Canon EOS 10D SLR Review

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Canon EOS 10D

Camera Features & Controls (cont.)

On the upper right corner of the back are three buttons:

    The (Assist) button can be used to change the registered AF point. Using custom function options its action can be changed.

    The (AE/FE Lock) button lets you lock the exposure at a place different than the point of focus. When using a flash (internal or external), this operates as the Flash Exposure lock. Custom function options allow the focus and exposure lock actions to be changed. (in Play mode this is the Index/Reduce image button)

    The (AF Point) button lets you select the desired AF point when in any of the Basic Zone or A-DEP exposure modes. (in Play mode this is the Enlarge image button)

Canon EOS 10D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

The controls on the grip side of the camera have been redesigned and if you're familiar with the D60 you'll notice the addition of a dedicated button to turn the LCD back light on and off which is now a dark orange color. The dual function buttons along the top of the LCD let you change the AF mode, white balance, drive mode, ISO speed, metering mode and flash exposure compensation settings by using the Main Dial or the Quick Control Dial on the back. The controls located here are the "camera" controls. We'll cover the "digital" controls located on the back on the next page of this review.

The ISO speed is manually selectable from 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (and 3200 if enabled in custom functions) when in the Creative Zone exposure modes. In the Basic Zone modes the ISO value is set automatically.

Canon EOS 10D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

The Mode Dial is divided into the Basic Zone

  • AUTO - Fully automatic "point and shoot" mode
  • Portrait - blurs background
  • Landscape - sweeping scenery, sunsets
  • Close-up - closeup shots of small things
  • Sports - capturing fast-moving subjects
  • Night Scene - slow shutter plus fill flash
  • Flash Off - take natural looking pictures without the flash
and the Creative Zone
  • Program AE - camera selects best combination of shutter speed and aperture but the user may "shift" to other combinations. The user may select options such as drive mode, metering mode, focus point and more that are not available in the AUTO mode.
  • Tv - Shutter speed priority; you select shutter speed, camera matches appropriate aperture
  • Av - Aperture priority; you select aperture, camera matches appropriate shutter speed
  • Manual - you select both shutter speed and aperture
  • A-DEP - camera selects shutter speed and aperture for maximum depth of field as calculated between the near and far focus points.

Canon EOS 10D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

Images are stored on CompactFlash devices. The 10D can use any capacity CompactFlash Type I or II card and is fully compatible with IBM Microdrives. The EOS 10D supports the FAT32 file system that is used on the new CF cards with a capacity of over 2GB.

I recommended buying a BIG card for this camera, especially if you use the Raw+JPEG save option. Shown here is the Transcend 1GB and the Delkin Devices 640MB eFilm PRO card, both are big and very fast writing cards.

Canon EOS 10D

To find out whose CF cards are the fastest in the 10D be sure to check out Rob Galbraith's CF Database - EOS 10D Speed Tests

Canon EOS 10D, image (c) 2003 Steve's DigicamsCanon EOS 10D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

On the left side is the mini-USB Digital port, Video Out (NTSC or PAL), on the bottom is a standard PC flash sync port and a connector for the Canon RS-80N3 remote switch, TC-80N3 timer remote or LC-4 wireless controller.

Canon EOS 10D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

The 10D is powered by the BP-511 7.2v 1100mAh (or BP-512) lithium rechargeable pack that's good for ~650 pictures without flash or ~500 pictures if the flash is used 50% of the time. Battery life on the 10D was improved about 30% from that of the D60 thanks to its low-power CMOS imager and power-saving DIGIC processor.

The supplied CB-5L (100-240V AC) compact charger requires 90 minutes to charge a fully depleted BP-511 or BP-512 battery pack. The red LED indicates the charge level.

The camera can also be powered by the optional AC Adapter Kit ACK-E2.

Canon EOS 10D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

The optional BG-ED3 battery grip (same as used with D60) holds two BP-511 batteries (BP-512 batteries can not be used) and adds a portrait grip with a vertical shutter release complete with an AE-Lock button, Focusing selector button and Main Dial. It automatically switches over to the second battery when the first one is exhausted.

Canon EOS 10D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

If you use big zooms or telephoto lenses then the BG-ED3 should be considered as a "must have" accessory. It gives you a much more stable way to hold the camera and also acts as a counterbalance by shifting the center of gravity.

If you need even more power to run the camera and an external strobe for hours and hours then check out the high-capacity battery packs made by our friends at They have 30-, 60-, 90- and 120-watt battery packs and connecting cables for all the popular pro digital cameras and flash units.

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