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Canon EOS 10D vs. Canon Digital Rebel (EOS 300D) - which one to choose?

by Bob Atkins, 2004

A question I often hear asked is "Should I buy an EOS 10D for $1500, or save $600 and get a digital Rebel (EOS 300D) for $900? What's the difference?" I hope this article will go part way to answering that question.

Overall the 10D is a more professional camera, with features lacking on the digital Rebel (EOS 300D). Both use the same 6.3 megapixel size sensor, in fact they both probably use the same sensor, so assuming you use the same lens and the same exposure on both bodies, you should get images of equal quality. But of course you can say exactly the same thing about the Rebel and EOS 1v film bodies and there aren't too many people torn for choice between those two!

The 10D costs 67% more than the Digital Rebel. Note however that the Elan 7 costs 115% more than a Rebel GII. Of course in one case the difference is $600, with in the other it's $160, but significant differences in price between the "Rebel" line and the rest of the Canon line is pretty much expected.

So what are the differences?

  • The 10D has a rear control dial (QCD) which can be used to set functions such as exposure compensation or shutter speed/aperture in manual mode, in conjunction with the main command dial. This means you can make these adjustments quickly, with the camera still up to your eye. With the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) there is only one command dial and are buttons you have to press to access functions controlled by the rear QCD on the 10D. You can get used to this, but if you're used to shooting with a body with a rear QCD (anything except a film Rebel), you may miss it.

  • The 10D has more control over both autofocus and metering pattern. The digital Rebel (EOS 300D) sets what it think is the best mode for autofocus and metering depending on various factors, such as whether it thinks the subject is moving and which shooting mode the camera is in. The 10D allows the user to manually select exactly which autofocus mode and metering mode is desired. Options are AI Focus AF, One shot AF and AI Servo AF for focusing and Evaluative 35-zone, 9% Partial and Center-weighted average for metering. The Rebel chooses from these options for you. I suppose if you're an absolute beginner it may be safer to let the camera chose (and in fact the 10D can also do this if you want it to), but it does remove some creative control from the photographer.

  • With the Digital Rebel, the only way to get partial (9%) metering is to use the exposure lock button in one the creative zones - which of course also locks exposure With the 10D it can be selected at any time.

  • The 10D can take 9 frames at 3 frames/sec, while the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) is limited to 4 frames at 2.5 frames/second. For an action photographer this may be a very important difference. If you're a landscape photographer it may not be a difference you'll ever notice.

  • The 10D has mirror lock up, very useful for reducing vibration when doing macro or extreme telephoto work. The digital Rebel (EOS 300D) lacks this feature. Again it's something some photographers would regard as essential, while other's would never miss it. If you're not doing macro or telephoto work, you may never need it. I did some tests using a 500/4/5L lens with 2x multiplier. With both the 10D and Digital Rebel there was noticeable degradation of resolution due to mirror induced vibrations between about 1/30s and 1/4s, with 1/15s being the worst. Using Mirror Lock Up (MLU) on the 10D, there was no image degradation, even at 1/15s, the worst speed. Now if you don't use a 1000mm lens, maybe you don't need MLU. MLU is also useful for high magnification macro work, so if that's part of your plans, maybe MLU will be useful to you.
  • With the 10D you can control flash exposure compensation and you can also turn off automatic fill flash reduction. The digital Rebel (EOS 300D) has neither of these features. If you don't use flash, no big deal. If you do, these are features you may need. The 10D also has a flash connector (PC) for triggering external strobes, the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) doesn't. You can buy a hot shoe adapter, but having it built into the body is convenient. To get flash exposure compensation on a Rebel you need an external flash that has flash exposure compensation built into and settable on the flash itself. For example the Canon 550EX allows this.

  • The 10D has the ability to enable 2nd curtain flash sync, the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) doesn't. 2nd curtain sync is used to give a more natural look to moving objects when slow sync flash is used (i.e. low light exposure based on both ambient and flash lighting, rather than just flash).

  • The 10D has an option for shooting at ISO 3200, while the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) is limited to ISO 1600. Noise at 3200 is significant, but when you need it, you need it and the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) doesn't have it.

