Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT/ Kiss n Digital Review
The 350D's viewfinder does appear to have changed slightly, magnification is down from 0.88x to 0.8x which makes the size of the frame smaller when looking through the eyepiece. However Canon's claim that the new focusing screen means a brighter image does appear to be true, the view certainly seems brighter and yet the screen is just as matte for manual focusing.
The EOS 350D has no center metering circle indicated on the viewfinder focusing screen. The AF areas are indicated by a small LED dot in the center of the AF point rectangle rather than the entire rectangle glowing red. With a depression of the shutter release button (half or full) this dot will briefly light to indicated the selected AF point (either automatic or manual).
The EOS 350D's battery compartment is in the base of the hand grip behind a plastic door (with a metal hinge). Unlike the 300D the 350D's smaller NB-2LH battery fits horizontally into the base, it is held in place by an orange clip on the right side of the battery. The Lithium-Ion NB-2LH is the same battery used in the PowerShot S60 / S70 compact digital cameras, it is about half the weight of the BP-511 used in the 300D and provides 65% of that battery's capacity. The NB-2LH is rated at 7.4V, 720 mAh (5.3 Wh).
A new battery means a new charger (at least to the digital EOS range), the CB-2LT to be precise, it has a large lamp on the charger edge which glows red during charging and turns green once the battery is fully charged.
Battery Grip (optional)
The optional BG-E3 battery grip (previous grips are not compatible) attaches to the EOS 350D in the same way as the BG-E1 did on the EOS 300D, that is you remove the battery compartment door, insert the grip into the battery compartment and tighten the tripod screw into the base of the camera. The BG-E3 provides two battery slots (for two NB-2LH batteries) and includes a magazine which can take six AA's. In addition it provides a vertical grip, shutter release, main dial, AE/FE lock button, AF point selector and exposure compensation button.
Compact Flash Compartment
The Compact Flash compartment on the EOS 350D is at the rear corner of the hand grip, the red CF activity light is now to the bottom left corner of the four way controller. The door itself is plastic with a metal hinge, opened by pulling back and flipping open to the right. The EOS 350D is compatible with either Type I or Type II CompactFlash cards, it also supports the FAT32 filesystem which means you can use cards over 2 GB in capacity.
The same old design flaw
It's getting old now but once more I'm surprised to see Canon hasn't addressed the 'same old' design flaw in the operation of the CF door which has been a problem in this line of digital SLR's since the EOS D30. As soon as you open the CF door the camera powers down and you lose any buffered images which haven't yet been written to the CF card. What's even more amazing is that the ever-so-simple fix has been available on the PowerShot G series since the G3. The fix is simply to have a beep alarm which sounds if you open the door and images are still being written, this beep sounds until writing has completed.
On the left side of the camera are all of the cameras connections, these are protected by a rubber cover which fits flush when closed. In summary from top to bottom: Video Out, Remote terminal (right; E3 type), USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed). Note that unlike the EOS 20D the EOS 350D does not have a PC Sync terminal (although you can still use studio lights with a cheap hot-shoe->PC Sync adapter). The EOS 350D supports PictBridge direct camera to printer (via USB) printing.
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