Canon EOS 1000D
Entry-level SLR that's big on image quality
- Sharp pictures, fast operation, Live View, dust reduction
- Focus in live view still takes some time, menu can be unclear
Another wonderful entry-level camera from Canon, the 1000D combines all the latest features — including Live View, dust reduction and lens-based stabilisation — with superb picture quality to produce an extremely appealing package.
Price$ 949.00 (AUD)
Canon has recently revamped its SLR line-up with a new entry-level product, the EOS 1000D. Replacing the 400D at the bottom of its SLR range, this new product is yet to be given an official price. However, given the general cost structure of Canon's SLR line, it is sure to be quite affordable. Sporting a 10.1-megapixel (Mp) sensor, Live View and most of the usual bells and whistles, this camera is another stellar option for an enthusiastic photographer and a great way to make the jump into SLR territory.
Sitting below the 450D in Canon's line, this camera bears a lot of similarities to its big brother. Physically it is almost identical; a slightly smaller screen and a lighter build are the two most noticeable differences. It is advertised as the lightest SLR Canon has ever produced at 450g, and you can definitely feel the difference. It isn't as sturdy as some more expensive models, but it has a solid, plastic construction that does the job.
The 1000D can capture some impressively crisp photos. Our shots didn't quite rival those captured with higher-resolution sensors on other Canon units or some Nikon models, but they were certainly at the top of the pack in comparison to other 10Mp models. Edges were clear and sharp with great detail in all of our tests. There was no over-sharpening, and the shots were crisp enough to make pretty sizeable enlargements (A3, and perhaps larger).
Chromatic aberration was somewhat of an issue, with some minor haloing indoors on our high-contrast chart tests. However purple fringing was basically non-existent outside and there were no signs of detail loss towards the corners of the shots.
Colours were a little on the vivid side, with a slightly more consumer-oriented tone rather than a perfectly neutral, professional look. They weren't incredibly oversaturated, but primary colours like reds and blues definitely had a rich, bright look to them. This can of course be tweaked using the onboard colour modes or during post-processing. While no dynamic range options are included, we were impressed with the camera's ability to record detail in dark areas, with shadowed areas retaining nice levels of clarity.
Image noise performance was also stellar. At ISO 100 through 400 there was no noise at all to speak of, with Imatest returning extremely low scores. Some very minor speckling began to creep in at ISO 800 and 1600, but the shots were still perfectly fine at those levels and will be suitable for sizeable enlargements.
In terms of speed, the 1000D was as solid as you would expect. There was just 0.04sec of shutter lag, 0.3sec of start-up time, and 0.3sec between shots. The burst mode captures images at just under four frames per second.
The big feature introduced with this unit that wasn't present on the 400D is Live View; it's a big bonus for entry-level users. Many people have become used to the idea that shots can be framed using an LCD screen, thus an SLR with just a viewfinder can be a confronting idea. The system is easy enough to use: you simply hit one button and the camera switches from viewfinder to LCD. It still isn't perfect, taking several seconds to adjust using the autofocus, but it is still perfectly usable for non-spontaneous shots.
Other features include a standard array of manual shooting modes, a seven-point autofocus system and a sensor cleaning system to help eradicate dust particles. The kit lens also comes with built-in stabilisation. Canon says it prefers to do stabilisation on a lens-by-lens basis rather than having it onboard like many competitors, arguing that every lens needs different stabilisation. We can see the merits of both systems, but users should be aware that not every lens they own will be stabilised with this model.
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