• Price When Reviewed: 323 . 370

  • Pros: Excellent picture quality; small, lightweight body with good handling; effective sensor cleaning and anti-shake (IS) zoom lens.

  • Cons: Seven-point AF system; erratic; small viewfinder image and sluggish Raw-capture burst rate; part-plastic body.

  • Expert Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

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Canon’s latest foray into the entry-level digital SLR market has resulted in the 10-megapixel EOS 1000D, based on the earlier EOS 400D. While the new EOS shares some of that model’s features and looks, such as a similar resolution sensor with auto-cleaning, it also inherits the mid-range EOS 450D’s live-view operation and image-stabilized kit lens.

This addition is well worth the slight premium over the non-IS version, not only for its anti-shake capabilities, but also for its improved optical performance.

It’s sharp across the frame, and a good match for the high-quality CMOS sensor. However, we have mixed feelings over the live-view operation.

The EOS 1000D has both Imager AF and Quick AF, using the faster viewfinder-based focusing system for everyday use, but its implementation through a selection of custom options is poor. Nor is it particularly quick in use. On the other hand, the slower imager-based AF is a real advantage when critical focus accuracy is required, for example, in the studio or for macro-work. Couple that with the ability to control the camera settings and adjust focus from a tethered computer, using the bundled software, and live view can be seen as a real boon.

In the hands, the EOS 1000D feels responsive and generally handles well. The new main menu is the same as that adopted by the rest of the maker’s models, right up to the pro-level Mk IIIs. It’s pretty well-made too, but its plastic shell doesn’t feel quite as tough as that found on the Nikon D60.

We were also saddened to see the excellent nine-point AF system found on the EOS 400D pared down to just seven points. From our tests we found it was lacking reliability for off-centre subjects and behaved a little erratically. The viewfinder image is pretty small too, but the ISO setting is displayed at all times, even when set to Auto, and is a welcome – if overdue – addition.