is more frustrating than watching your newly-purchased consumer
electronics product get replaced a month after you bought it.
That happened to me a month ago, when Canon announced
the new EOS-10D Digital
SLR ($1499 street price), which replaced the EOS-D60 that I had
just bought for more money. Beside the
lower price, there are several other significant differences
- Uses new DIGIC chip for faster processing and autofocus, plus
better photo quality
- 7 selectable AF points
- Can now
set white balance color temperature (2800 - 10,000 °K,
in 100°K increments)
- ISO sensitivities expanded: can now do 1600 and 3200
- Higher resolution LCD
- Selectable color spaces: sRGB or Adobe RGB
- Automatic image rotation
- Nearly twice
as many custom functions
- Improved battery life
- New Magnesium Alloy body
- Supports FAT32 file format on large memory cards
One thing that has not changed is the 6.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor
-- it's the same on both cameras.
the EOS-10D as nice as the specs make it sound? Should D60 owners
run out and upgrade? Find out now in our review!
in the Box?
bundle on the EOS-10D has changed since the D60, as you'll see
below. There is no longer a body-only option available either.
6.3 (effective) Mpixel Canon EOS-10D camera
Li-ion rechargeable battery pack
featuring EOS Digital Solution Disk 5.0 and Adobe Photoshop
page camera manual + software manual (both printed)
biggest changes in the bundle are in the power department. No
longer do you get the cool dual battery charger -- now it's
just a single battery model. The AC adapter is now optional as
well, and buying that will set you back $85. I guess that's one
way to get the price down.
of power, the 10D uses the same BP-511/512 batteries as the D60
and several other Canon cameras. This 7.4V, 1100mAh battery has
power rating of 8.1 Watt/hours (Wh). Canon has improved the battery
life on the 10D. Now you can take about 650 shots per charge
if you don't use the flash (up from 620 on the D60), or 500 shots
if you use the flash 50% of the time (up from 490). One thing
to note about proprietary batteries like this -- they're expensive!
Also, if you run out of juice "in the field", you can't
just pop in some AAs to finish the day.
it's time to recharge, pop the battery into the included CB-5L
charger. It takes 90 minutes to fully charge the battery.
SLRs do not include a lens or memory card. It's up to you to
10D supports the IBM Microdrive, and I've been happily using
one with both my 10D and D60. Do note that Microdrives are power
and will drain the batteries
faster than a standard CompactFlash card.
far as accessories go, if you can name any one accessory,
Want a different eyecup? Done. Flashes? Take your pick. Filters,
flashes, carrying cases, and more are all available. And
to buy a lens!
Canon EOS Digital Solution Disk includes the usual software:
PhotoStitch, Remote Capture, and the File Viewer Utility. There
are also TWAIN and WIA drivers for Windows. All of the main programs
are now Mac OS X native. The camera does NOT mount on your desktop
like some others -- you'll need to use Canon's software or a
card reader to get your photos off the camera in OS X.
is a simple photo for viewing and performing basic editing tasks
on your photos. It's one of the better programs of its kind.
PhotoStitch is my favorite program for creating panoramic shots.
RemoteCapture lets you control your EOS-10D on your computer,
via the USB cable.
File Viewer Utility (the images shown were taken with my D60,
not the 10D)
File Viewer Utility does just that... it lets you view images
on your camera and local disks. You can also use it to convert
files in RAW format to standard formats like TIFF.
Photoshop Elements 2.0
final piece of the software bundle is Adobe Photoshop Elements
2.0. This is an excellent program for beginners and enthusiasts
alike, and I'd recommend it even if you don't buy the 10D. It
may just sound like a stripped down version of Photoshop (it
is missing some of the advanced features of the full version),
but it also has many tools for photo enthusiasts not found in
Photoshop. This includes numerous "recipes" for repairing photos,
one-touch image enhancement, panorama creation, special effects,
10D's manual isn't as user-friendly as their PowerShot manuals,
but it sure is complete. Everything you ever wanted to know
your camera is here (and then some).
are quite a few changes between the D60 and 10D in terms of the
body. One of the biggest is the new magnesium alloy body. It
feels a heck of a lot more solid, and the D60 was well-built
to begin with.
controls have been moved around as well. Rather than list them
all here, I'll show some side-by-side pictures now, and will
discuss the changes in detail as we go through this section.
