The Canon EOS 1000D (Rebel XS in the US) is Canon's smallest, lightest and cheapest entry-level DSLR to date.
Image Quality & Value
Canon EOS 1000D review – Image Quality
EOS 1000D review – Raw and JPEG
It’s unreasonable to expect perfect JPEGs from any camera, though there’s quite a difference between Raw and JPEG files from the 1000D. On the plus side, highlights are generally tamed well in JPEGs, giving them a little more detail. There are times, however, when detail is poorly resolved. Fortunately, the bundled Digital Photo Professional software does an excellent job in handling files from the camera and boasts a range of tools to deal with removing lens artifacts among other things.
Canon EOS 1000D test – Exposure
The 35-zone evaluative metering system is aggressively accurate, with only scenes dominated by highlights causing it to underexpose. The lack of spot metering made close-up macro shots slightly more difficult to predict in terms of judging exposure, though partial metering performed well in these circumstances.
Canon 1000D test – Image Noise
As with the 450D, and indeed previous EOS models, the lack of noise in high-sensitivity images is something of which Canon can stand proud. Images at the highest sensitivity of ISO 1600 show just a modicum of chroma noise in midtone areas, with detail and sharpness maintained to an impressive degree, and colour representative of the same image were it shot at a lower sensitivity. Even if the model doesn’t represent the best value as an overall package, it wins hands-down over the competition with regards to higher-sensitivity shooting.
Canon 1000D review – Tone and Contrast
In natural light with the appropriate white balance tonality is also good, though issues occur indoors with other lighting sources.
Canon EOS 1000D review – Colour and White Balance
Colour is generally good and the various Picture Styles lend themselves well to different subjects and conditions. Given that each white balance preset (aside from the auto and manual options) is calibrated to one particular colour temperature, there are times when using the correctly assumed setting will result in a slight colour cast. This makes the reliability of the Auto WB system even more of an issue, and on the whole the system is fairly accurate. The most challenging conditions to the system are artificial lighting, with images at times turning out with a warm bias under both tungsten and fluorescent lighting. Side-by-side comparison with images from the 40D shows that the 1000D does display greater neutrality.
Canon EOS 1000D test – Sharpness and Detail
Images, on the whole, are detailed and show good sharpness. JPEGs can appear quite soft though, particularly in comparison with the standard of Raw files, though even with the kit lens acceptably sharp results can be had. I’d recommend against adjusting the sharpening in-camera too much, as edge haloing can make itself known at higher settings, or alternatively to leave files to post-processing.
Canon EOS 1000D review – Value For Money
Too Little Too Late
Unfortunately, with regards to value for money it’s a case of too little too late. Had Canon released this model towards the start of the year, its slight fall in value would have pitched it better towards the competing models which have already enjoyed a good six months or so on the market. The fact that it hasn’t makes it comparatively expensive, even more so now that equivalent offerings from Olympus and Sony (incidentally, those with Canon’s omitted features such as spot metering and dynamic range adjustment) can be had for around £300. I appreciate Canon marketing this as a small, lightweight and easy-to-use model, but even if just compared with its own EOS line, I find it hard to recommend it over the 450D that is equally simple to use and better specified, and so providing more growing room in terms of its feature set – for no additional outlay