  • The 10D is based on a metal (magnesium alloy) frame, while the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) is plastic. Many cameras are plastic of course and plastic is fine, but metal is stronger and more dimensionally stable. You pay your money and you take your choice on this one.

  • The 10D is assembled in Japan, the Digital Rebel is assembled in Taiwan. Does this make a difference? Probably not.

  • The 10D is black and the button functions are labeled in white and light blue. The Digital Rebel (300D) has a silver body with black and light blue button labels. Under some lighting conditions it can be hard to read the labels on the 300D since light blue on silver isn't very high contrast. Canon have announced (04/08/04) that a black version of the "Kiss Digital" (the name of the Digital Rebel in Japan) will be available in Japan. Whether that model will be available outside Japan isn't know, but it's not at all unusual for models sold in different markets (North America, Europe, Asia) to be slightly different. For example the 18-55 lens sold in Japan has always been a USM lens, while the one sold in Europe and North America has always been a micromotor (MM) lens.

  • The camera settings display screen on the Digital Rebel is on the back of the camera, above the LCD screen, whereas it's on the top of the camera on the 10D. I prefer the top of the camera display on the 10D (and it's probably no coincidence that all professional SLRs and DSLRs put there too). I'm usually looking down on the camera when I'm making changes to things like shutter speed, aperture, ISO setting, shooting mode, white balance etc., With the 10D I can see what I'm doing more easily, especially when the camera is mounted on a tripod below eye level.

  • The 10D has a glass pentaprism while the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) has a pentamirror. Normally the pentaprism gives a brighter viewfinder, the difference isn't huge but it's noticeable. The viewfinder display is also larger on the 10D. One of the first things I noticed when picking up a Digital Rebel was that the viewfinder display looked small. Of course if you switch from an EOS-3 to a 10D, you have exactly the same experience. The 10D display is smaller than that of film based EOS bodies, but the Digital Rebel takes it an extra step over the 10D. After a while (or if you have no basis for comparison), you'll probably get used to the slightly smaller, slightly dimmer view and it won't bother you.

  • The Autofocus assist strobe is always active when the flash is up on the digital Rebel (EOS 300D), while it can be turned off on the 10D.

  • The exposure steps on the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) are fixed at 1/3 stop. The 10D allows the user to chose between 1/3 stop and 1/2 stop steps.

  • The 10D has an option for safety shift in aperture or shutter priority modes. This means that if you can't get the right exposure using the aperture or shutter speed you have selected, the camera will change them. There is no such option on the digital Rebel (EOS 300D). Under such circumstances the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) will not give a correctly exposed image.

  • The 10D has an option to prevent you taking pictures if you don't have a CF (memory) card in the camera. With the digital Rebel (EOS 300D), if you forget to insert a memory card, you can shoot away as normal and unless you look at the frame counter, you'll never know you're loosing all your shots! This may sound trivial, but as someone who once shot away with an EOS D30 for 10 minutes with no CF card in the camera, believe me, it's not!

  • The digital Rebel (EOS 300D) lacks the ability to set white balance based on a color temperature. On the 10D you can dial in a color temperature (e.g. 6000K) for white balance. Of course if you shoot RAW, you can apply a color temperature correction during RAW conversion.

  • On the digital Rebel (EOS 300D), flash sync mode in aperture priority mode is always slow sync. On the 10D this is a selectable function.

  • The 10D has 17 custom functions which allow you to do many things, such as shift around the functions of some of the controls on the camera to "customize" it for the photographer's shooting style. For example in manual mode the main dial can control either shutter speed or aperture. You can also move AF start from the shutter release to one of the buttons on the back of the camera - something many photographers do when they want to separate AF from shutter release. On the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) there are no custom functions. The camera works the way it works, the buttons and dials do what Canon thinks they should, and the photographer has to live with the Canon defaults.

Does the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) have any advantages over the 10D?

Yes, it does have a few. Among them are:

  • It's slightly smaller, lighter and $600 cheaper.

  • It can  use the RC-1 infrared wireless remote, which is nice and it uses a slightly cheaper wired remote cable.

  • It can take EF-S mount lenses, of which there is currently one - the EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6, a $100 plastic body and mount lens but it is the lowest cost route to a wide-angle lens.

