Canon EOS 1000D review (Rebel XS)
Review Date : Mon, 1 Sep 2008
Author : Matt Golowczynski
The Canon EOS 1000D (Rebel XS in the US) is Canon's smallest, lightest and cheapest entry-level DSLR to date.
|Pros:||Consistent image quality, good noise control, size and weight, good kit lens, effective lens IS|
|Cons:||Ergonomics and finish, value for money, menu infrastructure, small buffer, some WB issues|
Five years ago Canon broke the sub-£1000 threshold with its EOS 300D model, marking the start of DSLR affordability. These days, however, you have to leapfrog over offerings like the Nikon D40, Olympus E-420 and Sony A200 to reach Canon's cheapest DSLR - the EOS 400D.
However, with newcomers like Samsung and Sony competeing against established brands such as Canon and Nikon for a slice of the entry-level market, DSLRs have been driven down in price and are now cheaper than ever before. Unfortunately for Canon, this means it's no longer the most affordable option.
But Canon has taken note, and its response is the Canon EOS 1000D (Rebel XS in the US). As the smallest, lightest and cheapest DSLR it has launched so far, Canon is targeting the model at compact and cameraphone owners tempted by the thought of a DSLR but who are yet to make the transition.
Canon EOS 1000D review - Features
Canon 1000D review - Headline Specs
If comparing specifications side
by side, you'll see that the EOS 1000D sits neatly between the 400D and
450D. It admittedly shares more in common with the latter model, though the headline spec - namely the 10.1MP CMOS sensor and 2.5in LCD screen - have remained from the 400D. And while the 1000D doesn't technically replace the 400D, Canon has said that its arrival corresponds with the latter model's discontinuation. With the APS-C sensor measuring 22.2 x 14.8mm, all mounted lenses are subject to a crop factor of 1.6x. The 18-55mm kit lens, therefore, produces an effective range of approximately 29-88mm, with the mount accepting Canon's EF and EF-S range of optics. Impressively there's no loss of functionality, even when using the oldest EF lenses.
EOS 1000D review - Maximum Image Size
A pixel configuration of 3888 x 2592 pixels allows for images to be printed - theoretically at least - to 13 x 8.5in at 300dpi, though experience shows that larger prints up to and above A3 are also attainable. Images are stored in either Raw or JPEG formats, or a combination of the two, with three JPEG sizes and three compression ratios to choose from.
Canon EOS 1000D test - Processing & Metering
Keeping processing in line with most recent Canon DSLRs, the camera features the company's DIGIC III processing technology. This is said to help reduce noise in images and maintain a swift operational speed, and helps the camera to maintain a JPEG burst mode of up to 3fps, up to the capacity of the memory card. In Raw capture this rate drops to 1.5fps, up to a maximum of five images.
A 35-zone metering system offers evaluative, partial, and centreweighted average options, though the 450D's option of spot metering hasn't been included here. Likewise, the Highlight Tone Priority option has also been omitted from the Custom Functions menu, though the Auto Lighting Optimiser has remained. Its purpose is in correcting brightness and contrast in either low-contrast images, those subject to trickier lighting conditions such as backlighting, or where insufficient flash, if used, has reached the subject.
Canon EOS 1000D review - AF System
Focusing features a seven-point wide-area system, with five horizontal points along the middle of the frame, and one each above and below these. The system features one f/5.6 cross-type centre point and is linked to a trio of focusing options to cater for both stationary and moving subject matter.
Autofocus operation is also possible when using the camera's live view mode, with the choice of Quick and Live focusing options. As its name suggests, the Quick mode is the zappier of the two, though a short mirror blackout is necessary for the camera to autofocus. The Live mode, meanwhile, allows an uninterrupted view of the camera focusing, but as it uses contrast rather than phase detection it's noticeably slower - the reason being that focusing is performed off the camera's main imaging sensor, rather than the dedicated AF sensor with which ‘standard' autofocusing is carried out.
Canon 1000D test - Rear LCD
An LCD screen measuring 2.5 inches sits on the back of the camera, and features the 230,000 dot resolution that is standard for this type of model. Its brightness may be adjusted over seven levels to compensate for awkward lighting conditions, and the display may be customised to one of four colour themes - perfect for the young and trendy, or indeed, the not so young for whom different text and background combinations may be easier to read than others.
Canon EOS 1000D review - Sensitivity Range
Finally, the camera's sensitivity range may be adjusted in full-stop increments over a range of ISO 100-1600. This range is admittedly a little limited by current standards, though Canon has stressed that this is for performance's sake. In other words, it's happy enough with results at ISO 1600, but obviously not past this.