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on 7 February 2012
I've had this camera for nearly six months now, and I have to say I love it. I got it as an early birthday present, but the choice was my own. I went around every store I could find with cameras, trying out various models within the budget I was told to stick to. There are a lot of fantastic cameras out there, but trying them out, I found that this was definitely the one for me. It took a while to get used to all the features, but I was determined to get good manual shots. Now, I hardly use the auto settings as I can get "my" pictures through the manual settings.

Auto is fantastic - especially when you don't know what you're doing. Every shot looked great and I used the information the camera provided to try and replicate them, getting used to what affected what. The images I've gotten from it are crisp, sharp and full of colour. I'm now shooting RAW and with various filters for different shots. I love the bulb mode for night shots and light art, though have only used it a couple of times.

It is a very light camera in my opinion. It feels lighter than it looks really, and can seem cheap compared to others out there. It has, however, taken a few knocks and scuffs and got caught out in the rain once, all with no effect on the camera or the photos it provided - though I would recommend getting a cover if you plan to be out in the rain. I'm getting a battery grip for portrait shooting and also to add a bit of weight to the camera. Since getting the Sigma 70-300mm lens, it needs the extra weight to help balance as light camera and heavy lens makes it difficult to keep level.

Also, the kit lens leaves something to be desired. But lenses are definitely something to look into as you can afford them. The lens is fine for beginners, but I have tried out other lenses and the difference is noticeable. For keeping up a hobby, it is more than satisfactory, and most professionals can probably afford better.

A tripod is a must. I don't have any IS lenses, and having both my table-top and full-size tripod, I feel no need. I have taken hand-held shots that are perfectly fine, and when I know I'm going to want longer exposure, I always use a tripod. Other accessories are also needed to get the best out of the camera, but these are needed with most cameras to get the best you can out of them. The filters, tripods, battery grips, remote shutters etc are easy to find and don't have to break the bank. I'm still on the lookout for a flash gun, though the one built is satisfactory. It's just better to be able to hold the gun in different positions, which you can't do with what it has. It's also not very powerful.

Battery life is great. I can get hundreds of photos, mixture of with and without flash, on a single charge... In fact, it took me 3 months after it's first charge before the battery icon started to flash. I was surprised as I am prone to accidentally leaving the camera on between trips out with it.

All in all, I am very happy with this camera and would recommend it as a first camera for everyone. I haven't really reached any limitations with it yet and won't upgrade to mid-level for some time as I feel the photos I'm getting are great as they are. I know this will eventually change, but not for a long time yet.

Edit to just say I've found something that kills the battery. Wanted to do a time lapse, tethered it to my laptop to take a photo every half hour.... Well... it's dead this morning after 12 hours.. ooops.

EDIT 2: I did some research - use an interval timer and the battery won't drain. The camera normally turns off between each shot, but when tethered, the camera has to remain on constantly to keep the connection, so rather than the nice power saving it has that makes it last forever, it's like using bulb mode
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I shot with the EOS 1100d for a week so I will convey my thoughts about this camera. I use multiple brands so have no specific loyalty to any mount or maker.
The 1100d is the cheapest entry point into Canon's DSLR range. Though it's now over 3 years old, and doesn't have the huge number of pixels/features some rivals have in their 2014 models. It's still a capable camera even if it's a tad dated in the marketplace.

**Update August 2014**
I've tested the new EOS 1200D and as the price is now very close to this model, I recommend buying the 1200D over this one due to a few improvements (LCD, higher resolution, better grip) for current 1100D users I would look at a 650d or higher to get a notable and worthwhile step up. Otherwise both the 1100/1200D models are good value and capable enough cameras for new users.