Can you spot several differences in these photos.
Some of them are good, some aren't. But more on that later.
official dimensions of the camera, sans lens, are 5.9
x 4.2 x 3.0 inches (WxHxD), the same as the D60. Despite the
new metal body, the EOS-10D weighs just 10 g more than the D60,
at 790 g.
let's get our tour of the 10D underway, starting with the front.
a look at the Canon EF lens mount. Practically any Canon EF
lenses that you own will work (not all, as I've learned -- I
tried one 50mm lens that didn't work). One thing
to keep in mind is that you must multiply the lens focal length
focal length on the 10D. For example, a 50mm lens is really an
80mm lens on the 10D.
to the right of the lens mount is the lens release button.
the lens mount, you can see the built-in flash. The working
range of this flash depends on many things, including the ISO
and what lens you're using. At ISO 100 on a 24 - 85 mm lens, the
range is 1.0 - 3.7 m at wide-angle, and 1.0
- 2.9 m at telephoto. This is an improvement over the D60.
the built-in flash doesn't do it for you, the camera has a hot
shoe as well. More on that later.
to the upper-left of the lens mount is the redeye reduction lamp,
which doubles as the self-timer countdown lamp.
you looked carefully at the comparison pictures above, you're
probably wondering what happened to the AF-assist lamp that was
on the D60. On the 10D, Canon uses the built-in flash for the
same effect. However, you must have the flash popped up to use
it, and when you do that, the camera automatically takes a flash
picture as well.
what do you do when you want to use the AF-assist lamp on a non-flash
picture? The easiest way is to change custom function #05, which
I'll describe later in the review. Another way is to use a Speedlite
or Speedlite wireless transmitter, which have an AF-assist
take a flash picture.
back of the cameras has been refined in a very positive way.
The 1.8" LCD is higher resolution, and it really shows. It's
also quite a bit brighter.
case you're new to D-SLRs, you cannot preview an image on the
before it is taken. It is used solely for reviewing pictures
and operating the menu system.
thing that can happen with the LCD is nose smudges. Buying
eyecup would probably take care of that problem. The eyecups come
right off, and there are several other types available from Canon.
optical viewfinder is huge, and covers 95% of the frame.
an information line at the bottom, which shows exposure info and
settings. Also, there are seven boxes in the viewfinder
that show the points that the camera is focusing on. A diopter
wheel (on the top-right corner of the viewfinder) will help
out those with less than
are five buttons to the left of the LCD:
- enters the menu system
- Shows current settings in record mode, and histogram/exposure
data in playback mode
- quickly move through photos in playback mode
switching button - for "zoom and scroll" feature in playback
button below the LCD is for deleting photos -- one at a time,
or all of them. The next button over is the main power switch.
the upper-right of that is what Canon calls the Quick Control
dial. You use this to navigate through the menu system, as well
as for adjusting some manual controls. You can disable this dial
by using the switch adjacent to it, so you don't accidentally
change your settings.
are three buttons at the upper-right of the back of the camera,
and two of them are multi-function. From left to right, they
button - used to quickly get back to
your saved focus point
lock - auto exposure and
flash exposure locking
mode / Reduce
point selector - AF point selection
allows you to use the command dial to move between 7
focus points on the viewfinder
now it's time for the top of the camera.
There's plenty to see
here, so I'll work my way from left to right.
on the left side is the mode wheel, which has many choices. There
are task-specific modes ("scene modes") and general shooting
modes. Here goes:
(auto depth of field)
priority (Av) mode
priority (Tv) mode
are all those for? If you're buying the 10D, you probably already
know, but just in case, here's my explanation.
depth-of-field mode will attempt to put all subjects, even at
distances, in focus. For example, you may want this mode if you're
taking a picture of a group of people where everyone is in different
places in the frame.
mode will let the camera pick the best shutter speed and aperture,
while giving you control over all the other settings. This is in
contrast with Auto mode, which is basically a point-and-shoot mode.
over the aperture, use aperture priority mode, where
you'll pick the aperture, and the camera chooses the shutter
The aperture range will vary according to your lens.
