Under your thumb

On the right side of the camera "under your thumb" are three buttons. The is the new registered AF point button, the second by default acts as an AE or FE lock button, it can however can be reprogrammed through custom function 4 (table below). The last button is for selecting AF point, a single press of this button then roll either the main dial to select AF points horizontally or the quick command dial to select automatic AF points vertically. AF point is highlighted.

Shooting mode

Button Operation
Registered AF point button (Assist button)

The Assist button can be programmed to return the AF point to a pre-registered position. By default you must hold the AF point button and press the Assist button together, although this operation can be altered with custom function 13.
AE / FE Lock

Press to trigger automatic exposure and lock the exposure for the next shot. Hold the button to lock the exposure for more than one shot. The exact function of this button can be programmed with custom function 4 (see below).
AF point button

Press to choose a single AF point, turn the main dial to select AF points horizontally and the quick control dial to select AF points vertically. If all AF points are highlighted the camera will automatically select the AF points used.

Play mode

Button Operation
Thumbnail index / reduce magnification

If in single view play mode pressing this button will switch to a 3 x 3 thumbnail index. If already magnified it will step back in magnification levels once.

Press to magnify the current image, there fifteen steps up to a maximum magnification of 10x. Use the quick control dial to pan around the image, press the direction switch button to change from horizontal to vertical panning. Note that it is possible to change image while maintaining magnification, just roll the main dial.

Shutter button / AE lock button function (C fn. 4)

Most sports photographers will prefer to use setting 1 or 3 where you can control WHEN the camera AF executes, a simple press of your thumb will start AF, then you can fire off as many shots as you like (more quickly obviously) without the camera refocusing, plus you can manual focus once the AF has completed.

Custom Function 4
Setting Shutter button half-press AE Lock button
0 AE, AF AE lock
1 AE lock * AE, AF
2 AE, AF AF lock (no AE lock)
3 AE * AE, AF (no AE lock)

* With these settings the shutter release button takes on a shooting priority rather
than focus priority, the camera will fire even without a good focus lock.

Notable improvement: Registered AF point button, seven point AF.

Rear of camera controls

The rear of the EOS-10D will be at first familiar and yet subtly different for EOS-D60 owners. Firstly the image magnify controls have now been shifted to the 'under thumb' position (far more logical), and a new direction change button has been added. All buttons related only to play mode are in light blue, the quick control dial has a cleaner design and more importantly the power button has been moved and improved.

By default the quick control dial is used to set exposure compensation (which will only work when there's an exposure reading on the viewfinder status bar or top LCD). Compensation can be made in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps (custom function 6).

Shooting mode

Button Operation
Enter / Leave the Menu

The camera menu is described on the following pages of this review.

Displays current camera settings / information (click here for an example).

Play mode

Button Operation
Enter / Leave the Menu

The camera menu is described on the following pages of this review.

Switches between
Jump mode

Enters jump mode which allows you to skip through images by 9 frames forward or backward.
Direction switch

This button is only operational in magnified playback mode, press the button to switch panning movement of the quick control dial between horizontal and vertical.

Displays the last image shot (the last image on the card). The EOS-10D is a "shooting priority" camera, that means that no matter what is displayed on the rear LCD this will be canceled if any of the cameras photographic functions (example half-pressing the shutter release) are accessed.


Press to erase the current image, displays an OK / Cancel dialog. In play mode you also get the option to erase all images (except those protected).

Notable improvement: More logical control layout, improved power On/Off switch.

Lens mount controls

On the side of the lens mount are the final set of camera controls. First is the flash open button, a press of this (assuming the exposure mode allows flash) will pop-up the onboard flash (this is motorized).

Below the lens release button is the depth of field preview button (positioned just right for a tap from your thumb when supporting the lens), press this and the lens stops down to the indicated aperture to give a preview of the depth of field through the viewfinder.

Sensor Cleaning

Just like the D60 the EOS-10D has a dedicated sensor cleaning mode (now accessed from the main menu). Unlike the D60 you can now clean the sensor with a well charged battery pack (no longer requires the AC adapter).

When enabled the mirror flips up and shutter opens. Canon recommend using a non compressed-air blower (the normal lens cleaning pump type without a brush).

Here's what the EOS-10D manual warns about sensor cleaning:

  • During the sensor cleaning, never do any of the following that would turn off the power. If the power is cut off, the shutter will close and it may damage the shutter curtains and image sensor.
    • Do not turn the power switch to OFF
    • Do not open the CF card slot cover
    • Do not remove the battery
  • Do not insert the blower tip inside the camera beyond the lens mount. If the power goes out, shutter will close and the shutter curtains and image sensor may be damaged.
  • Do not use a blower brush. The brush can scratch the CMOS sensor.
  • Never use cleaning sprays or blower sprays. The pressure and freezing action of the spray gas may damage the surface of the image sensor.
  • When the battery is exhausted, the beeper will sound and the battery icon will blink on the LCD panel. Set the power switch to OFF and replace the battery. Then start again.

Why do the EOS-D30 / D60 and 10D have less of a dust problem?

It has been our experience, and that of many owners that the EOS-D30 / D60 (and now the 10D) have less of a dust problem than some other digital SLR's. My personal theory behind the reasoning for this is the positioning of the camera's low pass filter and sensor. As you can see in the diagrams below dust would gather on the surface of the LPF, far enough away we presume so that dust particles do not interfere directly with the focal plane of the sensor (and are therefore less visible).