Canon EOS 350D

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Canon EOS 350D

Switch to the future with the EOS 350D Digital and take your creativity to a new dimension. Compact, lightweight and intuitive; delivering results to ...

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Review of "Canon EOS 350D"

published 06/12/2005 | a4angus
Member since : 30/11/-0001
Reviews : 46
Members who trust : 0
About me :
Excellent
Pro Compact, fast, quality images
Cons Poor screen view in sunlight
very helpful
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use
Durability
Reliability

"Canon EOS 350D - He He !!!"

EOS 350D Picture 1

EOS 350D Picture 1

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Canon EOS 350D
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The time had come to bite the bullet and go completely digital. No, not me - just my camera. Out went film and folders. Out went my trusty old Canon EOS 50E, which had served me well for many years, and in came the latest toy.
Already having a Canon S9000 photo printer (prints A3 size photo poster prints) and another compact digital camera, I was geared up for the change. That, and it *was* a new toy 

There were 2 incidents that made me want to switch:
(1) I returned from Hawaii a couple of years ago armed with 25 or so films ready for processing. After a £200+ Jessops bill to process, print and digitise these, just to see which ones I liked, it seemed like an expensive way to go forward.
(2) At my wedding last year, we engaged an excellent professional photographer (Stuart Boreham) who was entirely digital based. The day went well and it was very clear that the ability to instantly review pictures, retake if not perfect, and even show the odd one to us during the day, made a compelling case over traditional film.
The icing on the cake (forgive the pun) was the album, where we were able to work with Stuart producing a book of pictures (overlaying, cropping, fading for background shots, etc.) - we could never have done that with traditional pictures. Roll on digital.

After saving the pennies hard, I bought the EOS 350D (body only) for £539 from Park Cameras (www.parkcameras.co.uk) back in June 2005. At the time, this was a highly competitive price compared with other internet sources and they had the advantage of having two local stores where I could try the camera and trade in my old 50E (for a paultry £50).

So far the 350D has been to Brussels, and had the usual assortment of home, friends and family use - and I am really pleased with the results.

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Using the Camera
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This camera is really small and light. If you use a small zoom lens, it is easy to hold to the eye and use. It feels reasonably robust (but not quite as sturdy as the higher end Canon cameras). The switches all move solidly and feel positive in their action. Some are a little plasticky - evidence of cost cutting, but reflected in the price.

The on switch is easily to hand, the camera starts up and is ready to shoot in less than a second (a big improvement over the older 300D). The Canon autofocus lens (28-80mm) I use for general shots is light and well balanced to the camera.

Press the shutter gently to focus and measure the light. It focuses on the target in a second using 7 autofocus points.
Adjust the framing (view) of the shot and press the shutter harder to take the picture. It really is that simple for the easiest of shots. In automatic mode, it offers excellent pictures with minimal input.

In automatic mode, if needed, the built in flash will pop up and the camera will adjust the exposure accordingly.

As you develop more confidence, extra 'modes' can be access by the dial on the top of the camera - these allow pre-set features to be automatically selected to suit the scene - action, portrait, landscape and more. You can make more adjustments when needed. Rapid shot mode allows the camera to keep on shooting as you keep your finger on the shutter button. Great for action pictures like races.

Having taken the picture, you can view the results immediately on the 2.5" colour screen on the rear of the camera. Buttons allow you to flick through your shots, zoom in and, worst case, delete those disasters that you will never want to see again.

The pictures are stored on a removable memory card (Compact Flash type) - the camera can handle quite large capacity cards (or even micro hard disk drives). You will need plenty of storage for a long holiday.

** TIP: Buy several memory cards rather than one big one - if one ever gets damaged, all is not lost. So far I have never had a failure on a Compact Flash card, but you never know.**

As you learn more about the features, you can access the extensive parameters from buttons on the back of the camera. The most used funcions are quickly accessed by a separate group of 4 buttons. These allow items like the ISO (speed) rating to be adjusted (makes sensor more light sensitive and so allows shots on lower light). You can also adjust the white balance to adjust for pitcures under different light sources (there is an automatic mode for this too).

