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Canon EOS 10D

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92 124991 Jun 25, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $1,334.78
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Sensor: 6.3 megapixel CMOS
Max resolution: 3072x2048 pixels
File formats: JPG and RAW
ISO 100-1600 and ISO 3200 with ISO speed extension
Flash sync: 1/200 sec
Continuous shooting @ 3 fps
Storage media: Compact Flash Type I and II
Magnesium alloy body


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Registered: Mar 3, 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 69
Review Date: Oct 20, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, build quality, price point, features, relatively bright viewfinder, 9 frame buffer.
1.6x crop, small viewfinder, RAW conversion software (FVU).

Simply an excellent product from Canon.

If you do plan on purchasing this camera, you should seriously consider purchasing a RAW conversion package like Capture One LE or use dcraw with Fred's linear action. The Canon RAW converter (FVU) simply does not cut it.

Oct 20, 2003
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 10037
Review Date: Oct 8, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,249.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Ergonomics, picture quality (with qualifications - see below), build, price
1.6 crop, small viewfinder, 6v pc limit, image qualty with average lenses (see below)

The 10D is in many ways a strange beast, a year before it's launch a camera of this quality at this price would have seemed impossible. Canon have made some compromises, particulary the use of an average quality focusing unit (I bet they regret that now) and the absence of a spot meter, which I don't use anyway. The focusing is fine from a stop or two down though and auto-focus is a luxury I'm not used to anyway coming from medium and large format.

IMHO the thing that stands out most about the 10D is the difference in quality obtainable by using good lenses over average ones. Put a standard Canon consumer zoom on this camera and you may well be disappointed with the results, put a good 'L' lens on and it is an entirely different story, fantastic medium format-equalling quality can be the result, my feeling is that the smaller sensor needs more 'information' from the lens than film did.

That is not to say that the results out of the camera are perfect, post-processing is de regeur with the 10D. I always use RAW and Breezebrowzer to get the finest quality I can. It takes some work but it's worth it. Others will espouse Capture One and others but I have not tried them so can't comment.

I have a few 'beefs' though, what is the point of giving us a pc socket if it can only take 6v ? My standard-issue Elinchroms put out 12v so I need a Wein safe-sync in the hot shoe, so why bother putting the pc socket there.

I really don't like the 1.6 crop either, it makes the viewfinder image small and I find myself constantly trying to work out which lens is which by mentally multiplying by 1.6. The sooner they manage to build standard size sensors at a sensible price the better. Using wide angle lenses as standard just isn't the answer, they are not built to do the same job.

The 10D is fantastic, requires an amout of re-learning and is the shape of things to come in photography, no doubt. Buy one.

Oct 8, 2003
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Registered: Mar 17, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 5098
Review Date: Sep 14, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: EOS lenses, bright viewfinder, PC sync, fast enough buffer, FAT32 file system, free raw software, nice build quality, great ergonomics, excellent noise even at ISO1600, good battery power. all this at a mere $1499.
1.6x crop factor, no grid lines, no wireless remote, no firewire, no gps, focus not quite as fast or responsive as EOS 1N, or 1V, canon doesn't have buy one get one free program :-)

At work I'm in nikon mode, cause that's what I shoot with, a D1x in the studio and a D100 out and about. This obviuosly doesn't mean anything except I love my canon EOS 10D, it's images rival these 2 other cameras, noise is lower, speed is actually faster... except for the firewire deal.

If you are lloking for the best deal in a D-SLR, get an EOS 10D. That coupled with a Canon L zoom lens or prime, you've got a camera that will give you the "shooting feaver" like you had with the old AE-1. If you are a wide angle shooter you might want to sport for 14-17mm lens, if you're a telephoto shooter, even an 85mm will be good for you (135mm)

The one thing I ask Canon... give me better OSX software. You're software sucks.... give me firewire.... give me another 10D....

Sep 14, 2003
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Registered: Jun 22, 2003
Location: N/A
Posts: 794
Review Date: Sep 13, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Image quality, camera build, ergonomics, ISO options
CF card writing, no spotmeter

It's amazing the variety of opinions you get on this camera. I am convinced that it's one great crap shoot--you either get one that doesn't have focus problems or you get one with focus problems. I am one of the lucky ones and am very pleased with the images the 10D captures. I fully understand those of you who dont feel the same way---You just weren't lucky.

