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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 

Image Quality

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel is a digital camera targeted to serious and advanced amateur photographers and its image quality is comparable to other 6 megapixels resolution professional digital SLR cameras. It produces image quality professionals make a living by -- and that far surpasses anything currently output by consumer and prosumer digital cameras. In other words, image quality and feature-wise, the EOS Digital Rebel is a professional dSLR with a price point that makes it accessible to the amateur photographers.

Since most of you are interested in the EOS Digital Rebel because of the professional level image quality made possible by the large image sensor, I have taken a number of the picture samples at the high ISOs of 400, 800 and 1600 so you can have an idea of the presence or absence of noise at those ISOs. Of course, I have also included pictures at ISO 100, the lowest ISO on the EOS Digital Rebel. The minimal noise present at high ISOs opens up low-light and action picture possibilities once reserved only to those who could afford the expensive professional dSLRs.

For this review, I used the following settings as my preferred settings:

  • Shooting Mode: Program AE
  • Metering Mode: Evaluative (default)
  • ISO: 100
  • Image Size: 3072x2048 (Large)
  • Image Quality: Fine
  • White Balance: Auto

All the pictures on this and the other pages (including the navigation pictures at the top of each page) have been taken by the EOS Digital Rebel for this review. The pictures on this page provide a good sample of what the EOS Digital Rebel is capable of and I have provided the 800x533 version. Remember that this version is of slightly lesser quality than the original 3072x2048 version. Please open and download only once to your hard drive -- and save me some precious bandwidth. Thanks!

Clicking on a picture version will display the 800x600 version image in a separate window. Leave that separate window up for all the other images will also display in that same separate window.

Chinese Pharmacy: 1/30 sec., F4 and ISO 400 (File size: 3.4 MB)Traditional Chinese Pharmacy located inside the T&T Supermarket at the Promenade Mall in Thornhill. The EF-S lens has only a maximum aperture of F3.5 at 18mm. At 28mm, the max. aperture is probably F4.0, and this gives me a slow shutter speed of 1/30 sec. This shot is hand held and I probably could have boosted the ISO to 800, trading a faster shutter speed for a bit more noise. The amount of detail at ISO 400 is extremely good and the picture has virtually no noise. Focal Length 28mm, Program AE, Evaluative, Parameter 2, shutter speed 1/30 sec., aperture F4.0 and ISO 400. [File size: 3.4 MB]

Peppers: 1/40 sec., F3.5 and ISO 400 (File size: 3.4 MB)The EOS Digital Rebel comes with Contrast, Sharpness and Color Saturation set to +1 (Parameter 1) by default. This gives vivid colors and a bit of sharpening in camera. If you do not like to post-process your images, you may like this setting, while others may prefer to control these settings in an image editing software. See the next image for normal settings (Parameter 2). The EOS Digital Rebel also allows you to set up 3 of your own Parameters by customizing the contrast, sharpness, color saturation and color tone settings to your liking. Focal length 24mm, Program AE, Evaluative, Parameter 1, shutter speed 1/40 sec., aperture F3.5, ISO 400. [File size: 3.4 MB]

Pears & Lemons: 1/50 sec., F5 and ISO 400 (File size: 3.3 MB)Here is a similar shot as the one above, but this time with Parameter 2 (i.e. normal). Notice that the colors are more subdued and the image appears soft. If you are an advanced amateur photographer, this may be your preferred setting since it leaves you in control and you may adjust contrast, color saturation and sharpness yourself in an image editing software. However, I find that Parameter 1 is quite good for most shooting situations. For those of you requiring maximum post-processing control, you can also choose to save your images in RAW format. Focal length 25mm, Program AE, Evaluative, Parameter 2, shutter speed 1/50 sec., aperture F5.0, ISO 400. [File size: 3.3 MB]