My pros and cons are as follows

+ Price, yes it's cheap and one of the best prices on a DSLR at the entry point I've ever seen (update 04/14 - it's the cheapest I've ever seen on a DSLR)
+ Image quality is "good" few users will be unhappy here with nice tonality and good colours, good jpeg processing even at high ISO levels
+ Good low light performance, the 12mp sensor delivers decent images even at ISO 3200, and with care and in raw ISO 6400 is not bad either (ISO 6400 is the max here but I can't say I'd find higher that useful in APS-C cameras)
+ Has exposure bracketing of +/- 2 stops 3 shots (Note the Nikon equivalents have no exposure bracketing D3100/D3200 an important point for some)
+ Supoorts HSS useful for fill flash shooting outside with a dedicated flash
+ Decent battery life. I was getting around 600 shots + using the viewfinder, expect quite a bit less for movie shooting and live view though.
+ Mostly well featured even for a budget model, this has Highlight Tone Priority, Auto Lighting Optimizer, a decent selection of creative styles and you CAN set the Auto ISO limit to what you want! (ie ISO 1600/3200 etc etc) Also has the ability to set your name in the "Copyright information" section which is a small but nice touch.
+ 63-area iFCL color-sensitive metering. Doesn't sound as impressive as Nikon's metering system, but in the field in practical use the metering is simply better than Nikon's. No metering is perfect, but this is quite consistent and predictable one of the better elements to have found their way down the Canon DSLR range
+ Decent jpegs most will be happy to shoot jpeg bar at the higher ISO levels. Even there Canon do a decent job balancing noise and noise reduction.
+ Satisfactory autofocus performance. It's not Canon 7d for AF speed (not unexpected) but the speed is fine at this price and more importantly the accuracy is in my view a good margin better than the Nikon entry models. It has a less impressive sounding 9 point AF with just one cross sensor. But I expect many users to use the central AF point.
+ Decent kit lens. Bundles are available with the 18-55mm IS and non IS, so check which one you get. Both deliver decent images across the focal range. Probably one of the better kit lenses, the build is as most kits are fairly basic and cheap. Optics are quite a lot better than the original 18-55mm which was found on the older Canon bodies, that lens isn't very good. These are quite a bit better and pretty sharp
+ Live view is decent (v the Nikon's live view which is poor) don't expect fast contrast AF but you can at least get a histogram and change aperture in live view mode! And a choice of contrast or flipping the mirror for phase detect AF.
+ Has Program shift. Some don't use it, some do it's there if you want it

- So so build quality. It's not badly put together by any means with no obvious creaking or gaps. Just the plastic used is clearly lower grade than the upper entry models (smooth finish). The grip is not rubber but plastic showing some cost cutting from Canon. Don't be afraid the camera will fall apart, it certainly won't.
- Small buffer. Not unexpected on an entry model jpeg shooting is satisfactory with a fast SD card (45mb Sandisk) (about 15-17 shots), raw is a bit below what you expect around 5 shots. And I would not even bother with raw+jpeg, the buffer is so small only good for a couple of shots. Expect less shots with a slower card. Clearing times are not that great even using a fast card.
- Raw shooting limited to 2fps. I have no idea why Canon did this bar the small buffer. This is below what you would expect for even an entry model. Not likely a deal breaker for many and normal users. Sports shooters clearly need to look at alternatives.
- Stange flash button location. Hardly a show stopper but the usual place is near the lens mount release or just above it.
- Small viewfinder. A bit smaller than the D3200 viewfinder and currently the smallest optical finder on a current DSLR in production. If you are coming from a superzoom with a fairly poor EVF you'll be fine, just don't every pick up a 35mm or FF DSLR or even a 60d you'll be quite disappointed.
- No wireless flash and low GN built in flash. GN of just over 9 is quite low v rivals but may prove ok for the intended market. There is no support for dedicated wireless flash (you can workaround this with optical flash ie yongnuo etc or radio triggers)
- SD card in battery compartment. Strange move as this could cause an issue not having a seperate SD comparment usually found on the side. If you tripod mount the camera, depending on how big the plate is you might have to remove the camera to get at the card.
- So so video mode: It's there and it's 720p mono sound with no microphone jack. The quality is perfectly fine, but things have moved on here, no AF for video either
- No sensor cleaning unit. I didn't notice many problems after a week of use, but this model lacks the sensor cleaning that the higher priced Canon's have (ie 600d) This is actually a downgrade from the EOS 1000d (which does have it) A slightly odd move but worth a mention.
- No dedicated DOF (depth of field) preview button. But you can go into the custom menus and all the set button to be used for this. And NO mirror lock up (but you can use live view to overcome this)
- 2.7" LCD, 230,000 dots. Not really a con, but taking into account the year even budget models now have better LCD's. Saying that it's perfectly fine just again a little behind the times. I've used smaller lower resolution screen and managed ok with that.

