Canon has recently renewed its range of DSLRs in its EOS for beginners range with the launch of the Canon EOS 100D and Canon EOS 700D. Arriving at the same time, the Canon EOS 100D slots into the lineup above the entry-level EOS 1100D, whereas the Canon EOS 700D is the direct replacement model for the Canon EOS 650D. On paper, the specifications of the two cameras look similar and there are only a few pounds to separate them in terms of price. This asks the question; which camera makes the better long-term investment? To give you a clearer idea of similarities and differences between these two cameras and to help you decide on which to choose, we’ve picked out the main talking points.
The Canon EOS 100D and EOS 700D were launched in March 2013 and at the time of their announcement, the former started at £699 with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens included, whereas the launch price for the EOS 700D with the same kit lens was £749. In the months since the cameras launch, the EOS 700D has dropped by £100 and as of the 13th May 2013, both cameras cost £649 with the 18-55mm kit lens.
For those looking at these cameras as upgrade options, the kit lens bundle won’t be necessary and the body-only price is the more tempting. The EOS 100D cost £569 body-only at the time of writing and this compares to £549 for the EOS 700D. These prices don’t take into account the current summer cash back offer that Canon are making available to both products, with a £40 saving to be made on the EOS 100D and £50 on the EOS 700D. Taking these savings into consideration, the EOS 100D can be picked up in body only form for £529, or £609 with the 18-55mm kit lens. The £50 saving on the 700D brings the price of the body to £499, or £599 with the kit lens. (Note all prices were correct and accurate on the 13th May 2013 and may be subject to change).
So as it stands, the pricing of the two cameras is very similar and that leads us on to answer the question; which of these two offers the better set of features, handling, performance and image quality? Check out the next few pages where we disclose this in more detail.
Size & Weight
Two of the greatest differences between these two cameras are their size and weight. The EOS 100D manages to shed all the weight and bulk that we associate with DSLRs to make it a slenderer model by comparison. The greatest achievement has been able to shed this bulk without having to modify the Canon EF-S lens mount. The 100D and 700D both feature the EF-S lens mount, making them compatible with Canon’s vast range of EF-S and EF lenses.
Whereas the 700D’s footprint measures 133.1 x 99.8 x 78.8mm, the EOS 100D is approximately 30% smaller and 10% thinner, which equates to a lot when they’re compared side-by-side. The 100D measures 116.8 x 90.7 x 69.4mm and has an advantage in that it’s much lighter too. The smaller body combined with the aluminum alloy and polycarbonate resin with carbon and glass fiber materials make it the lightest DSLR ever made at the time of writing.
The downside to its small size is the affect it has on handling. Though the 100D is a huge improvement on entry-level DSLRs, such as the EOS 1100D, the nature of its small size means your little finger has a tendency to drop off the bottom of the hand grip, whereas there’s more for you to wrap your fingers around on the 700D.
The 100D is also 30% lighter than the 700D. Body only, the Canon EOS 100D weighs a mere 407g body only with a battery and SD card inserted. The 700D weighs 580g body only in comparison. Those looking to travel light may prefer the weight benefits that the 100D has to offer and even by Compact System Camera standards, it’s a light camera to carry.
Sensor & Image Quality
The heart of the camera is one area where both cameras share similarities despite the Canon EOS 100D being significantly smaller than its bigger cousin. We’ll touch on the size and weight of the cameras in more detail shortly, but to overcome the reduction in size, Canon redesigned the sensor unit of the EOS 100D to make it smaller and fit within the confines of the 100D’s body.
Both the 100D and 700D feature an 18MP APS-C sized hybrid AF II CMOS sensor that has an output size of 5184×3456 pixels. With both cameras using the same sensor, it’s no great surprise to find that both also offer the same ISO sensitivity range. The native ISO range runs from ISO 100 to 12,800 with the option to then expand this further to an equivalent setting of ISO 25,600.
Inspecting the test images from both cameras revealed an identical set of results and there isn’t one that’s better than the other when it comes to the images that they produce. The 63-zone SPC metering system that both cameras adopt from previous Canon DSLRs such as the EOS 600D, 650D and 7D produces excellent exposures, with no apparent signs of either camera underexposing or overexposing. Both cameras also provide an Auto Lighting Optimizer, which can be used to retain as detail in highlight and shadowed areas, with three settings available – low, standard or high.
