What Digital Camera reviews the Canon EOS 1100D. Watch our video review here...

Canon EOS 1100D review video – summary transcript of video

This new entry-level DSLR has a 12.2 MP CMOS sensor. It also has a 9-point autofocus system, in addition to a new 720p HD movie recording mode.

The Canon EOS 1100D has everything you would expect from an entry-level DSLR but we do have one or two qualms about the actual design. The smooth plasticay finish doesn’t necessarily feel the greatest and there’s no proper hold on the grip.

Furthermore, underneath the SD slot joins the battery compartment, which if you’re mounting on a tripod can cause a problem if you need to access the card during shooting.

The Canon EOS 1100D offers a 9-point autofocus system, which is a slightly wider array than the 7-point autofocus system that the 1000D offered. There’s also a single button that allows the single autofocus point to be selected either individually or all of them used automatically as well.

On the rear of the camera there’s a 95% field of view optical viewfinder, which basically means that what you frame in the viewfinder misses out 5% of what the final shot will actually have. This is very standard for an entry level DSLR and for most people isn’t going to cause a particularly big issue for what you’re composing. Below this there’s a 2.7″ 230,000 dot LCD screen. It’s perhaps a bit of a disappointing that this isn’t actually a larger screen, as most of the competition will offer a 3″ screen and considering the amount of space available it seems disappointing that Canon haven’t jumped ahead of the competition to offer something greater.

When shooting in video mode you have to flip the top dial to the video setting otherwise it won’t be possible to get the 16 to 9 live preview. Video mode itself is a 720p HD recording, which is a pretty decent quality, although there are some issues with the Live View in slow focusing which will come through in the final shot that you take. You can manual focus if you’d rather. Although there’s not full manual controls across the board, such as adjusting aperture during recording, it is possible to fix the exposure using the exposure lock button.

In terms of image quality the Canon EOS 1100D uses the latest 63-zone iFCL, which stands for Intelligent Focus Colour Luminance. This does a very fine job indeed and even bright skies don’t entirely dominate a scene, which ensures there’s enough detail throughout.

Although softness can also be a bit of an issue, overall the image quality is the best that you can get from an entry level DSLR. It’s easily on par with that in the Nikon D3100.

The Canon EOS 1100D is the latest entry level DSLR to reach the market and as such is priced fairly high up at about £500 (launch price). This will come down over time, although it may be a bone of contention for some people at the moment. There are cheaper options out there but overall this camera offers that little bit extra that you can’t get from some of the competitors.

The image quality combined with the performance from the autofocus system essentially makes this the best DSLR there is at the entry level end of the market. There are one or two issues, such as the smooth finish to the body and the softness from the 18-55mm lens, but otherwise it’s a very decent performer indeed that we awarded 89% and our recommended award.