Product Type: Canon digital cameras
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Canon is the photography canon.
Canon EOS 1000D
Member Name: Mama-Q
Canon EOS 1000D
Advantages: Low noise levels, fair image quality, good kit lens (18-55mm)
Disadvantages: White balance issues, no HD video option - or any video option!
So, here I am, all guns blazing and good to go! First things first, let's assume you're considering buying your first DSLR and your understanding is where mine was over a year ago - very basic. If I use a technical jargon word in this review, I will break it down so that it can be understood by everyone who reads this review.
---------Search and destroy (or, rather, buy)---------:
I have wanted to upgrade from my Canon compact camera for some time now. I was the previous owner of a Canon Powershot IS S5 which was a great little camera with many great features for a compact camera. I would advise you start with a compact camera and build your confidence and understanding from there, rather than diving straight into the DSLR arena. I felt overwhelmed with my compact camera and actually wanted to send it back to the shop, so I can't imagine how I'd feel having spent hundreds more on a DSLR and being even more over whelmed.
As I have said, you will spend hundreds on a DSLR so it's worth shopping around and getting a feel for what suits your requirements. For myself I have plans of shooting weddings and newborns - in the very far future, I'm still learning and I am still a hobby photographer right now whose working on their confidence ;). Currently I am just looking for a DSLR that will take great photos of my family and our little special moments. This led me onto the Canon 1000D.
I'd actually wanted a Lumix (micro four thirds camera - in other words a camera the size of a compact but with the ability to add or take away lenses to improve picture quality) but then decided against it as it felt like a compromise on quality.
As I got to feel the difference between a G2 and a Canon 1000D in store, I decided to go for the Canon. It performed better on quality although the Lumix is easier to transport around. I would also recommend that you go in store and actually touch and experiment with the camera you want - otherwise you might be a little disappointed.
After seeing the camera in-store I then decided to purchase my camera on-line to save me some money. I would buy it new (my Powershot was 2nd hand and it was a little worn, as well as Live Mode only working on one of the settings.) I bought a double lens kit and Canon 1000d body for £360 - bargain as this would normally tally up to a lot more. I will review the two lenses separately and won't get into too much detail about them here ;).
After a bit of hassle with the delivery times of my camera, it finally arrived. The box it came in was a lot bigger than I'd been expecting, but then again it was coming with two lenses (18-55mm and a zoom/telephoto lens.)
Both lenses were boxed in with the camera body. The camera body was tucked up in a cloth pocket and protected by polystyrene. Upon removing the cloth pocket I noticed that the camera body had a protective cap on the lens mount - this is to protect it from dust and if, for travel or other reasons, you can't carry it with the lenses I would advise fitting this cap onto this part of the body to protect it. It is a Canon EF lens mount so will fit any Canon EF lenses - which come pretty cheaply second hand on eBay.
The body was the usual standard Canon black - I prefer this colour as you're handling the camera a lot it could start to look rather grubby after a few weeks use ;). The LCD screen was fixed into the camera body - unlike my Powershot that had a flip out LCD display. I noticed that around the view finder (the part where you look through to take a picture) there is a flexible rubber cushion and this might sound silly (although, obviously it's the intention of Canon) but it makes picture taking comfortable on the eye area.
The Canon brand is on the lens caps and on the body of the camera - that prominent and very much recognisable font.
In the box was also a battery and a charger unit - remember to remove the yellow battery holder from the battery before charging ;). I charged up my battery and was raring to go...
Now, obviously, after the battery is charged (mine took a few hours) you want to take some photos. Put your memory card into the side slot (on the right hand side of the camera) and away you go! :).
Enjoy some of the following features to choose from:
10.1 effective megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor - I've found that anything over 10 megapixels doesn't really make a difference. In fact, my compact was 8 MP but I could swear it was 10.
Sensor Size : APS-C 22x14mm - This type of sensor is quite a generous size, is light in weight and produces sharp pictures.
Sensor Crop Factor: 1.6x - This can be useful if you're doing a lot of crops as the image quality isn't effected too badly once you crop photos. With my Powershot I had to be careful I didn't crop too much or picture quality was greatly reduced.
DIGIC III Image Processor.
