One reason that Canon needs a new entry-level model is that the 450D simply can’t compete on price with the base models from the other manufacturers. With Sony’s Alpha A200 available for under £300 with an 18-70mm kit lens, Nikon’s D60 selling for around £350 with lens, the Olympus E-420 available for around £360 with a high-quality Zuiko 14-42mm lens, and even the weatherproof Pentax K200D selling for around £370, the £450 EOS 450D looks rather pricey.
The bit I don’t understand is that the EOS 1000D is currently selling for around £420 with the Canon’s much-criticised 18-55mm kit lens. Given that it seems to be built out of the parts bin I would have expected Canon to price the camera much more competitively. It seems to be a strange decision to launch a new entry-level camera that’s around £100 more expensive than the rival cameras against which it will have to compete. Admittedly the price will probably fall once the 1000D has been on sale for a few more months, but in that time more and more people will buy Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Pentax, and Canon’s market share will fall even further. If they could have launched the 1000D at £350 with a lens, even that dire 18-55, then they’d have cleaned up, but as it stands the 1000D is simply too expensive.
Another problem is that the EOS 1000D just doesn’t feel like £420 worth of camera. Instead it feels light and slightly flimsy, especially when compared to the robust build quality of models like the Olympus E-420 and Pentax K200D. The body is very small, the handgrip is too thin and too close to the lens barrel, at least for my hands, and the viewfinder is narrow and tunnel-like. While I have no doubt that the usual Canon fans will highly recommend it, I was not as impressed as I usually am by Canon DSLRs. The 1000D feels like a stop-gap measure, something that was rushed out of the factory to fill a gap in the market rather than the usual well-designed and well made products for which Canon has a deserved reputation.