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Moxiemike
Sep 24, 2003, 10:16 AM
Hey.

As you guys know, I'm all about the Nikon. It's like my own personal Apple. :)

But that said, a friend of mine just got a Canon 300d. He had previously been using a Fuji 602 and it got stolen, so he added some cash to his insurance payout and bough the 300d with lens kit from Ritz for $999.

Now, when you figure that a 10d costs $1499, and a D100 $1699, PLUS lenses, this camera really sneaks in the under a grand pricepoint magically, and comes with a lens to boot.

You'll have to buy your own CF card, I'd recommend a 256 card-- about 80 bucks-- and you'll fit appx 80 photos on it.

For those of you coming from a P&S digital world, or low end film SLR (nikon n65, n55, canon rebel series) you'll find nothing wrong with the build quality of this camera or lens. It's made of plastic, and it DEFINITELY feels it, compared to my D100. Get past the silvery color (which is usually used to denote "consumer" cams for some reason) and the plasticky body and what you have is a stellar shooter for under a grand.

The 6.3mp CMOS sensor is the same as in the 10d, and delivers vividly colored images with very little noise, even at ISO 1600. The Digic/CMOS combo doesn't need noise reduction, as the images are clean straight away, and they are comparable to the D100, The 10d, The Fuji S2 and the Pentax *ist.

The operation of the camera is smooth, though some options are buried in menus, which is probably why I prefer my Nikon-- everything is on a dial, and easy to get to quickly.

The viewfinder is nice and bright, and the shutter operation is quick and fast, though seemingly a bit noisy (though just about as noisy as my D100 with anti-vibration on).

The auto focus is fast, though it lacks a bit in accuracy in low light situations. We took it to a church to shoot after dark, and my D100 focused quickly, with no problems, while the 300d hunted for awhile but inevitably gave up.

We had to manually focus it to get the shot of the church. A little disappointing, but not much different than the 10d.

I've read some articles about the AF being a bit picky in the action/motion/sports regard, being that AF Servo (or continuous focusing) doesn't kick in unless you hold the shutter for 10 seconds (more depending on your aperture or f-stop).

This makes for precarious sports shooting situations, in that in tends to "back focus" a bit, and you don't necessarily get what you intended to shoot. That said, in our quick tests (shooting cars flying down the street) we didn't seem to have much of a problem.

Your mileage will vary. :)

The focusing issue also crops up when you use all seven focus points at ones. I'd recommend turning off that option and manually selecting your focusing point.

The lens that comes with the 300d is a nice addition. Adding $100USD to the price, it's definitely worthwhile, though it feels a bit plasticky, and the focusing ring is a bit quick and hard to get used to.

The zoom ring feels a bit stiff, but i'm guessing with use it will loosen up.

It's not a particularly fast lens (f/4.5-5.6) but for a hundred bucks, it'd definitely Canon quality as far as the glass goes, and much more worthwhile than similar low-end offerings from Sigma, Tamron and Quantaray. I'd definitely get it. It's sharp all around, with a bit of falloff at the corners, and it loses a bit of sharpness at full telephoto, but that's not unreasonable for a $100 lens.

It's a 17-55, which gives it a bit of distortion, and due to sensor crop of 1.6 (magnification) makes the lens an effective 28-80 lens. Kudos to Canon for recognizing this limitation of digitals and making an affordable alternative (Nikon's DX series, for example, is $1600USD. Ouch).

This camera also accpets all Canon EF mount lenses, which gives you a wide range of options, from $200 telephoto zooms all the way up to 300mm prime lenses with Image Stabilization that cost thousands. :)

The camera can shoot in both JPEG and RAW mode, though to edit RAW files, you'll need Canon's software bundle.

The software bundle is excellent, giving you PS Elements, and all of the Canon software to edit images in RAW mode (a "digital negative" style of shooting, if you will).

It's all OSX compatible too.

That said, the image quality is stellar, vivid, with good dynamic range, though a bit drab compared to the d100. The controls feature the standard P-S-A-M as well as "scene modes" for P&S type shooting. There's a nice little LCD on the back, above the main LCD, which displays all of your settings.

