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Canon EOS 300D Digital Rebel

Canon knocks the bottom out of the Digital SLR market, with an amazingly affordable, full-featured model!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 09/04/2003

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Canon Digital SLR designed ground-up to be digital
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6.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, 3,072 x 2,048 pixel images
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ISO of 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
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Photo-centric design – touch Shutter button in Play mode and camera returns to Record mode.
* Compatible with all Canon EOS system lenses and accessories, focal length multiplier of 1.6, plus the new EF-S digital-only lens.

NOTE: This is a full review of the new Canon digital SLR, the Digital Rebel (Canon EOS-300D), but is based on a late-model prototype camera. Image quality may change between this version and final production models, but Canon felt good enough about the state of readiness of this prototype to allow me to share photos from it with my readers. I've therefore shot a full set of my normal test photos, and have also posted an extensive collection of "gallery" pictures shot by my son Chris and our News Editor Mike Tomkins. Enjoy!

 

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SPECIAL REPORT - Check out News Editor Mike Tomkins' special "Shooter's Report" on the Canon Digital Rebel!

 

Manufacturer Overview

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Look along the sidelines of any professional sports game, and the array of big, white Canon lenses attached to Canon digital SLRs will speak volumes of Canon's presence and reputation in the world of professional photography. If you ask experienced photographers what the Canon name means to them, many would suggest that they associate the name with innovation, the company having brought such technological advances as Eye-Controlled Focusing (Canon EOS 5, 1992) and the USM ultrasonic motors used in the more recent Canon EF lenses, which are extremely quiet and very fast.

Canon film cameras cover the full range from models such as the Canon SLRs targeted at professionals (the EOS 1 and 1N for example, and more recently the EOS 1V, to those aimed toward the consumer (such as the tiny ELPH series or the EOS Rebel cameras). Back at the Spring 2000 PMA show, Canon announced the EOS-D30, their first digital SLR, in the process turning the Digital SLR market on its ear with its excellent features and image quality and surprisingly aggressive price. Since then, they've continued to up the ante, introducing the six-megapixel D60, followed surprisingly quickly by the 10D, each time packing in more features at lower cost.

Now though, they've really turned the digicam world on its ear, creating the new Digital Rebel, a six-megapixel digital SLR that sells with a lens for less than $1000 US! This not only challenges Nikon, Olympus, and Fuji in the D-SLR business, but promises to cut drastically into the all-in-one "prosumer" market.

The new Canon EOS-300D "Digital Rebel" (borrowing the name from their highly popular "Rebel" line of entry-level film SLRs) offers many of the same exposure features and improvements as the 10D, but slightly scaled back to keep costs under control and to provide some differentiation between the Rebel and its higher-priced sibling. The EOS-300D sports a slightly re-engineered CMOS sensor very similar to that on the 10D, as well as most of the same exposure features. The main differences lie in body design that makes much greater use of plastic, less control over focus or metering modes, the lack of a Custom settings menu, and a handful of other minor changes. What's new is a specially designed Canon EF-S lens, designed only for the Digital Rebel, and sold only as part of the Digital Rebel kit. (Thus, if you buy the 300D body separately, the EF-S lens is not available as a separate accessory purchase.) This new lens takes advantage of the size difference between the Rebel's sensor and a normal 35mm film frame to reduce the backfocus distance, shrink the image circle, and shed quite a bit of size, weight, and cost in the process. The biggest draw for the 300D is that it offers much of the same functionality as the wildly popular 10D model, but at a much lower price. Read on for all the details.

 

Highlights

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    6.5-megapixel, 22.7 x 15.1mm, 12-bit RGB CMOS sensor delivering 3,072 x 2,048-pixel images. Effective count of 6.3-megapixels and 3:2 aspect ratio.
  • Single-lens reflex digital camera with interchangeable lenses (supports all Canon EOS series lenses). Focal length multiplier of 1.6x as compared to a 35mm camera.
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm, f/3.5-5.6 lens included in camera kit, specifically designed for the EOS 300D Rebel.
  • Variable ISO (100, 200, 400, 800, and 1,600 settings).
  • TTL optical viewfinder with detailed information display, diopter adjustment, and depth-of-field preview.
  • 1.8-inch, low-temperature TFT LCD with 118,000 pixels.
  • Automatic, Program AE, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Depth-of-Field AE, and Manual exposure modes, plus Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, and Flash Off programmed modes.
  • Operates in "shooting priority mode," meaning there's no separate "playback" mode to view pictures. Pictures can be viewed in between shots, and even if camera is showing a picture or in a menu, pressing the Shutter button causes the camera to take a photo immediately.
  • Continuous Shooting mode capturing as many as four images as fast as 2.5 frames per second (with shutter speeds of 1/250 second or faster.)
  • Variable white balance with Auto, six manual presets, and a Custom setting (reads from a neutral gray or white card).
  • TTL autofocus with seven focusing points, manually or automatically selectable. One shot AF, AI Servo AF , AI Focus AF, and manual focus with AF assist beam, depending on exposure mode selected. Working range of EV 0.5 to 18 at ISO 100.
  • Built-in E-TTL retractable-type flash with red-eye reduction. Guide Number is 13/43 at ISO 100, m/ft, flash angle covers the field of an 18mm lens. Topside hot shoe for external flash connection of EX Speedlite flashes.
  • Flash exposure lock function. (FEL)
  • External hot shoe supports E-TTL metering, FEL, and FP (high speed sync) flash with Canon 550EX speedlight.
  • Redeye Reduction via built-in illuminator.
  • TTL maximum-aperture metering with a 35-zone silicon photocell. 35-zone Evaluative metering linked to all focusing points, Center weighted average metering, or nine percent central-area spot metering. Metering range of EV 1 to 20 (at normal temperatures, EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, ISO 100).
  • Adjustable exposure compensation from -2 to +2 EV in 1/3 EV increments in all exposure modes.
  • Auto exposure bracketing (AEB) from -2 to +2 EV in 1/3 EV increments in all autoexposure modes.
  • White balance bracketing. (JPEG file format only)
  • Shutter speeds from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds, and a Bulb setting for longer exposures.
  • Electronic self-timer with a fixed duration of 10 seconds.
  • Optional external hand grip/battery pack adds secondary shutter release and control wheel, as well as AE lock and focus point buttons for vertical-format shooting.
  • Image storage on CompactFlash Type I or II, compatible with IBM MicroDrives
  • USB connectivity with TWAIN driver for PC and Adobe Photoshop plugin for Macintosh. NTSC/PAL selectable video out connectivity. E3 remote control socket and IR remote control window.
  • 24-bit JPEG and 36-bit RAW data file formats. Available resolution settings are: 3,072 x 2,048; 2,048 x 1,360; and 1,536 x 1,024.
  • Backlit LCD data readout, for easier operation in the dark.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) compliant.
  • Direct Print capability to selected Canon photo printers.
  • Camera body available separately, or as part of a kit with lens and accessories.

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