Sep 13, 2003
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Registered: May 21, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 256
Review Date: Sep 12, 2003 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 2 

Pros: Good noise control in higher ISO ratings, relatively decent build, good AWB.
Unacceptable AF issues, slow writing images to CF cards (does not support CF write accleration technology), sluggish fps, LCD nearly useless in sunlight (my digital point-and-shoot LCD is much better), images on the soft side and require extensive Photoshop manipulation, slow USB 1.1 camera connection

I review the 10D as the owner of two of them, and not so by choice. My first 10D had a serial number beginning with 04xxx, my second began with 06xxx. The purchase of the latter was made necessary by the legendary 10D AF issues. Unfortunately, even this desperate measure failed to help.

My first 10D consistently front-focused. I sent it back to Canon with sample images, and they agreed it needed adjusting. In the interim, I purchased another 10D, thinking perhaps Canon had gotten it right over time. Silly me.

The first 10D came back from the factory focusing correctly. Much to my surprise, they actually fixed it. The second 10D had back-focusing issues, and I immediately returned it for a refund. But the story does not end happily ...

Only two months later, the first 10D returned to its front-focusing behavior. Well, I had read many others post here and elsewhere with the same experience.

This issue alone qualifies the 10D for my "poor" rating and is responsible also for my not being able to recommend the camera to anybody. This camera has cost me more images, angst and frustation than any other I have purchased over the past 30 years.

Without hesitation, I urge you to avoid the 10D.

Sep 12, 2003
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Rob O
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Registered: Aug 31, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Sep 7, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1.40 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Image quality.... color accuracy..... Low noise at all ISO's..... Easy menu.... Strong built...... Price.....
1.6 x crop factor..... Images tend to be dark (beautiful sunny day conditions)...... Must shoot in Raw and do a lot of P/S work for good results....... Card reading is very slow (plan on missing some shots).......

Sep 7, 2003
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Registered: Jan 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 592
Review Date: Aug 28, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,399.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Better control over image quality than Canon D30. Much better build quality. Also more professional features like the 1Ds but without the $8000 bill. My finished images are simply better, and I thought the D30 image quality was good.
Less than full 35mm image sensor size and low frames per second.

I love my 10D. I want another one for a backup. I had a D30 and it was ok, made some money with it. But...the 10D is a much better camera.

6+ megapixels

Faster shutter lag

Metal body frame - Feels less like a toy

Illuminated top LCD panel - really cool in low light/dark situations

Adobe RGB setting and sRGB

Better in low light situations than the D30

Battery last for a really long time - not an issue when on long shoots

Same accessories as the D30 and D60 - batteries, vertical grip, chargers, ect...

I want to have two!

Aug 28, 2003
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Registered: Aug 26, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 739
Review Date: Aug 26, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast AF Fast start-up Fast continuous shooting
Only neg is on my part of buying slower equipment like flash card get a 40+ or get the flash reader I did wish it had a plug in adaptor for power as a package deal

Since I have only had it for alittle over 1 month and comming from a Sony DS75 it Rock and Rolls!!!!! never had so much control in a digi cam and the quality of pics is super even in low JPG. and with a 256K flash card it gives me over 500 pics. I just left Corregidor island in the Philippines and was glad I was in low JPG I took over 400 pics. and after getting home I put on pc, and all were super less maybe 20, and from all my fault. I am learning a great deal here I am by no means a professional, a damn novice to be sure, I just love taking pics. and being here in the Philippines I am never out of models, as the kids and ladies as well as the men love there pics taken. God bless them. So back to the camera I love it. I have three lens others are on oder so the only one I can comment on is the 28-135IS and its a quality lens. very fast, and gives super pics for a general all around walking lens. All I can say is if you were putting it off wait no more. Buy it.!!!! and in HK it is damn cheap.

