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Canon EOS 1000D
Though Canon does have a very strong foothold in the DSLR market in India, there has been a gap that Canon hadn't catered to yet — the ultra-budget DSLR segment.
But the EOS seems more than a cut-short budget camera. For one its build is just about the same as its big brother, the EOS 450D at 126 x 98 x 62 mm. With its weight of merely 502 g, it's definitely the lightest DSLR camera body we've tested till date. Lighter DSLRs may not be a big deal for hardcore enthusiasts, but for a beginner or a casual user who doesn't own a giant camera bag, it's a great asset.
Unfortunately the light weight comes at a slight cost. The camera's body is completely built of bland, mat-finished plastic, which gives it a pretty dull look. Moreover, even the handgrip lacks that high-friction rubber coating, which makes the camera easy to use for hours at a stretch. Now that too wouldn't be just a big issue if the grip had the right contours on it for easy finger placement or even a slightly bigger, more comfortable size. I may sound overtly harsh here, but being a camera user with particularly large hands, I do take my comfort over extended use seriously.
The button layout at the back is exactly the same as the EOS 450D, which would make a Canon user feel right at home. The 2.5-inch screen with 230,000 colors supports Live-view, which seems to have become a norm in DSLR cameras these days. Casual users, however may need to up their game to be able to use this feature as it works only in manual modes. Still I'm pleasantly surprised that Canon added this nifty feature in their lowest-end DSLR model.
While the EOS 1000D seemed fully equipped at first, on closer look I did notice a few traditional features missing in the camera. There was no light sensor over the camera display to automatically turn off the screen when you got close to the camera's viewfinder. It may not be a very essential feature, but it is a good one nonetheless — something you learn to appreciate, once you miss it. Gone s the IR receiver from the front of the camera, so using a remote control (sold separately) for shutter release is out of the question here.
Spot metering has been taken away from this model, which may or may not be relevant to you depending on your usage. But on the other hand, the 1000D does offer a very useful 7-point autofocus. The camera shoots images up to 10 megapixel in resolution (3888 x 2592 pixels), making it more than sufficient for high quality A3 sized photos even after a bit of cropping. The Li-Ion LP-E5 battery bundled with the camera is the same one seen in the EOS 450D, and gives an impressive 700 shots (mixed with and without flash) on a single full charge.
The EOS 1000D bundles with an EF-S 18-55 mm lens without IS (image stabilization), but some vendors will gives you the IS lens as an option. I suggest you take that option. The slightly higher price tag will save a lot of your precious compositions from that dreaded hand jitter. The camera we got for review, however come with a standard lens without IS.
The color reproduction on the EOS 1000D is very natural, just the way I like it. There's no over-saturation of colors to please the casual users, but it doesn't give you dull lifeless images either. You get the perfectly natural color gradients without the 'happy colors'.
That said, I did notice the auto white balance being a bit warmish by default. This wasn't true for every kind of image, but in most cases I did feel that the images seemed a but warmer than usual. Of course this can be fixed by selecting the right white balance preset or setting it manually.
Though not the sharpest, but the Canon EOS 1000D (with kit lens) does display a lot of minute details by default. From the results I got, a little Photoshop sharpening was well handled by the images and I got the required details without noise or artifacts.
The EOS 1000D shoots at a maximum of ISO 1600 sensitivity, and does a pretty good job of it. Even when shooting at night, without flash, at maximum ISO produced minimal noise, making the final image usable even for large resolution prints.
Noise at different ISO levels can be best determined from out lab test. Click on the image above to see the camera's noise ratio on different ISO levels.
Shooting speed in burst mode was 3 FPS in JPEG mode and around 1.5 FPS in RAW. After a full charge, the battery lasted for around 660 shots (with and without flash), which is a little more than I expected.
Overall the EOS 1000D is a fine DSLR for the casual user or an enthusiast. The lack of spot metering is a pretty major drawback, but only for those who use it a lot. Photography students may want to consider other options if they take light metering that seriously. But if you have never paid that much attention to metering, chances are you won't even notice the missing spot meter here.
That aside, the camera does offer an impressive spec sheet and a pretty good overall performance. For it's street price of Rs. 29,999 (with kit lens), this one's definitely a bang for the buck.
126 x 98 x 65 mm
|LCD Type||2.5", 230,000 px|
|View Finder||Optical / Live View|
|Effective Pixels||10.1 Megapixels|
|ISO Sensitivity||Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600|
|Shutter Speed||30-1/4000 sec|
|Format||RAW, JPEG, RAW+JPEG|
|White Balance||6 positions & manual preset|
|Flash||Auto, On, Red-eye reduction, Off|
|Self Timer||Yes, 10 sec (2 sec with mirror lock-up)|