Touchscreen controls

The EOS 100D employs the same capacitative-type multi-touch screen that we first saw on the EOS 650D. This means that it works much like a modern smartphone, with a highly responsive, intuitive interface. As with other most touchscreen cameras you can set your desired focus point simply by touching the screen, and if you like, even have the camera take the picture at the same time. As we saw on the EOS M, you can adjust the sensitivity of the touchscreen, which, according to Canon can make it usable with thin gloves.

The EOS 100D, like the 650D before it, features comprehensive touchscreen capability for control of both camera settings and menu options. Users who prefer button-only operation can disable touchscreen functionality altogether.

The EOS 100D's touchscreen interface is the same one we saw on the EOS 650D and EOS M. Unlike on the 650D, however, the screen here is fixed, not articulated, a concession presumably made for a more compact camera size. Fast processing and a capacitive touch screen mean the interface immediately feels responsive. Pressing the center 'Q' button on the back of the camera brings up a touch-sensitive quick menu, with each icon retaining the same position it holds when the camera displays its current settings on the screen. This gives it an almost smartphone level of intuitiveness.

As on previous Canons, you don't have to use the touchscreen if you don't want to - you can just as easily navigate around the Q screen using the 4-way controller, and change the selected setting simply by spinning the main dial. The Q menu's range of available options isn't entirely comprehensive, but in PASM mode we found we could very quickly adjust almost all of the settings we wanted. Whether you're looking to engage picture styles or creative filters, or adjust white balance or exposure, the setting is at your fingertips.

Touchscreen displays

In live view the Q menu allows for easy touch-enabled access to key shooting controls, with well-defined and proportioned icons. The camera's main menu system can also be navigated by touch. We do find the tab icons a bit too small to select reliably by touch, but as usual you can just use the 4-way controller instead.

Video snapshot

The 100D uses Canon's unique video snapshot mode. This records short clips of a pre-determined length and stitches them together to a multi-take movie that in principle should be more interesting than long, unbroken footage. Snapshots can be 2, 4 or 8 seconds long, but you can't mix and match lengths in a given album.

In playback mode you can freely re-order the clips in an album.

Hybrid CMOS AF II

Introduced in the EOS 650D and also included in the EOS M, Canon's 'hybrid' AF system gets an update in the EOS 100D. The on-imager phase-detection system means that the autofocus system is able to make use of the company's extensive understanding of phase-detection subject tracking while in live view. It also means that the camera should always know in which direction to begin searching for focus, unless your subject is right at the edge of the frame. Systems based solely on contrast-detection can sometimes get this wrong, with the result that the camera re-focuses all the way out of focus before coming back again, resulting in a video that suddenly drops totally out of focus before recovering.

In a significant upgrade from the version found on the EOS M and 650D, the 'Mark II' hybrid AF on the EOS 100D now covers a very large percentage of the live view area (indicated by the brackets.

In live view mode the phase-detection system is used for identifying where the subject currently is, with contrast detection then kicking-in to fine-tune focus. While this does not completely eliminate 'focus wobble' as the camera confirms focus, in our tests it noticeably reduces focus hunting thanks to the combination of the two AF technologies. This hybrid AF technology is available with all EF-compatible lenses. Yet it should be noted that it is only with Canon's STM lenses like the recent EF 40mm f/2.8 STMEF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and co-announced EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (all designed for more efficient contrast-detect AF performance) that you'll be able to take full advantage of the hybrid AF system.