Aug 26, 2003
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Registered: Jul 8, 2002
Location: Philippines
Posts: 15
Review Date: Aug 23, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Enabling the essential features important in the 1D in a price-affordable unit.
In the beginning, one tends to blow highlights. But one does get over the aspect of the highlights issue, when you get used to the 10D. In my case, I came from the 1D so certain expectation where there

Many has been said. Both negative and positive. As they say, the true test of the pudding is in the tasting.

Please view this site: http://www.photos.ph/manilaman

Please take note that it contains shots taken from both the 1d and the 10d.

For those who have 1d's that dream of the 1ds. The 10d is a great compromise. Now you can have 10++MP in two camera's, than just 11 in one.

Aug 23, 2003
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Registered: Jan 29, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 2280
Review Date: Aug 18, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,335.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Design, Features, Ease of use, Quality
1.6 aspect ratio

produces stunning pictures

Aug 18, 2003
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Registered: Jun 25, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 9866
Review Date: Jul 21, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cool rig: beefy and offers up great image quality and ease of use
Smalll and slightly dim viewfinder. USB1.1 is extremely slow. Canon software suks bigtime.

The EOS 10D is basically a digital Elan 7 on steroids. The AF, metering, basic feature set and control layout are ripped straight off the Elan 7: seven AF sensors; Quick Control Dial (QCD); three meter patterns (35-zone Evaluative, partial & center weighted); automatic, semiautomatic and manual exposure and AF modes galore; 30 seconds to 1/4000 second shutter speeds; custom functions; E-TTL flash ability; dioptric adjustment; and nearly silent operation. As a digital camera the 10D is no slouch. The 6.5 megapixel CMOS sensor produces 3072 x 2048 pixel images at a rate of 3 per second in bursts of 9.

Besides the obvious (digital output), there are significant differences between the 10D and Elan 7. The first thing I noticed is the 10D has an extremely solid feel due to the magnesium body. Of course, it's also much heavier than the Elan 7 (790g vs. 580g). The satin finish is slightly rough and industrial in appearance. The Elan 7 has aluminum body plates and a plastic film door. The finish is smoother but the body feels flimsy in comparison.

There are differences hidden beneath the skin of the 10D.:
1. The 10D sports popup E-TTL flash, 1/200 X-sync and a PC terminal. The Elan 7 has a popup TTL flash, 1/125 X-sync and no PC terminal.

2. The 10D has A-DEP mode (auto DOF and hyperfocus control), normally a Rebel feature. Like pro EOS bodies, the Elan 7 has DEP mode.

What's the difference between A-DEP and DEP modes? A-DEP mode requires simultaneous alignment of AF sensors on the nearest and farthest objects desired in focus--a near impossible task! DEP mode lets you focus on the nearest and farthest objects separately. There's one more step but it always works.

3. The 10D lacks the ability to tie partial metering to the active AF sensor. The Elan 7 has a custom function for this feature. I don't miss this option but some may cry foul.

4. The 10D has illuminated LCDs. The Elan 7 leaves you in the dark.

5. The 10D only allows expensive N series wired remotes. The Elan 7 has both an inexpenstive wired and IR wireless remote (RC-1).

Finally--the most important difference--the AF system of the 10D is more sure footed in low light than the D30/D60, but also slightly better than the Elan 7!

This third generation consumer DSLR is the most feature packed and refined design of the series (D30, D60 and 10D). I don't understand why Canon didn't incorporate the Elan 7's AF into the D30 and D60 to begin with! And, yes, I really wish the 10D had ECF. I love ECF and use it about 50% of the time with my EOS 3 and Elan 7E. I suppose that will debut in next year's model.

The coolest feature of the EOS 10D isn't digital output but dial-in ISO! ISO 100 to 3200 is available, but I found ISO 800 the maximum low noise setting. ISO 1600 and 3200 are gritty, similar to film grain. Dial-in ISO 800 is a real life saver when light gets dim!

I have one major complaint about this otherwise incredible camera: like the Elan 7, the AF assist light is the popup flash! A brilliant white strobe pulses in low light thereby blinding and confusing your subjects before you take the picture. Yuck! The near-infrared AF assist light of the A2 and Elan IIE was discreet and elegant. Fortunately, you can use the AF assist light of an external Speedlite and focus on blank walls at 30 feet if you wish. For situations where flash is inappropriate but the AF assist light is needed, you may disable external flash by setting custom function 5-3.