priority mode is the exact opposite of aperture priority mode. You
will have a choice of shutter speeds ranging from 30 - 1/4000 seconds,
and the camera will pick the aperture. There is also a bulb mode,
where the shutter is kept open for as long as the shutter release
button is pressed. This feature works best with a remote shutter
release (of which there are many available).
manual mode lets you choose both the shutter speed and aperture.
new "flash off" item on the mode wheel disables both
the built-in flash, as well as any Speedlite you may have attached.
this isn't the way to get the camera to use the AF-assist feature
taking a flash picture.
other items on the mode wheel are "scene modes", where the camera
picks the best settings for each situation.
with our tour, the next item on the top of the camera is the
hot shoe. The 10D is fully compatible with Canon's
EX-series Speedlites. If you want to use a non-Canon flash, you're
doing so at your own risk. It may or may not work correctly.
The camera can sync with compact, non-Canon flashes at 1/200
sec or slower, or 1/60 sec of slower for large studio flashes.
towards the right, we reach the LCD info display, and more buttons.
First, the buttons. To change an option with one of these buttons,
you press it and then have six seconds to use either the main
or quick control dials to choose a setting. The buttons have
the following function (from left to right):
||Main Dial Function
||Quick Control Dial Function
||LCD backlight - turns on orange backlight on
the LCD info display (no need to use dials for this one)
mode (One shot, AI servo)
balance (Auto, daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent,
flash, custom, °K)
(Single-frame, continuous shooting, self-timer)
|ISO (100, 200, 400, 800, 1600) - if ISO expansion is turned
on, you can do 3200 as well
(Evaluative, partial, center-weighted average)
exposure compensation (-2EV to +2EV, 1/3EV increments)
EOS-10D received a nice new feature that was once only found
on their EOS-1D and -1Ds. That's the ability to set the white
balance by color temperature. You can choose a temperature between
2800 - 10000 °K, in increments of 100 °K.
other features are the same as on the D60. The
one shot AF mode is the one you'll use for everyday shooting.
servo is for action shots, when objects are constantly in motion.
shooting mode will take up to 9 photos at 3 frames/second. This
is a slight improvement over the D60.
all those buttons is the LCD info display, as I mentioned. It
displays a plethora of information, which doesn't require listing
here (that's why Canon includes that thick manual). It's also
backlit, which sure comes in handy when you're taking night scenes.
the top-right of the photo, you'll see the main dial, as well
as the shutter release button.
this side of the camera, there are a couple of things to notice.
Just to the right of the lens mount, there are two buttons (three
if you count the lens release). The top one will pop-up the
flash (it's an electronic, not mechanical release),
while the bottom one is used to preview the depth of field.
to the right, under a rubber cover, you'll find all the I/O ports
on the EOS-10D. Let's take a closer look.
bottom two ports are for external flash sync (left) and remote
release (right). Above that you'll find USB and video out ports.
The USB connector has changed since the D60, so your old cable
won't work here.
the more expensive digital SLRs out there, the EOS-10D does
not have FireWire (neither did the D60). It's USB only.
on the other side, you'll find the CompactFlash slot, which is
a reinforced plastic door. This is a Type II slot, so the IBM Microdrive
is fully supported.
the door while the camera is on will shut it off. If it's still
recording images to the CF card, it will stop doing that as well.
the bottom of the camera, you'll find a metal tripod mount as
as the battery compartment. There's an additional compartment for
a watch battery that stores your camera's settings.
tripod mount is inline with the lens.
the Canon EOS-10D
EOS-10D starts up even faster than the D60. It takes a little
over two seconds before you can begin taking photos. This number
will vary a bit depending on what kind of memory card you are
speeds will also depend somewhat on your choice of lens, but
it's still blazing fast. It takes well under a second for the
camera to lock focus when you half-press the shutter release
button. If the AF-assist lamp is used, it will take slightly
longer. In low light, the camera focused decently without the
lamp, and very well with it.
area in which the 10D really stands out over its predecessor
is with regard to shutter lag. I've owned the D60 for several
months, and immediately noticed the improvement when I picked
10D. The lag is unnoticeable, even at slower shutter speeds.