If you're looking for something with a bit more control than your P&S camera and you wanna capture high quality shots of your family or vacation, or are looking to shoot at high ISO with little noise, and your budget is under a grand, the 300d is for you.

If you're a bit more advanced and make any sort of living with photography, you'll want a more rugged machine, with more flexible focusing and controls, i'd opt for the 10d or even better the D100.

If you're thinking the 300d will replace your P&S camera, think again and look at the offerings from Sony and Minolta. They'll probably satiate your need for bigger P&S images.

That said, the 300d is available all around now, and maybe people are posting images that are quite stunning. I'm looking forward to the price of DSLRs going down, and I think the 300d (and whatever answer Nikon has up their sleevs) will be with us for a long time, only getting more and more affordable.

I'd give the 300d 3.75 stars out of 5, subtracting only points for the AF issues (pretty large if you ask me, and varied from camera to camera it seems) and for the construction of the body. If Canon fixes the AF issues in a future firmware update, i'd certainly give it a 4 out of 5.

Moxiemike
Sep 24, 2003, 10:21 AM
P.S. If you guys like this review, i'll do other reviews on other cams, lenses, etc etc. Even get into software reviews if you're interested.

Lemme know your thoughts.

m

eyelikeart
Sep 24, 2003, 10:57 AM
I've been waiting on a review on this camera...and from someone I know who is a big critic...makes it all better...

I've been considering this camera ever since hearing about it. The pricetag combined with dslr technology has been inviting me.

I'd like more reviews...heh...

u were my guinea pig to buy the Dimage 7i afterall... ;)

Moxiemike
Sep 24, 2003, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by eyelikeart
I've been waiting on a review on this camera...and from someone I know who is a big critic...makes it all better...

I've been considering this camera ever since hearing about it. The pricetag combined with dslr technology has been inviting me.

I'd like more reviews...heh...

u were my guinea pig to buy the Dimage 7i afterall... ;)

here's one sample:

As you can see, image quality is there.... but I still think you'd be better off with the focusing system of the 10d, d60 or d100...but who knows. Check it at a Ritz for sure...

(edit. Shot was handheld at ISO1600)

macphisto
Sep 24, 2003, 11:23 AM
-Moxie

Is this the Canon Digital Rebel SLR? We have been thinking about getting one, and were wondering what the reviews and thoughts are on it. Thanks for the info.

-macphisto

Moxiemike
Sep 24, 2003, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by macphisto
-Moxie

Is this the Canon Digital Rebel SLR? We have been thinking about getting one, and were wondering what the reviews and thoughts are on it. Thanks for the info.

-macphisto

Indeed it is. nice camera... what would you be using it for?


m

photohead
Sep 24, 2003, 12:35 PM
Great review man...Thanks for taking the time to give us a detailed ....and non bias opinion of the camera...I've been wanting to know what a "consumer" review stand point would be...I've really had my fill of dpreview...and steves digi cams...for now...great job...keep it up...

N:)

Counterfit
Sep 24, 2003, 01:17 PM
Man, I wish I had $900 for that cam, I think it would match my Rebel 2k nicely. Are you sure that shot was at ISO 1600? It looks a bit too good :D


Slight side note: I don't know if it's ever happened, but I think that any sort of Nikon vs. Canon debates are rather dumb, due to the cost of switching all your gear from one platform to the other...

Moxiemike
Sep 24, 2003, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by Counterfit
Man, I wish I had $900 for that cam, I think it would match my Rebel 2k nicely. Are you sure that shot was at ISO 1600? It looks a bit too good :D


Slight side note: I don't know if it's ever happened, but I think that any sort of Nikon vs. Canon debates are rather dumb, due to the cost of switching all your gear from one platform to the other...

Most def was:

All of the DSLRs perform very well at high ISOs. There's a bit of noise (you can see it on the full res image) but nothing like what you get at ISO400 on P&S digicams

Counterfit
Sep 24, 2003, 02:08 PM
Nifty. Now where'd my parents put their credit cards?