  • It has a PictBridge interface, meaning it can connect directly to any PictBridge capable printer.

  • The built in flash on the Digital Rebel raises up  higher ( further from the optical axis of the lens) than the built in flash of the 10D. This could result in less red-eye and less blockage of the flash by large lenses.

  • It's $600 cheaper. I know I said that before, but it's really THE major advantage so it's worth mentioning twice and the only real reason for picking the Digital Rebel.

The Bottom Line

It all comes down to $$$. There's no doubt the 10D is the better camera, but is it $600 better? Well, is a Hummer H2 $30,000 better than a Toyota RAV4? Some people think so. Is a BMW 3 series $15,000 better than a Ford Focus? They all have 4 wheels, carry 4 people, use the same fuel and get you from NYC to Boston in 3-4 hours on the same road. Is a Rolex $2500 better than a TAG Heuer or $3000 better than a Casio watch? They all tell the same time. Is a Leica  rangefinder $1500 better than a Bessa? They both use the same film (and even the same lenses). Your $$$. Your choice.

So which camera would you chose?  Clearly the 10D is the more capable camera, allowing the photographer more control and more shooting options. It's very much a personal decision as to whether these are worth $600 and it depends a lot on both your budget and your shooting style. If you just want a very advanced and capable "point and shoot" SLR - but still with a good amount of manual control - the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) is ideal. If you're the sort of photographer who wants to be able to control absolutely every aspect of the camera, the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) could leave you frustrated at times.

Both are good cameras, aimed at different market segments, and both can yield equally good digital images, just like the the EOS 1v and the Rebel GII can yield equally good images on film

If you're moving to digital from an EOS Rebel, the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) will probably be enough camera for you. If you're coming from an EOS-3, I'd suggest that the 10D may be the better choice. If you're coming from an Elan 7, you're in the middle, but probably leaning towards the 10D side! If cost is a major issue, the $600 you save by buying the digital rebel will buy you several excellent lenses.

I bought an EOS 10D before the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) was released, but if I had to make the choice today, though the Digital Rebel is an excellent camera, for my needs I'd go with the 10D. I also don't intend to sell my 10D for $1250 tomorrow (which I probably could do), then go out and buy a Digital Rebel and pocket the extra $350.

If I you go with the Digital Rebel, I'd suggest going with the kit and getting the EF18-55 lens for an extra $100. It may not be the best lens in the world, though it's pretty decent and excellent value for $100. If you don't have a lens this wide (and remember 18mm on a 10D or digital rebel gives you the same field of view as a 29mm lens on a film SLR), you'll probably want one and all the alternatives will cost you more (sometimes a LOT more) than $100!

Where to buy

The Digital Rebel (EOS 300D) and the EOS 10D are both available from the photo.net affiliated retail photo stores listed below:

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© Copyright 2004 Bob Atkins. Visit Bob Atkins Photography at www.bobatkins.com

Article created 2004

Readers' Comments

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Jon Austin , April 15, 2004; 11:51 P.M.

Bob: Good comparison.

I also bought a 10D several months before the Rebel was released, and wouldn't change my purchase decision if I were making it again today.

If I were in the market for a Rebel today, however, I'd try to figure out how to get one of those black ones from Japan with the 18-55 USM lens!

Re: the advantages of the Rebel over the 10D, Canon added PictBridge support to the 10D in version 2.0.0 of its firmware.

Pradeep Raghunathan , April 16, 2004; 02:32 A.M.

I was just wondering, there have been lots of threads on the forum of the EOS 300D firmware hack to make it more like the EOS 10D recently, is it possible to make a comparison of the EOS 300D(firmware hacked) and the 10D? I am not sure if this is ethical or right, but I am just thinking alioud :) Happy Shooting! Cheers!

Grant Corban , April 16, 2004; 06:08 A.M.

I was discussing the merits of the two cameras with someone over last weekend so this article is timely. He is an astophotographer and according to the digital boards on Astrophotography he subscribes to (sorry I don't know them) the consensus is that the 10D sensor OR algotrithims are superior to the Rebel for their type of work (very long exposures). I have not tested this and was surprised to hear it, however the processing in camera may well be different and will change the way the camera records the sensor capture. Incidentally he is a Nikon user who has a 10D on order specifically for his telescope, so he was convinced.

