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About the Canon EOS 400D dSLR
I've used it before and I love it! 21%  21%  [ 6 ]
I've used it before and its okay. 25%  25%  [ 7 ]
I've used it before and I dont like it. 14%  14%  [ 4 ]
I've never used it before and I never want to. 18%  18%  [ 5 ]
I've never used it before but I think its nice. 21%  21%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 28
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:27 am 
Today I used my school's 400D for an event photo-taking. The Student Council organised some Songs Dedication activity for Valentine's Day and I was there with a neck strap and the dSLR :)
Btw I used it before; also the school's one.

Here in Singapore, the Canon EOS 400D costs SGD$1349 with an 18-55mm kit lens and this price is a bit higher than the norm for entry-level dSLRs here.
Comparisons: Nikon D40 with 18-55mm lens, SGD$998. Nikon D40x with 18-55mm lens, SGD$1188. Canon EOS 350D with 18-55mm lens, SGD$999. Sony Alpha A200 with 18-70mm lens, SGD$1099. All prices do not include taxes and additional charges.
(edit: USD$1 = c.SGD$1.5-1.6 | GBP1 = c.SGD$2.7-3 | 1 Euro = c.SGD$2)

Design: Overall the camera feels ergonomic and my hands find it comfortable. No noticeable bulges to poke me. Thoughtful thumb rest for my right hand. I like the positions of the function dial, on-off switch and shutter release(which is in front of scroll dial, rather than behind it).
Weight and dimensions are reasonable (It could fit under my desk :D )

Image quality: When viewed on the LCD screen, the images are always sharp and generally free of noise. One thing I liked very much was that when the ISO was set to the maximum of 1600, the brightening effect was very great and reminded me of Adobe Photoshop's Brightening feature. This isnt the good part alone. The other half of what amazed me was that there was virtually no noise! (Well, none could be seen on the camera screen).

Function dial functions: Standard features like A-Dep(i dunno whats this), Tv(shutter speed), Av(aperture value), P(semi automatic), green rectangle(fully automatic), and the presets Landscape, Portrait, Macro among others..

Lighting modes: Standardised modes such as Sunlight, Shade, Fluorescent, Tungsten, etc

Continuous drive mode: 3.0 fps, faster than a compact but slower than the 40D(6.5 fps), its big brother, or the full-frame Canon EOS 1D Mark III dSLR(10.0).

Final thoughts: The 400D is quite good for an entry-level camera. Well, all but the price, that is. If you're budget tight I'd say you should go for its cheaper rivals (see above Price comparison). If you're really a Canon buff this camera is just the right one for you :) (if you're upgrading from a compact to a dSLR).

Sample images: Very very sorry but sample images cannot be obtained as the camera and CF card which were used are property of my school and cannot be loaned out just anyhow.

Signed, your fellow CL reviewer,
SnS

P.S.: You can see some images with the Canon EOS 400D by Gordon at the review at www.cameralabs.com main page.


Last edited by SCREAMnSHOUT on Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:34 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:38 am 
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Hi SnS, thanks for your review!

A couple of technical points though - the 10fps Canon DSLR is the 1D Mark III which has an APS-H sensor (inbetween the 400D and full-frame size) - the full-frame Canon is the 1Ds Mark III, which shoots at 5fps. Still impressive givem its 21 Mpixel images!

And I believe the 400D's maximum sensitivity is 1600 ISO, but you're right, the images still have low noise compared to a non-DSLR. Have you checked the images on a computer screen yet? The noise sadly becomes more noticeable...

Anyway, you've had a great chance to try a camera out in person for some time without having to buy it! This is a chance many people would really like to have... so the big question is, now you've used it, would you buy one?

Gordon


Last edited by Gordon Laing on Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:04 am 
Gordon Laing wrote:
Hi SnS, thanks for your review!

A couple of technical points though - the 10fps Canon DSLR is the 1D Mark III which has an APS-H sensor (inbetween the 400D and full-frame size) - the full-frame Canon is the 1Ds Mark III, which shoots at 5fps. Still impressive givem its 21 Mpixel images!
eek sorry I thought the 1D Mk III and the 1Ds Mk III were the same.

Gordon Laing wrote:
And I believe the 400D's maximum sensitivity is 1600 ISO, but you're right, the images still have low noise compared to a non-DSLR. Have you checked the images on a computer screen yet? The noise sadly becomes more noticeable...

Oops i wrote wrongly,it shud be ISO 1600, i edited the main text now.
Nope, I havent got the opportunity to view it on a PC.

Gordon Laing wrote:
Anyway, you've had a great chance to try a camera out in person for some time without having to buy it! This is a chance many people would really like to have... so the big question is, now you've used it, would you buy one?

Gordon

The price is a bit high considering I am already struggling to get my parents to buy me a Sony Alpha A200, as seen in my signature. The A200 costs nearly 300 hundred dollars less! (singapore dollars, see my currency converter in my main text).
Also, the A200 has a longer lens and i'd like to try Sony's dSLRs.
1) Then I can write another review! :D But theres not a very high chance im going to get the a200 :( .
2) Hehe its nice that Im in my school's Multi-Media Club(Photography Team) but they dont have too large a variety of cameras. Only the Canon ixus 70 and the canon eos 400d and 1 or 2 more models. [I dont quite like the Ixus series]

SnS


Last edited by SCREAMnSHOUT on Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:16 am 
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Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Yeah, Canon's naming convention can be confusing.

Their top two models start with 1D and share essentially the same body, BUT

The 1Ds series are full-frame and the 1D series use the smaller APS-H frame, but are faster shooting pro sports models.