The shot-to-shot speed is also impressive, as it was on the
D60. This is one of those cameras where you can really
shoot as fast
as you can compose (or at least until the buffer fills up).
After you take a photo, you can hit the delete button to review
and/or delete the shot just taken.
take a look at the many image size and quality choices on the EOS-10D:
Images on 128MB card
3072 x 2048
2048 x 1360
1536 x 1024
sizes have gotten a little smaller since the D60. Another change
is how the 10D handles the RAW image format. Now, every time
you take a RAW image, a JPEG is recorded at the same time (it
was optional before).
case you're not familiar with it, the lossless and uncompressed
RAW format's big advantage is the file size: it's at least a
size of a TIFF. Another advantage is the fact that you can
"fool around" with the image in software
since it's the raw CCD data.
images are always saved at 3072 x 2048. You can, however, choose
the size of the JPEG that is saved along with it. Here's a continuation
of my chart above for the RAW format:
file size (total)
Images on 128MB card
Images are named using the following convention: IMG_####.JPG,
where # = 0001 - 9999. File numbering is maintained as you erase
and switch memory cards.
let's move onto menus now.
10D has just one menu which contains options for recording, playback,
and setup. Each is designated with a color:
red, blue, and yellow, respectively. You maneuver through the
menus using the Quick Control dial on the back of the camera.
The menu choices are:
(see charts above)
bracketing - auto exposure bracketing, ±2 in 1/2EV
bracketing - similar to exposure bracketing, but for white
in increments of 1. This feature is new to the 10D.
WB - use a white or gray card to set manual white balance
temperature (2800 - 10,000 °K, 100 °K increments)
(Standard, Adobe RGB, Set 1, 2, 3, Set up) - store your
here for easy access. The Adobe RGB set is new and
cannot be customized. In each set, you can customize the
following (the expanded range for each is an improved
(-2 to +2)
- Sharpness (-2 to +2)
- Saturation (-2 to +2)
- Color tone (-2 to +2)
expansion (on/off) - lets you shoot at ISO 3200
- prevent images from being deleted
- rotates an image
Order - DPOF print marking
playback - slide show
power off (1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30 mins, off)
(on/off) - whether picture shown on LCD after it is taken
time (2, 4, 8 sec, hold) - ... and how long it's shown for
rotate (on/off) - automatically rotates images for proper
viewing. New feature.
brightness (1-5) - improved feature
numbering (Continuous, auto reset) - whether the camera
maintains the file numbering described earlier
(English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian,
Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Japanese)
- improved feature
system (NTSC, PAL)
- format memory card
functions (see below)
settings (all, custom only)
version - shows the current firmware version. Mine was 1.0.0
how about those custom functions now? These let you get down
and dirty with your camera. They are numbered from 01 to 17.
And here they are:
SET button function when shooting (none, change quality, change
parameter set, menu display, image replay)
Shutter release w/o CF card (possible, not possible)
Flash sync speed in Av mode (Auto, 1/200 sec)
Shutter button/AE lock button (AF/AE lock, AE lock/AF, AF/AF
lock + no AE lock, AE/AF + no AE lock) - define what these
two buttons do
AF-assist beam/Flash firing (Emits/Fires, Does not emit/Fires,
Only ext. flash/Fires, Emits/Does not fire) - okay, here's
the magic function for those who want to use the AF-assist
lamp without a flash picture being taken as well.
Exposure level increments (1/2, 1/3-stop) - the setting increment
for shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation
AF point registration (Center AF point, bottom, right, extreme
right, automatic selection, extreme left, left, top) - pick
a favorite AF point for easy retrieval
RAW+JPEG rec. (RAW+Small/Normal, RAW+Small/Fine, RAW+Medium/Normal,
RAW+Medium/Fine, RAW+Large/Normal, RAW+Large/Fine) - choose
what size JPEG is saved along with the RAW image
Bracket sequence/Auto cancel (0/-/+/Enable, 0/-/+/Disable,
-/0/+/Enable, -/0/+/Disable) - Choose the order in which exposure
and WB bracketing photos are taken, and if it is cancelled
when you power off the camera, switch lenses, etc.
