« Camera Day | Main | Trapped »

November 19, 2004

Digital Rebel Thoughts

Now that I've had the Digital Rebel for four hours, I've got to dump some impressions out of my brain.
*Ergonomics* Mostly, the camera's quite comfortable, especially with the unexpected heft of the body. Between the adjustment dial and the aperture button, though, I wonder what the heck Canon was thinking. Setting the aperture in manual mode, when the camera's against my face, requires repositioning my right hand. It's fine when the camera's not already to my eye, but when I'm composing a shot and want to change the aperture, it's annoying. It's a fairly minor complaint, and honestly I spend more time in priority modes these days than full-on manual (Mr. Camera can spin those imaginary dials a lot faster than I can spin the physical one). It might even be more comfortable with the battery grip, as that would add a couple extra inches for a tall, large-handed guy like me to grab onto. *Build Quality* I had to laugh when I pulled it out of the box and discovered both its weight and the overall feel of the plastic. Obviously the people complaining about it feeling cheap haven't used some of Minolta's more recent low-end Maxxum film bodies. The rubber grip's a nice touch. The port flap also seems a lot more reliable than the PowerShots'. True, my PowerShot's flap is still hanging in there like a champ, but I'm sure anyone with an S200 can tell you how frightfully delicate it seems. The USB cable connector is also an improvement over a bunch of the PowerShot line. While my S200 has nice positive feedback and easy disconnection, it connects much more loosely than the Digital Rebel's, and I've corrupted downloads more than once by accidentally knocking the cable during a transfer. And now for a visit from the sad emoticon: I already have a couple scratches on the body, presumably just from dust that dug into the paint as I punched buttons. :( *Start-up Time* Coming from a compact digital, the Rebel's startup time is nothing. Coming from my Maxxum, it's only marginally slower. The startup process also doesn't grate on my nerves like it does on my Minolta film body, which runs the autofocus motor about halfway every time you turn it on or off. If you're that worried about missing a shot, turn the damn camera on and disable the auto-off. *Lens* I miss my focusing scale. Other than that, I can't really complain. It seems to produce a crisp, clear picture and everything works just hunky dory. Don't tell anyone, but the only focusing mark I've ever used anyway is infinity. So this won't kill me until I can pick up another lens or two. That 28-135mm image stabilized lens looks nice... especially when the rebate fairy comes... *Viewfinder* Nice! Especially nice is the diopter adjustment, which took ol' astigmatic me from squinting out the blurry viewfinder display to crisp green numbers in but two clicks of the wheel. I am going to have to sue Canon now, though, as they didn't include a warning about jabbing your finger into your eyeball as Nikon did. ;) *Autofocus* AI largely does a good job choosing the proper focus mode, but I can see where some people have concerns about it. For whatever reason, it decided my bedroom lampshade was moving and needed to be tracked with continuous focus. No problems with any of the other thirty of so shots I fired off while playing around, though. Focus response is fast, the viewfinder focus displays are clear, and using the flash for focus assist is just as annoying as it is on every other camera. The Rebel does seem to acquire focus with shorter flash bursts than many other cameras, though. *Costco Extras* The extra BP-511 battery is batterylicious. What more is there to say, really? It's the same battery that comes with the camera. It's grey and full of acid. Yum yum. The Canon Gadget Bag gets an "eh." The pros: It's water resistant. It gives you someplace to store you crap. It's compact. The cons: It's compact. Unless your idea of fun is disassembling the camera every time you put it away, you have to rip out a couple dividers as soon as you open the bag for the first time. According to Canon it can hold a couple bodies and three or four lenses. For traveling, yes. For actively shooting, not so much. Plus it's short enough that the variety of lenses you could actually store is limited. It does have tripod straps, though, which my more expensive camera bag doesn't have (the lack of which gets old fast when you're roaming around with a tripod just in case and rarely using it). And at *$899 in-store* for the body, lens, and extra crap, holy smokes is it an awesome deal.

Posted by Colin at November 19, 2004 8:02 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)