What happens when your entry-level DSLR camera ceases to be entry-level? You launch another one of course, but can Canon’s new entry-level DSLR appeal to beginners? We had a quick play at the UK launch.
Sporting 10 megapixels and a 2.5-inch screen the Canon EOS 1000D comes across rather lightweight when compared to the meatier 450D DSLR.
Not necessarily a bad thing, the design on the whole is simpler and smaller than the 450D with some features, such as the eye sensor that turns the screen on and off when you are looking through the viewfinder, missing.
Following the 450D's lead and trying to appeal to digital photographers upgrading, the 1000D camera, as you would imagine, dumps the bulky CompactFlash memory format for SD card and this as with the 450D, has allowed Canon to create a more compact design all around.
Buttons are similarly placed to the 450D and the menu interface is virtually identical although not that it is likely to matter to the new Canon DSLR user with no previous experience of Canon’s DSLR interface.
Either way, the interace is easy to use and understand with a range of options available to the user at the press of a couple of buttons.
Other cutbacks to the 450D include a drop in resolution from 12 to 10 megapixels and the lack of one-spot metering in favour of a 7-point wide offering instead, however it does get LiveView and the ability to work with the usual array of Canon accessories, although not the infrared remote.
In use and the camera is comfortable in the hand offering enough manual control without over-complicating the matter and the design is straightforward.
In our brief play at the UK launch in London, we were able to play with three models in total (all the 1000D but with different lenses) but were unable to take pictures with any of the new cameras - the product isn’t going to be in the shops until August.
That said, shooting without an SD card, the camera seemed responsive using the 18-55 Image stabilised kit lens that comes in the box and likely to suit the enthusiastic photographer looking to upgrade.
It’s clear that Canon has found itself in a situation where they are lacking a model at the low end of the digital SLR market. While the 450D has allowed Canon to come on leaps and bounds in what it offers, an increase in features and tech has meant the 450D has become a mid-level entry-level camera rather than an entry-level entry-level model.
Rather than allow the 400D or 350D continue to service this market the company has, even if it won’t admit so itself, reinvented the older models as the 1000D.
From our quick play, the result looks to be positive, however there is a catch. Mainly that you’ll have to pay for the Canon brand.
Currently Canon are stating a street price of around £579.99 in the UK. Compare that to the Nikon D60 which is selling on Amazon for a rather lower £410 and you can see the problem that lies ahead for the camera maker.
Talking to Canon, a spokesperson admitted that this could be a problem when it comes to convincing consumers, however, he believed that photographers will be more than happy to pay for the quality it professes it offers.
The EOS 1000D will be available in August.