Friendship Bell: 1/13 sec., F5.6, +1EV and ISO 100 (File size: 1.9 MB)"By welcoming this new century this bell is produced as a symbol of everlasting friendship between the City of Mississauga and the City of Kariya." I take this picture not quite expecting the engravings would come out so clearly. I would like to say I carefully selected the exposure settings for this picture, but truth is they were all 'mistakes': I mistakenly set the Mode dial to Shutter-Priority and rotated the Main dial until the aperture showed F5.6; I also forgot to reset the exposure compensation of +1EV from a previous shot. Sky is blown but makes an effective backdrop to the dark bell. The use of the zoom throws the trees in the background nicely out of focus. Focal length 55mm, Shutter-Priority AE, Evaluative, Parameter 1, shutter speed 1/13 sec., aperture F5.6, +1EV, ISO 100. The camera was set on a tripod. [File size: 1.9 MB]

Night Scene: 30 sec., F22 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.2 MB)Night shot of the Mississauga Civic Centre. I wanted to test out the maximum 30 sec. shutter speed at ISO 100, and see what kind of noise the EOS DR gives. You've got to check out for yourself the original version! Again noise is virtually non-existent. Remember this is a 30 sec. shot! And, when the camera indicates there is not enough light for the AF to lock, I simply switch to Manual Focus. Focal length 18mm, Aperture-Priority AE, Evaluative, Parameter 1, shutter speed 30 sec., aperture F22, ISO 100. The camera was set on a tripod. [File size: 2.2 MB]

Sushi Bar: 1/160 sec., F8 and ISO 1600 (File size: 4.1 MB)Sushi Bar inside a mall. At the highest ISO of 1600, noise is visible. So, if you want to avoid noise at all cost, you should be safe using ISO 100 to 400, and perhaps even 800. Use ISO 1600 only when you absolutely must. Focal length 53mm, Program AE, Evaluative, Parameter 1, shutter speed 1/160 sec., aperture F8.0 and ISO 1600. [File size: 4.1 MB]

Shade to Sun: 1/160 sec., F8, +1/3EV  and ISO 100 (File size: 4.2 MB)Here is my deep shade in the foreground to bright sun in the background picture. I dial in a slight +1/3EV exposure compensation to ensure some detail in the shade without blowing the highlights. Focal length 18mm, Program AE, Evaluative, Parameter 1, shutter speed 1/160 sec, aperture F8.0, +1/3EV, and ISO 100. [File size: 4.2 MB]

Window: 1/1250 sec., F3.5 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.7 MB)Another shade to sun shot, this time using the A-DEP mode to ensure the walls as well as the far object outside the window are both in focus. The camera chooses an aperture of F3.5 -- I would have thought it would have selected a smaller aperture to increase depth of field? Focal length 18mm, A-DEP, Evaluative, Parameter 1, shutter speed 1/1,250 sec, aperture F3.5 and ISO 100. [File size: 2.7 MB]

Totem Poles: 1/15 sec., F3.5 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.2 MB)

Two totem poles reaching up to skylights letting in the streaming sun present yet another opportunity to test the dynamic range of the CMOS image sensor. A straight shot with no exposure compensation puts the Evaluative mode of the light meter to the test as well. So far, the EF-S 18-55mm lens has been very good in various challenging situations. However, this is a really difficult shot and the EF-S lens starts to show some chromatic aberration especially where the strong sunlight interacts with the window panes. Focal length 18mm, Program AE, Evaluative, Parameter 1, shutter speed 1/15 sec, aperture F3.5 and ISO 100. [File size: 2.2 MB]

Subway Art: 1/40 sec., F5.6 and ISO 800 (File size: 3.0 MB)Subway arts are a great idea and I wish more subways would have them. However, due to the low light conditions, they are quite difficult to photograph without a tripod. But, with the EOS Digital Rebel, I simply dial in ISO 800 to obtain a shutter speed just fast enough for a hand held shot. Focal length 55mm, Program AE, Evaluative, Parameter 1, shutter speed 1/40 sec, aperture F5.6 and ISO 800. [File size: 3.0 MB]

What, no panorama shot? Well, since the panorama shot is achieved using PhotoStitch and I have already provided a number of samples from other Canon cameras, there is really no point in reviewing PhotoStitch again.

Need a place to upload your photos? Free photo sharing and photo hosting web site at cassepoze.

A Personal Word

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel brings "professional" image quality and dSLR functionality to the mass market. It is suited exceptionally well to serious amateur photographers who are willing to take the time to learn how to use the camera. Spend the time and effort to learn the camera and photography in general, and the EOS Digital Rebel will reward you with exceptional quality pictures.

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