1600sec, ISO-200

Canon EOS 7DMkII, EF 100-400MkII, 330mm, f/8, 1/400sec, ISO-200

Finally, a shot of a radio-controlled aircraft at an air show - they fly by close and fast!
Boeing-Stearman Model 75 01-1.jpg
Canon EOS 7DMkII, EF 100-400MkII, 400mm, f/10, 1/500sec, ISO-200

The camera does have live view, but I would caution against using anything but the viewfinder for telephoto work.  You need that third point of contact: two hands and the viewfinder to the head for stability.

cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Thanks - sounds like the Canon EOS 7DMKII is looking like the next step. 

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