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Digital Rebel XL Kiss n Digital Camera
Review / Customer Testimonial
On this page I'll tell you about the Canon EOS 350 camera so you can see how good it is, and I'll show it off without expecting you to download huge high-resolution images. Also, in contrast to numerous worthy reviews by camera connoisseurs, I'll keep it simple and just explain the gist of it. The Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XL / Kiss n Digital is a high quality digital camera which is a professional camera that can be used by amateurs as well as experts! It's the right kind of digital camera provided you are not short of money. If you like to have technical control over details and advanced features, you can. Or, if you just like to point the camera and click in a tourist fashion without having to think about it, you can. The camera has internal intelligence to take optimal pictures, and has manual override on just about everything to allow creativity of photographic art to flourish.
Let's talk about the high resolution first, because that's what most people go on about. The EOS350D has 8 megapixel resolution, which some say is better than 35mm film and better than your eyes. To see what this is like, take a look at this picture of a cat (left), which was just taken by pointing the camera vaguely out of a window in the general direction of a cat in the garden. The actual picture is too big to download, If I could show you the whole image you'd be able to see the amazing detail of every twig and leaf and every whisker on the cat. To demonstrate that, let's cut a postage stamp piece out of the middle of the picture where the cat is, and have a closer look. If you dare put your mouse over the cat and give it a click, you can see the high resolution in detail.
There is more to a snazzy digital camera than how many megapixels it has. It's quality as well as quantity.
a look at this example of two images taken of the same scene
using different cameras. These photographs have been shrunk to
the same horizontal size to keep it fair. The first image (of a
nondescript view at carpet level along a hallway) was taken using
a reasonably good camera, and in isolation it's a moderately good
shot. But then compare this with the same scene taken with the Canon EOS350D
Digital Rebel XL and notice the difference. Although the carpet
and dust are the same situation in the same lighting, the snazzy
Canon Digital Rebel camera
brought out a rich colour to the scene and it looks positively vibrant! This also shows all the dust on the carpet, and if we take a close look at the actual pixels you can even read the small printing on those cans of tomatoes!
Back to the subject of high resolution again, I've found it's possible to take a photo of a double page spread of a quality broadsheet newspaper such as The Times, and on close inspection of the image in the computer it is possible to read the smallest newsprint on screen! This fact has given me justification for scrapping the huge old A3 photocopier which took up an entire desk, as the new camera can capture huge pages of stuff in a single image. If you're accustomed to using an average quality camera, the move to the Digital Rebel EOS350 gives a feel similar to that which I imagine would be experienced if you tried to recreate childhood seaside memories of bucket and spade by using a JCB excavator digger to build sandcastles on the beach. You can use this 8 megapixel camera to grab megabytes of data in a single move. To get an idea how big this is, it's wider than half as wide as this panoramic view of park and considerably higher, although the panorama was made some time ago by piecing together about seventeen normal sized pictures.
If you are interested in getting yourself a Canon EOS350D, you may be interested to know I bought mine from Jessops. They knew what they were talking about and knew the answers to technical questions. Also, as well as being knowledgeable about technical expertise, and also including a 3 year accidental damage insurance policy very reasonably, they were also the cheapest by the simple financial measure of matching anyone else's genuine quotes for the same equipment! At Jessops there seems to be a keen up to the minute monitoring of the ever changing situation in digital cameras, so I would say they've most likely got the best deal. To decide if it's worth going for digital or film instead, see "digital versus film" which has had to be updated slightly now time has moved on.
Here are some more examples of the image capture abilities of the Canon EOS 350D. This picture of a small flower (left) was taken by just moving the camera quite close and letting the selectable automatic focus adjust the lens for optimal sharpness. The result, well, it's just a picture of a flower, but on closer examination of the image it's captured detail which looks like a microscope had been used (right). Even by a rough calculation there are features visible down to a thousandth of an inch. Also notice the richness of colour in the picture. The hue of every little botanical detail has been acquired with quality which takes some believing. But it's true, it really is a digital camera image, and that's exactly how it's come out.
With showing an idea of digital photographs like this online it's important to realise that the actual images are 3,456 x 2,304 which is far too big to put on a webpage with any hope of the download speed being acceptable for everyone, so I've deliberately resampled the images to give a guide to what they look like. You have to use your imagination to understand the true resolution.
