Canon EOS 1000D – First Impressions
As last week was extremely busy with work and university I needed to do something to relax and unwind. What better than to head out and do some photography with the Canon EOS 1000D that I am currently trialling thanks to Canon Australia (please see this post for details and a disclaimer).I have played around with the Camera a couple of times already and so I thought I would take this time to give my initial thoughts on the Canon EOS 1000D Digital SLR camera.
In this post I will go over my initial impressions of the camera including the battery life, continuous shooting mode, some of the features that I have begun using and finally some photos that I have taken in my first few rounds of my new life as a shutterbug. If you would like to skip to the album first and then come back to have a read, you can see My Trip to Manly album here (seven full quality examples are available).
The Camera Itself
After playing around with the EOS 1000D for a little over a week I feel that it has a very durable body. The unit feels very sturdy to hold and I have found it quite comfortable to work with for extended periods of time, even without the use of a tripod.
After speaking with a couple of my workmates who have had previous experience with Digital SLRs, both independently made the comment that the EOS 1000D seems to be extremely light in its design. It seems that the EOS 1000D lives up to the hype that it is the lightest Digital SLR that Canon has ever released, weighing in at only 450g.
One thing that I positively love with this camera is the speed in which it powers on, when the power is turned on it is ready to use almost instantly which will be a welcome feature to any budding or professional photographer (Canon states a 0.1second start up time). I have found the menu functions to be extremely easy to navigate and use and they should be easy enough to learn for anyone new to the Canon interface.
As I have only ever used simple point and shoot cameras prior to this SLR, the initial complexity of all the configuration options and additional buttons was extremely daunting. I started out by familiarising myself with the interface, without reading any manuals, through simple trial and error. (I am a geek, what can I say – that is the way geeks like to operate!) However I have to say that I found each of the options quite easy to get used to after I continued to play around with them more.
After using the EOS 1000D for around seven hours in total, thus far I really have only one minor gripe with the construct of the camera. The “main dial” which is used to scroll through options such as the ISO speed, shutter speed and aperture size is quite stiff. I can understand that it would be a large problem if the resistance on the scroll wheel was so low that a slight tap would cause it to move, however I am finding it difficult to get used to having to apply a fair amount of resistance to get the wheel moving. I am hoping this is just due to my lack of experience with the camera and that I will get used to this as I use the camera more, so will keep you posted on this one as my three months progress further.
I feel that when it came to battery life the EOS 1000D deserved a big green tick. When I went out last Sunday, I went out with a mission to see how many photos I could take before depleting the battery. To my absolute delight (and dismay to a degree) after 1175 photos, in which I filled up 5GB of memory cards, I had to call it a day. The battery metre was not even showing that the battery has yet reached half capacity when I finished.
At this point all I can say is… AWESOME job on the battery life Canon, I am going to have to set aside a whole day to go out and really push it to the limit. I will get back to you with my results on this in a future post.
The EOS 1000D has the ability to take up to three photos per second (or 1.5 per second when storing the RAW pictures). I found this feature invaluable when I was attempting to take photos of fast moving objects (such as the seagull photos you can see on page two of the album here).
I have to say that having a continuous shooting mode was a very new experience to me. Although I am very new to the SLR world, I can see many cases where this would be beneficial. This includes taking photos of fast-moving objects, photos of rapidly changing scenes, or photos where a rapid sequence is desired such as sporting events, or when children are running around.
I am sure this must come as a standard on most digital SLRs, but as this is the first one I have used all I can say is I LOVE it.
Features I have used
The EOS 1000D comes with 12 different modes and I will cover some of the most important modes progressively in my coming posts. The one that I wanted to try first was “TV”, which is for the Shutter Priority mode and is primarily aimed at capturing fast-moving objects such as cars, birds and water. Due to my brilliant memory I accidentally took a lot of the initial shots on the “AV” mode. The “AV” mode is the Aperture Priority mode and is used for changing the depth of field of a photo. For those of us who do not understand photography lingo (like me), this provides the ability to take photos where a single object is in focus in the foreground while the whole background is blurred (or vice versa).
Eventually I had to leave my geeky roots behind and consult the manual to really get my head around the features. After a few runs of trial and error and re-reading the corresponding sections of the manual I started to really get the hang of the “TV” function. As I mentioned it was the one I wanted to get my head around first. As I hope you will be able to see in the album of photos taken I was able to fine tune my techniques with this feature as the day progressed.
While I was learning the different features I found that the camera was quite responsive. For example, in the “TV” mode the aperture size value in the viewfinder would flash if the shutter speed was set to a value too high to allow enough light in for a successful photo. Also when I was using the manual focus, the camera provided several forms of audible and visual feedback to let me know when I had acquired the correct focus. The EOS 1000 D really does get points once again for ease of use, I found the feedback invaluable when learning what I should be doing and what I really should not be doing.
My Trip to Manly
As mentioned earlier you can see all the photos in my Secluded Habitat Manly Album, however as they are five pages long I thought I would include a couple here with some descriptions to give a bit of insight into them. If you click on any of the photos you will be able to see several larger versions.
As I was leaving Circular Quay, I managed to get this lovely shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with several sailing boats in front of it. I had to wait for just the right moment to get a few boats in front of it but I have to say I think this one came out really well. I was really happy that I was able to capture the wonder of the harbour on a sunny Sydney day.
To get these above two shots was not easy to tell you the truth, as the Seagulls were flying past quite quickly I went through a lot of shots before I managed to get these two beauties. Using the “TV” mode I was able to capture them in an instant and I feel that they have come out very clearly, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on what you think of these.
These final two photos are the two that I was really hoping to get when I ventured out on Sunday. I have always wanted to be able to capture a moment in time down to the last drop of water and the EOS 1000D did not disappoint. I was really surprised at how easy it was to get these photos with the 1000D. I have a few techniques to perfect but for a first attempt I thought I did pretty well.
So what are your thoughts, do you like my photos, are there any questions you have about the Canon EOS 1000D that you would like to ask and I can try to answer by trial and error? I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.
Full Quality Examples
If you would like to get some full quality examples of the photos I have taken (as they were downsized and downsampled automatically for my gallery) you can get seven of my favourites as a single zip file here. Please note that the zip file is ~37MB.