Canon EOS 1000D £499
7th Aug 2008 | 13:22
Entry-level camera that's packed full of features to entice D-SLR newcomers
Canon appears to be steamrolling its way over every competitor in the D-SLR market.
The recent launch of the 450D - a hybrid version of the entry-level 400D and semi-pro 40D - has been closely followed by the 1000D. And there's nothing like a randomly chosen model name to go and confuse its line up of D-SLRs.
The 1000D appears to be Canon's attempt to dominate the lucrative entry-level D-SLR market. And it may just have a winner on its hands.
1000D or 450D?
As current prices stand, the 1000D is only £40 cheaper than the better-specified 450D. This is sure to leave D-SLR newcomers in a cloud of confusion over which model to pick. At a guess, the 450D, with its bigger 12.2-megapixel sensor will probably take precedence.
Yet the price of the 1000D is pretty much guaranteed to drop in the coming months, as Canon will want to push this as the definitive entry-level D-SLR. If you're a digital compact user and looking for more creative licence, hang on a few months and the 1000D is sure to please.
A notable factor is the incredibly lightweight body. Weighing in at only 450g, it's one of the lightest D-SLRs out there (although not as light as the Olympus E-420, which weighs a mere 375g).
Even with the Image Stabilised kit lens (a worthy feature on such a camera) it's incredibly light and compact. Those with large hands may find the 1000D difficult to hold, and its smooth plastic body, without any real grip, lets its appearance and handling down somewhat
Strong on features
These gripes aside, the 1000D packs in a pretty impressive line-up of features.
Its 10.1-megapixel sensor may seem small compared to other D-SLRs, but it produces impressive results in a variety of lighting conditions. Close-up details, tones and textures appear sharp and crisp.
The 1000D may not have a Highlight Tone Priority mode, but it does well to produce fantastic images that have a great dynamic range, keeping detail in both highlight and shadow areas.
The 1000D shares the same Digic III processor as many of Canon's professional EOS cameras. It can also shoot 3 Jpegs per second continuously until your card is full up. Impressive stuff, but switch to RAW and you're limited to shooting just 1.5 frames per second.
Yet this probably won't be of concern to a first time D-SLR user who will want to just point and shoot.
However, the 10000D does a little bit more than just point and shoot: the large mode dial on the top of the body lets users easily switch between shooting modes for more control over creativity.
A dedicated ISO button near the shutter button enables you to change this with ease (from ISO 100-1600) and settings such as exposure compensation, white balance and metering all have dedicated buttons. These are simple enough to change using the arrow keys, giving the 1000D the kind of functionality that is sure to appeal to D-SLR newcomers.
The 2.5-inch LCD screen is a tad small compared to some of the larger 3-inch versions on higher-spec Canon D-SLRs, but it serves its purpose well. Settings are displayed big and bold and easy to read, and the menu system is intuitive to work around, having been clearly designed around the first time user.
Looking through the viewfinder, you're presented with clear to read ISO, shutter speed and aperture readings, and 7 Auto-Focussing points, which should please most amateurs.
Live View is an attractive new addition, which was not seen on the earlier 350D and 400D models. Yet it's quite difficult to compose your image on the 2.5-inch screen. It's best suited to indoor use on a tripod, as the auto-focussing is quite slow too.
Overall, the 1000D is a functional and intuitive D-SLR that produces great results straight off the camera. D-SLR newcomers will not be disappointed with this feature-packed model.