Live view

The Live view implementation on the EOS 1000D is shared with the 450D. This latest implementation provides both phase-detect auto-focus (the typical mirror down, screen blank, auto focus, mirror up approach) as well as contrast-detect auto-focus which works in the same way as a compact digital camera, slower but can be conducted with the mirror still up and no screen-blackout (so useful / acceptable in certain circumstances). Phase-detect AF in live view shares the quirks of the 450D's system: the only indication that focus has been achieved is the confirmation bleep and live view is not restored until you've responded to the bleep and released your finger from the shutter release button or AF (*) button.

Live view display modes

Pressing the DISP button while in Live view toggles between the three available display modes, each with differing levels of overlaid information. The final view shown below is the default view with optional 'thirds' grid lines enabled. If the camera is in quick autofocus mode (using the conventional phase-detection AF sensor), the active AF point or points will also appear in the screen.

1: Live view with magnification area indicated + status line showing shutter speed, aperture, flash compensation, exposure compensation, frames remaining and ISO sensitivity. 2: Live view with magnification area + status line + brief overlay (simulation mode, battery status, Picture Style, AE lock, flash-ready)
3: Live view with magnification area + status line+ overlay + live histogram Optional 'thirds' grid lines overlay

Live view magnification

Just as in playback mode you can magnify live view by pressing the enlarge button (or back out again with reduce). While magnified you can use the cursor buttons to move around the live image. The 10x zoom, that renders detail in very high resolution, allows a very high degree of manual focus accuracy.

Live view Depth-of-Field preview

One very useful feature in Live View is depth-of-field (DOF) preview, when the DOF preview button is pressed the camera stops the lens down to the selected aperture which provides you with an accurate representation of the depth-of-field of the final image. This system has advantages over the optical viewfinder in that it doesn't darken and can correctly represent the effects of large maximum apertures.

Depth of field preview can also be used in collaboration with the live view magnification to get a really detailed understanding of what will and won't be sharply in focus in the final image.

Normal Live View DOF preview button held at F8.0
5x live view zoom with DOF preview (F8.0) 5x live view zoom with DOF preview (F22)

Live view AF video clips (EOS 450D)

Note: these are taken from the 450D review whose behaviour appears to be identical. We'll update as soon as we can to ensure accuracy, though.

Below you will find two short video clips, the first executing auto-focus (from infinity) in live view with the 'Quick mode' option; using the normal passive auto-focus, which requires the mirror to drop, and hence the display is black during AF. The second shows the 'Live mode' option which performs auto-focus using a contrast-detect algorithm just like a compact camera, this is slower but doesn't require the display to blank. These sequences have been trimmed so that from pressing the play button on the clip there is exactly one second before the shutter release button is pressed.

Live view 'Quick mode' Auto Focus

This is obviously the fastest method of Auto Focus in Live View but ironically requires you to release your finger from the shutter release button once AF is achieved rather than automatically returning to Live View. This method took just under a second to focus (but the screen was blank for 1.4 seconds).

Live view 'Live mode' Auto Focus

Note that this method is quite a bit slower than 'Quick mode' (taking around 3.6 seconds here but up to 6 seconds in lower light conditions) but does have the advantage of not blanking the display and is theoretically at least more accurate.