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Hands on with the Canon 100D and 700D

Find out more about the latest Canon entry-level SLRs with hands on photos and first impressions.

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Two new Canon SLRs have made their way into the company's line-up, the 100D and 700D. Here are some of the first photos of the cameras, as well as initial impressions.

For a full rundown of functionality and features, click through to our previews of the mini 100D and the step-up 700D.

There's really only one word to describe the EOS 100D — tiny. With just over 400 grams to its name, it is the world's smallest and lightest digital SLR with an APS-C sensor.

Paired with the 40mm pancake lens, the camera feels almost like a toy, given that it can sit comfortably in the palm of a hand.

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Small dimensions do not make for a slouch though, as the 100D comes kitted out with 3.5mm mic jack connectivity, as well as HDMI output, a remote port and USB out.

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Here's a size comparison with the 700D (right) and a fifty cent coin, just to give you an idea of the relative size of the 100D.

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The back of the camera houses a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1.04-million dots. This means that photographers can tap to focus and adjust exposure settings without needing to press any physical buttons.

A new feature for the Canon range, though not uncommon on other SLRs, is the ability to preview creative effects in Live View mode. As you can see, there's a monochrome mode available, though there are also toy camera and fish-eye effects there, too. Previously on the Canon range, you would have had to take the photo and then apply the filter through the playback menu.

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The touchscreen extends to the menu system as well. While you might not be convinced about the usability aspects of a touchscreen SLR, Canon's implementation is pretty seamless, allowing you to accurately select menu options. It's the same touchscreen that was on the EOS 650D from last year.

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Larger hands shouldn't find the camera's petite nature too difficult to get to grips with, thanks to the textured surface around the front. Plus, beginners get access to automatic mode, as well as a number of scene modes on the top dial. Flicking the power switch up to the dedicated notch activates movie mode. There's a button next to the screen that starts and stops recording.

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Moving on to the 700D, you'll find a flip-out, variable-angle touchscreen LCD. Not much has changed on this front from the 650D, except for the ability to preview filter effects in Live View.

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As well as new bodies, Canon is introducing a new kit lens to complement the range. The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 gets upgraded to an STM lens — STM is a stepped motor, which helps the lens focus quietly, smoothly and more accurately than non-STM lenses. This is particularly useful for video shooters and those photographers who prefer to use Live View rather than the optical viewfinder.

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A small but important touch for anyone who has used an entry-level Canon SLR after a more advanced model — the mode dial now rotates 360 degrees. This means that you can quickly flick to any other option required, rather than having to navigate back and forth in limited movement.

Options on the dial are now also embossed rather than printed, which may help with wear and tear.

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Both cameras will be available in April, though no RRPs have been set. The 100D and 700D will be presented as body only, with an 18-55mm lens or an 18-55mm and 55-250mm lens. The 700D will also have the option of an 18-135mm kit, and some retailers may bundle the 100D with the 40mm pancake and 18-55mm, too.

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