The Canon EOS 10D exists for quite a while now and showed that the demand for an affordable digital reflex camera undoubtedly is very high. However the price tag was the main stumbling block for a large group of consumers that wouldn't want anything more than to step over to a digital camera to be able to continue their hobby digitally. The introduction of the EOS 300D has made this dream come through for many of them. The camera is a direct hit and passed the shop counter innumerable times. The EOS 300D is standard delivered with a new Canon 18-55mm EF lens, specially designed to use in combination with this camera. The most striking part of the EOS 300D is the material used by Canon or the so called "plastic" feeling, detested by many. Those who are used to think from the time-honoured photographic feeling will not appreciate the EOS 300D's body. We have to overcome this by being open-minded and with another approach. Yes, the way the body is designed, allows an interesting price tag, and yes, the body gets a less quality appearance compared to the current digital reflex cameras. But is it really true? A large group of consumers making the switch to the EOS 300D is open to a new way of photographing and wants to get going with a digital reflex camera. A large group of EOS 300D owners don't have any experience with semi-pro or professional cameras but are used to compact cameras, so stepping over to the EOS 300D is felt like a fully fledged step. And to be honest this feeling is justified, the EOS 300D holds his own and is capable of pulling off an excellent performance. Canon seems to have a foresight and is open to a new approach. We have seen it in the past with the introductions of some successful innovations and undoubtedly we will see it again in the near future.
Canon 300D - LCD monitor and Viewfinder
The EOS 300D has a housing consisting mainly of artificial material which makes the feeling of holding a plastic body with a light weight dominate. Personally I prefer the feeling of a traditional body, but then again, this is an emotional reaction based on many years of photographic experience. Looking at the enthusiastic reactions of the EOS 300D users I tell myself that my reaction is not based on objective observation. Canon allows the use of any Canon EF lens so a large stock of lenses is available, from macro to wide angle to telephoto. The camera features an AF system that is based on a 7-points AF system just like at the EOS 10D, beside that the camera has a single shot and AI servo AF setting. However these settings can not be adjusted manually, the EOS 300D is completely automatic in this respect and decides which way of focussing will achieve the best results on the basis of the data collected by the camera itself. For those who are stepping over from a compact camera onto a digital reflex camera will have to get used to the fact that the optical viewfinder plays a much bigger role than before. The 1.8-inch size LCD monitor at the back of the camera can not be used as a live viewer but only serves as a possibility to review the images or to adjust the settings of the camera. The optical viewfinder of the EOS 300D shows a multitude of exposure data and reproduces an almost full image (approximately 97%).
EOS 300D compatible with Canon EF lenses
The main benefit from a system camera like the EOS 300D is of course the fact that the camera can be equipped with various different lenses so the employability of the camera is enlarged tremendously. Beside that the camera has various settings that are also found on the EOS 10D camera. Aperture priority, Shutter priority, manual settings, but also automatic settings like pre-set scenes make the EOS 300D an all-round camera.
Canon SLR camera - Built-in battery and memory slot compartment
The EOS 300D is equipped with a hand grip with built-in battery compartment and a memory slot. The bottom of the camera has a cover that gives access to the battery of the camera and in the centre we find the universal (metal) tripod connection. It is possible to equip the camera with a so-called battery grip (BG-E1) in which two batteries can be placed which gives the camera an extra large size grip.
Canon 300D digital reflex camera - Command Dial
The top of the camera is quite sober and simply equipped with the well know Command Dial as an eye-catcher. On this wheel the on/off button is placed. The release button is placed right in front of the grip. The Command Dial gives access to all the important settings the camera possesses. The automatic as well as the manual settings are accessible by turning the wheel, a very user-friendly approach. The built-in flash is situated right above the lens mount. This flash has a relatively low guide number which means in practice one can count on an effective flash range of approximately 4- 5 meters. One who needs more light can use an external flash. The EOS 300D is equipped with a hot shoe so the camera can be extended with a so-called dedicated flash, like the Canon 220EX flash.
Canon EOS 300D - 1.8-inch LCD monitor
The back of the camera is equipped with a 1.8-inch size LCD monitor with right above a small display rendering the status of the amount of images. The back of the camera is the control centre. Everything that can possibly be read as information is shown on the monitor. The 4-way button, on the right side of the monitor is used to navigate through the menu. On the left of the monitor we find some five buttons to activate the menu or to put the camera in play mode. Above the small monitor we find the optical viewfinder. Which is of excellent quality and has a practical 100% of image rendering. The optical viewfinder has a dioptre setting for the glasses wearing consumer who wants to be able to use the viewfinder without his glasses or lenses.
EOS 300D D-SLR - Straight forward operation
Our first acquaintance with the camera is a positive one. Bearing the target group in mind and suppressing personal preferences, we come to the simple conclusion that the Canon 300D is a real break-through. The housing's appearance is kept simple, the operation is straight forward and the camera is in fact a combination of user's convenience and a friendly price tag.