Moxiemike
Sep 24, 2003, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by Counterfit
Nifty. Now where'd my parents put their credit cards?

ritz has 12 month same as cash. ;)

thats how my buddy bought his. also, compusa has 10% off and 6mos same as cash.

not to be a tempter or anything. haha

evoluzione
Sep 29, 2003, 08:18 AM
good review, thanks moxie.

jelloshotsrule
Sep 29, 2003, 01:52 PM
i'm a little slow, but thanks a lot for the review. would love to see more samples. but i guess i *could* look around on my own too.

hopefully selling my quicksilver would cover this

overally, for a guy like me (not a pro. but kinda artsy. ;) ) would you say go with the $100 lens package? or get another, maybe 2-300 lens instead?

sososowhat
Sep 30, 2003, 10:19 PM
So I had a 10D, and left it outside overnight - first sprinklers, then 95degree heat all day. It's dead, and so is my best lens. Cr*p.

So: any thoughts as to what I'd miss (other than my lens!!) going to the 300 from the 10D? It's 8 oz lighter, which would be nice, but is the auto-focus really weaker? I know it probably has less internal memory for burst depth, but I can live without that.

My understanding is that it's the same processor & senor. Is it just less robust, or are there some other major differences? Robust didn't seem to help me last time anyway ;).

Thanks.

Moxiemike
Sep 30, 2003, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by sososowhat
So I had a 10D, and left it outside overnight - first sprinklers, then 95degree heat all day. It's dead, and so is my best lens. Cr*p.

So: any thoughts as to what I'd miss (other than my lens!!) going to the 300 from the 10D? It's 8 oz lighter, which would be nice, but is the auto-focus really weaker? I know it probably has less internal memory for burst depth, but I can live without that.

My understanding is that it's the same processor & senor. Is it just less robust, or are there some other major differences? Robust didn't seem to help me last time anyway ;).

Thanks.

ouch. well, if you're rough on equipment, which it seems you are ;), then you might be a better candidate for a 10d or d100. The 300d is made of plastic, and definitely might not stand up to abuse. I know of one case where someone left it in a car on a hot day and it melted. So.... That said, the main difference is that the 300 has a differently weaker focus. It's not as good in low light as the 10d, which both lag behind the d100.

The white balance presets are useless, and the controls are buried in menus, making it slower to use.

I'd say if you can afford it, get a d100 or 10d...if you're looking for more control. But if you just want the quality of the DSLR and 80% of the features, the 300d is a KILLER choice. ;)

rt_brained
Oct 1, 2003, 06:46 AM
For all its plastic, the 300D (Digital Rebel, in the U.S.) is likely the most important digital camera to hit the market this year, and will likely send every other competitor scrambling back to their respective drawing boards for an answer to it...in image quality and price.

For more detailed reviews, check out:

www.dpreview.com
www.dcresource.com

Moxiemike
Oct 1, 2003, 07:38 AM
Originally posted by rt_brained
For all its plastic, the 300D (Digital Rebel, in the U.S.) is likely the most important digital camera to hit the market this year, and will likely send every other competitor scrambling back to their respective drawing boards for an answer to it...in image quality and price.

For more detailed reviews, check out:

www.dpreview.com
www.dcresource.com

Maybe in price for sure. Image quality on ANY of the lower end DSLRs is pretty comparable and fantastic, each with its own drawbacks.

But the feel issue isn't one to be ignored, nor are the focusing oddities.

jelloshotsrule
Oct 1, 2003, 09:12 AM
mikey-what do you think of my lens question? for someone like me, better to get the 100 dollar lens package or get a 2-300 dollar lens in addition the straight up shell?

Moxiemike
Oct 1, 2003, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by jelloshotsrule
mikey-what do you think of my lens question? for someone like me, better to get the 100 dollar lens package or get a 2-300 dollar lens in addition the straight up shell?

I would buy the $100 lens as well as the Sigma 2 lens kit from ritz for an additional 229. You get a 28-90 (effective 44-135) and a 70-300 (105-450), plus a small gadget bag for the lenses.

