Product Type: Canon digital cameras
Newest Review: ... as me and a friend found out. I have had the 10d for over a year now and a frine dof mine who had read reviews was convinced the ... more
Canon EOS 10D
Member Name: 2m_wingspan
Canon EOS 10D
Date: 15/08/03, updated on 15/08/03 (615 review reads)
Advantages: Photo quality is second to none - even compared to 35mm, The build quality is stunning, Huge range of features, massive
Disadvantages: Scary price for the happy amateur, Why is there not even a small memory card included?, Not for everyone - a little OTT just for holiday snaps
However, I have used an SLR since a small premium bond win about 25 years ago, and would regard myself as an experienced amateur, having (some time ago) done of my own developing and printing, and even earned a little pocket-money taking sports photos at college. So I naturally favoured an SLR-type camera, and when I found one that I could use my existing lenses on, that pretty much sealed the deal, despite the £1,240 Amazon price tag.
The reviews (both professional and amateur) that I read were almost unanimously positive, although there were a few quibbles about the white balance, focusing in low light, and a lack of spot metering – and the 10D always comes top in tests against its more expensive peers.
So, after only three days (Amazon initially gave a four to six week delivery estimate), the new gadget arrived and, so far, I am more than impressed by the sheer quality of the D10, although there are a few minor irritations, which I’ll come to later.
First of all, the camera just feels utterly solid and professional – for anyone who has used any of the more recent Canon EOS models, they are extremely light, and feel a little frail – not so with the D10 – it’s a perfect weight, and I’m sure you could run over its magnesium body in a truck and it would barely register. I
t seems to fit perfectly in the hands, and the numerous buttons and the two control wheels are all easy to access and use. I knew I’d made the right decision the moment I pulled the thing from its box.
However, there are just a couple of things to think about – you can’t use the camera straight away. There’s just enough juice in the (supplied) rechargeable cell to check that it powers up and the autofocus works. You then have to charge the battery in the (supplied) charger for 90 minutes. Also, Canon does not see fit to provide even a token flash card with the unit, so a more careless buyer may have to go back to the shop, or online, to buy one. Mild irritations I know, but why on earth doesn’t Canon provide a card with such an expensive piece of kit? It turns out, however, that when you register the D10 on line, Canon promises to send you a 64MB card, which is some compensation.
Now, I have not performed what I would consider to be a full test of the camera because as all first time parents know, there is no time to read bulky manuals (one for the camera, one for the accompanying software) during the first three weeks of your new kid’s life – so this is really a first impression, which I may be able to update later when I’ve had time to experiment.
And my initial impression is that this is a brilliant camera: the 7-point autofocus is pin sharp, the colours (as viewed on my PC and as printed out on an Epson Photo printer) are rich and, although I haven’t examined the shots pixel by pixel, the white balance seems fine, compensating for the ambient or flash lighting very well indeed. For pickier snappers, the camera offers a white balance bracketing option, just to make sure you get it right.
Unlike many digital cameras, this one is quick, and shoots when the button is pressed, rather than at some indeterminate time in the future. It will also fire off nine shots in thre
e seconds, even on the RAW or large JPEG settings, the most memory hungry of the several picture quality settings available.
The LCD screen on the back is bright and clear, and is used for all the menu driven settings for the camera, as well as for reviewing pictures taken. It features an incrementally resolving picture so that you can scroll through very quickly while reviewing pictures taken. You can also zoom into your photos by a factor of 10, and pan around them.
Basically the D10 has all the features of a top end 35mm SLR plus a large number of features specific to the digital world. Included with the camera body, the battery and charger are a strap, a USB cable, and a video cable (to show photos on the TV without downloading to a PC). In terms of software, there is a proprietary viewing and editing program, and a full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 (which came as a complete surprise – I had to send back the one I ordered from Amazon).
I’m sure there are reviews of Photoshop Elements elsewhere on this site – but my impression is that it’s a powerful editing suite the surface of which I have so far barely scratched. The process of taking a photo of the little bundle, transferring said photo to the PC’s hard drive, resizing it to a more sensible 300KB and e-mailing it to a doting grandparent takes rather less than two minutes. And the sheer quality of the shots (even after taking into account my natural talent with a lens!) has been remarked upon by several recipients – and I haven’t used any of the camera’s more creative settings yet.
So, if your budget stretches this far, there really is no better option (yet), although there are obviously cheaper (but high quality) alternatives for those unlikely to stray from the basic automatic point-and-shoot configuration – my particular favourite being the Olympus C5050 Zoom.
But be warned – buying the
camera is not the end of the expense – you will need a decent size memory card (in addition to the one that you will eventually receive from Canon if you register), and possibly a card reader at the absolute minimum. A 500MB compact flash seems to store about 180 shots at large JPEG setting. In addition, to make the most of your purchase, you will need a decent PC with a big hard drive and a CD or DVD writer to store all those glorious photos. I also plan to use the online services provided by the likes of Boots and Bonusprint to get high quality prints and enlargements of my favourites - although a high spec printer has mysteriously made its way onto my wish list...