Conclusion - Pros

  • Excellent resolution, pulls ahead of EOS-D60 (just), no moiré at resolution limit
  • Good color, if different response than the EOS-D60, Adobe RGB delivers better accuracy
  • Noise free 'silky smooth' images
  • Very low noise levels even at ISO 1600, virtually unnoticeable below this
  • Images not 'over sharpened' or damaged by visible sharpening artifacts
  • Excellent long exposure capability, some 'stuck pixels' in very long exposures (3 mins plus)
  • Both reduced shutter release lag and reduced viewfinder blackout are noticeable
  • Vastly improved auto focus system, focuses twice as quickly, works in much lower light
  • Seven point AF and Registered AF button
  • Very clever 'smart buffering' means you can almost always take the next shot
  • Good metering, still no specific 'spot metering'
  • Good manual preset white balance, average automatic white balance, Kelvin option added
  • Much less of a 'dust problem' than other competitive cameras (special filter?)
  • In-camera programmable 'parameter sets' to control image processing algorithms
  • Adobe RGB parameter, although it's a shame you can't combine with other parameters
  • RAW mode provides the 'digital negative', about 1 stop of latitude in over exposed images
  • New and improved File Viewer Utility is a vast improvement, still slow however
  • Remote capture software for studio setups
  • All metal body feels solid, robust, reassuring quality
  • Built as a Digital SLR from the ground up
  • Easy to use, integrated digital / photographic controls and displays
  • Improved control layout, power switch is far better
  • Playback magnification up to 10x (perfect for checking focus)
  • Orientation sensor for automatic image rotation
  • Improved, higher resolution and brighter LCD monitor
  • Full Canon EF lens compatible
  • Improved IBM Microdrive performance, better than EOS-D30 & D60
  • Good combination of both full auto, scene and manual exposure controls
  • Highlighted AF points
  • Top panel LCD illuminated
  • Custom functions to control camera operation
  • Excellent battery life, light weight and small batteries
  • Excellent supplied software suite
  • Superb value for money, even better than the EOS-D60!

Conclusion - Cons

  • Opening the CF compartment door shuts camera down, loses any buffered images
  • Average automatic white balance performance, we expected more
  • Confusing sequence of lights in AI Servo auto focus
  • Stuck pixel noise in very long night exposures (3 mins plus)
  • Viewfinder view is smaller than film or full frame digital SLR's
  • Five levels of parameter adjustment is welcome, but why stop there?
  • No parameter adjustment with Adobe RGB color space selected
  • White balance not fine-tunable
  • ISO sensitivity not displayed on viewfinder status bar while being changed
  • Slow RAW conversion

Overall conclusion

Canon had a tough act to follow, the EOS-D60 carved out an excellent name for itself from reviewers and owners alike. With that in mind Canon stuck to the formula, a 'half height' digital SLR body with a similar layout to the EOS-D60 but this time it would have an all magnesium body just like the EOS-1D and 1Ds. With the design work done it was time to move inside and make some more significant changes such as taking out the D30/D60's Achilles heel (their AF system) and replacing it with the far more capable system from the EOS-30. Other internal improvements included the new LCD monitor, the addition of Adobe RGB, a rotation sensor and crucially support for sensitivity equivalence up to ISO 3200.

With this achieved Canon could be forgiven for introducing the EOS-10D at the D60's original list price ($2,199 for the kit) but instead they announced the EOS-10D with $1,999 list, $1,499 street price. I've seen plenty of buyers on our Canon SLR Talk forum picking up 10D's for less than this. So not only have Canon taken a very successful camera and made it even better but they've knocked around $500 from the price, and just 12 months later.

If you've ever handled a D30 or D60 and you pick up the EOS-10D you'll be immediately struck by how much stronger this camera feels, and how much that body adds to the feeling of quality and superb value. The next surprise will be your first auto focus, which will be remarkably fast and certain. Then the shutter release, with a quoted 50 ms off the shutter release lag and a halving of the viewfinder blackout the EOS-10D feels a whole lot more responsive.

I have no concerns in stating that as things stand (at the time of writing this review) the EOS-10D is the absolute best in class, with the best image quality, lowest high sensitivity noise, superb build quality and excellent price (not to mention the huge choice of lenses).

Highly Recommended

So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.

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