Even more parameters lurk with a graphical menu visible on the rear screen of the camera. This allows all settings to be tweaked and more advanced features pre-set.
Perhaps my favourite is the exposure bracketing feature - this allows the camera to take 3 successive pictures at slightly different exposures to ensure you get one that is accurate in difficult light conditions.

There are loads more details - a good manual is included which is small enough to be carried around in your camera bag.

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Why Canon?
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The main reason, apart from being really happy with the brand, was the lenses.
I was able to take my two existing lenses I had used on my old 50E and they worked perfectly on the new 350D. This saved much expense that would have been necessary if I had switched to a new brand.
Had I had free reign, I would probably have considered the Nikon D50/D70 as alternatives.

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Why 350D?
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At the time, this was the latest release of Canon, boasting some impressive technical improvements over the older 300D. As semi-pro / serious amateur cameras, these are priced reasonably. The quality of the images is now even better (I have a friend with a 300D).
To move up the Canon range to the 20D or other higher models would have required a much higher cost (nearly double).

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Film vs. Digital
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The arguments still rage, but a good indication of how the world is changing comes from Dixons who are no longer going to stock film cameras. Kodak have also completely re-organised their camera/film division to move to a digital platform.

Digital cameras are now the norm for most except professional photogrpahers, and even they are making the switch. The quality is now sufficient that even small, cheap compact digital cameras can give excellent standard sized prints (if desired).

I do not miss fiddling about with loads of paper, negatives, and albums. Now I can pick the pictures I like, arrange them on my computer and print out on my own printer, a completely unique picture, album or collage as needed.

I can now also take backup copies and store them safely in case of loss. I can print copies at will for friends and relatives. I can publish pictures online so that distant relatives can see my 'snaps'. There are many free services that allow you to upload you pictures to the internet, and also offer a print purchase function for you and your friends and relatives.

True the ultimate quality of film is not yet surpassed without spending huge amounts of money, but most users will not see the difference in a reasonable sized picture. The only advice I would offer is pick a digital camera with a 'resolution' of at least 4 megapixels (preferably more) for good quality 6" * 4" prints / images.

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What Was In the Box?
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- The 350D Body and lens socket cover (I went for the black body - looks better than silver).
- A Canon branded strap (note - less good than the one with my old 50E, so I kept that)
- A shield for the eye piece (apparently used for certain shooting conditions)
- A Canon standard life battery (unique to this model I believe)
- Battery Charger and Power Cable
- PC software on CD and USB cable to attach camera to PC (or suitable printer)
- A voucher for a free SanDisk 256Mb Compact Flash Card (sent away to Canon and I received this very promptly - probably no longer on offer).
- Detailed manual and quick start guide

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What Have I Bought Since?
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2 additional Kingston 512Mb Compact Flash memory cards (£22 each from www.MyMemory.co.uk) - I already have a 256Mb card and the one free with the camera. They were not enough for a happy snapper like me :)

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What Might I Buy In The Future?
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- A second battery is a possibility - I have never run out of power even after hundreds of pictures but on a longer trek this could be useful.
- The power battery grip (pricey at £100) - it screws to the base and adds an additional hand grip width. When mounting larger lenses, the camera can become front heavy and would benefit from a larger grip area to aid stability.

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Features For The Non-Techie
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• The quality resolution of the camera (8 megapixels) is higher than most at this level. Certainly good enough for large prints.
• The camera body is quite small - ideally suited for smaller hands - and very light
• There is a built in flash which does a reasonable job for quick shots
• The standard battery has a good life - I have never yet run out of power.
• Plenty of adjustment features to enable difficult pictures
• A reliable and accurate automatic mode for the 'point-and-shoot' picture
• Can take rapid pictures and automatically adjust focus on moving targets
• 7 spot focus system that can be selected or left to automatically pick the best focus
• Comes with a comprehensive photo management software solution - top quality features.

