Canon EOS 10D SLR Review

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Canon EOS 10D

First Look posted 02/27/03
Full review posted 04/03/03

Click on the 10D to take a QuickTime VR tour

Canon delivers their most affordable digital SLR yet, the EOS 10D is available now with a suggested list price of just $1,999 ($1500 street.) The EOS 10D is the first digital SLR to offer Canon's exclusive DIGIC Image Processor for maximum camera performance as well as direct connectivity to several Canon Bubble Jet Direct printers and the CP-100 Card Photo Printer. The camera's body, constructed with rigid magnesium alloy covers, houses and protects a number of advanced camera features including a very fast, wide area 7-point autofocus system for precise focusing; 3 frames per second drive speed in 9-frame bursts in either JPEG or simultaneous RAW + JPEG capture settings; an extended ISO range of 100-3200; manual white balance mode; selectable color space options including Adobe RGB and sRGB; a scrollable 10x zoom playback mode; and a Plug and Play USB interface.

The EOS 10D supports EXIF 2.2, DPOF 1.1, FAT32, and Compact Flash Type I and II, and is completely compatible with all EF-series lenses. The EOS 10D incorporates a large-area 6.3 megapixel CMOS sensor designed, developed and manufactured entirely within Canon. This sensor has the same picture area and aspect ratio (3:2) as the EOS D60, but features superior image quality thanks to peripheral circuitry improvements and a refined manufacturing process. A new amplifier circuit boosts the S/N (signal to-noise) ratio to provide an extended sensitivity range from ISO 100 to 3200 and superior noise reduction at all ISO speed settings.

Canon's proprietary DIGIC image processor was developed specifically for use with its line of digital cameras and combines the jobs of image processing and camera function control into one chip. DIGIC (short for Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) is much faster at image processing than a general purpose CPU. This extra speed makes it possible to incorporate higher quality signal processing algorithms than conventional digital cameras, improve the buffer performance and consumes less battery power. And because it was specifically designed for use in a digital camera, it is also capable of handling nearly every digital camera function including JPEG compression/expansion; memory card control; Auto Exposure; Auto White Balance control and most other camera functions. In the case of the EOS 10D, for example, the number of consecutive frames is 9, compared to 8 in the EOS D60 and the battery life lasts approximately 30 percent longer. These improvements were made possible by the DIGIC Image Processor, not by any improvements in the camera or batteries themselves.

The EOS 10D's advanced 7-point AF system is a major upgrade from the D60's 3-point system, and its speed is as fast or faster than the EOS Elan 7/7E's. The 7 focusing points are conveniently superimposed on the viewfinder, cover a wide area for superb precision, and are manually selectable for a high degree of control. Ideal focus is achieved whether camera orientation is vertical or horizontal, with moving, still or off-center subjects, and even in low light/low contrast situations.

The EOS 10D uses an Intelligent Orientation Sensor to detect whether the camera is positioned horizontally or vertically and uses that information to improve autofocus and exposure metering accuracy and enables the camera to automatically rotate vertical format images during playback. This rotation data is also added to the image file header so compatible software applications such as Canon's File Viewer Utility, ZoomBrowser EX and ImageBrowser read this data and automatically rotate thumbnail images during downloads to accelerate workflow.

When a RAW image is captured, the EOS 10D simultaneously records and stores a JPEG image in the RAW image file. Unlike the EOS D60 where this mode was only possible for the Middle/Fine setting, the JPEG image can be set to any of the six JPEG quality settings on the EOS 10D. In addition to the five preset White Balance modes featured on the EOS D60, the shade setting (approximately 7000K) has been added for a total of nine white balance modes. The EOS 10D also features a Manual color temperature setting accessed directly from the menu with 2800 to 10,000 degrees Kelvin values in 100-degree increments. In the White Balance Bracketing mode, a set of three images is made at the same exposure level while shifting the white balance up to +/- 3 steps in 1-step increments, to render a cooler or warmer color temperature. Each step is equivalent to 5 Mired (Micro-reciprocal degrees).

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

EOS 10D Major Features

  • Magnesium alloy body with Canon EOS (EF) lens mount, 1.6x focal magnifier

  • 6.3 megapixel (effective), single-plate CMOS image sensor

  • 3072 x 2048, 2048 x 1360 and 1536 x 1024 24-bit JPEG and 3072 x 2048 36-bit RAW file formats. RAW files include an embedded JPEG (user selectable size and quality) that is quickly extracted with the supplied software

  • Fast, Wide-area TTL AF with 7 focusing points, manual or auto selectable.

  • One shot AF, AI Servo AF with focus prediction, AI Focus AF, and manual focus modes.

  • New Canon DIGIC image processor speeds up image processing, camera functions and improves image quality

  • Full range of exposure modes: Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Depth-of-Field AE, Programmed AE with modes for Landscape, Macro, Night Scene, Portrait, and Sports, and full Manual

  • 35-zone TTL metering, Evaluative (linked to all focusing points), Center weighted average, or 9.5% central-area spot metering

  • White Balance: Auto, six presets and Manual color temperature (2800 to 10,000 degrees Kelvin in 100-degree increments).