BTW I use the 10D because it feels more professional in my hands (I am an EOS 1 and 3 user) and also noticed the Rebel body flexes and squeeks with longer zooms (70-200 f2.8 IS).

Bill Muth , April 16, 2004; 10:08 A.M.

Nice job, Bob (as usual!) One more item to add to the differences column: out of the box, the DRebel's contrast/saturation/sharpness settings are +1/+1/+2 respectively (compared to the 10D's 0/0/0.) Also, the Drebel's sharpening is twice as strong as the 10D's (source: http://www.cps.canon-europe.com/articles/article.jsp?articleId=65005&pageId=8)

Shaun O'Boyle , April 16, 2004; 01:31 P.M.

I just sold my 300D Rebel and replaced it with the 10D. The rebel did a very nice job, image quality was excellent, but most of my shooting requires mirror lockup and some other features that the Rebel is lacking. I noticed unsharp images while shooting at low shutter speeds with a tripod mounted rebel, which is a lighter camera so has less mass to dampen vibrations than the 10D, so moving up to the 10D with mirror lockup was a must for me. After handling the rebel for 6 months the 10D feels like a much more substantial camera, very solid and well crafted compaired to the rebel plastic feel (which isn't as bad as I had anticipated it would be). The 10D is also heavier and larger so less easy to haul around all day. All in all the rebel is a excellent camera if you don't have specialized shooting requirements. I was hoping to hold out for the 10D replacement before I sold my Rebel, but I need the more professional functionality now.

Stanley Rogouski , April 16, 2004; 01:45 P.M.

I wouldn't want a 10D. It's too heavy and it scares people. I've taken over 10,000 frames so far with the Rebel. Had it been a 10D, it would have been more like 2000, since I wouldn't have wanted to drag the weight around. I would have missed some of my favorite photos because it would have scared people off. What's more, I would have missed a lot of night shots because the Rebel is light enough to use a very flimsy tripod that fits into my knapsack nicely. The 10D wou probably need a slightly larger one.

On the other hand, I think that a better comparison to the Rebel is the D70 (useless if you own Canon lenses, obviously). It seems to me that Nikon has a better kit lens, makes their cheapest primes easier to get, and didn't crippled the D70 the way the Rebel's crippled.

Jon Austin , April 16, 2004; 03:37 P.M.

Stanley: I'm glad you're happy with your dRebel. I pity the poor souls who bought 10D's before the Rebel was announced, and anguish over the extra $$ spent, as well as the Rebel owners who constantly debate themselves over whether to upgrade.

But I'm curious: what is it about the 10D that you think scares people? The (very slightly) larger size? The black color? The mirror lockup function? (OK, just being silly with that last one.)

My experience is that camera bodies don't scare people, but big lenses do. Some folks are just camera shy, period, and would even run away if you pointed your camera phone at them (assuming they knew what it was and what you were doing with it).

Stanley Rogouski , April 16, 2004; 04:47 P.M.

"But I'm curious: what is it about the 10D that you think scares people? The (very slightly) larger size? The black color? The mirror lockup function? (OK, just being silly with that last one.)"

Oh. I'm more than happy. I've already taken close to 10,000 shots. When the shutter explodes, I'll just buy the black, 8MP successor in a year for 700 bucks and go on from there. The limitations for metering and focus would bother me if I were shooting black and white film. But with digital so much is trial and error you don't need an F5's metering capability.

I've never understood the "focusing problems" the Rebel/10D is suppose to have since I can pretty much bring it up from my hip and lock focus in less than a second, especially with the 17-40. They must spend a lot of time shooing newspaper prints in their back yards.

What scares people is size and black color. When I was using an n80 and a 28-105 lens (not huge by any standards, people would notice. With the silver Rebel, everybody just thinks I'm a tourist. Most of what I like to do is "candid available light" photography. For example, this was taken with the Rebel and the 35mm/2.0. There is no way I could have gotten it with the kit lens because it was already shot at 800. I couldn't have gotten it with a digicam either. 800 would have been too noisy. What's more, the Seattle Art Museum doesn't allow photograpy, so a 10D with a 24-70 would have gotten me kicked out immediately.