Superimposed display (on/off) - whether the AF point is shown
in the optical viewfinder
Menu button display position (Previous [top if powered off]
menu, previous menu, top menu) - where the cursor starts when
you invoke the menu system
Mirror lockup (on/off) - enable it when the vibration
of the mirror can blur your photos
Assist button function (Normal, select home position, select
home position while holding down button, Av ± [select
aperture and exposure compensation while holding this down
and using the dials], FE lock)
Auto reduction of fill flash (on/off) - When turned on, the
camera will reduce the flash power for good daylight fill-flash
Shutter curtain sync (1st, 2nd-curtain)
Safety shift in Av or Tv (on/off) - if the subject's brightness
changes suddenly, the camera can shift the shutter speed or
aperture to obtain a proper exposure
Lens AF stop button (AF stop, AF start, AE lock while metering,
AF point: M-->Auto/Auto-->Center [for changing the focus point],
One Shot <--> AI servo, IS start) - this button is only found
on super telephoto lenses
of those are pretty confusing, so be sure to consult the camera
manual before you change any of the custom functions.
I'm tired of all this menu talk, so let's talk about photo quality
night test shot is interesting for many reasons. It was taken
from a different spot than usual, as Twin Peaks is closed during
these "orange alerts". You can see helicopters in the
sky that were keeping an eye on the anti-war protesters below.
You can also
see the new Asian Art Museum, the brightly lit building to the
right of City Hall.
the trivia out of the way, I can comment on this 4 second exposure.
It's clear, but soft. What I mean by clear is that the resolution
is so good that you can identify the billboards miles away. At
the same time, this "softness" gives it a kind of blurry look.
But more on this later.
from that, everything looks good. No noise to speak of, and the
full manual controls give you a ton of flexibility in situations
macro test isn't really necessary here, because a lot of it depends
on the lens you're using. Still, it's a good test of color
and sharpness. I took this one (and the night shot above) using
my personal Canon 24-85mm lens. Like with the night shot, the 10D
produced a very good, but soft image. Colors are perfect.
With built-in flash
With 550EX Speedlite
you've read my other reviews, you know about how the placement
of the flash affects redeye. The closer to the lens the flash
is, the worse the redeye will be (generally). I took two redeye
shots for this test, one with the 10D's built-in flash, and the
other with the Canon 550EX Speedlite. The difference is obvious,
as you can see. I was pretty surprised at how bad the redeye
was using the built-in flash.
next two sections are more detailed than in my typical review,
as D-SLR buyers request. First, I'm going to talk about the image
softness I have referred to thus far.
cameras of late have a soft, "smooth" look to them.
Canon applies very little in-camera sharpening to their images
settings), leaving it to the photographer to deal with later
on their PC. And a lot of people like it that way. I prefer
a little sharper image straight out of the camera myself. Here's
a little comparison about the effect of in-camera sharpness settings
Normal Sharpness (0)
View Full Size Image
View Full Size Image
View Full Size Image
hoping you can spot the differences there. Be sure to pull up
the full size images and take a closer look. Cranking up the
sharpness helps for sure, especially at the maximum (+2) setting.
|Section below added 4/2/03
There has been
much discussion on the Internet about focus and image softness issues with
the 10D. One of the things brought up was about resetting the camera settings.
Some folks, myself included, got much better results after resetting the
camera. That fix doesn't always work though.
related problem (covered in DP Review's article about
the 10D) is front/back focusing problems. That means that the
camera doesn't focus where it's supposed to -- either a little
in front, or a little in back of where it should be. Here are
crops from two photos that I took at the exact same settings
and fancy "L" series lens, with a tripod and remote shutter cable.
The ONLY difference was the focus mode used:
the difference? My point is that it's not clear what the cause
of the image quality issues I've raised is -- but something is
other image quality topic I wanted to bring up is one that I'm
sure many people want answered: how does the 10D's photo quality
compare with that of the D60? Well, I've compiled three photos
will hopefully will help you answer that question yourself. All
three were taken with the exact same lens and same default camera
settings at the same time. Again, be sure to view the full size
images when comparing these.
of my observations about these: I'd say the 10D did a better
job of exposing the first two, though photo #2 may be up for
some debate, as the D60 metered the shot differently, producing
hallway at the expense of blown-out highlights on the right side.