Plus a tripod. ;)

m

andrewh
Oct 11, 2003, 04:32 AM
There has been quite a few references here to the "plastic" body of this camera. I looked at it in person at a Ritz camera store and it's a really nice design -- color scheme and shape. It feels really good, I mean, plastic as a material isn't always consistent with cheap toys from the 80's.

I own the Canon Rebel 2000 SLR and the digital rebel looks and feels just as nice, if not better. When considering it's design, it might be better to compare it to other Rebel cameras since Canon is marketing this camera as a Rebel.

Of course, comparing it to the 10D is worth it to find out what you're giving up for the price difference. I just don't think the plastic body is bad at all. In fact if it makes the camera lighter I'll take it. Afterall it's the image quality that counts. And no one should be rough with a camera -- Period.

Yes, I know there is something to be said for the quality, heavy feel of the professional models, but $999 is an amazing price and Canon should be applauded. I'm buying one soon!





Originally posted by rt_brained
For all its plastic, the 300D (Digital Rebel, in the U.S.) is likely the most important digital camera to hit the market this year, and will likely send every other competitor scrambling back to their respective drawing boards for an answer to it...in image quality and price.

For more detailed reviews, check out:

www.dpreview.com
www.dcresource.com

Moxiemike
Oct 11, 2003, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by andrewh
There has been quite a few references here to the "plastic" body of this camera. I looked at it in person at a Ritz camera store and it's a really nice design -- color scheme and shape. It feels really good, I mean, plastic as a material isn't always consistent with cheap toys from the 80's.

I own the Canon Rebel 2000 SLR and the digital rebel looks and feels just as nice, if not better. When considering it's design, it might be better to compare it to other Rebel cameras since Canon is marketing this camera as a Rebel.

Of course, comparing it to the 10D is worth it to find out what you're giving up for the price difference. I just don't think the plastic body is bad at all. In fact if it makes the camera lighter I'll take it. Afterall it's the image quality that counts. And no one should be rough with a camera -- Period.

Yes, I know there is something to be said for the quality, heavy feel of the professional models, but $999 is an amazing price and Canon should be applauded. I'm buying one soon!


The thing for me is that the rebel film SLRS cost around $200. I still think $899 for the digital rebel is a bit HIGH. A great price, but high, in my opinion. They had no R&D (they took the guts from the 10d and threw 'em in a $200 film body that probably costed them $10) and sell it for $899/$999. The could be selling these things for $599.....then i'd buy one. ;)

But the price differential between, say, the 300d and 10d/d100 makes me more inclined to be an D100. Tougher body, and more features for not much more. ;)

Heavy cameras have been and always will be easier to handle. No doubt. ;)

andrewh
Oct 11, 2003, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by Moxiemike
The thing for me is that the rebel film SLRS cost around $200. I still think $899 for the digital rebel is a bit HIGH. A great price, but high, in my opinion. They had no R&D (they took the guts from the 10d and threw 'em in a $200 film body that probably costed them $10) and sell it for $899/$999. The could be selling these things for $599.....then i'd buy one. ;)

But the price differential between, say, the 300d and 10d/d100 makes me more inclined to be an D100. Tougher body, and more features for not much more. ;)

Heavy cameras have been and always will be easier to handle. No doubt. ;)

Yeah I hear what you're saying and respect your opinion. I just think that hoping for Canon to release a camera with the same optics as a $1500 camera, with some disabled features and a cheaper body for roughly 1/3 the price is a bit of a high expectation. It's now roughly 2/3 the price and almost $500 is a good chuck of change for a lot of people. I think the price is right, plus they do need to make some profits, they're not making cameras for fun.

The cool thing is that Canon is giving consumers a choice. For more serious photographers like yourself there are some higher end models to choose from. There's something for everyone. Can't ask for more than that.