Note. I have a 17-40 and when I mount that on the Rebel, it looks like a "serious camera" and intimidates people. So if I'm shooting photographs at some place where I want people to see me as a "serious photographer" I use the 17-40. But if I want a bit of stealth, I use the 35mm/2.0.

Why would I pay 1800 bucks for an M6 body and another 1500 for a 35mm lens AND pay processing costs when I can get the same available light capability with for 899 bucks and a 200 dollar lens?

The only problem I have with the Rebel is the mirror slap. It's louder and creates more vibration than my old FM2n. It's not perfect but if you handed me a Nikon F100 and a 1500 dollar zoom, I wouldn't trade it.

Daniel Neeley , April 16, 2004; 06:02 P.M.

The 10D is based on a metal (magnesium alloy) frame, while the digital Rebel (EOS 300D) is plastic. Many cameras are plastic of course and plastic is fine, but metal is stronger and more dimensionally stable. You pay your money and you take your choice on this one.

Just a technical correction here: The 300D also has a metal frame (can't say if it's manesium alloy or not, but it is metal). It just has plastic covering it. Don't beleive it? place the 300D in between both hands with the lens or LCD facing away from you and exert a lot of pressure. It can take alot- I've tried it. The thing is suprisingly solid.

The 300D also has a metal lens mount wich makes it strong enough to handle any EF lens out there.

As to people photography, I have to agree that the lens has a greater effect on camera-shyness than the camera. People take much more notice to me when I have the 67mm diameter 24-85mm zoom rather than my 50mm. Add the hood and it becomes more eye catching.

Also on that note, I think the silver body is a big distraction itself. It's rather eye-catching and I keep hearing how nice it looks. I think people wouldn't notice it as much if it were black. But then agian, it all depends upon the situation too. As they say, "Your results may vary!"

Bob Atkins , April 17, 2004; 12:22 A.M.

Regarding the Digital Rebel mirror slap, It does seem louder and less damped than the 10D. However when I tested it on a 500/4.5L with a 2x TC on it, results from the two cameras were virtually identical even in the 1/30s to 1/4s region where mirror induced vibrations show up. Both showed a similar amount of blurring, peaking at 1/15s.

In fact both cameras were unexpectedly good. I had to put the 2x on the lens and use one of my less study tripods in order to see any mirror induced vibrations! As I said above, using MLU on the 10D removed the mirror vibration induced blurring, but it's my guess that 99% of users will never see it in the first place.

Poul Costinsky , April 17, 2004; 05:19 A.M.

the biggest problem i have with drebel is very inconvenient way to switch to spot metering, which is the method i tend to use the most. but eos 10d was too big and bulky. so i'll stay with drebel until canon issues a digital version of my beloved elan IIe.

Bob Atkins , April 17, 2004; 01:32 P.M.

but eos 10d was too big and bulky

It's 1/3" wider, 1/3" taller and 1/10" deeper than the Digital Rebel. Essentaily they are the same size. When testing the two I didn't notice the size difference at all. The 10D is about 5oz heavier (probably because it uses metal in places where the Rebel uses plastic and mirrors in place of the pentaprism)). To put this in perspective, that's about the weight of the 50/1.8 lens, the lightest lens Canon makes. It's less than the weight of the kit (18-55) lens which which is very light, but which tips the scales at almost 7oz.

River Side , April 18, 2004; 12:16 A.M.

Re: Advantages of the DRebel over 10D .. I remember PopPhoto's testing of AF for both cameras (separately for their reviews).. it's still up on their website so people can check.. The DRebel has faster AF for all EV levels then the 10D .. and it matters more at lower light levels where it's still able to focus and faster than the 10D.

Bob Atkins , April 18, 2004; 02:08 P.M.

Since I didn't have the equipment to test AF speeds, I can't directly comment on that. However I can say that I did shoot the Digital Rebel side by side with a 10D and that I didn't notice any difference in AF speed or ability. I'm not saying there wasn't one, just that it wasn't something that was obvious to me when using the two cameras.

Stanley Rogouski , April 18, 2004; 02:38 P.M.

"Since I didn't have the equipment to test AF speeds, I can't directly comment on that. However I can say that I did shoot the Digital Rebel side by side with a 10D and that I didn't notice any difference in AF speed or ability."

