Top positive review
112 people found this helpful
This Little Camera Rocks and It's Got Soul
on 18 August 2015
I'm a keen photographer, I've owned Canon, Nikon, Hasselblad, Linhof, Ikelite, Panasonic and Bronica equipment and I've used formats from tiny camera phones up to and beyond medium format film. I don't write from an armchair - I've shot from the frozen north of Iceland to the back of the Queensland Outback and underwater from The Red Sea to The Blue Hole via Pacific Atolls, The Indian Ocean and the Great Barrier Reef. I've dived a coral encrusted shot down bomber in 50m and hung out of helicopters and microlights over the rain forest, all with a camera around my neck. I've taken bad photos with the best gear and great photos with an iphone. I think that the most important thing about a camera is how much time it spends with you.
I've had this camera for a week now and feel compelled to write a quick review because it's deep down fab!. I've used it mainly with the 55-250 lens but I also have the 10-18 and 18-55. I've also used the 10-18 for some interior shots.
I don't shoot video. If you primarily shoot video you probably won't buy this camera.
If you shoot stills then this camera does almost everything most more expensive cameras can do. In my view its better than a similar size Nikon because Canon have a range of inexpensive and sharp lenses that cover all focal lengths from 10mm at the wide end to 250mm. Nikon have lenses that cover approximately this range too but they cost and weigh more. You can get this body and three zoom lenses for around £700. If you have Nikon lenses and no Canon lenses buy a Nikon. If you're starting out buy this.
It's better than mirrorless because it has simple controls that are easy to use and because you can buy sharp lenses for less money. If you want complex controls and know how to use them you probably won't buy a mirrorless camera but you might by this one. I have mirrorless 4/3 cameras. The image quality is not as good as with this APS C Canon. Any mirrorless camera that captures images well as this Canon will cost a lot more. Mirrorless will shoot a lot faster but in my experience there's no point in shooting faster unless you want to spend more time afterwards culling all the bad shots you'll take because of electronic finder and shutter lags. I'm not sold on mirrorless.
If you want control it's all there on the touch screen. Nothing you need to change often is buried too deep in sub menus. The touch screen is great, it pinch zooms and sweep pans like a living thing, just like my iphone. Mainly I shoot in priority modes with Auto ISO. I don't use live-view, the viewfinder is good. If you choose shutter priority with a fast shutter the camera will most often select the fastest aperture in preference to increasing the ISO. This can make close focusing critical with the 55-250 zoom so I usually manually set the aperture down a stop or two to get more depth and shoot in AV mode. That's how I took these shots of birds and butterflies (in my local park).
In my view there are only two things you need to pay more for: higher resolution, if you want to make small crops or really big prints, and custom settings buttons, if you want to take photos of different types of subject without having to faff around changing everything in menus. Thing is though that this camera is so small and light that you could carry two with different set ups and they'd be little more cumbersome or expensive than one more highly specified, heavier model. You can buy 8 of these for the price of one 5d mk3, which would not give you much more resolution, if you want enough resolution to make a print twice the width and height that this one can make then you'll need four times as many good pixels or getting on for 80MB. If you can afford a PhaseOne digital back and if you've got a crew to carry it you'll still want one of these for your days off. This is the whole beauty of this camera, even with the 55-250mm lens it weighs only 800g so you can walk miles with it hung over your neck and shoulder and you won't notice it's there. It's so cheap that if you drop it in the sea you can afford another. In two years it will be out of date and worthless. So what! you can buy the next one, which will be even better. Right now, for most people, this takes great photos way beyond the technical quality you'll need. What more do you need to know?
The autofocus is almost instantaneous. You don't need more autofocus points than the nine in this camera, more are a nightmare dreamed up by people in marketing who've worked out that higher numbers sell more cameras to people who don't know better. Normally, I turn off all the autofocus points except the one in the middle, this way I can press and hold quick and I don't have to keep telling the camera what part of the image I want to focus so I nail more shots. (The Canon EOS 30 of the late 90's had a great trick, I had one and it used to know where I was looking by sensing the position of my pupil, it then locked focus bang on target. That was a cheap camera with astonishing technology that worked, I don't know why Canon don't bring it back.)
Back to the 100D. The in camera Jpegs are nearly always spot on. I've set mine up to shoot RAW and Jpeg but I find I only need to edit a RAW file when I've made a bad exposure. When I've under-exposed there's about 4 stops detail in the shadows I can pull out if I don't mind some noise, if I've overexposed no camera can help. I add some extra sharpening and saturation in the camera settings. Mostly the Jpegs are great.
I am thrilled with this purchase. I'm always going to be tempted to trade up but I'm going to try and resist because this little camera is a complete treasure and that means it's always with me and never an over-bloated burden. Rock on!