Here's my minor beef: the 10D viewfinder appears about 35 or 40% smaller than the Elan 7 viewfinder. Compared to the EOS 3, it's downright tiny! Think of it as the Elan 7 viewfinder with a black cropping mask. However, at least it's reasonably contrasty, although not as bright as an EOS 3 or A2. Of course, you have the 1.8 inch LCD to review images after the exposure. The LCD works great except in bright sunlight where it's not very useful.

Many have decried the 1.6 magnification factor of the 10D. For example, a 300mm lens mounted on the 10D is equivalent to a 480mm lens (1.6 x 300 = 480). For me, 1.6 magnification is a plus most of the time. But, if you're into wide angle, you won't be happy. My widest lens, an EF 24 2.8, has the field of view of a 38mm lens! To reclaim the 24mm view you'll need to purchase an expensive 15mm optic!

The image quality, features and handling of the EOS 10D are nothing short of fantastic. Is it better than film? For my use, no. It's merely different with its own unique strengths and weaknesses. The 10D complements my use of film but does not replace it. It's just another emulsion for me. However, the thing I like best about the 10D is it behaves and operates almost exactly like my Elan 7E or A2. I hardly had to crack the manual and all my lenses, remotes and flash units fit. Also, digital looks and responds very similar to slide film so, again, I feel right at home. If you're coming from negative film, watch those highlights as they're easy to blow out. I won't be giving up film anytime soon (I love variety), but I'll be shooting less of it!

Jul 21, 2003
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Registered: Jul 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 246
Review Date: Jul 20, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything: Price, quality, ease-of-use, compatibility, and on and on and on. . .
Uhhhhhh. . .It could hack Satelite TV, that would be nice; it can't change the oil in my car or rotate the tires, and it makes a lousy marital partner

So, I am relatively new to photography as compared to other users on this site. I bought this camera on the recommendation of a friend. As for all the technical aspects, I certainly can't tell you how this camera fairs. However, from a beginner point-of-view, I can tell you that this camera has the functionality to allow me to quickly and easily take beautiful pictures. Combines with JASC Paint Shop Pro (My digital photo editor of choice), I am producing beautiful pictures that far exceed the quality of photos I have seen from other photographers who charge money for their services. As well, I can see that, as my skills and knowledge grows, this camera will grow with me.

So, you Pros can tell everyone about the minor imperfections that only a Professional photographer would notice. I will assure the other 8 Billion people in the world that this is a very nice piece of equipment for under $1500. With the price of digital cameras easily jumping into the $500 range for a cheap pocket point-and-shoot, $1500 is nothing for a camera that will make a Pro out of a beginner.

Literally, the first few test shots I took of neighboring foliage blew me away. The colors are beautiful. I thought my old 3.3 Sony took nice pictures...I was blind back then too. Now I see colors that I didn't know exist. Although I don't, as of yet, have anything that anyone else would want to see, I do have some beautiful pictures for my photo album. And I am certain it won't be very long before I am uploading pictures that will be worthy of Professional criticism.

Jul 20, 2003
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Brendan Getchel
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Registered: Jun 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1990
Review Date: Jul 15, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Best-in-class image and build quality. Noiseless low-ISO images -- buttery smooth. Unmatched high-ISO quality. 3fps x 9 deep. Price/performance champion, by knockout. Grants access to Canon's extensive EF lens system, and that's what it's all about.
AF still lacking in low light. Operationally far slower than my Nikon D100. AF selection is the pits. 1.6x FOV crop is the W/A shooter's bitter enemy. Lack of spot meter is an unforgivable sin. Could work MUCH better with 550EX flash. No LCD cover available.

The more I use this camera, the more I am learning to either live with or work around its shortcomings -- save for the lack of a spot meter, which I'll get into shortly. Coming from a Nikon D100 and the Nikon system my "review" will have that "comparative" flavor.

