Canon EOS 400D Review
Conclusion - Pros
* Excellent resolution, lots of detail, not a leap from eight megapixels, but certainly from six
* Good color with selectable PictureStyles for different subject types
* Good dynamic range (more than peers) with soft roll-off of highlights
* 'Integrated Cleaning System' designed to keep dust at bay
* Widest range of image parameter adjustments among its peers
* Low noise throughout the sensitivity range, noise reduction maintains detail well
* Good in-camera image processing, resolution advantage shooting RAW is slight
* Larger, brighter and more detailed LCD monitor
* Re-designed user interface a great improvement over the EOS 350D
* On-screen setting adjustment (ISO, WB, etc.) surprisingly quick and easy to use
* Updated nine point AF system, proved fast, accurate and still good in low light
* Very fast off to shot time (virtually instant), slightly slower if you want to read screen
* Numerous small bug fixes improve usability
* Magnification available in record review (although requires two button press)
* Small and light but hand grip is still too small, can be uncomfortable for large hands
* Excellent supplied software bundle, two RAW conversion options
* Remote capture software included for computer controlled shooting
* Unique JUMP mode in playback (by date, 10 or 100 images)
* Value for money
Conclusion - Cons
* Kit lens disappointing, better to buy body only and spend more on a good lens
* Sporadic continuous shooting once buffer is full
* Occasional under-exposure issue with Evaluative metering
* Average automatic white balance performance, still very poor under incandescent light
* ISO, WB, Metering mode etc. not displayed on viewfinder status bar during change
* Flash must be raised for AF assist
* No Kelvin white balance selection in-camera
* No spot metering
* No mass storage device USB driver, poor WIA transfer rates (and awkward to use)
* Opening the CF compartment door shuts camera down, loses any buffered images
* Small viewfinder view
Canon changed the entire digital camera market when they revealed the EOS 300D. Launched in a huge way, they clearly expected it to be a big success. The ripples of that day forced prices lower and removed an entire category of camera (the 'prosumer' all-in-one compact). Canon put digital SLRs into the hands of people who would otherwise never had considered one. For better or worse the sub-$1000 digital SLR had arrived. Of course the EOS 300D was a huge commercial success, as too was its successor, the EOS 350D, which followed eighteen months later.
Detail (D-SLR) Rating (out of 10)
Build quality 8.0
Ergonomics & handling 8.0
Image quality 8.5
Performance (speed) 8.0
18 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Solid entry level camera
I've had my 400D since mid 2007 when I bought it on ebay from Canon as a refurbished model. It hasn't let me down since, despite some quite heavy use. I've gone from the stock lens, to an old mkI 18-55, own a sigma 18-200 and now use a sigma 18-55 DC EX MACRO and 50mm 1.4 prime. This change in lenses really reflects what this camera has taught me. It really is great for getting into photography, which, thanks to camera's like these, is no longer so clique and elitist as it once was.
I'm getting ready to buy a 40D as I feel I've learnt enough to justify it and squeezed the best out of the little 400D I can, which has it faults, but is great at making you work for your shots.
The ISO above 400 is a bit iffy, 1600 is unusable, the focusing can be a bit off (you'll soon get very good at shooting in P, Tv or Av and slipping it to M to open the apature and get a focus lock after it passes in and out couple of times) and the lack of spot metering really makes you think about an exposure, custom functions give a great deal of additional control and the user defined picture styles really help. The bottom line is the camera can take some stunning pictures, the stock lens desperately lets this camera down. A decent screen and a decent lens and this camera can impress anyone.
I have had some slip ups with the Canon though, the spring attached to the mirror decided to come off after a trip and mess up the sensor so that all needed replacing but apart from that its done very very well, I have no idea how many shots its taken but the bin I dump to has 30+gb of pictures in it.
I never want to own a camera or lens I'm afraid to chuck in my bag and walk around with everywhere I go and in that regard, the small size of the camera makes it really useful, its light enough to wrap the strap around your wrist and carry the camera with just your finger tips on the grip and forget about it but when you want to take a picture the power button is right next to your thumb, its a great camera for spontaneous pictures.
If you're reading these reviews and playing with the idea of getting an older semi pro camera like the 20/30D or an entry level ***D and are just getting into DSLR photography, my suggestion is to get one of the latter. You will learn far more from one of these camera's. As the semi pro camera's are capable of taking such amazing shots, the line between good and amazing is far less defined. With a 400D esque camera you will know when you've taken a great picture because you'll have had to think about it. It not that the 400D is less forgiving, its more as though the semi pro camera's help out more. My suggestion is to buy something like this and then put your money into getting some great lenses.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Good for it's time but newer models aren't much more expensive.