  • White Balance Bracketing mode, three images at the same exposure level while shifting the white balance up to +/- 3 steps in 1-step increments

  • Continuous Drive mode captures up to 9 frames at 3 fps (1/250 second or faster)

  • Shutter speeds: 30 to 1/4,000 seconds, plus Bulb

  • Eye level TTL viewfinder with diopter adjustment, illuminated AF points, depth-of-field preview and detailed information display.

  • Exposure compensation: -/+2 EV in 1/2 EV or 1/3 EV increments in all exposure modes

  • Auto exposure bracketing: -/+2 EV in 1/2 EV or 1/3 EV increments in all auto exposure modes

  • Improved 1.8 inch, color TFT LCD, 118,000 pixels, 5 levels of brightness

  • Playback image zoom 1.5x - 10x in 5 steps with scrolling

  • ISO sensitivity range: 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1,600 (3200 with ISO speed extension)

  • Built-in E-TTL popup flash with red-eye reduction. Guide Number is 13/43 at ISO 100, m/ft w/18mm lens coverage. Hot shoe for Canon EX Speedlites and a standard PC flash sync connector

  • CompactFlash Type II memory card slot, Microdrive compatible

  • I/O ports: USB (TWAIN driver for PC and Photoshop plug in for Macintosh), Video Out with selectable NTSC or PAL timing, PC type flash sync, N3 remote control socket

  • Power supplied by included BP-511 high capacity lithium rechargeable battery pack. Good for approx 500-650 shots. BC-5L rapid charger included

  • Optional BG-ED3 Battery Grip holds two BP-511 battery packs and adds vertical grip, shutter release and controls
Canon EOS 10D, image (c) 2003 Canon USA

Bundled Software

The EOS 10D is bundled with an upgraded software package featuring powerful drivers which are compatible with Windows XP and Mac OS X. Additional Canon utilities such as ZoomBrowser EX, PhotoRecord, RAW Image Converter, PhotoStitch and RemoteCapture are also supplied, together with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

The EOS 10D measures 5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 inches and weighs 27.9 oz. (body only). It is available now at authorized retailers with a suggested list price of $1,999.

Physical Views

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

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

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

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

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

Compare Canon EOS 10D and D60

Click to see the 10D vs D60 Specific Differences chart

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

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

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

Compare Canon EOS 10D and Nikon D100

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

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

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Canon EOS 10D Specifications

Camera Section

Type Eye-level single lens reflex (SLR) digital camera, 36-bit full color RGB capture (12bits per channel), one-shot type
Lens mount Canon EF mount (full electronic control type)
Lenses used Canon EF lenses (focal length conversion factor is approx 1.6X compared to full-frame 35mm film format)
Viewfinder Full-frame reflex type, coverage approximately 95% horizontal and vertical, 0.88X magnification and 20mm eye point. Dioptric adjustment range: -3.0 - +1.0 diopter. Focusing screen: Fixed, new Laser Matte screen

Viewfinder information: AF (AF points, focus confirmation light), exposure (shutter speed, aperture value, manual exposure, AE lock, exposure compensation amount, AEB level, partial metering area), flash (flash ready, red-eye reduction lamp on, high-speed sync, FE lock, flash exposure compensation amount), warnings (exposure warning, improper FE lock warning, CF card full warning, CF card error warning, no CF card warning, busy), maximum burst for continuous shooting, shots remaining.

AF Type TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor. TTL secondary image-registration, phase detection
Focusing modes One-shot AF, AI Servo AF with focus prediction, AI Focus AF, and manual focus
Focusing points 7 selectable focusing points
AF Point Selection Automatic, Manual, Home position
Active AF Point indicator Superimposed in viewfinder and indicated on LCD panel
AF-assist beam Stroboscopic flash. Effective range: approx. 4.0m/13.1ft. at center, approx. 3.5m/11.5ft off-center
AF working range EV (0.5-18) (ISO 100, standard chart)
Metering modes TTL full aperture metering with a 35-zone silicon photocell.
  1. Evaluative metering (linkable to any AF point)
  2. Center-weighted average metering
  3. 9% central-area partial metering
Metering range EV 1-20 (at 20°C, EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, ISO100)
Shutter type Electronically-controlled focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed 1/4000 sec. to 30 sec.(1/2 or 1/3 stop increments) plus Bulb
X-sync at 1/200 sec.
Shutter release Soft-touch electromagnetic release
Drive modes Single frame, continuous, self timer
Continuous shooting speed Approximately 3 frames per second (at 1/250 sec or faster)
Maximum burst depth during continuous shooting is 9 frames
Exposure control system Program AE (Full Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Flash Off, Program), Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Depth-of-Field AE, Manual exposure, E-TTL auto flash
Built-in flash Auto pop-up E-TTL auto flash (retractable).
Guide Number is 13(ISO 100, meters), 43(ISO 100, feet)
18mm lens angle coverage
Recycle time is approx. 3 seconds
Flash ready icon in viewfinder
Flash range using EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens
1 - 3.7m (3.3 - 12.1 ft) ISO 100 24mm
1 - 2.9m (3.3 - 9.5 ft) ISO 100 85mm
Flash contact Accessory shoe for EX-series Speedlites (E-TTL auto flash)
PC socket built-in on left side of camera body
Flash metering E-TTL auto flash (linked to all AF points), FEL and FP flash (high-speed synchro) with built-in flash and EX-series Speedlites
Flash exposure compensation +/- 2 stops in 1/2- and 1/3-step increments