So the current versions are the

1Ds Mark III - full frame, 21mpixel, 5fps

1D Mark III - APS-H frame, 10mpixel, 10fps

You can find all the current Canon DSLRs here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/cameras/Canon ... SLRs.shtml


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:20 am 
Btw sorry i wrote wrongly - the a200 costs [gahh! so many typos to edit]nearly 300 singapore dollars less not more than the 400D.

P.S.: Ok thanks for your tip i'll click the link once i've clicked Submit for this reply.


SnS


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:17 pm 
Hmm. Thanks for your review SnS.

A-dep is the auto depth of field mode, which is quite useless from experience.

Of all the DSLRs I've used, the 350D and 400D rank as the worst built - there's too much plastic, and the feel is rather hollow. Worst of all with the two 400D bodies I sampled, both had an internal rattle. I have yet to sample and take images with the 450D, but I hope Canon have made it more solid. However, I can't deny that the 400D does take good photos, and the noise control is excellent for an entry DSLR.

Regarding the A200, this is another camera that I wouldn't want to personally own. It again has a low-quality plastic body, and a dull viewfinder (worse than the 400D if you were to compare). On the positive side, the grip is much better than that on the 400D, but I guess this depends on your hand size, and the noise capability is almost the same as the 400D upto ISO400 (I agree with Gordon's review - it's actually a terrific review); the ISO range is longer with a maximum of 3200, but I highly doubt photos will be printable from this.

Of course each photographer has a different requirement in what they want, and I know that mine are quite high and demanding, especially being a part-time photojournalist. Let us know if any of your photos from the school event you covered become available; I'd be interested to see your work.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:37 pm 
Photoj wrote:
Regarding the A200, this is another camera that I wouldn't want to personally own. It again has a low-quality plastic body, and a dull viewfinder

All im looking for is low-weight, at least 10 MP, and low price. More for the last point.

Photoj wrote:
Let us know if any of your photos from the school event you covered become available; I'd be interested to see your work.


Im not able to take any nice photo that has more than a few people :? As a photojournalist could you show me any examples please?

Thanks,
SnS

P.S.: I suck at dSLR photography due to lack of practice. Atm all i know is the theory. Well hopefully my parents do get the A200 for me (cheapest dSLR with at least 10 megapixels in my country) so I can actually execute the things i learnt from books and dslrTips.com


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:00 pm 
When you have multiple people in the frame, I've found that a small depth of field isolates what you want to show.

Here are some from a demonstration from late '07. It was in London, on the subject of our healthcare in this country.

Image

Image

Image

And these were from a fashion shoot that I was drafted in to cover. Not my strongest area of photography, it has to be said.

Image

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:22 pm 
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Location: Southern California
Good review, SNS...well written and thought out...

photoj,
love the "marching signs"...the off kilter one, and the shotwith the man in the photo...

great colors, and interesting to look at..


patti

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:15 pm 
hehe i wont get to photograph protests...next to none in my country.

but yea i like the diagonally taken one.

thanks.

SnS


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:58 pm 
Hi sns, about your school media club i have the chance to set 1 up in my school but the problem is i have to organise what to do and im really stuck 4 ideas, so what do u do. (besides take photos) lol :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:31 am 
darragh wrote:
Hi sns, about your school media club i have the chance to set 1 up in my school but the problem is i have to organise what to do and im really stuck 4 ideas, so what do u do. (besides take photos) lol :lol:


Hi there darragh,

here are some of the things we do.

1) We have InfoComm training on alternate Fridays, and we learn skills like making Macromedia Flash animations. Sometimes we also participate in contests organised by organisations like British Council(www.britishcouncil.org) and N-E-Mation (www.nemation.sg)

2) At school events we operate the PA system like the speakers and microphones, and of course, take photos for the archive.

3) Alternate thursdays we have a feedback session.

4) Learn to make websites, and we publish school magazines.

5) And of course field trips/workshops for the photographers.

Hope I have been of some help.

SnS


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:16 pm 
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SnS Let me look through the photos I've taken over the past 2.5 years at school with a very similar camera (its a compact but 3x Zoom) And I'll put some online and make a post with some suggestions on how to take good pictures of ugly people :roll: ... I mean of students at school events. Actually I'll go do that now, don't have anything better to do. I'll edit when its done and post a link to it.

Jake

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Canon EOS 40D | 28-135mm IS | 50mm f/1.8 |Vivitar DF 383 | Vivitar 285hv
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"Photography isn't so much about the results as it is the collective experience, your interactions with people and with the world"


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:58 pm 
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Here's my (Amateur's) guide to shooting school events: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtop ... 5453#25453.

not the best, because I've gotten rid of most of my images from school, but a guide none-the-less.

Jake

_________________
Jake O'Connell, 40D Crew
Canon EOS 40D | 28-135mm IS | 50mm f/1.8 |Vivitar DF 383 | Vivitar 285hv
My Flickr
my Blog
"Photography isn't so much about the results as it is the collective experience, your interactions with people and with the world"


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:01 pm 
SCREAMnSHOUT wrote:
darragh wrote:
Hi sns, about your school media club i have the chance to set 1 up in my school but the problem is i have to organise what to do and im really stuck 4 ideas, so what do u do. (besides take photos) lol :lol:


Hi there darragh,

here are some of the things we do.

1) We have InfoComm training on alternate Fridays, and we learn skills like making Macromedia Flash animations. Sometimes we also participate in contests organised by organisations like British Council(www.britishcouncil.org) and N-E-Mation (www.nemation.sg)

2) At school events we operate the PA system like the speakers and microphones, and of course, take photos for the archive.

3) Alternate thursdays we have a feedback session.

4) Learn to make websites, and we publish school magazines.

5) And of course field trips/workshops for the photographers.

Hope I have been of some help.

SnS






Hi sns thank going to look into starting a media club and i hope your parents get u the a200. :D :D :D


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