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History in Action

Tronhard
Elite

I was researching for a course I was writing on the history of camera technology and realized that that Canon EOS D30 was the first digital camera built as a complete unit - as opposed to digital innards inside a film camera body.  Earlier Canon DSLRs had used Kodak tech inside their EOS SLR bodies.

 

Intrigued, I realized that I could get one of these units on eBay.  For the princely sum of $30 I got a body that was essentially unused: it seems that as it was unboxed someone had made a cut across the back of the camera, scoring the body and LCD screen.  It did not impact the functionality of the unit, but it seems to have stopped the camera from being sold and the shutter count was 0 when I got it.  This was backed up by the total lack of wear on the body.

 

One interesting characteristic of the unit is that while it has an APSC sensor, it can only take EF lenses (EF-S lenses had not been developed then).  I got the Canon EF 28-135 IS USM lens, which was Canon's first USM unit and would have been a contemporary item.   For a complete write-up and review of the body see the following:

2001 Original DPReview of EOS D30 

DPReview Retrospective Review of EOS D30 

28-135 EF IS USM Review 

 

In a world dominated by pixel counts I wanted to see how this unit (offering a pioneering CMOS sensor of 3.2MP) would perform and I took it on a trip to the Auckland Museum of Transport and Technology.  Knowing it would be used in confined spaces I married the body up with the Canon EF 17-40L lens, which with the crop sensor would give me an equivalent FoV of 27-64mm. 

 

All shots were taken hand-held, in available light.  They were taken as RAW and lightly processed in Photoshop.

 

CRW_0212.jpg

Inside the main fly wheel of a pump house 17mm, f5.6, 1/8sec, ISO-400

 

CRW_0213.jpg

The fly wheel from the other side:  17mm, f5.6, 1/8sec, ISO-400

 

CRW_0221.jpg

In true proof of my status as a living fossil, this is a mechanical calculator that I used in my early engineering and survey career.  It was eventually superceded by the electronic calcuator. Photographed through plexiglass. 

17mm, f4.5, 1/4sec, ISO 400

 

CRW_0267.jpg

Inside a Victorian single-room school.  17mm, f9.5, 1/8sec, ISO-400 (focus was on the closest inkwell)

 

CRW_0290.jpg

A Victorian Soldier's cottage exterior: 17mm, f5.6, 1/2000 sec, ISO-400

 

CRW_0282.jpg

Inside the cramped living room, taken through plexiglass  17mm, f5.6, 1/8sec, ISO-400

 

CRW_0295.jpg

The parlour of a potter's house, 17mm, f5.6, 1/20sec, ISO-400

 

Overall I think the camera performed amazingly well for such an early unit. I was very impressed by the low noise and for use in publishing to the web 3.25MP is absolutely fine!

 

All of these rooms were pretty dark - a characteristic of the period - so the sensor had to perform in low-light and I think it did pretty well.

 

Comments welcome.


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"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
2 REPLIES 2

Tronhard
Elite

 

 

Jetty.jpg

This on was taken as a JPG file with the venerable Canon EF 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM MkI zoom as I waited for my other half to finish paddle boarding.

 

D30- Esplanade Lounge table 04.jpg

This one was taken in a hotel suite with the 28-135mm lens from the period.  Focal point was the white jar.

28 mm, f6.7, 1/8 sec, ISO-200


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"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

As previously mentioned I had come across information highlighting the groundbreaking nature of this camera, released in 2000, as the first APS-C CMOS sensor camera, and the first completely in-house digital camera, produced by Canon - previous ones had Kodak internal components.

I lhad ooked up the DPReview site and found two articles reviewing the camera, both of which were highly complementary.

The original review: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canond30
The throwback review: https://www.dpreview.com/articles/63...-canon-eos-d30

 

SO WHAT'S NEW...


Recently I found a reference to an article from the Luminous Landscape website, by the respected photographer (the now late) Michael Reichmann. You may be able to view this for one time by going to this site:
https://luminous-landscape.com/d30-vs-film/ After that, if you are not a member it may block most of the article.

In this article he makes an effort to compare the printed output from the D30 with that of a film camera, using the same lens on both units. While perhaps not claiming full academic rigor, his process seems sound and has been backed up by other authoritative sources. I was surprised at the results:

Here is a video with some more of his reflections (and an interesting look back in history at how digital tech was viewed in those days).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LWSV6dlH_U

Curious as to others' comments...


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"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
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