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For The Techie
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• 8.0 MP
• 3 fps with up to 14 image burst
• E-TTL II flash system
• DIGIC II
• 7-point AF
• DPP RAW image processing software
• Separate RAW/JPEG image recording
• USB 2.0 Hi-speed/Video Out
• Compatible with EF/EF-S lenses/EX Speedlite flashes
• PictBridge compatible (connect directly to certain printers)

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Strengths
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• Small and light - probably one of the few SLR cameras that can be comfortably held be small handed folk (like me).
• Eye diaoptric adjustment (allows eye sight defect correction so you can use the camera without your glasses - additional correcting eye cups can be bought if the range of adjustment is not enough for your eye.
• Very fast startup and processing.
• Compehensive software suite with camera.
• Feature rich - boasts many advanced options allowing complete picture control.
• Can take standard Canon EOS lenses (note: the focal length is 1.8 times more on a digital compared to a standard film camera, but still eminently useable. This means you 28-80mm behaves like a 50-140mm lens).
• High 8 megapixel resolution giving very sharp quality pictures.

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Weaknesses
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• No memory card, remote control or case in the standard package. Cannot be used out of the box!
• Could be a little small for the larger male hand - the option (at £100) is to add the power grip which gives a sideways shutter release and extra battery capacity.
• A feature I really miss from my old 50E - eye focusing. I used to be able to look where I wanted the system to focus and hey-presto. Now the camera (or I manually) has to decide.
• The rear LCD screen is hard to see in bright sunlight - could do with better contrast.

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Conclusion
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Overall, I can recommend this excellent camera. One for the serious photographer or aspiring amateur.


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This review was read 16167 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • frozenace published 19/07/2007
    Great review :) The 400D has also come down in price and is a good successor to the 350D. The body feels a bit cheap though, which is why I went for the Eos 20D instead.
  • welsh_rescue published 23/02/2007
    Cheers for the review. I think its time tocount my pennnies! Take Care
  • bowker76 published 28/11/2006
    I think Cannon are a good make of camera and I think this one would be worthy to buy. Good review!
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Product Information : Canon EOS 350D

Manufacturer's product description

Switch to the future with the EOS 350D Digital and take your creativity to a new dimension. Compact, lightweight and intuitive; delivering results to captivate the most discerning audience. The EOS 350D Digital employs Canon's acclaimed CMOS technology, for outstanding image quality and 8.0 Megapixel resolution. Always be primed for the next shot with responsive 3 frame per second, 14 frame burst performance and instant 0.2 second start up time. Powerful DIGIC II architecture taken from Canon's pro-series cameras ensures no compromise on sophisticated, effective and super-fast image processing. 7 auto focus points are distributed across the frame for fast, accurate focusing, even with off-center subjects. Lock focus before the shot with One Shot AF, or switch to AI Servo AF for predictive tracking of moving subjects - great for wildlife and sports photography. The powerful pop-up flash offers plenty of lighting flexibility. E-TTL II distance-linked flash reads lens distance information and ambient light for accurate flash metering: perfect for recomposed shots and difficult reflections. The camera is compatible with the entire EX Speedlite flash range, including the Speedlite 580EX, which transmits color temperature information for improved color stability. The EOS 350D Digital is compatible with more than 60 Canon EF lenses, including Canon's EF-S lenses. Before shooting, choose to optimize JPEG images either for direct printing or post processing. For ultimate flexibility, JPEG and RAW images write simultaneously. Canon's Digital Photo Professional RAW image processing software gives you post-shoot control over valuable RAW images. A USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface ensures rapid image uploads and fast direct printing. Once connected directly to any PictBridge compatible printer, simply hit the 'Direct Print' button for an instant print of the displayed image; automatically sized and correctly aligned. The EOS 350D Digital takes both CF and CF-II cards, including cards of over 2GB capacity.