Digital Section

Image sensor High-sensitivity, high-resolution, single-plate CMOS sensor
6.30-million effective pixels (3088 x 2056)
6.50-million total pixels (3152 x 2068)
Sensor size 15.1 X 22.7 mm
Aspect ratio 3:2
Color filter system RGB primary color filter
Low-pass filter Located in front of image sensor, non-removable
  1. Large/Fine ~2.4MB(3072 x 2048)
  2. Large/Normal ~1.2MB(3072x2048)
  3. Middle/Fine ~1.3MB(2048 x 1360)
  4. Middle/Normal ~0.7MB(2048 x 1360
  5. Small/Fine ~0.8MB(1536 x 1024)
  6. Small/Normal ~0.4MB(1536 x 1024)
  7. RAW Lossless compression ~7.4MB(3072 x 2048)
    • RAW + Small/Normal ~6.0MB
    • RAW + Small/Fine ~6.4MB
    • RAW + Medium/Normal ~6.2MB
    • RAW + Medium/Fine ~6.8MB
    • RAW + Large/Normal ~6.7MB
    • RAW + Large/Fine ~8.0MB
Sensitivity Equivalent to ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (and 3200 with ISO speed extension)
White balance TTL type

Presets for: Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash

Manual color temperature (2800 to 10,000 degrees Kelvin in 100-degree increments)

Color temperature compensation: +/- 3 stops in whole-stop increments

Recording media CompactFlash card, Type I or II, single slot
Microdrive compatible
File format Design Rule for Camera Format (DCF)
Recording methods JPEG and Canon RAW (12 bit)
Color space sRGB, Adobe sRGB
Processing parameters Standard parameters plus up to three sets of custom processing parameters

Contrast, sharpness, saturation and color tone with 5 settings -2 to +2

Burst rate Approximately 3 frames per second for up to approximately 9 frames in all image sizes
Built-in LCD color monitor 1.8-inch low-temperature TFT type, approx. 118,000 pixels; 100% image coverage, 5-level adjustable brightness
Menu languages 12 languages: English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Japanese
Custom functions 17 custom functions with 61 settings
Playback features Single frame, single frame (info), magnified view (1.5x - 10x in 15 steps), 9-image index, autoplay, image rotation, jump. Highlight alert in single frame and single frame (info) modes, overexposed areas will blink. Single images can be protected or cancelled. Single image or all images can be erased from CF card (except protected images.)
Direct printing Compatible with Canon CP-100 Card Printers and BubbleJet Printers for JPEG images. Settings: Print quantity, style and trimming.
Interface Digital: USB; Video Out: NTSC/PAL (switchable)

Camera: N3 remote control socket, PC terminal for studio flash, dedicated accessory shoe for EX-series Speedlites
Power source
  1. BP-511 / BP-512 litium-ion battery
  2. AC operation via optional ACK-E2 kit with DC Coupler DR-400
  3. Up to two BP-511 battery batteries via optional Battery Grip BG-ED3
Battery life Approx. 650 shots, no flash
Approx. 500 shots, 50% flash use
Recharging time Approx. 90 minutes with CB-5L charger
Kit configuration EOS 10D camera, neck strap, Battery Pack BP-511, Battery Charger CB-5L, AC power cord for CB-5L, Video Cable VC-100, Interface Cable IFC-300PCU, Canon Solutions software disk, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Camera user's guide, Software instruction book and Camera quick operation guide.
Dimensions 149.7(W) X 107.5(H) X 75.0(D) mm
5.9(W) X 4.2(W) X 3.0(D) inches
Weight 790g/27.9oz. w/o battery or CF card
Driver software Comes with USB TWAIN driver for PC and Adobe Photoshop plug-in for Mac OS
Type of computer: IBM PC/AT compatible mach w/ USB port
CPU: Pentium 150 MHz or above for OS: Windows 98 SE, Windows Me, Windows 2000
300MHz Pentium or above w/OS: Windows XP
RAM: 64MB or more (128MB rec'd) for Windows 98SE/Windows ME/Windows 2000
128MB (256 or more Rec'd.) Windows XP

Type of computer: Macintosh w/ USB standard ( 1st generation. iMacs require firmware update -9.2 CPU: Power PC
OS: MacOS 8.6 to 9.2, Mac OS 9.0 or later recommended
RAM: 64MB or more applications memory, 128MB or more recommended

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