Disappointing EOS300d and why the A1 is the much better digital Rebel

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Michael Richter, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. After 20 years experience with analog Canon SLRs, I focussed on the heavily
    discussions here regarding the EOS300d (digital Rebel in US). People have
    quite great expectations - like I had too - in the EOS300d, but believe me,
    you will become quite disappointed, especially in comparison with the non
    SLR Minolta DiMAGE A1.

    The EOS300d is cheap, much more expensive than the A1, but for a dSLR cheap.
    Not only regarding prize. It is cheap in materials, it is cheap in features.
    It's a "bad compromise camera" in my eyes. Canon, what did you do? I was so
    proud on my Canon SLRs for so many years! You dropped a SLR to the market,
    where the photographer is NOT able to select the AF he wants/needs!? In most
    program modes (automatic mode would be okay, but not in Av, Tv or M) the
    CAMERA selects, if you shoot with One-Shot-AF or Servo-AF. It's not you!!!
    The same as fine tuning or AWB - all of them does the camera automatically
    and you will not be able to change to your needs. Besides that, the bad
    inability to save own user profiles seems to be a even smaller weakness of
    the EOS300d. Another thing: only a small red dot shows the focus, but not
    the active AF-area as a frame (like the 10D).

    But what's a bad nightmare is the flash! You CANNOT adjust the flash
    intensitiy to switch it down, therefor the most pictures with flash are
    awfully overflashed! Due this inability, the flash is almost senseless in
    rooms, as there you cannot increase the distance to the object, to avoid the
    overflashing, but especially here you need a flash. "Of course" a
    professional TTL connector is missing too. But wait, it becomes even worse:
    I buy a camera for about 1000$ (in words o-n-e t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d), a Canon
    SLR, and it is NOT able to synchronize the flash to the 2. shutter activity!
    This makes you unable to make great night shots with moving light sources
    like the famous cars or fairground pictures, as the light would "move" in
    front of the objects, not as a light drawn behind. Almost every low budget
    pocket digital camera has this usefull feature and Canon intentionally
    missed it, maybe due to a crazy model policy? Poor customer! Even the
    necessary manual pre-release of the mirror is not available in the EOS300d.
    It's so strange to see, how people ignore or miss these frustrating list of
    limitations only because the cam is cheap.

    Conclusion: Canon dropped almost everything what makes a SLR a SLR. No,
    thanks. I just don't want a such unflexible camera. To come back on the A1.
    The A1 has not one of these restrictions (besides the mirror pre-release as
    it needs no mirror :). It offers the full flexibility and you can easily
    control the whole camera. You can select one of the various AF modes
    (One-Shot-AF, continuous AF, predictive 3D AF, grip-sensor pre-focussing,
    FFP AF (flexible focus point) or automatic 11 point intelligent AF) and of
    course the A1 shows you the red frame of the active AF, or a cross (at FFP)
    or a targeting cross for predictive AF, following the object. Maybe the
    EOS300d AF is a little faster, but especially in flexibility there is no
    comparison with the possiblities the A1 offers. Of course you can save 5
    custom profiles where really almost every setting (either via controls or
    menu) is saved and availlable with only one key press or adjusted to the
    main programm wheel for direct access. It's clear, that you can adjust the
    flash intensity from -2 to 2 in small steps and a studio TTL connector is
    available also. Not to mention that the flash sync on the 2. shutter
    activity is standard too. The A1 has not one of the EOS300d's limitations
    and a much much better feature set for a lower price. The universal
    28-200/F2,8-3,5 covers really all normal situations and ingenious features
    like AntiShake and the highly undervalued flexible display and flexible EVF
    you have automatically on board. Since I had a detailed look on the EOS300d
    I know, why the A1 has a much better conclusion on dpreview than the Rebel
    and why they made the bottom line "it - the A1 - has a range of flexibility
    BEYOND that of most digital SLR's". In the case of the castrated EOS300d,
    their conclusion counts twice.
    Michael Richter, Dec 12, 2003
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  2. Michael Richter

    DHB Guest

    Michael Richter'
    seems you have made up your mind as to what camera
    meets "your" needs best, the A1 for "you". Purchase the A1 if your so sure
    that it will meet "your" needs.

    As for the Canon Digital Rebel / 300D, it's features were considered for
    the type of consumer that the camera would most likely attract at it's price
    point. Are there short comings on the Digital Rebel / 300D? Yes there are,
    but "every" digital camera just like automobiles has some things missing &
    other things added depending on what market segment is being targeted.
    That's why there are other DSLRs in the Canon camera line as well as from
    other manufactures, 1 size does not fit all!

