March 22nd 2013 by Andrew S Gibson
Canon has just announced two new cameras, the EOS 700D and 100D, plus a new kit lens with an STM motor. If you are in the market for a new EOS camera, are or looking to upgrade a current model, then one of these might be a good buy for you (make sure you read my overview of current EOS cameras first).
Before we look at the new models, let’s take a look at why Canon regularly introduces new cameras. Here are some reasons I can think of:
- To keep up with the competition. Canon needs to update its line-up regularly because other manufacturers are doing the same.
- To keep the Canon name in the news. Releasing new gear is a good way to get your brand’s name mentioned on all the popular gear and review websites. As many consumers use these websites to research new purchases, this must help lead to sales.
- To make sure that the latest technology is available to consumers. Canon, like all camera manufacturers, has a research and development department. When new technology gets to the stage where it’s ready to be released to the public, it ends up in the newest cameras. The touchscreen technology on the EOS 650D, 700D and 100D is a good example of this.
- To fill a gap in the market. The EOS 100D and EOS M enter this category. Both cameras are built for photographers who want small camera bodies, or are perhaps upgrading from a compact camera or smartphone but don’t want to buy one of the larger SLR bodies.
This is a personal list, and I’m sure Canon could give many more reasons for releasing new models. But did you notice that there is one thing missing? None of these have anything to do with making you a better photographer. I’m sure Canon wants to help you become one, but buying a new camera alone won’t help you do so.
That said, let’s take a look at the new models (current approximate retail prices in brackets):
EOS 700D/EOS Rebel T5i (£619/$749)
The EOS 700D is described by Canon as an upgrade to the EOD 650D. There is nothing dramatically new here. The sensor is the same size (18 megapixels), it uses the same DIGIC 5 processor, the ISO range is the same and the nine point autofocus system and touchscreen menu system are virtually identical.
New features are relatively minor. The Mode Dial rotates 360°, so that you change exposure modes a little more easily. The rubberised coating on the grip is better quality. You can preview the effects of Creative Filters in Live View. The mirror stays up when switching between different Live View modes. I’m sure more of these will come to light when the instruction manual becomes available.
Who is this camera for?
The EOS 700D is an ideal entry-level camera to the EOS system for photographers that want a good quality camera but don’t require the more advanced features of models like the EOS 60D, 7D Mark or 6D. You may also consider this camera if upgrading from an older model (such as the EOS 550D or earlier).
The EOS 700D replaces the EOS 650D. It will be sold alongside the EOS 600D for the forseeable future and the 650D will be discontinued when stock runs out.
EOS 100D/EOS Rebel SL1 (£569/$649)
The EOS 100D is a camera that I never realised anyone needed until Canon released it. It’s easy to see who the camera is aimed at – photographers who want the smallest possible SLR camera. This may be someone upgrading from a compact camera or smartphone. It may also appeal to someone who travels a lot (and wants to keep the weight of their check-in luggage down) or to photographers who like to carry a camera around with them all day (believe me, I’ve tried that with my EOS 5D Mark II and it gets heavy). It should also appeal to photographers who like the size of mirrorless camera systems but prefer a camera with an optical viewfinder rather than an electronic one.
The key selling point of the EOS 100D is that (according to Canon’s figures) it’s the smallest digital SLR around (around 80% of the size and weight of the EOS 700D).
The spec is very similar to the EOS 700D. It has an 18 megapixel sensor, a DIGIC V processor, a three inch touch screen menu (but not a vari-angle touch screen – these take up more room) and the various automatic exposure modes and creative filter options that are standard on entry level cameras.
In other words it’s a slightly smaller, slightly cheaper version of the EOS 700D with a few less features. It almost seems more of an upgrade to the EOS 1100D line than a new category of camera. Time will tell if there’s a market for it.
Neither camera is available to the public yet (both are available for pre-order) and we will learn more about both cameras as reviewers get their hands on them.
Canon may release both an EOS 70D and a 7D Mark II this year, and both are likely to be much more exciting than the EOS 700D and 100D. If it does so then it will have an very advanced line-up of digital cameras.
There is more choice at the entry level than ever before. This could be a new marketing strategy from Canon to attract new users who may then go on and buy new lenses or upgrade to more advanced models.