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Old Sep 29, 2003, 5:00 AM   #1
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Default One mans view of the Canon Digital Rebel [aka 300D]

Some background. Once a keen amateur, now devoted to digital. Owned several digital cameras, currently Sony 717 and Oly E-100RS. Both excellent cameras in their specific fields.

My Sony 717, which for my purposes suits me better than any other digicam I have come across, is away at Sony for service for the second time in its short 11 month life, and I am losing faith in it. I decided to have a look at what I might buy to replace it, and in view of the euphoria surrounding the Canon digital Rebel, or the 300D as it is known in the uk, that was the first to look at.


My first reaction in the hand, was the sheer size of the thing. My 717 is a biggish camera and the E-100RS even bigger, to the extent that there are occasions when I should have one with me "just in case", but I don't bother because of the size. But this Canon is in a different league. It is a real big lump. Not too heavy, just too big for me. Oh dear, I almost walked right then, but I stuck with it.

Then it appeared that the thing had no batteries, because despite being switched on, nothing I could do would let me use the LCD screen as a finder. And then it clicked. This thing really is an SLR, so I only have an eye level finder, no option to use the screen as a viewfinder. Nobody told me that! Now I have really enjoyed the ease of composition that a screen gives me, right back to the days of reversed views on Rollies and the removable prism on my Nikon F. Apalled by the prospect, I non-the less still stuck with it. No rotating eye level viewer either so this camera is always held up at eye level. And for low level shots? I guess I'm back to lying about on the grass.
Ok, stick with it and see how it zooms. 3 to 1, and only f3.5? To quote a famous tennis player, "you cannot be serious". Little wonder they are almost giving away this lens and are not selling it separate from the camera. I don't want to go back to the days of carrying a sackfull of extra lenses. Having to carry spare batteries for my current cameras is bad enough.

What a disappointment. Many of the facilities that I enjoy in my digital cameras, abandoned at a stroke. Not the imager and algorithms of course, they are no doubt state of the art. But gone are my biggish zoom at a big aperture, and my viewing screen, and my rotating finder.

I appreciate that nothing I have written about, addresses the picture quality that this Canon camera can produce, and for some, that is ultimately just about all that matters. It may produce the ultimate low noise image, and it may print ever-so-slightly bigger than a 5mpixel camera, and it may have low shutter lag, but as a relatively well informed and capable amateur, who never prints greater than A4, there are many digital cameras that will do an excellent job for me.

But I want more then mere optical performance.

I want the ease of handling that comes with modern digicams such as top of the range Sony and Minolta, not some lump of male jewelery that will make me feel one of the "in croud" of pseudo-pros.
I am sure that the Canon Digital Rebel will produce superb results in the right hands, and will sell like hot cakes. Some wit said that the definition of a man was someone who at birth came out of a woman and spends most of his adult life trying t get back in again. This camera will satisfy all those picture takers who came out of SLR's, and cannot wait to get back in again. But to me, and many like me who enjoy the convenience of the modern highly developed digicam, this, the only digital slr I have held in my hand, was a geat disppointment.
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 5:07 PM   #2
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Default SORRY!

Sorry that your so disappointed.
Hope you get time to tell us about every other camera
that disappoints you.
Some people on these forums obviously devote more time
to being camera critics than photographers.
To each his own, it entertains some of us, not all.

As for myself, I was going to hold off to see what the 828
really demonstrates, but I think I'm already persuaded to buy
the Rebel as soon as the price settles down a little!
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 5:30 PM   #3
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kcemb

I have always thought that dslr would be nice until I look at the specs on the size of the camera and then I back off. I preferr the digital cameras that have full manual controls, lcd panels, and are compact. I now carry the Oly C740 and the C4040 and am very happy with these models. I always visit a store so that I can handle the camera before I buy it. I hope you can sell the camera and purchase the camera you want.
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 5:39 PM   #4
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Gibsonpd3620, I don't think Ken bought the Rebel. It looks like he just checked it out in the store.

