The scarlet camera

Canon has upgraded its entry-level digital SLR range with two cameras, the 1100D and 600D . CNET Australia got some hands-on time with the cameras.

The 1100D replaces the 1000D , and the 600D is the step-up from the 550D in Canon's range. Unfortunately, as these were preproduction models we weren't able to show you any images taken with the cameras, so stay tuned for our reviews soon.

Notice anything different? The 1100D now comes in three colours: a cherry red, gunmetal silver and standard black plastic finish. In a sartorial move that's bound to win over fashionistas, the camera straps also match the colour of your chosen SLR.

Watch out Pentax, you're not the only ones with coloured SLRs any more.

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A top-down view of the 1100D showing a similar configuration to the camera it supersedes, though the flash button has now shifted position. Inside the 1100D is a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and it can now take HD videos (720p).

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Also announced at the same time as these cameras are two new speedlite (flash) units. The 270EXII (pictured on the 1100D) and 320EX are both compact units. The 270EXII can be tilted vertically in order to bounce light and has a slave function so it can be used for wireless triggering. The 320EX also has a slave function, can be bounced vertically and horizontally, has controls around the back and also has an LED light that can be used for video recording.

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The screen on the 1100D is a 2.7-inch LCD with 230,000 dots. Other controls on the back include a one-touch video record button.

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New lenses are part and parcel of any new SLR launch, and this is no exception. The EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 mark III is an upgrade to the standard 18-55mm kit lens with a few design improvements. The mark II version, also new, includes an image stabiliser.

Configurations include body only, single kit with 18-55mm mark II, single IS kit with 18-55mm mark II, twin kit with 18-55mm mark III and 75-300mm mark II, and twin IS kit with 18-55mm mark II and 55-250mm. All prices are yet to be finalised.

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Now to the 600D, which now sits at the top of the entry-level SLR range from Canon. This is a bit like a shrunken down 60D , with a similar 3-inch flip-out LCD screen. It also has the creative filters for different photo effects such as grainy black-and-white, toy camera and fisheye.

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Here's the flip-out LCD in action, with 1.04 million dots. Inside there's also an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor and it can also shoot full-HD video in 30, 25 and 24fps like the 60D.

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Connectivity options include HDMI, USB, microphone input and a remote control port.

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The 1100D in the other two colours, gunmetal grey and black. The 1100D, 600D and 270EXII will be available from March 2011, and the 320EX will be available from April 2011.

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