Wouldn't the lens be a bigger variable?

What's actually pretty annoying about the Rebel is the buffer/write speed. I like to shoot in RAW and I've often found myself screaming at it whenever I hit review and the camera's not finished writing the file to the card yet. You get that little series of verticle bars. Arrgh and it reminds you of XP trying to load all the spyware when you just want to connect to the Internet.

I don't think I'd want the Rebel if I were a serious photojournalist or sports photographer so having autofocus a tiny bit faster than the 10D would sort of be irrelevent. If you want that kind of speed, you probably don't want a 300D.

Whayne Padden , April 18, 2004; 10:35 P.M.

Surely if you are looking at an entry level DSLR, the new Nikon D70 has rendered the 300D as a poor choice, unless you have an investment in Canon glass. As I see it the 300D only has image quality as a strong point - yes and that's an important point - but is severely lacking in many areas. Canon designed this camera with the compact digicam users in mind. It was not aimed at those with a lot of experience in SLR photography, the 10D is for those people. It wanted to attract those who would normally buy a P&S digital camera. However, if you have come from a background where you are used to full control over your camera - strangely something many of the compact digicams offer - then a 300D is an exercise in frustration. I would buy a second hand 10D over a DRebel anyday and if not for my large Canon glass investment would immediately grab a D70 as my first DSLR. Canon best bet is to lower price on DRebel to $799 and 10D to $1199 and then offer a new 10D with some extra features such as spot metering, improved AF, bigger buffer, larger LCD, higher resolution sensor etc and price that at $1499. Nikon has still to announce their plans on a D100 successor, but the D70 already has 99% of it's features so we can expect D200(?) to be a big step up at which point the 10D is on shaky ground.

Stanley Rogouski , April 19, 2004; 01:38 P.M.

"Canon best bet is to lower price on DRebel to $799 and 10D to $1199 and then offer a new 10D with some extra features such as spot metering, improved AF, bigger buffer, larger LCD, higher resolution sensor etc and price that at $1499."

Why would they have to? The 10D is never in stock anyway. Canon and Nikon are selling all of these DSLRs faster than they can make them.

Dave New , April 19, 2004; 05:25 P.M.

I'd just like to point out that like the Flash Exposure Compensation situation, that using a 550EX flash will also allow you to select 2nd curtain flash sync. The 550EX will also support Focal Plane (FP) flash mode for the 300D, as well.

Additionally, if the 300D 'strobe' flash autofocus assist annoys you (and your subject) as much as it does me, you will find that using either the 420EX or 550EX will gain you a much more pleasant-to-work-with dark red 'grid' autofocus assist.

As a final bonus, if you set the 550EX in TTL (not E-TTL) mode, the dark red autofocus assist will continue to work, but the flash will be supressed. This will allow you to work in dim available light with autofocus, sans flash.

Pierre Phaneuf , April 20, 2004; 10:46 A.M.

This mirrors pretty closely what I have said about the Rebel 2000 (EOS 300) and the Elan 7 in my review (previous link). The way I see this, the 300D and the 10D have very similar digital imaging componentry, contained in two different cameras. The film EOS 300 has a slow frame rate, doesn't have simple control over the metering or focusing modes (although the newer models are slightly better, I hear), doesn't have flash compensation, etc...

I would like to point out a few differences between the EOS 10D and the EOS 30 (Elan 7), though (while I have heard the 10D compared to the EOS 3 before, it's general class of technology makes it much closer to the mid-level film cameras of Canon like the Elan, IMHO).

  • I find the weight difference between the film Rebel and the Elan to be much less than between the Digital Rebel and the 10D.
  • I find the controls of the Elan to be much better than those on the 10D. For example, it has more actual physical dials for things like the autofocus mode and the one-shot/repeat/timer shooting mode.
  • Again, on controls, the newer Elan has a 4-direction pad in the middle of the wheel on its back, which is only used for a single feature (selecting the focus point). A digital camera like the 10D has many cases where a 4-direction pad would have been handy (navigating menus, moving around on a zoomed-in picture preview, etc), but they omitted it.
  • The Elan 7 does not have a custom function to disable the automatic fill-flash, the 10D does.
  • This might not be fair, because the 10D was not out back then, but I sure wish it had the E-TTL II of the newer Elan 7N/7NE.

