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Canon EOS 1100D review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £499
inc VAT

It might be short on exciting extras but the Canon EOS 1100D's ability to take gorgeous photos is hard to fault


22.2×14.7mm 12.2-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (29-88mm equivalent), 495g

There are a few minor regressions. The card slot has moved from the side of the camera to beside the battery, making it inaccessible when using a tripod. There’s no AV out socket, although the HDMI output means it won’t be missed. The top-mounted ISO button has disappeared, too. The buttons on the back have been substantially rearranged, and Picture Styles has disappeared to make room for a new ISO button. Even so, quick access to the most important functions is maintained, and Canon’s tried-and-tested menu system presents other options in a logical, accessible manner.

Canon EOS 1100D back
We prefer the layout of the controls here to those on Nikon’s D3100

Video capture displays all the strengths and trappings that afflict most digital SLRs. Details were as sharp as the 720p resolution allows and colours were sumptuously rich, while the big sensor and resulting shallow depth of field gave clips a gorgeous film-like aura. The internal mono microphone is excellent, too, but that’s where the good news ends.

Clips are limited to around 18 minutes and stop without warning. The 30Mbit/s AVC encoding keeps compression artefacts to a minimum but that also means the files are pretty big, at around 230MB per minute. Autofocus is essentially locked for the duration of clips. It is possible to initiate autofocus while recording but it ruins the picture and sound quality for the three or more seconds it takes to refocus. That makes casual shooting tricky, especially as the shallow depth of field accentuates focus errors. Then there’s the issue of subtle moiré interference that appears on dense, repeating patterns – a by-product of the 12-megapixel sensor’s output being resized to the 1-megapixel 720p resolution. It’s also disappointing – but not surprising, given the price – that manual exposure control for video or an external microphone input aren’t included.

With so many flaws, it might sound like the 1100D’s videos are not worth bothering with. Keen videographers should definitely look elsewhere, but it’s still capable of shooting high quality clips as long as you can work around its limitations.

Photo capture presented far fewer causes for concern. Automatic exposures were impeccably well judged, with attractive colours and sensibly chosen shutter and ISO speeds. That’s fortunate, as the ability to customise this behaviour is limited to a maximum ISO speed setting in the menu, which isn’t as flexible as the sophisticated options in Nikon’s SLRs.

Canon EOS 1100D sample 3
The 1100D can take some great-looking photos

The 12-megapixel CMOS sensor struck an excellent balance of detail against noise levels, with enough detail for A3 prints and usable results all the way up to the maximum ISO 6400 setting. In short, the maturity of the EOS range really shows; the 1100D’s images leave little to report other than exquisite quality.

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Basic Specifications

CCD effective megapixels12.2 megapixels
CCD size22.2×14.7mm
Viewfinderoptical TTL
Viewfinder magnification, coverage0.80x, 95%
LCD screen size2.7in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Articulated screenNo
Live viewYes
Optical zoom3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent29-88mm
Image stabilisationoptical, lens based
Maximum image resolution4,272×2,848
Maximum movie resolution1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG, RAW; QuickTime (AVC)


Memory slotSDXC
Mermory suppliednone
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)700 shots
ConnectivityUSB, mini HDMI, wired remote
Body materialplastic
Lens mountCanon EF-S
Focal length multiplier1.6x
Kit lens model nameCanon EF-S 18-55 IS II
AccessoriesUSB cable, neck strap

Buying Information

Warrantyone-year RTB

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed30 to 1/4,000 seconds
Aperture rangef/3.5-22 (wide), f/5.6-36 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution)100 to 6400
Exposure compensation+/-5 EV
White balanceauto, 6 presets with fine tuning, manual
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness, colour tone, noise reduction, highlight tone priority, Auto Lighting Optimiser, colour space
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus25cm
Auto-focus modes9-point
Metering modesEvaluative, partial, centre-weighted average
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, wired remote, AE bracket, WB bracket

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Reviews | DSLRs