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Hands on review: Canon EOS 100D

Canon EOS 100D
Canon EOS 100D

When I saw the announcement a few months back, I asked why we needed another entry DSLR, every body assumed that the small Canon EOS 100D was an attempt at competing with the ever increasing number of mirrorless. I knew this was not the case as soon as I picked it up. It is tiny, for a DSLR, but a far fetch from the mirrorless form factor, admittedly its size could be a problem with bigger hands.

Canon EOS 100D Touch Screen
Canon EOS 100D Touch Screen

The biggest surprise was the touch screen, clear, bright, big and very reactive. I found the tap, focus, trigger useful bordering addictive. The touch screen has also it’s flaws, it does not recognize a finger tap from a palm and that can be a problem if the function is not switch off as the camera will snap away has happily if mishandled. In the final analysis, it comes close to the way we use smart phones and that is a good thing.

Canon EOS 100D - 1x1 crop details
Click to see 1×1 crop details

The 18MP sensor does an amazing job in both bright and low light situations, ISO 6400 being usable to capture priceless memories in low light without the need of a flash. Mixed lighting situations are not has well handled as I expected, since these are rare and often correctable in post-processing I do not think this will be a problem, the colors where relatively accurate in both situations.

The new 16-55mm STM lens is relatively fast whilst paired with the EOS 100D, my only concern with this lens is its short zoom range, 25.6-88mm equivalent or about 0.51 to 1.6 times zoom which most new users will find disappointing. I advise to get the kit that includes the EF 55-250mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II this will overcome the potential frustration with a kit that will be long lasting and not overly priced. The test photographs are a mix of both lenses and I found that both were very acceptable in color rendition and sharpness.

Tangled (Lion cubs)
Tangled (Lion cubs) – Canon EOS 100D with Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM IS

The camera is very capable in all modes but I found the effects function a bit superfluous as these are better achieved with programs such as Instagram. Adding Wi-Fi to the camera using an Eye-Fi card is liberating as the photos can be automatically downloaded to a mobile device, edited and published to your favorite social networking site. The bonus here is that the EOS 100D is fully compatible with Eye-Fi cards, my worry was with the battery as the Eye-Fi card is notorious for draining them, I managed a cool 450 photos over 2 days with a single charge which I find very acceptable.

The video function access is very different to other Canon cameras I have use in the past, it is located on the power button, which I found very unusual. Luckily, most the photography functions are still available. As with most DSLR the video is a bit choppy even with the STM lens image stabilization, be aware that the longer the lens the worst it will become, the 55-250 with a fence between it and the subject did not like to be in video mode and started focus hunting as shown in the video. The quality of the video is very acceptable though.

Finally, this is a great addition to the EOS line aimed at the Instagram generation wanting to get into a different type of photography, a controlled purposeful photography beyond the Point-and-Shoots and smartphones. If I had to fault this camera, I would have to say that the lack of Wi-Fi was a serious oversight from Canon and could be it’s biggest enemy. A tilt – not swivel – screen would also have come in handy for both photography and videography.

Leopard gaze (Through a fence)
Leopard gaze (Through a fence) – Canon EOS 100D with Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II

Overall the camera performed well but is evidently aimed at smaller hands.

Test and product photographs can be found here.
Test camera kindly supplied by Canon South Africa.

Pascal Parent

Pascal's day job is as a technologist but you can mostly find him behind a camera after hours. As a passionate photographer he regularly shares his experiences with the world. From how-to to reviews you will find it all in his regularly updated blog and other places.

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