White Balance

The EOS 350D's automatic white balance performance is virtually identical to previous EOS digital cameras, good in natural light, acceptable in fluorescent light but really rather poor in incandescent light. Again it's a shame that Canon hasn't advanced automatic white balance performance on their digital SLR's. In addition to automatic white balance there are of course a range of WB presets and manual WB (although no Kelvin temperature option). You can also now fine-tune the WB presets in the same manner as the EOS 20D.

Outdoor - Auto WB
Red: -0.1%, Blue: 0.4%

Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red: 1.7%, Blue: -4.3%
Incandescent - Auto WB
Red: 10.4%, Blue: -15.5%

Long Exposure noise reduction / Night shots

With the introduction (or return of depending on how you look at it) of custom functions the 350D allows you to enable or disable long exposure noise reduction. When enabled this noise reduction system works in the typical 'dark frame' manner, a second exposure immediately after the first but with the shutter closed, the noise pattern is used to remove 'hot pixels' from the image. In our tests up to the timed maximum of 30 seconds we couldn't find any evidence of hot pixels even with noise reduction switched off.

Noise reduction Off Noise reduction On
ISO 100, 30 sec, F11 ISO 100, 30 sec, F11


The 350D features the latest version of Canon's flash metering system, E-TTL II. This features in h both the built-in flash unit and when using external speedlite units attached to the hot-shoe. E-TTL II utilizes additional 'distance information' provided to the camera by the lens (although not all lenses support this function).

ISO 100, 1/60 sec, F2.5 (P mode) ISO 100, 1/60 sec, F5.6 (P mode)

Kit Lens

With the introduction of the original EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) Canon produced a low cost lens which could be included with the camera 'Kit', the EF-S 18 - 55 mm F3.5-F5.6. This lens proved to be fairly good as $100 lenses go with good resolution and fairly good edge to edge sharpness (we were surprised). The EOS 350D Kit also includes an EF-S 18 - 55 mm but it now carries the 'II' (Mark 2) suffix to indicate that it is a slightly tweaked and improved version of the original. To test these improvements we shot our standard resolution chart with both lenses at a variety of focal lengths and apertures.

Wide angle: 18 mm @ F3.5 (maximum aperture)

EF-S 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6 II EF-S 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6

Wide angle: 18 mm @ F9

EF-S 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6 II EF-S 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6

Telephoto: 55 mm @ F5.6 (maximum aperture)

EF-S 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6 II EF-S 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6

Telephoto: 55 mm @ F9

EF-S 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6 II EF-S 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6

The Mark II lens appears to have had improvements made to corner sharpness at maximum aperture and light fall-off (vignetting) at maximum aperture. However it's performance at telephoto with smaller apertures is disappointing with noticeable softness and ghosting when compared to the older lens. The difficulty is that in Auto or Program AE the camera will tend to stop down in brighter light situations, if you're using the kit lens this could lead to soft looking images.

My choice

My personal favorite lens to use with the EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT) would be the very good EF-S 17 - 85 mm F4.0 - F5.6 IS which provides big five times wide angle zoom and image stabilization, however at $600 it does push the initial price of a 350D kit to $1,500.

Overall Image Quality / Specifics

Being based around Canon's excellent CMOS sensor and DiGiC II image processor it comes as no surprise that the EOS 350D delivered the same clean, sharp, well balanced images we've come to expect from Canon D-SLR's. At ISO 100 and 200 noise is virtually undetectable, increase to ISO 400 and 800 and there's a little noise visible but it's still below the level at which it would cause issues, even printed at larger sizes. The 350D's default image processing parameter set ('Parameter 1') ensures punchy sharp images straight out of the camera but you can get slightly more neutral images more suited to post-processing by using Parameter 2 which has zero settings for all parameters.