In contrast to the macro level, at the other end of the scale here's an experiment in night time photography where the camera is just pointed into the night sky and a picture taken of some stars. This particular image is of the constellation of the Plough / Big Dipper / Great Bear, and without a telescope, just using the standard lens that comes with the EOS 350 camera, and no extra equipment apart from a tripod, a real image of stars is seen (left). Now, bringing the camera back indoors where it's warmer, and taking a closer look at the image on the computer, it's possible to see that it's split the optical binary star Mizar and Alcor (second on the right). I dare say the Hubble Space Telescope would make a better job of this, but the image you see here isn't taken from space, or with a telescope, but just by pointing the camera at the sky, and the detail (right) isn't even zoomed in, but just a small piece cut out from the main image! The truth is that the whole image is of that resolution. Incidentally, this image was taken using manual focus.
The more photographic skill you have, the better the pictures are you're likely to get. But I took the pictures for this page to show off the quality of the camera rather than my ability to take pictures!
My own preference is for the ability to manually control the device rather than have everything done automatically. So, it's good to know it's possible to opt to have most of the features selectable to be manually adjustable.
I also prefer stuff to be interchangeable and generally usable rather than being proprietary. Canon have chosen well here by using standard CF Compact Flash memory cards, relatively standard rechargeable battery packs, standard USB plugs, etc. This is good! (There was another camera which I would have been interested in, by another well known manufacturer, only they'd gone for some odd kind of connectors, specialised memory, and rare batteries).
The EOS350D can be connected to a computer running Linux, although Canon haven't yet (2005/05) decided to include Linux drivers for the camera on the CD, it appears to work in PTP mode in gphoto2. I expect on future issues of the software there will be versions available for Windows, Linux, and the Apple Mac.
I could go on and get into a lot of technical detail,but instead I'll just say that a camera like this is available from places such as Jessops, and the Digital Camera Company, and other Camera Shops. The quality of camera you had is always judged retrospectively with hindsight. So now is the time to make the right decision and thank yourself in future years.
Update 2006/09: Canon have now brought out the Canon EOS400D which should be available from the camera shops mentioned on this page. I would guess that the EOS400D is a more advanced version of the EOS350D, which means that most of the information on this page about the EOS350D is also true of the EOS400D. I'm sure Jessops will be able to tell you more at their website. I've made some notes on the page "EOS400D" in case that helps.
Digital photos I've taken with the EOS350D have been at a resolution of 3456x2304 which is so big that it is impractical to publish them on the website without shrinking them. (see photo taken on a plane (¼ size)) It would be like having two 19inch monitors next to each other, on top of another two 19inch monitors, just to display one of the photos full size. The EOS400D can take pictures which are 3888x2592, so the imagination now needs four 21inch monitors.
You can still get the Canon EOS 350D, or at least you could last time I was informed. It would be nice if Jessops kept us updated on these things. They seem to be offering the EOS400D for similar money now.
Buying a new digital camera is best, as you get a proper warranty and support, and you get to own the camera for a while when it's the latest model. Secondhand digital cameras are also available, but you have to make sure: A. You're getting a genuine bargain financially, and B. IT'S HONEST! If you happen to have bought Canon EOS 350D serial number 0430227773 then you may be interested to hear that it's stolen.
It is my intention to replace the camera with the next latest model, possibly the EOS 400D or better, after getting some good advice from Jessops who know what they are talking about and have expert advice on specific requirements. It's also my intention to write a new page reviewing this new camera, whatever it is, on this site, so you can see if you'd like to get one too. The link to the new review page about the new camera will be [here]!
2007/11: There is an Update on this: Looking at the past history of Canon digital cameras, the EOS300D, EOS350D, and EOS400D were released at 18 month intervals. If the sequence continued, it would mean than the next model would be the Canon EOS450D and would be released in March 2008. However, as my next tax haven exploration, to Panama, was before then, I needed to get a reasonably good camera prior to that. On going to Jessops I found that there was a reasonably good mid-range digital camera available for a sensible price, the Fuji FinePix S5700. At around one sixth of the price of the Canon, it's not expected to be as good. However, the comparison is surprisingly favourable! I've got a review of it here: Fuji FinePix S5700. See what you think. Could be another good thing for Jessops
2008/04: Yes! As predicted, the Canon EOS450D is now available. At 12.2 megapixels and with various other upgraded features it appears to be as expected. There's quite a good review about it at Jessops Camera Shop in case that helps.
2010: The Canon EOS 5D is now available and has a resolution in excess of 21 megapixels. I do not have one yet.
Good news! Canon are now on this site with a dedicated page!
Further news: There is likely to be a review of the Canon EOS 1000D digital camera, in a similar style to this maybe, and that will most probably be at www.xyroth-enterprises.co.uk soon.