Divco-honda, is Ken in the habit of writing negative camera reviews? If so I hadn't noticed.
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 5:46 PM   #5
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Josuha

That is good that he did not buy it.
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 6:33 PM   #6
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I agree with kcemb. I too don't like the size of the DSLR's currently on the market. I hike and camp a lot with my gear so I like light. Also - try being inconspicous in the main square of Sante Fe with one of these "big lumps". People notice, which would make candid shots more difficult. I've been shooting with first an Olympus C-700 and then a C-730 for the past 18 months with very good results from such a small camera. It's weaknesses (purple fringing in low-light or backlit shots) can be tweaked in Photoshop. I'm waiting to see the Olympus E-1 and if it's smaller size is going to be small enough......and nothing wrong with posting an honest review as long as it is respectful in tone.
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 8:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fporch
DSLR's currently on the market. I hike and camp a lot with my gear so I like light.
Indeed, I'm looking forward to next holliday as unplanned power exercise \;-)/
However when going to unique places far or closeby, photography is definitly part of the trip. I like the idea that the result will be my home baked 'national geographic' collection with details, not with excuses to the camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fporch
Also - try being inconspicous in the main square of Sante Fe with one of these "big lumps". People notice, which would make candid shots more difficult. I've been shooting with first an Olympus C-700 and
People react indeed different on a small camera compared to a slr. Even the boldest guys go into strange duckwalks to avoid being in a scene captured by slr...A small camera helps to keep the busy town square populated, but most small digital cameras are quite slow in response... Many shots taken with my ol' Canon Ixus were ruined because framing was next to impossible with lively scenes.
Not to mention the constant swapping of batteries, because the smaller the camera, the less room for battery, the less Ampere the battery can hold.

Kcemb, I see your point in not being able to use lcd as viewfinder, it has its advantages; D-slrs are much faster and easy with power consumption. And the traditional viewfinder (which is quite good on slr's) have hardly a problem with too dark or too bright :-)
(unless you are doing something stupid)
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 9:57 PM   #8
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All good points!
Quote:
I'm waiting to see the Olympus E-1 and if it's smaller size is going to be small enough......and nothing wrong with posting an honest review as long as it is respectful in tone.
From Steve's reviews:
o 300D - 5.6"x3.9"x2.9" 560g
o E1 - 5.6"x4.1"x3.2" 660g
However a Pentax *ist is only 5.1"x3.7"x2.4" but weight 650g because it has a prism like E1. I guess the penta-mirror in the 300D accounts for the weight saving!

As a reference the new Sony:
o F828 - 6 3/16" x 3 9/16" x 5 5/16" and 955g (2lb 3oz).... Not so light or small even if one adds the EF-S 18-55mm (190g) to the 300D...
There's always the Minolta A1 (4.61" x 3.35" x 4.47" @ 560g including the lens)! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 10:58 PM   #9
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NHL - THX for the nice specs comparison. Looks like all of these are going to be "big lumps" - I love that quote! Geez, all I want is the perfect camera, an SLR that will fit in my coat pocket with a few lenses, flash and a extra battery. It seems all the best minds in digital are busy putting cameras in smaller and smaller phones...... :twisted: Maybe I'll just buy the Olympus 5050 and 5060 to compliemnt my C-730 - be just like switching lenses...... :!:

Here's my website that I am shamelessly promoting if you'd like to see what I'm getting with my C-730 and some light editing in Photoshop Elements. THX!

http://community.webshots.com/user/johnwmitchell100
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Old Sep 30, 2003, 6:21 AM   #10
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The rebel is not for everyone. Medium format is not for everyone, large format is surely not for everyone. But they still excel at what they are doing. For quality, the rebel kicks ass and compact cameras cant even compete with. So we must remember that just because one camera cant do it all, doesn't mean its bad.
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