A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the Canon EOS 450D, the latest in a successful line of consumer digital SLR cameras, and discovered that although it is a good camera it is too expensive to be considered an entry-level model. As I remarked in that review, Canon has been losing ground in the DSLR market recently, mostly to Nikon and Sony, thanks mainly to some very strong and well-priced entry-level models. Pentax and Olympus also have some excellent low-cost DSLR models, leaving Canon looking a bit exposed at that end of the market.
To answer this challenge, in June Canon announced the EOS 1000D, a new entry-level model designed to lure buyers into the EOS camera system. Since the new model has to fit into the EOS range below the 12.2-megapixel 450D it will come as little surprise that the 1000D is a 10.1-megapixel model, also featuring the latest DSLR must-have feature, live monitor view.
Of course Canon already has a 10.1-megapixel DSLR in its line-up, the EOS 400D, which is still available for around £340 body-only. So is the new camera just a 400D with live view bolted on? Not quite; in fact it would be more accurate to describe the 1000D as a cut-down 450D than an upgraded 400D, although it shares some features with both models. The body size and shape is a much closer match, and the control layout is also almost identical to the 450D, although the 1000D has the 400D’s 2.5-inch 230K monitor. At 450g the new camera is 25g lighter than the 450D and 80g lighter than the 400D.
In terms of specification the 1000D shares the same 22.2 x 14.8mm CMOS sensor as the 400D, but is equipped with the new DIGIC III image processor, the same as the 450D. The autofocus system has a seven-point sensor similar to the discontinued EOS 350D, rather than the nine-point system found in the 400D and 450D, while exposure metering is handled by the same 35-point TTL system that Canon has been using for several years. The Live View mode is taken straight from the EOS 450D, including the limited contrast-detection AF function.