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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Canon EOS Digital Rebel

Canon Digital Cameras


Canon EOS Digital Rebel Review

Review Date: Nov 24, 2003

Category: Serious to Advanced Amateur

Canon EOS Digital Rebel


Executive Summary

This Canon EOS Digital Rebel Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.

Stepping Stones In The Sky: 1/400 sec., F5 and ISO 100
Stepping Stones In The Sky:
18mm, A-DEP, Evaluative, Parameter 1
1/400 sec., F5.0 and ISO 100
Level and brightness adjusted in Photoshop Elements
Rotated 180 degrees

The EOS Digital Rebel simply bests the best of the prosumer digital cameras with its excellent resolution, virtually noise-free images at high ISOs, low-light capability, virtually no shutter lag for fast response times, excellent AF, easy to use dedicated buttons for less reliance on the MENU, and an attractive and affordable price point.

It should appeal to serious amateur photographers who are willing to put forth the effort to learn and master its capabilities, as well as to advanced amateur photographers who appreciate its excellent image quality and fast response times.

There are two features that are a bit controversial and that you have to evaluate the importance of for your particular style of photography:

  • AI Focus AF. Canon provides an excellent One Shot AF system whereby you can specify one of seven AF points as your default, or allow the camera to select among all seven automatically. (I personally like the fact that I do not need to go into the MENU to switch AF point but can do so quickly and easily by simply pressing the dedicated AF button and rotating the Main dial.) In addition, there is also AI Servo AF where the camera will track a moving subject up until exposure time; this is great for sports and wildlife photography. The controversy arises because the switch from One Shot AF to AI Servo AF is automatic, Canon having decided not to give you the option to enable or disable it. Depending on your particular style of photography, this automatic switch (which seems to only occur under certain specific conditions: see the User's Experience section) may or may not be an issue.
  • Evaluative metering is the default metering (Center-weighted metering is default in Manual mode). Partial metering ('Spot' at 9% of center area of screen) is instantly available at the touch of the AE Lock button. I personally like this arrangement since I usually default to Evaluative anyway and only switch to Partial for certain difficult lighting situations. Again, a non-issue for me, but you must evaluate your particular style of photography and decide if this is or isn't an issue for you.

If you decide these two features are non-issues for you, and you are looking to move into digital SLR at an attractive and affordable price point, then the EOS Digital Rebel currently stands unchallenged.

With its large image sensor, the EOS Digital Rebel is able to provide superb image quality resolution that has up to now been reserved only for the expensive professional dSLRs. You can use high ISOs (up to ISO 400) with virtually no noise penalty. Think low-light photography without flash; think candid shots with virtually no shutter lag; think fast and responsive auto focus; think usable precise manual focus; think unlimited photographic horizon....

The EOS Digital Rebel of course takes interchangeable lenses (including Canon's famous IS -- Image Stabilized -- zoom lenses), optionally provides 10 different dioptric lenses for those who wear glasses, a remote controller, an angle finder, a battery grip, and a number of external flash speedlights (including a macro ring light).

Initially I set the EOS Digital Rebel in the Beginner Amateur Photographer category. I have now revised and set it in the Serious Amateur to Advanced Amateur category. The EOS Digital Rebel is not for Point-and-Shoot photographers or Beginner Amateur photographers who are not willing to invest some time to learn the camera and photography in general. But for the serious amateur photographer desiring professional image quality and willing to spend the time to learn how to obtain it, the EOS Digital Rebel is currently the camera to go for, no contest.

See if you fit the Canon EOS Dgital Rebel User Profile below:

Canon EOS Digital Rebel
User Profile
Desire a quality 6+ MP resolution digital SLR camera with superb professional image resolution.
Want fast response times with virtually no shutter lag.
Want low-light capability, including usable and virtually noise-free high ISOs, and fast and precise auto focus.
Want interchangeable lenses.
Want the best value for money in the dSLR category.
Have a desire to learn about photography.

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