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Canon EOS 1100D Digital Camera Review

canon20120520aa.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Ashley Akers 


As a kid with a love for electronics or perhaps what would turn out to be a financial curse, I couldn’t help but always find myself pulling things apart. Whether it be to find out how they worked (note past tense) or to make my own contraption or machine, it tended to be a common past time. One of the things you come to realize in this destructive creativity, is the shortcuts manufacturers make to reduce costs. Cheaper units tend to always be sold as is. No hope for upgrade, no hope to be repaired. Once it’s outdated or broken you discard it and buy another. The simplest of examples was in the case of glueing instead of soldering and taping instead of screwing. The gap between upgradable quality and expendable cheapness was often financially impossible to bridge. When Canon releases a range of entry level DSLR cameras for a competitive price barely more than the top range compact cameras you can’t help but feel the need to jump to the purchase. In the case of the Canon EOS 1100D it’s no difference and one of the main advantages of cashing out slightly more to enter the DSLR market is the upgradeability of an interchangeable lens system and optional accessories.  

 

Appearance and functionality


The Canon 1100D is a smaller version of the top end DSLRs in terms of shape. It feels solid and is assembled well. While the body is smooth plastic and the hand grip tends to be lacking on the grip side of things, there’s no choice but to feel comfort when holding a DSLR. The buttons are slightly indented which adds to the whole smooth feel of the camera and it’s aesthetic drawing.

canon20120520ab.jpgThe 1100D has a dial on top for easy navigation through menus and to ease the adjustment of settings and exposure if you’re ready for the more customizable, manual approach to photography. While higher model DSLRs and even top end compacts show the appearance of a second dial on the back which tends to add to ease of menu and setting control the 1100D is lacking slightly. In replace of this 4 directional navigation buttons are present which turn out to be more than adequate for all your basic needs.

All the usual functions are present including full manual, full auto and video. Options to change settings that relate to exposure can either be changed by the easily set out LCD screen which lists them all on the front page so you don’t have to search through menu after menu to find them. Most of them can also be altered by dedicated quick buttons spread across the body.

The 1100D can also shoot at a handy 3fps useful for capturing everyone looking and smiling in a big group of family members or for capturing a fast moment without  the possibility of potentially missing the shot. 

 

Image Quality / Lens Quality

 

While this review is mostly focused on the body of the Canon 1100D an 18 - 135mm f3.5 - 5.6 Lens was used for testing.

The options that an interchangeable lens system provides can greatly increase the abilities of the Canon 1100D. Whether it be increasing zoom range, increasing the wide angle of view, or increasing the aperture, the opportunities are only as endless as your budget can stretch, and with many cheaper options of high quality lenses it might not have to stretch as far as you think.

canon20120520ac.jpgIncrease the wide angle for that entire group shot of the whole party attendance. Increase the zoom range for that closeup shot of your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts or grandparents! Attach a lens that’ll allow you to open the aperture up to better capture low light scenes such as blowing the candles out at a birthday, a christmas dinner, an evening Australia day BBQ, a night out on the town or a children’s school concert. The possibilities are endless.

Don’t let that fool you into thinking you have to spend extra dollars to get the most out of the 1100D. The most commonly bundled kit lenses have enough quality and enough range to get you by.

With a kit lens such as the one used for tests in this review the EOS 1100D does a considerably good job in low light situations as it is. ISO ranges from ISO100 to ISO6400. On the lower to mid side of that range values from ISO100 through to ISO1600 show no to an only very slight inkling of grain in images. Push it to ISO3200 or ISO6400 and grain appears more with each step up to a medium level, however images still remain useable.

Whether you’re keen to get into the specifics of photography and want a more customizable option or are happy to let the camera do all the work you won’t be disappointed with the quality of images that are produced. Outdoor and indoor colours appear naturally and lifelike and skin tones are reproduced well. Images are clear and sharp at all levels of zoom which is helped along if you’re bundled with an IS or Image Stabilizer lens. Auto WB or White Balance handles well in accurately interpreting the scene and relaying that colour balance to interpret images correctly. 

 

LCD / Viewfinder


canon20120520af.jpgThe almost 7cm LCD screen on the Canon EOS 1100D gives an accurate high quality representation of how the final images will turn out when displayed on a larger computer screen or TV. The colours are vibrant and images are clear.

The Canon 1100D has both options to either shoot in live view or through the viewfinder which gives an exact through the lens view of the scene. Either way works fine depending on your skills and familiarities with photography. However, while focus is instant when shooting through the viewfinder it tends to take a few seconds to focus accurately when using the LCD screen.

 

Video


canon20120520ad.jpgWatching video thats been shot on a DSLR is like shooting candy out of your TV. The quality, bokeh and cinematic videos you can get with the system on the 1100D won’t disappoint. While this Canon only shoots in a 720p HD resolution, even videos at this resolution won’t disappoint.
If you’re graced with a lens that has Image Stabilization abilities, this will definitely increase the quality and watchability of your videos.

The Canon 1100D unfortunately has no autofocus capabilities in video mode and focusing has to be done manually on the lens. This can potentially create problems if you don’t have a sharp eye but when the positive involves amazing video quality then you can’t complain.

As zoom levels are controlled by rotating the lens you can quickly and easily zoom in and out of scenes ensuring you won’t miss any moments due to slow or lack of zoom abilities as present in some of the cheaper compact cameras. 