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
|Size / weight|
|Value for money|
Review for: Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel Xti 10.1 MP Digital SLR Camera - Black (Kit w/ EF-S II 18-55mm Lens)
I originally purchased this item as I enjoy taking photographs of the people around me, my pets and my BJDs (small dolls; think porclein doll has a baby with an action figure). Sufficing to say portrait and macro are the most important forms of photography to my interests and enviroment.
As somebody completley new to DSLRs (just moving up from a point and shoot) I found the view finder incredibly easy to adapt too and was glad of the LCD screen's automatic shut off when I put the camera close to my eye to compose a photograph. I found myself enarmoured with the very proffesional sounds of the shutter which are reminiscent of old time press and journalists. Although several reviews on the internet at large complain about size I found it to be enjoyable to hold without the extra battery grip(and I'm 6ft, with long thin hands and fingers). The camera itself is incredibly light; it looks very grand but feels like a point and shoot, which is great for carrying it around for extended periods of time. The menus are tricky to navigate as a beginner but the pe-programmed modes are fairly easy to learn how to use - even venturing on to manual is Ok, if not a bit daunting at first. I didn't receive the user manual with this, so bare that in mind.
The image quality was surprising to me. I used only a 50mm f/1.8 Canon lens and not the kit lens. The colours are certainly more true to life than from my P and S, and reflections in glass and water appear sharper and much more vivid. You can see tiny details and if Depth of Field is something you've been lusting after then boy have you got it in this 400D. There's a slight under exposure problem in the automatic mode and for low light you'll still need a tripod and the included self timer to keep things sharp. The onboard flash is surprisingly mild which is actually a good thing; it illuminates without washing out. The image quality was better than my P and S in terms of colour and depth of field and I was complimented on my test photographs by several more professional aquaintances; however I do find that in good lighting conditions my P and S (which has 12.2 megapixels) far out preformed the 400D in terms of overall sharpness when cropping, blowing up the image to a larger size and even just reviewing in general.
Sadly I only had this camera for a day and thus can't really say I learned too much from it, nor that I checked out every feature in extensive detail. I do feel if I'd had more time with it my own skills could have improved and thus I would have gotten more out of the camera. In terms of image quality though (which I'm sure most newbies can be accused of coveting the most) I definitley think somebody with a newer point and shoot model will find this a step down once you get past all of the fancy effect and bells and whistles of this DSLR and see the 10 megapixels for what they truly are. If however you have an older or more basic point and shoot this will render you pretty much sppechless when you first review your photographs. I'm going to try out the T3i next as I just want more resolution for my money. Certainly though if you're looking for something about £100 cheaper then the 400D will make you smile without making your wallet cry when it comes to purchasing a DSLR. But do make sure you get an extra battery and CF cards as you'll probably be taking a lot of photographers to get the hang of this at first.
Great way to start your photo hobby.
This is classified as an entry level digital SLR, however, that is not to say it does not take excellent pictures. I know there is a lot of talk about resolution and all that but let me ask, when is the last time you printed any pictures?? If at all, was it anything greater than 5x7? Any camera with a resolution of at least 8MP will render crisp pictures of 12x10 inches pretty well. The XTi is a 10MP camera.
So, with that taken care of, let's talk about the camera itself. It is very user friendly and the controls are readily accessible and easy to interpret. Had mine for over a year and hardly ever referred to the manual. Apart from the usual manual settings, you have options for night scenes, sports and portraits. You can take color or black and white shots as well.
Now if you are looking to get into photography more seriously and not sure about what camera to get, I reccommend this. What I would say though is that you could do away with the kit lens and get a better one. I had read about this before I bought mine but didn't understand. The quality of the pictures you get, apart from the skillfulness of the user, heavily relies on the quality of the lens you have. This is not to say that the kit lens is not a good deal, for the price it is, but you could readily pass it up and get the 18-55 IS lens (IS stands for Image Stabilization) which is not too expensive and is a better quality than the one that regularly comes with the camera. You'll notice that prices are falling drastically for the camera bodies but not as fast for the lenses. That should tell you something.
I must have taken at least close to 10,000 pictures and I can't say I have treated mine with all that much care, but I still get excellent results and the camra can take a bashing.
Though other similar models have come out (XS and XSi), the XTi still holds its appeal and value.
Another thing to consider is that Canon slrs have a wider choice of lenses to chose from compared to any other brand in the market.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.