Photo #3 looks very close, but the 10D seems a little clearer...
look at the street sign and stained glass. The differences aren't
dramatic, but they are there. And please, don't take my word
for it -- have a look and draw your own conclusions.
conclusion, I'd say that the EOS-10D produces very well-exposed
images with superb color and good detail. The downside is that
images are too soft (in this reviewer's opinion) at the default
sharpness setting. You have two ways around this: either crank
up the in-camera sharpening, or leave it as is, and do the sharpening
in Photoshop instead. In the 10D's defense, the D60 also produces
soft images, and in my own usage, I've cranked up the sharpness
have created an extensive photo gallery for
you to check out. Have a look, and decide if the 10D is right
digital SLRs have movie modes.
playback mode on the D60 was kind of embarrassing. Even $200 cameras
did it better. That's not the case anymore, as Canon has updated
the playback features considerably on the EOS-10D.
already listed the basic playback features back in the menu
but here they are again: image protection, thumbnail mode, DPOF
print marking, and slide shows. There's
also an image rotation feature.
thing that's really been improved is what I call "zoom and scroll".
This lets you zoom in as much as 10X into your photo, and then
scroll around in the zoomed-in area. This is a great way to check
the focus on a photo.
Zoom and scroll
the D60, you had to repeatedly press a button just to get into
this mode, and then you had one zoom level to work with. Now
you have several zoom ratios from 1.5X to 10X, and the whole
process is much easier. Kudos to Canon for improving this.
can use the jump button to quickly move ahead 10 images (or 9 in
thumbnail mode), which is handy when you've got lots of pictures
on the memory card.
photos is easy, as there's a button right on the camera for
that purpose. You can delete one or all of the photos on
the card. I would've liked a way to select a group of photos
to delete, but most cameras don't offer that option.
you'd expect, the camera tells you plenty about the photos you've
A histogram is also shown. The camera moves through images fairly
quickly, showing a low-res version instantly, with a high-res
about two seconds later.
Does it Compare?
Canon EOS-10D is the best deal out there for a digital SLR
camera. It's hard to believe, but the 10D sells for $500 less
the Olympus E-10 I bought just a few years ago. It's a heck of
a lot more capable, too. The 10D offers all the benefits
of a D-SLR, namely interchangeable lenses, support for external
flashes, full manual controls, and robust performance. The 10D
improves upon the already excellent EOS-D60 with its faster processing,
solid metal body, higher resolution LCD, improved playback mode,
and all the other items that I've mentioned above.
quality is excellent, though I find it to be too soft at the
default settings (I've already mentioned two ways around that).
I'm also not a huge fan of the new AF-assist lamp system, which
uses the flash instead of a separate lamp. That's fine if you
to take a flash picture, but if you don't, it requires a lengthy
trip to the custom settings menu.
an owner of an EOS-D60, I'm able to notice and appreciate the
improvements Canon made in the 10D. At the same time, I am not
planning on trading up for the latest and greatest -- the changes
aren't significant enough for me.
for someone who wants a D-SLR, the EOS-10D is a great buy, especially
with a street price of $1499. I would imagine that it's
only a matter of time before the other manufacturers start cutting
prices as well.
image quality (but note softness/focus issues)
positively, no noise
performance over D60
nice metal body
white balance by color temperature option; more control over
color, sharpness, contrast
- Noticeably better LCD display
playback mode (at last)
the benefits of a D-SLR: lenses, flashes, and full manual controls
software package included
I didn't care for:
too soft at default sharpness - focus issue, or worse?
doesn't mount on Mac OS X desktop (must use software)
a fan of new AF-assist lamp system
- More redeye than expected with built-in flash
port would be nice
other D-SLRs to consider include the Canon
EOS-D60 (nearing the
end of its life), Fuji's
S2 Pro, the Nikon
D100, and the upcoming
Pentax *ist D.
always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try
the 10D and its competitors before you buy!
got tons of photos in our gallery!
a second opinion?
out other opinions about this camera at Steve's
Resource, and DP
welcomes your comments or questions. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to my limited resources, please do not send me requests
for personal camera recommendations.