 





Conclusion

 

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The ability to enter a quality market thats controlled by a lot of expensive, fancy cameras and get a similar range of features and upgradability cannot be ignored. While the Canon EOS 1100D is the cheapest and most basic of Canon’s DSLR range there is no denying it’s usability. The ability to upgrade lenses and add accessories is a feature you can only dream of in a compact camera. The inclusion of fast continuous shooting or 720p HD video will also be a welcome addition to better improve your photos and videos. If you’re looking for a stepping stone into the high end professional or enthusiast level of DSLR for the aspiring photographer then the Canon 1100D is for you. If you’re looking to upgrade from a compact for that added flexibility and quality then the Canon 1100D is for you. If you looking to get the best bang for your buck then the Canon 1100D is for you. In fact you can’t help thinking it’s for everyone and will satisfy the majority of needs from the majority of users.

 

Accessories Used During Testing:

Tamrac Areo 60 / 3360 Bag  

SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s SD Card

 

Recommended Retailer:

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View / Buy The Canon EOS 1100D  

 

 

Appearance rating 4 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
3.5 stars
Video quality
3.5 stars
Lens quality
3.5 stars
LCD screen (Rear)
4 stars
Value for money 3 stars
Street Price - Body Only $479
Street Price - Body, 18-55mm & 75-300mm
$849
SPACER.GIF  
Effective Pixels 12.2 Megpixels
Sensor Type
CMOS sensor
Image Sizes 5 Sizes / 5 Aspect Ratios
Lens 15.1 (W) - 60.4mm (T) (35mm film equivalent: 28 (W) - 112mm (T)
Lens Mount
-
Resolution Settings: Stills L (Large):        Approx. 12.20 megapixels (4272 x 2848)
M (Medium):    Approx. 6.30 megapixels (3088 x 2056)
S1 (Small 1):   Approx. 3.40 megapixels (2256 x 1504)
S2 (Small 2):   Approx. 2.50 megapixels (1920 x 1280)
S3 (Small 3):   Approx. 350,000 pixels (720 x 480)
RAW:              Approx. 12.20 megapixels (4272 x 2848)
Resolution Settings: Video 1280 x 720 (HD)
30p (29.97fps), 25p (25.00fps)
Face Detection Yes
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Shutter Priority Yes
Shutter Speeds Electronically-controlled, focal-plane shutter
1/4000sec. to 1/60sec. (Full Auto mode), X-sync at 1/200sec.
1/4000sec. to 30secs., bulb (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode.)
ISO Automatically set within ISO 100 - 6400
LCD Monitor Type: TFT colour, liquid-crystal monitor
Monitor size: 2.7-in. with approx. 230,000 dots
Brightness: Manual (7 levels)
Interface languages: 25
Feature guide: Displayable
Viewfinder Type: Eye-level pentamirror
Coverage: Vertical / Horizontal approx. 95% (with Eye point approx. 21mm)
Magnification: Approx. 0.8x (-1m-1 with 50mm lens at infinity)
Eyepoint: Approx. 21mm (From eyepiece lens center at -1m-1)
Built-in dioptric adjustment: Approx. -2.5 - +0.5m-1 (dpt)
Focusing screen: Fixed, Precision Matte
Mirror: Quick-return type
Depth-of-field preview: Enabled with Custom Function setting
Flash Builtin-In, Retractable, auto pop-up flash
Guide No: Approx. 9.2 / 30 (at ISO 100 in meters / feet)
Approx: 13 / 43 (at ISO 200 in meters / feet)
Flash coverage approx: 17mm lens angle of view
Recycling time approx: 2secs
Hot Shoe No
White Balance Auto, Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light, White fluorescent light, Flash), Custom
* White balance correction and white balance bracketing features provided.
* Flash colour temperature information communication provided.
Self Timer Single shooting, continuous shooting, self-timer with 10-secs. or 2-secs. delay and 10-secs. delay with continuous shooting
Stills Format/s
JPEG, RAW (14-bit Canon original)
RAW+JPEG Large simultaneous recording possible
Video Format/s MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 Variable (average) bit rate
Video Recording Time/s -
Storage Type - External SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
Storage Type - Internal
 
Connectivity Digital terminal: For personal computer communication and direct printing (Hi-Speed USB equivalent)
HDMI mini OUT terminal: Type C (Auto switching of resolution), CEC-compatible
Remote control terminal: For Remote Switch RS-60E3
Power Source AC Adapter Kit ACK-E10
Battery Options Battery Pack LP-E10
Battery Life With viewfinder shooting:
Approx. 700 shots at 23°C / 73°F
Approx. 650 shots at 0°C / 32°F

With Live View shooting:
Approx. 220 shots at 23°C / 73°F
Approx. 210 shots at 0°C / 32°F

Movie shooting time:
Total approx. 1hr. 50mins. at 23°C / 73°F
Total approx. 1hr. 30mins. at 0°C / 32°F
(With a fully-charged Battery Pack LP-E10)
Dimensions 129.9 mm (W) x 99.7mm (H) x 77.9mm
Weight Approx. 495g / 17.5oz. (CIPA Guidelines)
Approx. 450g / 15.9oz. (Body only)
















 


 

 
 
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