Balancing out the good and bad points and taking into account the good price of this camera. I'm listing con points that might not be that important to some users, but the information is there anyway.
Overall I quite liked the camera because at this price it delivers nice images, is reasonably well featured for this price thus delivering a decent "bang per buck". On the other hand this segment has moved on, and the rather weedy raw frame rate/buffer, somewhat outdated video mode, and clearly some corners cut regarding the build and quality of the camera as well as a rather sub par viewfinder. Do drop it down somewhat.
I would have liked to give it a 3.5 or even a 4 star, but nice price or not you might have better options available.

For a video shooter I would suggest alternatives by moving up the EOS range to the 600d (which is also quite well priced but adds more here)
For a stills shooter looking at various makers and models this has a bit more to get into v the entry Nikon cameras (it has bracketing and more flash functions as well as more core photographic features) Some might find 12mp again a little dated, but for many users 12mp is just fine for decent sized prints.

If you want more room to "grow" hunt out a good price on a Canon 600d (a step up in many ways). If you are on a tight budget, this is a very good choice, just be aware of some of the limitations. This camera is a bit of a bargain in most ways.

Update 04.14:
To reflect the even lower price (lowest ever seen in the UK on a DSLR) I'm giving it 4 stars (over my original 3)
There is a newer EOS 1200d out, which has more megapixels, a better LCD and a few other improved areas (at a higher price)

For many users the 12 megapixels is just fine, I've had some excellent prints off of my 6mp DSLR's in the past, at 12mp you will have no problems printing at large sizes. The image quality will blow away any small sensor compact even if it has 20mp, there is no comparison to having a larger APS-C size sensor. For users wanting to "cut their teeth" a bit more in photography, or moving up possibly from a bridge model or other camera, this is a good place to start.

Even if you never buy anything else with the camera, it's a great learning tool. If you are starting out on the DSLR journey, whilst you might outgrow this eventually and get higher models, it's the best value offering on the market today. As with any DSLR you can invest in the system (lenses flashes etc) if you do or not, it's your choice. Even with the kit lens, you'll see a notable improvement in the image quality over a simlar priced compact/bridge model. The real challenge of course is making quality images, and that's down to you!
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on 13 June 2011
I am a professional photographer with over 15 years using Hassleblads, Large format and other big camera's. I now also teach photography via my company Studio Time Ltd in London, so every week I get to see students camera's which are from a variety of manufactures. A lot of people buy the new range of 4 thirds interchangeable lens cameras, which are so tricky to use, and don't deliver the best picture quality. Plus the cost of these cameras and the lens is way over priced. Also the smaller frame size of the 4 thirds system means shallow depth of field is hard to create.

We needed something light, inexpensive and compatible with our existing Canon lenses and flash guns. So the 1100D with a lens for around the £400 mark was ideal. We have been shooting with the camera now for a month and the quality and operation of the camera is spot on. Delivering great picture quality, easy of use, and reliability. We have even started using it on low budget event photography jobs.

We did just have one problem with it, but this was caused by a member of staff playing with all the options. We lost the ability to have Auto focus in the P, Tv, Av and Manual modes. This was simple rectified by a quick to Canon who told us to clear all the custom functions in each of those modes, problem solved.

If you got below £500 to spend on a entry level digital camera that you can progress with then buy the Canon EOS 1100D, ef-s lenses are plentiful and easy to get hold of new and old, plus Canon's menu system is one the easiest to use. That's why Studio Time only use Canon.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 March 2014
Very pleased with this camera. I hoped it would improve on my excellent Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Digital Camera - Red (16.0 MP, 5x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch TFT LCD (also video reviewed) and it does. A proper SLR with digital options. I will list some of my main points:

** you can adjust viewfinder for your eyesight
** EF to EF-S lens body
** 16gb memory card is 1h 6m video
** 720p is better than 1020I video quality HDMI
** manual available online
** print-out the 289p manual
** no IS (Image Stabiliser) lens
** formatting memory card will wipe it clean
** shutter button more sensitive than analogue EOS 850
** movies will not automatically focus

On that final point I am used to a dedicated movie camcorder which does auto focus. The EOS 1100D is focused like a photograph then movie button pressed. So if a subject moves forward and close to camera it will be out of focus.

Loved the fact that uploaded photos went into My Pictures as well as the new software. On top quality setting a picture is 150.71cm x 100.47cm at 72 pixels/inch. Easy to change to 6 x 4 inches at 300 pixels/inch in Elements.

