Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT/ Kiss n Digital Review
On 20th August 2003 Canon dropped a bomb into the digital SLR market with the six megapixel sub-$1,000 EOS 300D (Digital Rebel). Eighteen months later and just in time for the largest trade show of the year (PMA 2005) Canon has revealed the successor to the 300D, the new, smaller, eight megapixel, EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT). At first you'd be forgiven for thinking this was just a drop-in upgrade of the EOS 300D with the EOS 20D's eight megapixel sensor, but in actual fact it has a new CMOS sensor (it's 8.0 megapixels versus the 20D's 8.2 megapixels), the 350D also has a smaller body, re-worked design, DIGIC II, new features and custom functions.
Global production of the EOS 300D started at 70,000 units per month, this was increased to 100,000 units per month a few months later. Canon clearly have big plans for the EOS 350D because they will be start production at 130,000 units per month (which is almost twice the initial production level for the EOS 300D).
Summary of changes (compared to the EOS 300D / Digital Rebel)
- Eight megapixel CMOS sensor (not same as EOS 20D)
- Second generation CMOS (same generation as rest of current range)
- DIGIC II image processor (better image quality, faster processing, less power consumption)
- Instant power-on time, faster shutter release, shorter blackout time
- Continuous shooting speed increased (3.0 fps vs. 2.5 fps)
- Buffer increased (14 JPEG frames vs. 4 JPEG frames)
- Image processing time decreased (thanks to DIGIC II)
- Compact Flash write speed increased
- Smaller body (15 x 5 x 8 mm smaller)
- Lighter weight (17% lighter including battery)
- Matte plastic finish, standard body color to be black, sliver will also be available
- Re-designed control layout (drive mode button, new metering mode & AF buttons)
- Metal mode dial
- Harder rubber finish on hand grip (doesn't feel much like rubber)
- Smaller and lighter NB-2LH battery (same as PowerShot S60 / S70) which is 48% lighter
- Rear LCD panel changed
- Flash pop-up slightly higher (just 5 mm)
- E-TTL II flash
- Nine custom functions
- Customizable SET button
- Control noise reduction
- Flash sync speed in Av mode
- Shutter button / AE button
- AF-assist beam control
- Selectable 0.3 or 0.5 EV exposure steps
- Mirror lock-up
- E-TTL II mode
- Flash shutter curtain sync (1st or 2nd)
- Selectable Metering mode
- Selectable AF mode
- Flash exposure compensation
- Independently selectable color space
- Two preset and three custom image parameter sets, B&W mode (same as EOS 20D)
- White balance fine tuning and bracketing (improved)
- Proper RAW+JPEG (one RAW, one JPEG; although only Large/Fine)
- Record review histogram via Info button
- Play Jump mode by shot date, 10 or 100 images
- USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection
- New BG-E3 battery grip (portrait controls), takes two NB-2LH or six AA batteries
- Two additional menu languages added; Korean and Russian
- Subtly re-designed kit lens now named the EF-S 18 - 55 mm II (still no USM)
- Software now includes ZoomBrowser, DPP and EOS Capture
- Lower initial list price
If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).
Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.
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This article is Copyright 2005 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey