Canon EOS 100D review: Canon EOS 100D

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent

Average User Rating

5 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Extremely compact and lightweight. Excellent touchscreen. Very good image quality.

The Bad Some users might find the design a little cramped. No built-in Wi-Fi. Short battery life compared to other SLRs.

The Bottom Line Offering the same image quality as other entry-level Canon SLRs but with a much smaller body, the 100D is a satisfying first step into the world of SLR photography.

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Lured by the prospect of an interchangeable lens camera (ILC)? Canon wants to bring you back to the world of SLRs with the 100D.

Design and features

Engineered for photographers who have always wanted the flexibility of an SLR, but have been put off by the size and weight, the 100D weighs just 407 grams. Though it looks like any other Canon SLR from the outside, everything is smaller — 12 per cent slimmer than the 650D, which was released last year.

Not much has been compromised on the specification sheet, however. The camera shares the same 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor as the 650D and the 700D, which was announced at the same time as the 100D. It has a Digic 5 image processor and nine AF points, though only one cross-type at the centre.

Depending on the lens you pair the camera with, the 100D sits neatly in the palm of your hand. The grip is small, and larger hands will find they overwhelm the petite body. Swivel the camera around, and the 3-inch touchscreen takes up most of the back panel. This also means that other buttons and dials are kept to an absolute minimum. A four-way directional pad is present, but has no markings to show what each direction is used for. Playback, exposure compensation and an aperture button are the other main controls.

While the downscaling of buttons might look like the 100D is only for beginner photographers, the mode dial at the top does house all the same controls found on any other SLR in the form of full program, aperture, shutter and manual exposure modes. Beginners also get access to full automatic, portrait, landscape, macro, sports and no flash and creative automatic modes.

Canon 100D
Canon 100D
Canon 100D
Canon 100D

Click through for hands-on photos with the 100D. (Credit: CBSi)

Like any other SLR, it can shoot JPEG and RAW images, while support for the faster UHS-I SD cards means that the buffer gets a boost to a maximum of 1140 JPEG shots when using continuous mode. At four frames per second, continuous shooting is no slouch, either. At the back of the camera sits the same 3-inch capacitive touchscreen that was on the 650D.

The hybrid CMOS AF system is designed for photographers who shoot primarily in Live View, or who take a lot of video. Also seen in the 650D, the phase-detection system quickly grabs a focusing point, and then the camera switches into the more traditional contrast detection to achieve precise focus. In the 100D, the hybrid system now covers 80 per cent of the sensor size, which is supposed to give better results than earlier cameras.

Connectivity comes in the form of a 3.5mm microphone jack, remote port, USB and HDMI out — all found underneath the one flap at the side of the camera. Like all other Canon SLRs, image stabilisation is provided through the lens.

The 100D now gets the ability to preview creative filter effects in Live View mode on the screen, before taking the photo.

Compared to

Canon 100D Nikon D3200 Canon 700D Sony A57
18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor 16.1-megapixel Exmor HD APS-C sensor
3-inch, 1.04-million dot touchscreen LCD 3-inch, 921,000-dot LCD 3-inch, 1.04-million dot touchscreen LCD 3-inch, 921,600-dot rotating (from base) LCD
Full HD video (1080p, 30/25/24fps, H.264) Full HD video (1080p, 25/24fps, H.264) Full HD video (1080p, 30/25/24fps, H.264) Full HD video (10800, 50/25fps, H.264/AVCHD)
9-point AF (centre cross-type) 11-point AF 9-point AF (all cross-type) 15-point AF (3 cross-type)
4fps 4fps 5fps 12fps
407 grams 505 grams 580 grams 539 grams

Performance

General shooting metrics (in seconds)

  • Start-up to first shot
  • JPEG shot-to-shot time
  • RAW shot-to-shot time
  • Shutter lag
  • 0.30.40.50.1
    Canon EOS 650D
  • 0.30.60.60.3
    Nikon D3200
  • 0.60.20.30.1
    Canon EOS 100D
  • 1.60.50.50.1
    Sony A57

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Continuous shooting speed (in frames per second)

  • 12
    Sony A57
  • 5
    Canon EOS 650D
  • 4.1
    Canon EOS 100D
  • 3.9
    Nikon D3200

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

The 100D did not slow down significantly when producing a burst of JPEG shots, getting to around 30 frames before any evidence of processing time or buffering came into play.

The focusing system is nimble, on par with earlier cameras in this class from Canon. There are, however, very small focusing points in the viewfinder, which can be difficult to pinpoint on your desired subject. No doubt that Canon is counting on many users to compose and take shots using Live View and the touchscreen, which supports features like touch to focus for more precise handling. When using Live View, focusing is still just as slow as on all the other entry-level Canon SLRs, so don't expect any dramatic improvements there.

What is missing on the 100D is a built-in Wi-Fi option. With an increasing number of ILCs and SLRs featuring this functionality, it's a shame that there's no way to instantly transfer photos or videos to a mobile device, especially since this is a feature touted on many other Canon cameras, like the PowerShot N and higher-end 6D.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Canon EOS 100D (with 18-55mm STM lens)

Part Number: EOS100DKIS
Low Price: $688.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Optical Zoom 3 x
  • Optical Sensor Type CMOS
  • Sensor Resolution 18.0 Megapixel
  • Image Stabiliser optical
  • Optical Sensor Size 14.9 x 22.3mm
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