Moxiemike
Oct 11, 2003, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by andrewh
Yeah I hear what you're saying and respect your opinion. I just think that hoping for Canon to release a camera with the same optics as a $1500 camera, with some disabled features and a cheaper body for roughly 1/3 the price is a bit of a high expectation. It's now roughly 2/3 the price and almost $500 is a good chuck of change for a lot of people. I think the price is right, plus they do need to make some profits, they're not making cameras for fun.

The cool thing is that Canon is giving consumers a choice. For more serious photographers like yourself there are some higher end models to choose from. There's something for everyone. Can't ask for more than that.

Not to be nitpicky, but there's no optics on either the 10d or the 300d, for that matter....it's the lens that's the optics (and half the resolution battle)

andrewh
Oct 30, 2003, 02:15 AM
Bought the digital rebel last week. All I can say is this camera is fantastic. I've taken a range of photos -- The Golden Gate bridge at sunset, and some close up product photos for a website I'm working on. They're amazing. I'm never using my film SLR again. I love the way my EF lenses all work with it too. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with this camera. My 2 cents worth.

zagato27
Nov 2, 2003, 10:39 PM
Originally posted by Moxiemike
P.S. If you guys like this review, i'll do other reviews on other cams, lenses, etc etc. Even get into software reviews if you're interested.

Lemme know your thoughts.

m

Moxie, great that you are lending some expertise and actual hands on experience to your review. Perhaps you can help me out. Just got into the Mac world (G5 1.6) and want to move from film to digital photography. Am looking for a realitively inexpensive camera ~$500 that is easy to use and is in the 3-5 mega pixel range. This camera hopefully would have USB 2.0 download capability or Firewire to take advantage of the G5's equipment. The camera would be for home use nothing professional. My wife would probably be the main user. Auto everything is probably the mode it would be used in. If this helps, our SLR is a Minolta with a couple of lens: standard 55, 70-210 zoom. Any suggestions???? Thks.

mraudet
Nov 3, 2003, 12:48 PM
i own the eos digital rebel slr & love it. i have not read or heard of a single bad review of this camera. the cmos sensor, the slr body, etc. are all first rate. cannon caught the industry by suprise with this.

i upgraded from a nikkon 885. you will do well to know how to use a camera, however, the rebel will help you learn too.

Moxiemike
Nov 3, 2003, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by zagato27
Moxie, great that you are lending some expertise and actual hands on experience to your review. Perhaps you can help me out. Just got into the Mac world (G5 1.6) and want to move from film to digital photography. Am looking for a realitively inexpensive camera ~$500 that is easy to use and is in the 3-5 mega pixel range. This camera hopefully would have USB 2.0 download capability or Firewire to take advantage of the G5's equipment. The camera would be for home use nothing professional. My wife would probably be the main user. Auto everything is probably the mode it would be used in. If this helps, our SLR is a Minolta with a couple of lens: standard 55, 70-210 zoom. Any suggestions???? Thks.

Under $500 is only gonna getcha USB 1.0 and maybe 4mp.

I'd recommend the Nikon Coolpix 4300 (4mp i believe)

You won't be able to use those Minolta lenses... as the cheapest SLR is a canon and minolta doesn't make a digital SLR.

www.dpreview.com is a great source for ya.

jayb2000
Nov 3, 2003, 01:58 PM
Nice to hear a review from someone who owns both. dpreview and similar are very detailed, but are so overly objective you can barely figure out if they think one camera is better than another.

I have always heard that Nikons are great cameras so I am holding out for a D100 after January.

I was leaning that way anyway, but this review confirmed what I had gleaned from many other sources.

If they or Nikon could build a $500 digital SLR with stripped down features and cheap body, BUT used the same lenses as 1500/5000 dollar models, that might a jump people could do.
Buy the $500 version and lenses, then upgrade to 1500, then 5000 when/if you get really good.

Thanks again.