    With all of this said I won't argue the merits of any single camera any
    more than I would for a make & model car, these are personal choices & there
    is no right or wrong.

    As for me, I have a long Canon SLR background as well & I purchased the
    Digital Rebel / 300D knowing well it's pros & cons. For me the price point,
    my intended application of it & my knowledge of how to overcome some of the
    features that it does not have, make it a good choice for "ME". For many
    others Canon knows this camera will more than meet their needs or they would
    not be in mass production & selling so well. Do you think Canon is banking
    their reputation on building a camera that will be purchased by so many if
    they expected them to later be displeased with that purchase & loose that
    customer & others forever?

    As for ME, I wish my Digital Rebel / 300D had spot metering & a better
    performing AWB in existing light situations but I can deal with these
    limitations. This camera & I are a good match because we are both capable
    of performing very well & we are both far from perfect. This camera was not
    purchased in expectation of perfection, it was purchased to meet "MY" needs
    at a price "I" could afford & I am very pleased with my purchase.

    This is just "my" opinion.

    Respectfully, DHB
    DHB, Dec 12, 2003
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  3. Michael Richter

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    The Rebel line has been made of polycarbonate from the beginning. My wife
    bought one in 1991, and it is still in use today. She moved up to an Elan
    for the features and my daughter now uses it for pictures of the grand
    children - the camera looks and operates as if it were brand new. So your
    statement that the DRebel is "cheap in materials" is at very least,
    misleading, and in actuallity, more like complete bull.
    There are standard modes where the photographer has control over the
    various methods the camera uses. This has always been the case with the
    Rebel, which is a low priced SLR -- and the current DRebel is the lowest
    priced DSRL on the market -- by 500 dollars. No it don't do what the 10D
    do -- but what it do do it do do well. The thing that is does do is accept
    Canon EF (and thrid party lenses in Canon EF mount) which is something the
    A1 will never be able to do.
    SLRs are more expensive for what you get. They contain complicated
    mechanism, that, so far, cannot be made fully electrical. You pay the price
    for the interchangable lenses and the direct through the lens viewing. If
    that strikes you as too much, don't buy it. You don't need to make up a lot
    of excuses, you can just buy something else and no one will think any the
    less of you.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    Tony Spadaro, Dec 12, 2003
  4. Michael Richter

    PhotoMan Guest

    Well said!
    Joe Arnold
    PhotoMan, Dec 12, 2003
  5. Yes, but you missed the main point:

    It's the image quality, stupid.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan

    (Sorry about the rudeness, but I've wanted to say that every since the
    Foveonesque A1 crazies showed up.)
    David J. Littleboy, Dec 12, 2003
  6. Michael Richter

    Mark Johnson Guest

    Right. I'm very pleased with my Oly C5050. It does a lot, and it does
    it right. But it is limited without those quickly swappable lenses. On
    the hand:
    But on the other hand, I was fairly please at a multi-element
    telephoto I got for the Oly, and some basic magnifying glass closeups,
    good construction, good glass, etc. And then I went to Fry's and
    checked out the 10D, not the 300 but the 10D. And nice, solid, almost
    heavy body. You can feel the weight of it in your hand. Similar in
    look, even, to the C5050. And then the lens. I went to pop off the
    lens, just out of curiosity to look at the mirror, and the darned
    thing was made completely out of plastic.

    I was stunned. I'm sure it's great glass, and a great lens. But you
    lift this camera body, that you think weighs a couple of pounds, and
    then you go for a lens that feels like something you got as a prize
    from a stale box of Cracker Jacks (which reminds me).
    Mark Johnson, Dec 13, 2003
  7. Kit lenses have always been cheap. You can put whatever lens you want (and
    can afford) on either the 10D or 300D.

    But even with the kit lens, the 300D will knock the pants off the A1 in
    resolution. The A1 is seriously problematic in resolution (read the reviews:
    dpreview gets 1450 lph for the 300D, 1150 with Moire for the A1.).

    As I said before: it's the image quality. The A1 simply isn't in the 300D
    class. It has convenience and price advantages. But you pay in image
    quality. It's a tradeoff.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Dec 13, 2003
  8. Michael Richter

    Fuzzfactor Guest

    Yes, and while your at dpreview, compare the image quality. The A1 delivers a
    rather mediocre image quality for its price point even compared with other
    small sensor cameras. Many other compacts can do better. The Rebel will simply
    blow it away. The larger sensors in SLRs have their merits more than just high
    ISO speeds.

