Formula for Success: More for less
A cheaper EOS D60, or more significant?
According to Canon, the EOS 10D's image quality has been improved in several areas, most notably color accuracy, lower signal-to-noise ratios at all ISO settings (from 100-3200), in low light, and for longer exposures. These advances are attributed to a refined sensor-manufacturing process and the integration of Canon's highly acclaimed DIGIC Image Processor. Canon also boasts that it is now the only manufacturer that designs and builds all of the major components of its DSLRs, including the body, image sensor, image-processing circuitry, and optics. We can't argue with them on that point. But how about the rest of the claims made for the EOS 10D?
As we mentioned earlier, the EOS 10D uses a similar CMOS imaging sensor as the D60, capturing a 6.3MP image (2048x3072 pixels) at a 2:3 aspect ratio. As a result of the smaller image sensor size (15.1x22.7mm) relative to a 35mm film frame (24x36mm), the effective focal length of a 35mm lens is magnified by 1.6X. This essentially curtails ultrawide coverage with EOS-mount Canon lenses. For example, the EF 16Ð35mm lens provided by Canon for our test delivers the equivalent field of view of a 26-56mm lens on a 35mm camera. Telephoto capability is increased in the same proportion, so a 100-300mm lens performs like a 160-480mm lens.
The EOS 10D borrows many of its exposure and metering controls directly from the older EOS D60, such as shutter- and aperture-priority, manual exposure, A-DEP (auto depth-of-field priority), and program AE. (For more on these, see the full EOS D60 test, Pop Photo). It also features similar custom functions. But now there are six program AE image modes instead of the five found on the D60, and the 10D has a built-in orientation sensor that rotates image files and automatically adjusts white balance, exposure, and focusing for vertical shots.
Like its older siblings, the EOS 10D accepts CF Type I or II cards, including MicroDrives, but now it can simultaneously store both RAW and JPEG versions of an image. In addition to exposure and flash-bracketing modes, it features a white balance (WB) bracketing mode. In this mode, the camera will automatically store the same image three times with warm, normal, or cool white-balance settings, so shooting a full burst of nine images produces 27 files on the memory card!
The EOS 10D has shutter speeds from 30-1/4000 sec, flash-sync speeds up to 1/200 sec with the built-in flash (or up to 1/4000 sec with the Canon Speedlite 550EX set to FE flash mode). Its pop-up flash has a bit more power than the D60's, plus an AF-assist strobe light for shooting in the dark. The camera also offers a flash-exposure lock (FEL) that lets you preset flash exposure based on specific parts of a scene covered by the nine percent partial spot area. For studio shooting, the camera has a PC sync connector, which can be controlled directly from a computer via the USB connector and the supplied Canon RemoteCapture software. Other Canon software utilities include ZoomBrowser EX, PhotoStitch, and the File View Utility for converting RAW files to JPEG or TIFF; plus now Canon throws in a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 (a $99 value).