All right - as you know if you've been over on the "what DSLR thread do you use" thread, I acquired a Canon 30D on the first day they were available from my local camera shop (today!). I thought those working through the same type of decision might benefit from my experience with the new Canon 30D, so here goes: The road to DSLR has followed my typical obsessive path of trial and error. By way of background, I had only shot digital with a compact flash Canon p&s for the past three years and continued to use my indestructable (seemingly anyway) N80 film body, which has performed really well over the past six years. Five months ago, I really started digging in and began my research off and on on DSLRs - that is really started to spend too much time on DP review and all of the other sites. I had followed general developments, but that was the point when I really started looking at those comparison tables and spending way too much time with sample images. My first try had me end up with a D50 from Nikon. A great camera - wonderful design, ergonomics were really usable as was the menu system. I'd gone with the D50 based on Popular Photography magazine's (www.popphoto.com) review which gave it high marks and the general review comments out there re: improved sensor output. After a few days of use, I found I missed the direct control of the N80 a little too much and decided that perhaps the D70s was worth a look. That re-opened the search and I was more serious at that point in looking at the Canon 20D. Although I LOVE Canon P&S cameras (great construction, fantastic images), I was less keen on the DSLR design. The 30D is an updated version of the 20D announced around this year's PMA show in February. It keeps the same sensor, maganesium body, etc. and adds a 2.5" 230,000 pixle screen, spot metering, picture styles (which aren't modes but are supposed to represent various film types - Nikon users think Vivid, etc.) from the 5D, a shutter and flash rated for 100,000 uses and some other items. The 30D has been out for a few weeks in Austrailia, and for a week or so in the UK and Canada, but just hit some US shops this last Friday - Monday. Coming from Nikon, I've had a little bit of an uphill climb with the layout, although I am adjusting. I have the direct access buttons that I want, but they operate in a way that I'm not quite used to yet. Right off, I started with some test images to get a sense of the camera. (The larger shots aren't that much bigger than the thumbs - so it's not as great as having a closer-to-full-size image, but I'm trying to be reasonable in my file attachment size so Arn won't have to reserve more server space). The first is a portrait of my daughter that she was kind enough to let me snap while she played with her doll house. This was one of the very first shots out of the box today. It's an all auto green rectangle shot. What I was curious to see was how the camera's metering would generally work with indoor flash photography. I was pleased to see that the flash level was just right for the shot. The second test shot was a little later in the day as I started to work with the camera in manual mode. The shot is of some flowers lit from above with GE reveal incandesent flood lights; picture mode is standard (the film type setting I mentioned above from the 5D). Shutter 1/50, f5.6, ISO 100. Some already know my love of saturated colors and this result certainly appeals to me on that front. Again playing with colors - you'll see two cat on a chair photos below. Here I flipped through some of the "scene modes" to get a sense of the programmed differences. The first brighter picture is "portrait" and the second more subdued is "landscape". I went outside to a small farm field next to our house and took a few more shots - here I was again trying to get a feel for the metering. The shot attached below eventually goes over to the left to the setting sun - which as you might expect - is quite bright. The evaluative (Nikon users think matrix type) metering did a good job in my view reconciling the light levels from the shadows - closest to me, to the soft light out ahead and then over into the edge of the sun at the right. Finally, my last test shot is of some flowers. This was shot in a very dark dinning room - no lights. This gave me a sense of the af assist operation, speed and results. Overall, after less than 12 hours with the 30D, I am really enjoying what the camera is producing in my first test shots. The layout and ergonmics are taking some getting used to, but I'm so happy with many of the few hundred shots I've taken so far that my response to my wife's question: "are you going to keep it or take it back" was I really like the images, I think I can get used to the interface.