When I started in photography, I had originally gotten myself a Rebel 2000, thinking that I would save some money over the Elan while getting most of the goods, but I found myself outgrowing it pretty quickly, doing flash compensation by twiddling the ISO setting and compensating the other way and so one, I found myself wishing for an Elan. Some might say that the money on the Rebel wasn't really wasted, because I now have a decent backup body, but I can't help but think that I'd have saved money overall by going directly to the Elan.

I think that if you can afford it, you should go with the 10D, but that if you can't afford it, the Digital Rebel should still be an awesome way to get your feet wet.

Peter Bednar , April 20, 2004; 08:58 P.M.

I'll second the experience that the EOS 300Drebel is slightly to noticebly faster in low light as opposed to the EOS 10D.

I was shooting Saturday a few weeks ago in a horse riding arena with my Drebel, and an intern photographer for the local paper showed up with his EOS 10D. After the event we were photographing was over, we introduced each other and talked equipment. He hadn't handled a Drebel before, so I offered him mine, with the 50mm 1.8 lens, and after swiveling around for a few seconds focusing on things, he remarked that 'Wow, this thing is faster than my 10D'

I commented that maybe it's just my 50mm 1.8 was letting more light in for autofocus than his 28-70 2.8. We swapped lenses, and he tried the AF function again, and said it was "Still alot faster than my 10D" I was slightly boggled, because I thought both cameras shared the same AF sensor system.

Anyways, I like my Drebel a great deal. Most people dismiss it as any other cheap entry level film slr and dont pay particular attention to me, which is a nice thing. At least until the L lenses come out. I have not had any problems with the speed of the camera, the burst rate is adequate enough for me. Shots that I miss are usually my fault, not the camera's. Metering is good in most typical conditions. In difficult, or subjective conditions it's pretty hit or miss. (such as how to make a good exposure of a black bear)

Then again, such difficult exposures require luck, probably a good spot meter, experience and good time of day light.

howard shen , April 23, 2004; 03:38 A.M.

i've owned the 10d for sometime now, something else i've notice after shooting the digital reble in comparison is the shutter lag on the 10d is much less noticeable than the digital rebel. in some arenas it probably won't matter, but in action stuff, i feel shutter lag is almost as important as burst/buffer.

Valerie Bevill , April 29, 2004; 05:50 P.M.

We recently purchased a digital rebel as a backup to our 10D and really regret it. As was mentioned in the last post, the difference in shutter lag is noticeable. We shoot children and weddings and the 300D is not quick enough to get reactions and fleeting smiles....

Rene Ebsen , May 04, 2004; 04:29 A.M.

/Bill Muth. Any idea when there will be a new "10D"? Yoy wrote that Yoy would wait, but needed the professionel features...?

Iulian Cozma , May 17, 2004; 04:44 P.M.

After 2 km of skiing making a photo wiht 300D is not so easy, but ...

Hi,my name is Iulian Cozma, and I'm from Brasov Romania. Until one week ago I own an EOS 300 D, with some lenses, one of them 70-200/4/L by canon. In the sports for what I was using the camera, skiing, this 300D is not so "solid". After you ski and you stop for a photo your hands are shaking and the 300D is too small and lite for this. With some efort is ok, but I just buy a 10D what is more suitable for what I use it. You can see some photos with 300D at http://www.simbata.ro/ski/ski.htm

Anthony Peterson , June 01, 2004; 01:30 P.M.

The custom functions included with the 10D make all the difference in the world.

Stephen Lutz , June 05, 2004; 09:39 P.M.

I agree that lack of custom functions, no flash exposure compensation, and no ISO 3200 are the biggest downsides to the Digital Rebel compared to the 10D. Fortunately, these features are all software related, and both cameras share the same core software. The Rebel's software was modified to disable most of the 10D's feature set.

Guess what? Some guy in Russia hacked the software and restored most of the 10D's feature set to the the Digital Rebel! I read about it, went to the site where the story is posted, downloaded the firmware hack and installed it on my Digital Rebel. It works. I now have most custom functions, flash exposure compensation, mirror lockup and ISO 3200. I haven't had any strange behavior from the camera, either.