    Look, They can load a bunch of features on a camera and if it can't deliver
    reasonable image quality what's the point? The Rebel is an entry level DSLR. It
    is not for pros. The 10D is, yet the Rebel uses the same sensor and can deliver
    the same quality images.

    Finally, Let's see you put a 600mm f/4 "moster glass" on the A1 and shoot noise
    free ISO 400 images. I didn't think so...
    Fuzzfactor, Dec 13, 2003
  9. Michael Richter

    jriegle Guest

    I bought the Rebel full well knowing its limitations. I, in fact, like
    shooting film on fully manual cameras. The Rebel as all the functions I
    need. I was ready to jump from my 3mp camera with no manual control over the
    aperture and shutter speeds to one with the control and a wider zoom range.
    After looking at the G5, A1, 5700 and a host of others, I was not impressed
    with the output quality.

    After shooting with the dRebel, the smooth (no over processed look and low
    noise) images are something of a delight. It makes the cameras with those
    itty bitty sensors look like toys even if some do have more features than
    the Rebel (and many do).

    If your a big Minolta fan, don't worry, words out that Minolta will have a
    DSLR out in 2004. It will likely have the large sensor as in the other DSLRs
    and will also put the A1 to shame in the image quality dept.
    jriegle, Dec 13, 2003
  10. Michael Richter

    PhotoMan Guest

    I presently have almost 100 pounds of Canon 35mm gear, and there's hardly a
    bigger dyed-in-the-wool Canon *FAN* than me, but had I been able to find a
    more capable DSLR than my dRebel I would have jumped on it. It simply came
    down to the biggest bang for the buck. I understand its limitations, and
    will likely upgrade to the successor to the 1DS whenever it comes out.
    PROVIDED it's not surpassed by another maker. I already have several Nikon
    lenses, so that aspect won't necessarily confine me to Canon bodies. In the
    meantime I'm lovin' that little Reb!
    Joe Arnold
    PhotoMan, Dec 13, 2003
  11. Michael Richter

    Marc Libom Guest

    aperture and shutter speeds to one with the control and a wider zoom
    the little lower quality you can easily compensate with the necassary
    You didn't get it. Even the high qualitiy dSLR cameras have many
    disadvantages in comparison with that prosumer cams. But they have their
    strength in that what they are - a real SLR. The EOS300d is a SLR which is
    none, because I never saw a SLR before with an integrated flash you cannot
    use and AF you cannot select by yourself in such a prize range.
    Marc Libom, Dec 13, 2003
  12. Michael Richter

    Marc Libom Guest

    Finally, Let's see you put a 600mm f/4 "moster glass" on the A1 and shoot
    Yes, that's what everybody needs, a 600mm lens. What the entry level SLR or
    A1 user need is a camera, with a usable (and adjustable) flash, macro (only
    with expensive extra lens) and the flexibility to make a camera setup, that
    matches your needs. All not possible with the Rebel.
    Marc Libom, Dec 13, 2003
  13. Michael Richter

    Marc Libom Guest

    As I said before: it's the image quality. The A1 simply isn't in the 300D
    Exactly. With the 300D you have a cam with some more pixel and a little less
    noise, but this wont help if a A1 user can shoot the pictures, you just
    cannot shoot with the inconvenience Rebel. This is the reason why I agree to
    Michael, for all normal, amateur or standard photographer, the A1 is the
    much better choice. For more professional users, it would be the 300D, if it
    were not that limited. So the 300d is in the middle between nowhere and the
    Marc Libom, Dec 13, 2003
  14. Michael Richter

    HRosita Guest


    I just thing that the more professional users would buy the 10D
    HRosita, Dec 13, 2003
  15. Michael Richter

    Marc Libom Guest

    That's what I am saying, the more professional ones would take the 10D, the
    pure professionals the 1Ds, but both are a complete different class and much
    much cheaper. With the 300D, Canon wants to target the amateurs and hobby
    photographers and here the A1 is the cams, which is more powerful, more
    flexible und much more convinient (see dpreview also).
    Marc Libom, Dec 13, 2003
  16. Michael Richter

    Marc Libom Guest

    The A1 is seriously problematic in resolution (read the reviews:
    How poor to rate image quality only in lph and pixels. No user, especially
    no of the amateur and hobby photographer class the A1 or EOS300 are for,
    will take pictures of siemens stars, diagonals, lines etc. It's like to say
    the one car with 10 ps more is the much better car than the other one, as it
    depends much more on the features and lbnl on the streets and the driver.
    These people will take pictures of beautiful sunsets, their children, their
    hobbies, their vacation ... so problems you can see at these technical
    images will just not happen in real life.

