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“I'd previously used and owned Canon EOS film SLRs and...”

Written on: 15/06/2004 by SpeedDemon (10 reviews written)

Good Points
Sturdy construction
Accepts all the usual Canon EOS (and compatible) accessories
Exceptional battery life
6.3 mega-pixels = A3 Photo quality prints

Bad Points
A little heavy (especially with the grip extension)
No memory card supplied
Auto focus can sometimes lead to dissappointing results

General Comments
I'd previously used and owned Canon EOS film SLRs and had been planning to go digital for some time but couldn't justify the prices of a digital SLR body. I had been toying with the 300D and the Canon EOS 10D and eventually went for the 10D Digital Camera - boy am I glad I did! Where the 300D feels plasticky and well 'cheap' the 10D is solid, sturdy and reeks build quality - this is a bit of kit you would feel sure would take the pounding that trekking through the wilderness for that 'perfect' wildlife or extreme sport shot might entail.

When you open the box the amount of leads and the size of the instruction manuals may seem a little daunting but if you've used a Canon EOS camera before you'll soon find the camera and controls completely intuitive and natural. The instruction manuals are actually very well written and laid out and will have even a complete novice taking decent photo's in next to no time.

The software bundle that comes with the camera is all that you need to manipulate your images. Yes, there are other software packages out there but you probably won't need to spend the money to purchase them unless you're a professional or are looking to do some really quite serious and trick image processing.

I had read several comments about the 10D's image quality and how there was a tendency towards soft images. After playing with the camera for a while I can see what these people are on about but also believe that I've found out why. Obviously image quality will depend on the optics of the lens so anyone using inexpensive lenses may suffer but I think that the real reason is the Auto Focusing (AF) system. In all the basic (point & shoot) modes the camera selects which of the 7 AF points to use - this may or not be what you were actually intending to use as your subject, thus you can get images which appear soft until you actually find the point, other than your intended subject, that is in perfect focus. In the 'Creative Zones' where you have more control over the camera you also can manually select the AF point used and, using this, I haven't had a single soft image.

As with most of the consumer/prosumer Canon SLR bodies people with large hands may find the camera a bit on the small side but the addition of the optional battery-grip extension will solve this problem. This has the added advantage of using a second battery which will pretty much double the battery life of the camera - very handy if you're going to be using the camera in places where there might not be ready access to a mains electricity supply. It does, however, add to the camera's already not insignificant weight (almost everybody who's picked up my camera has commented something along the lines of "Heavy isn't it?").

As with most digital SLRs, except some of the seriously top flight professional units, the image sensor is smaller than a 35mm film frame resulting in a 1.6 cropping factor (the focal length of the lens is effectively 1.6 times longer than stated on the casing). This may or not be a problem defending on the type of photography you are into but this may cause landscape photographers or others wishing to use wide angle lenses some headaches - especially if you're starting out as wide angle lenses (focal lengths of 20mm or less) with decent optics aren't cheap. That said there are some who will find the effective 1.6 multiplication of their focal length a positive advantage so this is largely a horses for courses issue.

My only real complaint is that the kit that is supplied as standard does not include a Compact Flash (CF) memory card, even a small one to get you going, which seems a bit on the stingy side. Otherwise I am finding it difficult to find fault with this camera and am more than pleased with it.

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