Canon reveal new E0S 300D

Comment: Canon have just announced a new 6 mega pixel SLR digital camera with interchangeable lens. Pocket-lint was lucky enough to go to the launch and have a hands on with the camera. Build around the design of the EOS 10D, there are a lot of similarities. However, Canon aware of trying to save costs (it's only going to be £900 in the UK) have reduced some of the features leaving you with a kind of 10D LE rather than a completely new camera.

Test shots we were shown in a live demonstration were very good, however our two main concerns were that in continuous mode you could only take four shots before the camera froze and the pictures had to be written onto the Compact Flash included and that the lens that is supplied with the camera is specific to the 300D. While you can bring other lens from the Canon range, due to the length of the lens mounting it onto a standard 35 SLR would mean that the rear of the lens would hit the glass plate when taking a picture.

At £900 including lens this is about half the price of the new Olympus E-1 and puts it actually only slightly more expensive than the G series that Canon offers. What is to become of the G series? Who knows, even Canon when questioned seemed to be unsure. Either way this does seem like a product that will get people into professional SLR digital cameras and a relatively cheap price considering the competition.

Canon EOS 300D - 6 Megapixel digital SLR
for the consumer now a reality

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, August 20, 2003. - Canon, a leader in photographic and imaging technology, today launches the EOS 300D 6.3 Megapixel digital SLR. The availability in the market of an affordable consumer digital SLR is expected to greatly accelerate the speed of adoption by consumers.

“Canon expects 400-500% growth in the digital SLR segment from 2002 to 2003 in terms of shipping volume*,” says Hiroshi Komatsuzaki, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. “The EOS 300D will play a key strategic role in this growth. By dropping the price so significantly, Canon is very deliberately putting high performance EOS digital technology into the hands of the consumer at a time of accelerating demand for high performance digital cameras”.
The EOS 300D bundles proven high performance technologies (such as seven-point, high-speed predictive auto focus, 2.5 frame per second burst rate, 35-zone metering and DIGIC image processor) into a camera affordable to everybody.
Canon has declared the EOS 300D to be the single most important consumer SLR since the A-E1 in 1976. Just as the AE-1 triggered an SLR revolution by being the world's first camera with an embedded microcomputer, Canon believes the EOS 300D will be seen as the point in history when the SLR market shifted irrevocably to digital.

Precision optics, unrivalled sensor quality
At the front end of the EOS 300D is the lens system and digital sensor. Film EOS users considering the move to digital will be pleased to learn the EOS 300D works seamlessly with any of Canon's renowned EF lenses, of which there are currently more than 60.
An APS-C sized sensor gives the camera a 1.6x magnification over 35mm film format. In order to furnish EOS 300D customers with the equivalent 28-90mm zoom range so popular with 35mm film EOS users, a new EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 lens** has been specially developed. This lens takes advantage of the compact sensor size, employing a ‘short back focus system' which mounts the lens closer to the sensor than previous models. This provides high-quality images in a remarkably low-weight, short-length lens.
The 6.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor is almost identical to that found in the award-winning EOS 10D which remains the benchmark for image quality. ISO speeds of 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600 are selectable, giving film users a film speed range with which they will be comfortable.

Print straight from the camera
The EOS 300D is the first digital EOS camera to support the vendor-independant PictBridge print standard from launch date. Lab-quality prints can now be produced without the need for a computer by directly connecting the EOS 300D to compatible photo printers via standard USB cable. A large 1.8” LCD is used to select and review photographs to be printed and set print variables.

Fast image processing with superb results
Underpinning the camera's technical superiority is Canon's high-speed DIGIC (Digital Image Core) processor. In the days of film, image processing was the role of film companies and mini-labs. With digital, the critical role of image processing must be handled by the camera. Complex algorithms required to accurately process functions such as white balance and color rendition are integrated into the DIGIC processor, resulting in high quality images with no trade-off in camera responsiveness. “A great digital image requires both quality raw ingredients and quality processing” says Komatsuzaki. “Superior lens and sensor technologies ensure the best raw ingredients. It is what DIGIC does with these that gives the EOS 300D the edge”.

Wide area, high speed focusing
7 selectable focusing points give an ultra wide AF area generally only found in advanced SLRs. Focusing modes include One-Shot AF (for fast, accurate single-shot focusing), and AI AF which can automatically switch to AI servo AF for continuous tracking of subject movement - well suited to sports photography. A Manual Focus override is selectable from the lens.

High-end exposure control
The EOS 300D boasts 35 zone TTL metering, essentially covering the full frame. Three metering modes (evaluative, partial, and centre weighted average) assure balanced exposures in every situation. Along with the full range of automated and manual shooting modes expected in a high-end SLR, the EOS 300D features Programmed Image Control modes such as Night Portrait, Sports, Close-up, Landscape, Portrait and Flash OFF. A built-in automatic flash pops up nearly 90mm above the optical axis to lessen the chance of red-eye for better flash photos.

Shooting adaptability
The EOS 300D is superbly specified to deliver outstanding results in virtually any shooting situation. The camera has a shutter speed range of 1/4000 - 30 seconds, bulb and high speed x-sync at 1/200s. Simultaneous recording to both RAW and JPEG (middle/fine) formats is possible, while 2GB and higher CompactFlash cards, Types I and II, are supported. Optional wired or infra-red wireless remote control is available. Adobe RGB has been added to the standard sRGB colour space. There are seven Auto White Balance settings (such as cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, etc.) plus custom White Balance and +/- 3 stop White Balance Bracketing (WB-BKT).

Comprehensive accessories, software and online access
The EOS 300D comes complete with battery pack, charger, USB cable, video cable, wide embroidered anti-slip neck strap. Purchase of the EOS 300D entitles customers to membership of the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY*** web portal for a 100 MB online photo album for image uploads. A full software suite is included for handling image file transfers between camera and computer, managing and printing files, and preview and conversion of RAW image files. PhotoStitch is included for seamless merging of panorama shots.