Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Canon EOS 100D: Quality gear

I must admit I like a camera. I'd class myself as an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to photography, nothing more, but whether you're like me or someone a bit more competent, there's no doubt that the right gear can make the difference.

I've owned cameras since I was knee high, including a Brownie, an old Praktica SLR, moving through old 35mm compacts. My first digital camera was a Canon Digital Ixus 55 - in fact I still have it, along with at least 3 other digital cameras ranging in age and functionality, as well as my iPhone which can take a pretty decent pic. My most recent acquisition was a Panasonic Lumix TZ60 about 6 months ago. Whilst it's a very decent camera, there are times when I feel it just doesn't cut the mustard. Sometimes it's picture quality, sometimes it's responsiveness or battery life.  Don't get me wrong - it's a very decent bit of kit and highly pocketable, and maybe I just haven't learnt to use it to the best of its abilities.

Over the last 6 months I've been lusting after a "proper" camera, and the Canon EOS 100D had caught my eye. My brother in law has one and when I gave it the once over I was impressed. It's small for a DSLR - claimed to be one of the smallest and lightest DSLR's out there, although it's still a chunky DSLR! Let's face it, you're not going to be slipping one of these into a pocket for a night out, and with additional lenses, you can find yourself lugging a fair bit of kit about.

After many weeks of humming and ahhhing, I took the plunge yesterday. My immediate reaction why did I wait so long!

Frankly, this is a stunning camera for the price. I paid £319 and with £30 cash back due from Canon, that means it's effectively £289. It comes with an 18-55m lens although you can buy it body only at around £279. I did add a 70-300mm Sigma lens for £89, which again is very decent value, and a lens that has pretty good reviews.

I'm not going to bore you with all the marketing stuff - you can find that from Canon themselves here.

What I will say is as soon as you fire this up, you know you've got a very good bit of kit. After years of compacts, and compact travel zooms, hearing (and feeling) the "thunk" of the shutter is a joy - no debate about whether you've taken the shot here! The autofocus is quick, the battery life seems great (full afternoon of shooting and hasn't dropped from full), enough settings to keep me happy, but a sensible auto option that works well. It has a large touchscreen on the rear, but I prefer taking picture with a viewfinder (which is one of the reasons I bought and like the Lumix TZ60 - it's one of the few compact travel zooms with a viewfinder option), and fundamentally it takes really good pictures.

I'm really impressed with everything about the camera. So far I've pretty much just fired off a load of shots on the auto setting, but I'll be getting to grips with the more intricate settings and possibilities in time. If you love photography, and want to make the best of it, there's no doubt that having a decent camera makes a huge difference. That's not to say that you can't take great photos with a compact, travel zoom, or even today's raft of very decent smartphones - I've taken some belters with my iPhone 6 when light and conditions are right.

So would I recommend this EOS 100D. You bet. I've fallen in love with this lovely bit of kit already.

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