See my first photo which I will entitle: The Fantasist. For an example of this camera's low light capabilities take a look at two photos I uploaded for Philips CorePro LED 4 Watt GU10 Energy Saving Bulb, 4 Pack. Both were hand-held photographs.
review image
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on 31 May 2011
Many years ago I dabbled with 35mm SLRs but eventually decided it took years of learning and expeimentation to get good results and frankly got very frustrated. Since then I pretty much stayed in the "point and shoot" world. A few years ago I bought a "bridge" digital camera and the fact that the images were instantly accessible changed things completely. I've since grown out of the bridge camera and on the recommendation of a mate who is a professsional photographer, I now own a Canon EOS 1100D. I did look at the previous model (EOS 1000D)which can now be had for a heavilly discounted price however the range of possibilities and the quality of images produced by Canon's latest offering, even just using it in "auto" mode are an astonishing improvement. I have no hesitation in recommending this camera as a really useful beginning for anyone thinking about upping their game from the point and shoot brigade. There is an impressive range of lenses and other accessories available but the standard EFS 18-55 covers most situations well. I have ordered the new EOS 1100D for Dummies handbook which will be out on 6th June. A whole summer to photograph ahead!
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on 19 September 2012
I started photography as a hobby last year, beginning with a Fujifilm S2500HD. I learnt quickly and after a year I wanted to make more sophisticated photos, so I decided on the Canon EOS 1100D.

Physically, the camera feels great in the hand - it's not too heavy and made of a nice rubbery material. It includes a variety of items in the box, such as a charger, neckstrap, camera lens (if you buy the camera "lens kit" version), which I apprechiate. I had to buy most accessories seperately when I bought the Fujifilm camera.

The camera makes GREAT photos, if you know what you're doing. This camera is not really suitable for beginners, but if you've had a point & shoot camera before, you can use the camera in "Auto" mode without knowing much about the technical details of photography as the principles are the same. However, that would kindof defeat the point of buying this camera as it offers a large variety of options that you can set, depending on the scenery.

However, after two weeks, the camera developed a defect (Error 30), which according to various online forums, seems to be a common fault with this particular model. I had to send it back to Amazon.
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on 9 July 2011
If you have the choice, get the one with the IS II lens. The Image stabilizer comes in handy when you don't have a tripod and taking night shots in low light. This limits blurring. Battery life is awesome. Charges quickly and comes with everything you need to start shooting right away. A little tip: get the 50-250mm IS lens as a secondary lens.
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on 13 July 2011
For years now I have been shooting with a ditigal camera and wanting to upgrade to dslr. I have finally got around to making the transition and the 1100D is really a great camera for doing so. Despite being used to the automatic settings of a compact camera I very quickly began to pick up the techniques to shooting more creatively with the 1100D, but always had the auto to fall back on if necessary. The camera can even give a basic explanation of some of the more complex stuff to you if you are really stuck. For a beginner like me, it is absolutely brilliant!
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on 18 October 2011
My father bought this camera in the USA named the Rebel T3. After only a few months and a disability he gave it to me. Am already the owner of the 550d and so was familiar with the Canon 1100d layout. Have taken a few pictures with it already and can only say wow. A great little camera taking the range of Canon lenses. Pictures are crisp with very little noise in low light situations. When fitted with my 300mm lens it is still fairly light perhaps lighter than my Nikon d3100 and 300mm lens.
Great little camera with 12mp however dont let the reduced mega pixel put you off as pictures between my 550d and this are very hard to tell apart.

Go on buy it and have fun!!

Am contemplating giving this to my 12 year old daughter who has developed an interest. She has already worked it out and taken some great pictures.

Very impressed although I have one big gripe. THE MEMORY card holder is beneath the camera in the battery compartment. WHY CANON WHY. No battery grip available and if it was it would be on and off like a traffic light to change memory cards.

Still a very good capable camera and very light!
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on 12 December 2012
As a retired advertising photographer I did not expect too much from this camera. I looked upon it very much as an entry level DSLR and when it comes with lens included then I expected even less. However I have been pleasantly surprised. The picture quality is fine with the supplied lens but much better with a fixed focal length prime. when viewing the images at 100% on my Mac there seems to be some over processing of the file but when printed out, and that is what really matters, they look fine, at least up to A3. The controls are very intuitive as the screen keeps you informed of the various settings as you apply them.
Basically got what I expected and then some.
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