Here's the site for more info:


When you go to the Russian's web site, you will download a file with a "rar" file extension. This is a compressed file format, so you need a program to decompress it. I used WinRAR, which is a shareware download. The extracted file is a "fir" firmware file. Put it on a CF card, insert the card, follow the prompts, and the firmware is upgraded. Flash exposure compensation is activated by the Jump button and custom functions are in one of the Rebel's menus as an option. Scroll down to it, hit "set" and the custom function menu appears.

Standard disclaimer: Because this worked for me does NOT mean it will work for you. If you install this you will VOID YOUR WARRANTY!

I bought my Digital Rebel used, so it has no warranty. Good luck!

randy JK , June 12, 2004; 08:58 A.M.

I moved up from various Canon digicams to the 10D and most recently to the 1D. I shoot a lot of sports/action in all kinds of lighting conditions, which is why I was attracted to the 1D. My experiences with digital SLRs make me very hesitant to go back to digicams for anything but casual snapshots.

Size of camera does matter in many situations and it would be nice to have a high quality yet light weight alternative to use as my point and shoot. With the price of the D Rebel dropping to $800+ with lens, I can sell off the lens (not needed) and have the body for close to $700. For my intended purposes, I think I can live with the limitations of this camera.

Greg Skafte , June 15, 2004; 02:44 P.M.

I've been shooting with the 300D for about 6 months and have racked up over 10k images. I'm starting to run into issues like, FEC is not there, AI Servo focus is only available in sport mode. But I have successful shot images that have appeared on various NHL team sites with a 300D and even non-L glass. I've got some great wildlife and landscapes (http://www.trollkarl.net/gallery/) but I keep running into small things. I've bought good glass but not L-glass yet. Which is my current struggle, upgrade to the 10D or upgrade my glass. For most people I would say unless you need FEC, Mirror Lockup, 3FPS, or AI Servo focus, get the 300d and speed the difference on better glass. If your making you living shooting pix well then you might just earn back the difference in the time you don't have to spend in photoshop.

Edgars Purins , July 06, 2004; 10:31 A.M.

I bought DRebel second hand with hack software already installed. Mirror lockup works fine, I have compared images with and without - there is a difference. There are other CF enabled, which work, like shooting without CF card, FEC and ISO 3200.

So, I agree with the opinion DRebel is a better option than 10D cost wise with almost the same functionality, provided you install famous hack firmware.

Tom Daspit , July 11, 2004; 11:02 P.M.

If you are a Professional i.e. make a living taking photographs that people buy on a regular basis then get a a 10D or 1vs, or Mark II, Otherwise the Rebel is fine.

Michael Kelliher , July 14, 2004; 05:17 A.M.

I had 1400 from uncle sam and I so much wanted a 10D but when I realized buying a good lens with it was going to send me to 2000 I felt the 999 Dig Reb with the lens was worth it. I also bought a 28-135 IS with the Reb, a nice combo. I guess I will save for the next upgrade, maybe the EOS 3 digital or better lenses. Mike

Alan Smith , July 15, 2004; 02:59 A.M.

I looked at both cameras vey carefully and decided the 10D was worth the extra money. It looks and feels so much more solid than the rather plasticy Rebel. After 2 months of use I do not regret the decision and have not found the weight to be a problem

Jani Hyytiäinen , February 03, 2005; 12:13 A.M.

EOS 300D black with USM lens, 420EX & BG-E1 (bought in Europe)

I recently bought a black EOS 300D with the BG-E1 battery grip and a Speedlite 420EX flash from a local store in Finland. For my surprise, the lens attached to it was actually USM although I was ready to accept it wasn't as previously every source would tell me that those are only available in Japan.

So, the bottom line is... there is a black edition in Europe WITH the USM lens. Not only in Japan...

Joshua Nykamp , March 25, 2005; 09:32 P.M.

I am a second year photo student and I've used my rebel for so much. People have the 10 and 20 d in my class but I can keep up with image quality on everything from table top to infrared. the only set back I see is the noise in high film speeds. The camera is great in the studio or shooting nature and I wont get rid of it until it breaks.

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