    Marc Libom, Dec 13, 2003
  17. Excuse me, but can no-one here comprehend the users manual??? Read FE
    (Flash exposure) not looking for flash exposure compensation, but
    flash exposure. Put a subject against a "Bright" background, focus
    the "subject", press the "Star" button, the preflash will fire, you'll
    see FE lock in the vf, fire the shot. SIMPLE, and then do this with a
    420ex or 550ex, it'll do the same thing, and the exposure is fine.
    Then, here's a novelty idea, shoot it in RAW format and the post
    process the WB and exposure with the provided software or (my
    preference, C1 Rebel) and finish in PS. If you don't like post
    processing, DON'T buy a camera like this! But a point and shot by HP
    that comes with a printer and be satisfied. Oh, and when you do want
    to shot fast action from the side-lines try screwing on a 300mm lens,
    (nothing extravagant, and about the same price you'll spend on
    "conversion lens") and actually get the ball being caught, not the
    player being tackled because you missed the catch due to shutter lag.

    Sorry, but I hate threads where the sole purpose is to bash a camera
    you either, don't like, don't have, or are disappointed in. If ya
    don't like it, get rid of it.

    Oh, and BTW, the camera only does part of the job, the person who's
    eye is in the viewfinder has to have special features also to make
    great shots.

    Matt Nicholson, Dec 14, 2003
  18. Michael Richter

    HRosita Guest

    Hi Marc,

    I agree with you. Personally, I am trying to get away from carrying 20 pounds
    of equipment. While I cannot get all the shots I want with my D7Hi, I get at
    least 90%.
    For those occasions where I need more zoom, better macro, or full flash I will
    carry my Minolta Maxxum 9 and the appropriate equipment. After all, just
    because I use digital 90% of the time does not mean I can use my film
    HRosita, Dec 14, 2003
  19. Michael Richter

    Marc Libom Guest

    Excuse me, but can no-one here comprehend the users manual??? Read FE
    Simple? With the A1, I switch the camera on and shoot. And if it is even to
    bright or two less exposed, the flash can be controlled witch a single turn
    of the adjustment wheel in small steps. That's simple. Not to do tricky
    That's incredibly interesting point, as I posted it so often here, that a
    digital photography is not to exchange the film-backplane with a digital
    sensor, like many EOS user think. Former: much preparation, expensive
    equipment, to have all in the box before you press the button and freeze the
    scene forever and with almost no or very less posibilities to change after
    you pressed the button. In digital photography, to shoot the picture is just
    the start of it. And then, the post-processing part is, what makes a good
    scene or situation to a perfect picture. This is, why noise or the little
    more pixels of the EOS are totally uninteresting, as you have to do the
    post-processing anyway and here it is quite easy to remove noise. Therefor
    the A1 is the more convinient and the better choice for this target
    customers, as it supports you much better in getting the digital data than
    the EOS. I agree with you: If you don't like post-processing don't buy an
    EOS300d or A1, buy a pocket point-and-shoot camera, which ist much cheaper.
    If you want to be quite professional, buy a 10D or better 1Ds if you can
    afford. But in exactly this range, the A1 has the better value for money for
    people how are in this class. That's it.
    I had the EOS300d and that is, why I am so disappointed and why I want to
    share these experiences with the interested party. Most of the people are
    blinded by the (for a dSLR) low prize and think, they get a full flexible
    SLR they know from the analog world. But I didn't get this and they won't
    too, as the EOS is the first SLR which is no SLR, as Canon intentionally put
    away the features that makes a camera a SLR. Sorry. And people should know
    Totally agree. I guess this is why so many EOS user blame the noise of the
    A1 so much. they want the camera with 6 Megapixels, not "just only" 5
    Megapixel. They want the camera with 1400 lph instead of "only" 1100 lhp.
    That is so crazy, as the photographer needs a camera which supports him best
    in daily photography, and that's not to shoot siemens stars and lines. This
    is, why I didn't blame the EOS300d with technical data, where the A1 is much
    better like the A1's shutter speed of 1/16000s compared with the EOS's
    "poor" 1/4000s as these things just have no importance for the standard
    Marc Libom, Dec 14, 2003
  20. Michael Richter

    zbzbzb Guest

    With my Canon 35mm slr I never even used its 1/2000s shutter speed. You
    actually use 1/16000s, or 1/6000s if that is what you really meant?
    zbzbzb, Dec 14, 2003
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