Product Details

Product Description: Canon EOS 350D - digital camera EF-S 18-55mm lens, Canon EOS 350D - digital camera - body only, Canon EOS 350D - digital camera EF-S 18-55mm and EF 55-200mm lenses, Canon EOS 350D - digital camera EF-S 17-85mm IS lens, Canon EOS 350D - digital camera EF-S 18-55mm lens - with SELPHY CP400

Product Type: Digital SLR Camera

Lens Included: EF-S 18-55mm lens, Body only, EF-S 18-55mm and EF 55-200mm lenses, EF-S 17-85mm IS lens

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card

Image Processor: DIGIC II

Sensor Resolution: 8.0 Megapixel

Lens System: 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF-S, 5 x zoom lens - 17 - 85 mm - f/4.0-5.6 IS USM Canon EF-S

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 28 cm, 35 cm

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Viewfinder: Optical - eye-level mirror pentaprism

Display: LCD display - 1.8"

Supported Battery: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 720 mAh ( included ), 1 x Canon NB-2LH Li-ion rechargeable battery - 720 mAh ( included )

AV Interfaces: Composite video, Composite video/audio

Colour: Black, Silver

Dimensions (WxDxH): 12.7 cm x 6.4 cm x 9.4 cm

Weight: 0.5 kg, 485 g

Lens System (2nd): 3.6 x zoom lens - 55 - 200 mm - f/4.5-5.6 II USM Canon EF

Image Stabiliser: Optical

Bundled with: Canon SELPHY CP400 Compact Photo Printer

General

MPN: 0210B014AA, 0210B020, 0120B009AA, 0210B055, 0210B005, 0210B062, 0210B061AA, 0210B009AA, EOS350D, 0210B011, 0210B016, 0210B085, 0210B019, 0207B005AA, 0210B021, 0210B029, 0210B149, 0210B012, 0210B017, 0207B027, 0210B018, 0210B119AA, 0210B120AA, 0210B117AA

Product Type: Digital camera - SLR

Lens Included: EF-S 18-55mm lens, Body only, EF-S 18-55mm and EF 55-200mm lenses, EF-S 17-85mm IS lens

Enclosure Colour: Black, Silver

Sensor Resolution: 8.0 Megapixel

Optical Sensor Type: CMOS

Total Pixels: 8,200,000 pixels

Effective Sensor Resolution: 8,000,000 pixels

Optical Sensor Size: 14.8 x 22.2mm

Optical Zoom: 3 x, 5 x

Image Processor: DIGIC II

Auto Focus: TTL phase detection

Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty: 7

Image Recording Format: JPEG, RAW, RAW + JPEG

AV Interfaces: Composite video, Composite video/audio

Available Body Colours: Black, silver

Image Stabiliser: Optical

Bundled with: Canon SELPHY CP400 Compact Photo Printer

Field of View Crop Factor: 1.6

Exposure & White Balance

Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 1600, ISO auto (100-400)

Exposure Metering: Evaluative, partial (9%), centre-weighted

Exposure Metering Zones: 35

Exposure Modes: Programme, depth-of-field, bulb, automatic, manual, aperture-priority, shutter-priority, E-TTL II program flash

Shooting Programs: Landscape, portrait mode, close-up, night portrait, sports mode

Special Effects: Monotone

White Balance: Custom, automatic, presets

White Balance Presets: Fluorescent, cloudy, tungsten light, Flash, daylight, shade

Max Shutter Speed: 1/4000 sec

Min Shutter Speed: 30 sec

Exposure Compensation: ±2 EV range, in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps

Auto Exposure Bracketing: 3 steps in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps

White Balance Bracketing: Yes

X-sync Speed: 1/200sec

Exposure Range: EV 1-20 ( ISO 100 )

Lens System

Type: 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF-S, 5 x zoom lens - 17 - 85 mm - f/4.0-5.6 IS USM Canon EF-S

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 28 cm, 35 cm

Max View Angle: 74.3 degree(s), 78.5 degree(s)