Colours from the 100D and 700D are just as you’d expect – neutral with no sign of colour cast. Auto white balance has a tendency to lean towards cooler and more neutral tones, so if you’d like your shots to be slightly warmer than they appear at the capture stage you may like to apply a low-opacity warming filter in Photoshop, or alternatively experiment with some of the in-built creative filters both cameras offer.
The performance from the 18MP sensor on both cameras is very respectable at high ISO. Colour noise does start to become an issue at ISO 1600 and above, though don’t be put off by this as it’s very easily taken care of provided you shoot in Raw. Take control of the Colour slider that’s listed beneath the detail tab and you’ll soon remove any colour noise to make it less distinct when shots are inspected under close scrutiny.
ISO 6400 is the limit at which we’d happily push the sensitivity to on a frequent basis. At ISO 12,800 softness is recognizable without zooming into images, so we’d advise to stay clear of the highest two sensitivity settings for the best results in low-light situations.
Although both cameras process the same volume of data, the 700D shoots faster than the 100D. This is a surprise considering the fact that both cameras feature a DIGIC 5 image processor and share a majority of the same internals. The maximum continuous speed at which you can shoot on the 100D is 4 frames per second (fps) and this is 1 frame per second slower than the 700D which shoots at 5fps.
The DIGIC 5 processor has been adopted from other DSLRs such as the EOS 6D and top-of-the-line EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 1DX. One feature neither camera offers is a quiet shutter release mode for discreet shooting – something that is offered on two key rivals to both cameras, the Nikon D3200 and Nikon D5200.
If you’re under the impression the 9-point AF system as used by the 100D is the same as the 700D’s you’re mistaken. Although the focus system on both cameras is identified as the TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor, the 700D features 9 cross-type AF points, whereas the 100D only has one in the centre.
For those who may be unaware of the differences, cross-type AF points are known to be more sensitive and accurate when it comes to AF acquisition. The EOS 700D makes the better choice if you demand the best AF performance for the money.
Both DSLRs also support touch AF, which enables you to touch the screen in Live View mode to ensure your AF point directly covers the subject you’re photographing. The other good news is that both the 100D and 700D offer continuous autofocus when recording HD video. The 18-55mm kit lens is also the STM variety, meaning it operates silently to ensure the microphone does not pick up whirring noises of the lens operating when the camera is recording.
A key difference between the EOS 100D and EOS 700D is the type of screen they feature. Though the physical dimensions of the screens measure 3inch in size and offer the same 1040k-dot resolution, the 100D’s is fixed compared to the 700D’s vari-angle design.
The 700D’s vari-angle screen is the more versatile of the two and will allow you to shoot better shots from low and high angles without any extra expense. What’s more, it will save you having to kneel on the ground or get high up to compose your shots when photographing subjects at anything but eye level.
Due to its weight loss, the 100D has no option but to use a smaller battery than the one as found within the 700D. The 100D’s rechargeable Li-ion battery (LP-E12) is claimed by the manufacturer to be good enough for 380 shots on a full charge. This is equivalent to 60 shots less than the 700D, which accepts a larger LP-E8 rechargeable Li-ion battery pack.
If you’re looking for a DSLR with a strong battery stamina to save you forever searching for a mains socket to charge the battery back up to full power, the EOS 700D makes the better choice compared to the EOS 100D.
There are a number of likenesses between the Canon EOS 100D and EOS 700D, but at the same time you’ll notice there are a few differences when you dig past their basic specifications and it’s clear that the cameras are aimed at slightly different audiences.
The 100D is out to target those looking for their first DSLR and photographers who don’t want to be bogged down by a heavy and cumbersome design. Opting for a small DSLR is all very well, but if you’re considering the 100D you must not forget that the size and handling is going to be somewhat compromised if you go and use it with a zoom lens.
Canon’s super-slim 40mm STM pancake lens would be an ideal lens for the 100D if you’d like to keep it small, but of course you would then be slightly more limited by a fixed focal length. If size and weight aren’t your main concerns, the 700D will make the better buy and will provide you with a more advanced set of features for the money.
The AF system is more sophisticated, it offers a faster burst for continuous shooting and the Vari-angle screen will come into its own in many different shooting situations. That’s not to mention battery life, which is also superior and will allow you to shoot for longer before a recharge is required. Although both cameras scored similarly overall in our individual reviews, the Canon EOS 700D would be our pick of the two if you’re looking for the best all-round DSLR. You can find the links to our individual reviews below.