2.5-inch TFT color LCD monitor with 230,000-dot resolution. - as I mentioned before. Does not flip out and is fixed in.
Wide-area 7 point AF with center cross-type sensors. - when you look through the view finder you'll notice little crosses coming into your view. This is handy and keeps me right when taking photos.
EOS Self Cleaning Sensor Unit - when you turn off the camera the sensor will self clean. Pretty nifty.
Continuous Drive up to 3 frames per second for as many JPEG files or up to 1.5 frames per second for 5 RAW files or 4 RAW+JPEG files. - To be honest, I haven't shot anything in a RAW format thus far. But I can say shooting in a JPEG file format it will fire off some quick shots, which is handy when you are capturing an action shot.
ISO sensitivity 100-1600. - Still figuring this out but if you know what you're looking for then I'm probably not much use to you on this ;).
Canon EF/EF-S lenses. - the good thing about this is that there are plenty of lenses on the market. They may be expensive, though, but a good Sigma or Tamron lens will do the job just as nicely. Although, in saying that, I own two Canon lenses and can't imagine buying anything less than that. I'm a photo snob and probably have no real grounds for it ;). Luckily, lenses can be bought cheap second hand - just make sure it's someone you trust and that they have looked after their lenses accordingly.
NTSC/PAL video output. - haven't used this yet but it effectively means you can view your pictures on a TV screen.
File formats include: JPEG, RAW (12-bit Canon original). - Explained above.
Custom Functions (C.Fn) Such as Exposure Level Increment by f-stop etc - I appreciate these functions. I am currently shooting in Auto mode for the most part (please don't grill me for that!) but I love using Av (aperture priority) with manual focus on my lens - also, it does wonderfully on the 'Manual' mode and 'Program' modes - pretty much all the other modes like 'action', 'portrait' and 'landscape' are redundant and will not give you the best results...I suppose they're on the camera for those who don't want to fiddle round with settings but I figure 'that's what Auto is for.' Myself? I am using the Auto setting to familiarise myself with the camera, although I do feel more confident using the other useful settings.
Canon LP-E5 battery pack, battery life (shots per charge) approx. 190-600 without flash or 180-500 with 50% flash use. - The battery has been up and running for a little under a week and is still at a full charge! I have easily done 800 shots, all mixed with flash fired and some not so I have a feeling the battery will last ages.
Approx. weight 0.450 kilograms (0.99 lb). - very light and as the Jessops sales person told me "the problem with these DSLRs is that people buy them once they've picked them up, thinking they are toys, and then they realise they're not toys, they give up and stop using them because they don't know how to use them." Well...can I be forgiven for saying I thought it felt like a toy camera when I picked it up? It is so, so light - even with my telephoto lens attached. I carry it on my back in it's back and honestly I couldn't feel it, I thought it had fallen out! SO light!
The only downside is that sometimes there is a problem with white balance in some shots, but this is easily rectified when you're processing (editing) photos and I have just come to terms with it. You can fiddle around with the white balance but even when this is done I'm still having issues with it - which can be annoying, but over looked, like I said because of editing that can be done.
---------Why an EOS?---------
I couldn't imagine not having an EOS camera now. Simply because I wanted an DSLR (and may well just get the Lumix when the price comes down!) and I believe the EOS range, especially this camera, offers all that I need from a camera. Canon seem to have the most lenses on their EOS range and I love that - I can't wait to add to my collection. Although the lenses can be expensive, be on the look-out for good second hand lenses and you'll save yourself some cash.
At around £300 you can find the Canon 1000D body, just add your own lens...however, if you're starting afresh with a DSLR I would recommend buying it with kit lens included, just to get used to feel and use of a lens - then move up, sell the kit lens if you wish and buy other lenses that will give you better results :).
Overall I'm happy with my purchase even though there are cheaper DSLRs on the market, I feel comfortable with the camera I have and don't feel as though I've been ripped off or sold a pig in a poke ;). I love the image quality and it fits my amateurish needs - if I want to upgrade my camera then I will most likely just buy a new lens to satiate that new camera greed ;). And if I do happen to go pro then I will upgrade cameras, but still keep this one as a back-up.
Summary: Worth a shot ;).
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