Zoom Adjustment: Manual

Lens Construction: 9 groups / 11 elements, 12 groups / 17 elements

Filter Size: 58 mm, 67 mm

Lens System Mounting: Canon EF-S

Features: Aspherical lens, UD glass, internal focusing system, Ultrasonic Motor (USM), aspherical lens

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 27 - 136mm, 28 - 135mm

Camera Flash

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Guide Number (m / ISO 100): 13

Flash Modes: Fill-in mode, auto mode, flash OFF mode, red-eye reduction

Features: AF illuminator, flash +/- compensation

Additional Features

Continuous Shooting Speed: 3 frames per second

Self Timer Delay: 10 sec

Flash Terminal: Hot shoe

Status LCD Display Illumination: Yes

LCD Display Information: Autofocus mode, shutter speed, frame counter, aperture, manual focus mode, red-eye reduction, self-timer mode, film speed, photo quality, photos remaining, drive mode, white balance indicators, exposure compensation, battery condition, programme, flash mode

Additional Features: Direct print, USB 2.0 compatibility, backlight compensation, RGB primary colour filter, auto power save, digital noise reduction, DPOF support, display brightness control, depth-of-field preview button, camera orientation detection, PictBridge support, histogram display, AE lock, AF lock, FE lock

Viewfinder

Viewfinder Type: Optical - eye-level mirror pentaprism

Field Coverage: 95%

Magnification: 0.8x

Dioptric Correction Range: -3 to +1

Viewfinder Frames: Autofocus frame

Viewfinder Information: Shutter speed, exposure compensation, AE lock, flash charge completion, red-eye reduction, aperture, white balance, metering system, Exposure Mode

Display

Type: 1.8" LCD display

Resolution: 115,000 pixels

Display Features: Built-in

Connections

Connector Type: 1 x composite video/audio output ¦ 1 x USB

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card

Software

Software: Drivers & Utilities, Canon PhotoStitch, Canon ZoomBrowser EX, ArcSoft PhotoStudio, Canon Digital Photo Professional

System Requirements for PC Connection

Operating System Support: MS Windows XP, MS Windows 2000, MS Windows ME, MS Windows 98, Apple Mac OS X 10.1, MS Windows 98 SE, Apple Mac OS X 10.2, Apple Mac OS X 10.3, Apple Mac OS 9.0 - 9.2

Peripheral Devices: USB port, SVGA monitor, CD-ROM Drive

System Requirements Details: Windows 98/98SE/2000/ME - Pentium - 150 MHz - 128 MB ¦ Windows XP - Pentium - 300 MHz - 256 MB ¦ MacOS 9.0 - 9.2 - PowerPC - 128 MB ¦ MacOS X - PowerPC - 256 MB

Miscellaneous

Included Accessories: Battery charger, dust cap, body cap, lens cap, neck strap, USB cable, video cable

Battery

Battery Type: Canon NB-2LH

Details: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 720 mAh ( included ), 1 x Canon NB-2LH Li-ion rechargeable battery - 720 mAh ( included )

Memory / Storage

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card

Supported Memory Cards: CompactFlash, Microdrive

Image Storage: RAW 3456 x 2304 - 8.3 MB ¦ Fine JPEG 3456 x 2304 - 3.3 MB ¦ Normal JPEG 3456 x 2304 - 1.7 MB ¦ Fine JPEG 2496 x 1664 - 2 MB ¦ Normal JPEG 2496 x 1664 - 1 MB ¦ Fine JPEG 1728 x 1152 - 1.2 MB ¦ Normal JPEG 1728 x 1152 - 0.6 MB

Included Memory Card: 1 GB CompactFlash

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 12.7 cm

Depth: 6.4 cm

Height: 9.4 cm

Weight: 0.5 kg, 485 g

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C

Max Operating Temperature: 40 °C

Lens System (2nd)

Features: Ultrasonic Motor (USM)

Min Focus Distance: 1.2 m

Filter Size: 52 mm

Lens Construction: 13 groups / 13 elements

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Type: 3.6 x zoom lens - 55 - 200 mm - f/4.5-5.6 II USM Canon EF

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