Canon 300d 6.3mp Digital SLR Camera

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by Moxiemike, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
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    #1
    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.
     
  2. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #2
    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
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #3
    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... ;)
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #4
    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)
     

    Attached Files:

  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    At home
    #5
    Is this...

    -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
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

    Joined:
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    #6
    Re: Is this...

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


    m
     
  7. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #7
    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:)
     
  8. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
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    #8
    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...
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

    Joined:
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    #9
    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
     

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  10. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #10
    Nifty. Now where'd my parents put their credit cards?
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #11
    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
     
  12. macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

    Joined:
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    down the road, that's where i'll always be
  13. macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

    Joined:
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    #13
    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?
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #14
    Compared to the 10D

    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.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #15
    Re: Compared to the 10D

    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. ;)
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    Creativille
    #16
    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
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

    Joined:
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    #18
    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?
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

    Joined:
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    #19
    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
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #20
    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!





     
  21. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #21

    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. ;)
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #22
    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.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #23
    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)
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #24
    bought it

    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.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    zagato27

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    The Hill
    #25
    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.
     

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