Well, what about the comparison? I have not shot the D200 or the 30D. But Rob Galbraith has shot both the D200 and his offices have briefly had a 30D for inspection. The closest comparison that can be made right now is the one Galbraith makes when he compares the 20D (twenty-D) to the D200 at this URL in his article entitled "Canon unveils successor to the EOS 20D".
On Page 2 of the above-referenced Article, Galbraith offers the following observations:
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"The ability to configure and fire multiple Nikon Speedlights is one of the niftiest capabilities of the Nikon D200. In fact, given the likelihood that prospective purchasers of a midrange digital SLR, at least those not locked into a system already, will be directly comparing Nikon's latest digital SLR to the 30D, we wonder if Canon has done enough in refreshing the 20D to counter the siren call of the D200.
Don't take this as a recommendation of the D200 over the 30D. For one, we've only used a preproduction 30D, and then only briefly. More importantly, we've shot the D200 and 20D side-by-side for available light basketball over several weekends this winter, and the 20D is by far the better camera for this purpose. Not only were the ISO 800 through ISO 3200 frames massively cleaner and more usable, the percentage of in-focus frames was signficantly higher. In fact, we've ruled out using the D200 for this sort of assigment again. So, we don't think Nikon has in the D200 a camera that's a clear winner over the upcoming 30D by any means.
But, the D200's higher pixel count, greater burst depth, way-cool wireless flash system support, large viewfinder image, more expansive configuration options, reasonably smooth shutter and really quite nice feel in the hand may make it a more compelling offering to those comparing the two at their local camera store, despite the fact the Nikon will be a few hundred dollars more. For much of what we shoot, the 20D is a better choice than the D200, so it's likely the 30D will be as well. But for many shooters, those who can stick to lower ISO settings and don't shoot much action, the D200 may seem like the more appealing option."
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Wow! That's really an interesting passage Mr. Galbraith has written. I admire his simple,effective style of writing. His article gives a good, two-page overview of what the EOS 30D is all about. By my count,Canon has made three very significant improvements over the 20D,as well as more than 18 small improvements, and I have no doubt that the 30D will be a nice Canon body. Heck, I'd love to own a 30D.
So, what about the comparison of the 30D to the D200?? Well as explained above, the title's a bit of a red herring. Right now, nobody in the world can fairly compare these two bodies, but there are some potentially shocking differences that Galbraith has found between the 20D (the twenty-D) and the Nikon D200, and the comparison is highly in favor of the Canon.I think the _most_ important comment Galbraith makes in the entire EOS 30D review comes in this small segment of his article:
"ISO is incremented in 1/3 stops From ISO 100-1600, intervals are now in 1/3 stops. ISO 3200 is also selectable (when C.Fn-8-1 is set), but it's a full stop jump from ISO 1600, there are no increments in-between. Of all the Canon and Nikon digital SLRs we've ever used, the 20D produces the cleanest, most printable RAW and JPEG files at the upper ISO settings. Being able to choose settings such as ISO 1000 or 1250 when shooting at certain indoor venues only sweetens the deal, though ISO 2000 and 2500 would have been equally useful."
So, what exactly is the _most_ important comment Galbraith makes in this article? Simply his statement that ,"Of all the Canon and Nikon digital SLRs we've ever used, the 20D produces the cleanest, most printable RAW and JPEG files at the upper ISO settings."
That statement by Rob galbraith himself sort of makes me feel good, because my own shooting has made me pretty damned disappointed in my $5k Nikon D2x's High-ISO performance, and has made me very appreciative of my EOS 20D. So, to those of you who have been flicking me shit about my disillusionment about Nikon products, there you have the opinion of one of the MOST-respected digital photography writers in the world confirming what most of us know from our own experiences--namely,that Canon has the clear, clear lead in HIGH-ISO performance. And not just the lead by "class" or by "market segment". No, what Galbraith has written is that the EOS 20D (twenty-D) makes the cleanest and the most-printable RAW and JPEG files at the upper ISO settings. Take careful note: of ALL the Canon and Nikon D-SLR's galbraith and his staff have used, the EOS 20D creates the 1)cleanest 2)most-printable 3)RAW files and 4) the best JPEG files. Once again, to reiterate, of all the Canon and Nikon D-SLRs used by Rob Galbraith and his staff, the EOS 20D has made the cleanest,most-printable Raw, and the cleanest and most-printable JPEGs, at high ISOs. Please take note that Galbraith and his staff have used all of the pro Canons, and the pro Nikons, as well as some mid-range D-SLR models.
How, and why is it that the EOS 20D is such a stellar performer at high ISO when it began its retail life as a $1599 consumer body, and the Nikon D2x began its retail life as a $4995 professional body? Does anybody see the problem here?