Counterfit
Nov 3, 2003, 02:28 PM
The way I figure it, if buy a Nikon or a Canon, you can hardly go wrong. I wonder when Nikon is going to replace the F5 with a new Top o' The Line camera...

sarge
Nov 3, 2003, 03:36 PM
Zagato27

I bought the Canon S50 for $530 last spring when it first came out. I think its down around $430 now. The thing I love about it is that its loaded with all sorts of manual override goodies. It has every pro function you could want, but it also has about a half dozen dummy proof modes like night, portrait,landscape etc. (you don't have to browse through a menu to find them either, your wife won't have to read a manual to use it) Only compliaint is that the paint for the icons came off and now I have to look at the display to know what's what. Don't know if they've addressed that problem. Then again, I dropped the camera from eye level while trying to photograph kids during a bicycle race. It bounced as high as my knee and dented the body pretty bad. It still works like a charm. Build quality is excellent and canons interpolating software is the industry best ( according to the photojournalists i know)
hope this helps

Moxiemike
Nov 3, 2003, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by sarge
Zagato27

I bought the Canon S50 for $530 last spring when it first came out. I think its down around $430 now. The thing I love about it is that its loaded with all sorts of manual override goodies. It has every pro function you could want, but it also has about a half dozen dummy proof modes like night, portrait,landscape etc. (you don't have to browse through a menu to find them either, your wife won't have to read a manual to use it) Only compliaint is that the paint for the icons came off and now I have to look at the display to know what's what. Don't know if they've addressed that problem. Then again, I dropped the camera from eye level while trying to photograph kids during a bicycle race. It bounced as high as my knee and dented the body pretty bad. It still works like a charm. Build quality is excellent and canons interpolating software is the industry best ( according to the photojournalists i know)
hope this helps

What kind of interpolating does the s50 do? I can't imagine interpolation on a P&S consumer camera being worth anything except headache. I know the Fuji 602 was plagued by the fake "6mp" files it made, but did ok in 3mp mode.

Interpolation from a CCD is bad.... I'd doubt the images could be anything to write home from this cam (though i'll say i haven't seen images)

If you want 5mp, get a "real" 5mp camera, not one that interpolates images up from a lower resolution

sarge
Nov 3, 2003, 07:16 PM
Moxiemike wrote:
What kind of interpolating does the s50 do? I can't imagine interpolation on a P&S consumer camera being worth anything except headache. I know the Fuji 602 was plagued by the fake "6mp" files it made, but did ok in 3mp mode.

Interpolation from a CCD is bad.... I'd doubt the images could be anything to write home from this cam (though i'll say i haven't seen images)

Sorry, I meant canons image processing software. It is a true 5mp camera, however it only has a 1/1.8 sensor-the s45 is 4mp on the same size sensor so they just cramed more pixels on the same size surface area which is why i hesitated getting it at first. The best thing about this p&s is it allows you to capture RAW files. I don't think many other P&s's offer that advantage.

we don't have photoshop on this PC-
BUT MY GIRLFRIEND JUST BOUGHT AN iBOOK,due next week, yea for ME!

Moxiemike
Nov 3, 2003, 07:24 PM
the only potential snag is that the smaller sensor ALWAYS equals more noise is ISOs above 200. So anything where you need a long exposure...thses cameras suffer

That and the shutter lag and slow as molasses AF systems. But for general snapshots, these P&S cameras do fine. Try to do sports or anything in low light? You're in trouble.

But the raw capturing thing is nice. Though I know canon's raw processing software is pokey. Grab PS CS and you'll be moving in light speed compared to the canon raw stuff.

sarge
Nov 4, 2003, 09:09 AM
Yea, I tried shooting the NYC Marathon on Sunday with it. What a pain! The af lag is pretty poor on all those p&s's. I brought my 7II along, but its a manual rf and the focus window is tiny. I didn't really have the right tool for the right job and I was trying to capture a specific person out of 40,000 runners. I preset the MF distance on the canon and that took care of the lag, plus it has a burst rate of 10 frames at 3 fps give or take. A couple shots were out of focus but i did get lucky on a few, which was all i needed.
A friend got that new rebel and it feels really cheap but it takes great pics + takes his old glass, which is nice.

Thanks for the PS CS tip MoxieMike. I've heard people use something call breezebrowser, but i think its only for windows, which after next week i won't be using anymore anyhow.