Canon's obviously decided the market for its amateur SLRs is big enough for two cameras, not one. The highly successful EOS 400D has made way for the slightly more upmarket EOS 450D and this £350 EOS 1000D. So what are we looking at here -- technical development or budget bargain-hunting?
Canon's designed the EOS 1000D to be both affordable and easy to use, and it manages both pretty well. Like previous EOS SLRs, it has a clear and simple control layout that also puts important everyday functions such as white balance and ISO right at your fingertips. And while Canon's price tag looks rather steep, dealer discounting means that the 1000D pitches up head to head against Nikon's established D60.
But the EOS 1000D has a 10-megapixel CMOS sensor, just like the old EOS 400D, and even has more or less the same body. So what was the point? In broad terms, the 1000D looks pretty similar, but it does have some significant improvements.
One of these is the new live view. It can often be useful to compose shots on the LCD rather than the viewfinder, and while there is the usual clanking of mirrors and shunting of shutters that you get with dSLR live view systems generally, it's definitely worth having and works very well.
The 1000D also comes with an image-stabilised version of Canon's 18-55mm kit lens. Canon claims it offers a four-stop shutter speed advantage, though while it is very effective it's not foolproof (no IS system is), so that's a best-case scenario.
The other improvement is in the LCD. It measures just 64mm (2.5 inches), so it's not the world's biggest, but it is extremely clear and bright, and makes the old EOS 400D's screen look murky by comparison.