Canon EOS Digital Rebel Review
Date: Nov 24, 2003
Handling & Feel
Canon EOS Digital Rebel is smaller and
lighter than other dSLRs, with dimensions of 142W
x 99H x 72.4D mm (5.6W x 3.9H x 2.9D in.) and
weighing 560g (19.7 oz.) without the battery,
recording media card, and lens. It is constructed
from a mixture of plastic and magnesium alloy
and feels very solid, with a comfortable hand
Operating the EOS Digital Rebel is a two-handed
affair, with the left hand on the zoom ring, and
the right hand holding the grip and doing most
of the buttons pressing and Main dial rotating.
There are dedicated buttons for the common functions
such as exposure compensation, selecting an AF
point, Program Shift, ISO, WB, and drive mode.
Because the LCD monitor does not display an image
for shooting purposes but only for image reviewing
purposes, you hold the EOS Digital Rebel the traditional
way: your eye against the bright and large viewfinder
eyepiece. This provides a somewhat steadier stance
and, combined with the smooth electromagnetic
shutter release, allows for less camera shake.
though the viewfinder of the EOS Digital Rebel
is a pentamirror instead of a pentaprism, it is
clear and bright enough to make manual focusing
a delight. Exposure information (AE/FE Lock, Flash
ready, Shutter Speed, Aperture and Exposure Compensation,
Maximum Burst, Focus confirmation) display at
the bottom of the viewfinder in easy to read Green
Canon provides a comfortable neck strap which
includes an eyepiece cover to block any stray
light coming through the eyepiece when taking
long shutter speeds shots.
Battery door is at the bottom of the camera, and
the CompactFlash I / II memory card goes through
a door in the grip. The rubber terminal cover
housing the USB, AV and DC connectors could do
with a hinge that allows it to swing open a bit
who are new to SLR cameras will wonder what the
small black button at the bottom left of the lens
mount is. It is the depth of field preview button.
Press it and the lens will close down to the metered
aperture, thus allowing you to preview the actual
depth of field. It is good to develop the habit
of checking the DOF to ensure you have your subject(s)
Since the EOS Digital Rebel takes interchangeable
lenses, you have to get used to the fact that
you now have a lens cover which can be easily
misplaced. The flash is activated automatically
in certain modes or by manually pressing the flash
A-DEP, Evaluative, Parameter 1
55 mm, 1/1,250 sec., F5.6 and ISO 100
Levels adjusted in Photoshop Elements
1.8 in. LCD has an excellent 118,000 pixels resolution
for reviewing images after you have taken them.
You can set the review time in the MENU at 2,
4, 8 sec. or Hold. If you like to carefully review
your images after you have taken them, you can
safely set the review time to Hold. A slight press
of the shutter release button instantly dismisses
the image and the camera is instantly ready to
take the next picture.
Startup time is about 3 sec. There is no appreciable
shutter lag thanks to a 4-shot buffer. Once the
buffer is full, you have to wait until the images
in the buffer are written out to memory card before
you can take pictures again. A Large Fine image
takes about 4 sec. to write to card but, thanks
to the buffer, this goes on in the background
while you take the next shot.
AF works wonderfully in all lighting conditions,
including low-light. If you manually pop up the
flash, the camera will use one or more small bursts
of flash to aid in focusing in very dim conditions
(including complete darkness). AF takes about
1/2 to 1 sec. with a tiny red light blinking once
to indicate the selected AF point. If you have
enabled it in the MENU, there is also an audible
beep when focus is achieved. Since the low-light
AF assist is obtained using the flash, it means
that the flash will fire. If you prefer not to
use the flash, auto focus might not be possible
in too dark conditions -- in this case, switch
to manual focus! Manual focus is achieved the
traditional way via a focus ring at the tip of
is no need to ever access the MENU in shooting
mode since there is a dedicated button for every
common function. This is mostly accomplished by
pressing a button and rotating the Main dial.
Press the AF point selector button and rotate
the Main dial to quickly select an AF point. Press
the AE Lock button and rotate the Main dial to
select a positive or negative exposure compensation.
Press the Drive mode selection button repeatedly
to switch from Single shot to Continuous to Self-timer/Remote
Control. Press the ISO speed set button and rotate
the Main dial to select an ISO. Press the White
Balance button and rotate the Main dial to select
a white balance. Press the AE Lock button to switch
from Evaluative (or Center-weighted average, if
in Manual mode) to Partial metering mode. There
is even a LCD panel illumination button.
is regretably only at 10 sec. I believe we have
been spoiled by a choice of 10 or 2 sec. being
offered in many consumer digital cameras, the
latter time being especially useful to eliminate
camera shake when taking macro or long exposure
shots. If you cannot wait for the 10 sec., purchase
either the optional Remore Switch RS-60E3 or the
Remore Controller RC-5.
tripod socket is metallic and inline with the
lens, making taking panorama shots quite easy.
It is also far from the battery compartment, allowing
the battery to be changed without having to remove
the camera from the tripod.
If you hear a slight noise when you gently shake
the camera, it's just the flash hinges. Pop the
flash up and the noise goes away.
the body of the EOS Digital Rebel and the EF-S
18-55mm lens are made in Taiwan, but you wouldn't
know it by the excellent quality of the construction.
The EF-S 18-55mm lens supplied with the kit approximates
a 28-90mm zoom lens in 35mm format. Those into
telephoto shots might want to purchase the new
EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 II USM lens that covers
a 35mm equivalent zoom range of approximately