To begin on a positive note, the 10D is best-in-class in both image quality and detail as well as build quality. If this is your budget, and every last drop of image quality is of paramount importance to you, then look no further -- the 10D is your gal. Images are "silky smooth" at lower ISOs and still deliver the goods all the way up to ISO 1600 better than any film available. Build quality is exceptionally good for a $1,500 dSLR -- the best in fact. It just feels right. The only reason I own one is to gain access to all of those lovely, long stabilized primes in Canon's lineup and in this vein it delivers. Also, I strongly recommend the BG-ED3 battery grip as it nicely compliments the 10D, making it a more complete camera.

Now, onto the negatives. Coming from the D100 there were certain things that I had grown to expect in this class of dSLR, which the 10D is, unfortunately, sorely lacking. For all of its good points, the 10D is easily bested by the D100 in overall speed and general usage. It takes forever (nearly 3 seconds) to either turn on or wake up (the D100 is instantaneous), it needs to dump its FULL buffer before you can review ANY image(s) (the D100 can review while dumping), AF is still noticeably inferior -- particularly in moderate to low lighting, CF write times are horrendously SLOW, flash integration (with the 550EX) is not nearly as good, battery life -- while very good -- still falls noticeably short, on-the-fly AF selection is a cruel joke, there is no protective/anti-glare LCD cover, nor is one available, and, worst of all...

...there is NO SPOT METER!

[Rant = ON]
What was Canon thinking? They include a spot meter on both of their pro-class dSLRs, but not on a $1,500 unit?! Having come to rely heavily on my D100's spot meter (50% or more) I find this an utterly unforgivable omission and glaring fault/lack. Some will say "do this" or "do that" to "work around it" or that it is "unnecessary," but those "work-arounds" are completely useless when shooting action or a fleeting shot. You can't always (rarely, in fact) recompose a wildlife or bird shot. Something tells me that most people who poo-poo the importance of a spot meter have never used one. Anyway, I got it out and now I'm happy.
[Rant = OFF]

In spite of all these shortcomings, I still believe the 10D is a very capable entry-lever dSLR with unsurpassed image quality and overall features in its class. If you are a Canon shooter and need more (like me) then I strongly recommend a good look at one of their better offerings. It may be more money initially, but it also may be the premium to avoid many of the frustrations you will experience by these limitations. Otherwise, the 10D delivers (most of the time) the best bang for the buck.

Jul 15, 2003
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[ X ]

Registered: Jun 19, 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 79
Review Date: Jun 23, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: 6.3 mega pixels, fast AF, very handy controls, build like a tank, good colors (depends also on used lens), high iso possible without to much noise, batterylife, good buffer and this all for a resonable price!!
no spot metering (i still don't know why canon didn't put it on the camera)

this camera is just a fantastic piece off technology to work with, when you hold it you feel the quality, since the day i have it has become my second best friend (my best friend is me offcourse).

now about controls, shooting, options, pictures rhemself, ...

all the buttons are placed at the best possible place, once u get used to the camera you do not have to pull the camera away from your eye to change any settings for taking,set your fingers good on the camera and settings are changed in a blink.

taking pictures is fantastic, no shutterlag (a human can't notice it anyway), mine stands most off the time on drive, buffer works great, some complaine about the fact that you have to wait a little when you shot 9 pictures, well this doesn't bother me because i almost never shot 9 pictures in a row, this is something that reduces the quality off a picture, people please take your time to take a picture, and practice yourself to time yourself for shooting at the moment of truth.
one big minor is that the camera has no spot metering, I realy do not get it, if I could, I would go to the canon mane engineer and kick his ass for this.

options on this camera is all you need, more options would make it a laptop, you can magnify your picture to a 100%, so you can see if your picture is sharp sharp or just sharp, and many many more.

pictures that role out of this camera are great, but, the only great pictures that role out are those shot with a quality lens, do not save on lenses, when u put a bad lens on a camera like this you should be put into jail and say 10000 times a day, i will never buy me a DSLR again.
AF-speed also depends on the lens you put on.
you can use high iso without having to much background noise, this is very important, now u can drive up your iso, and win a few stops whitch is great for your sharpnes.
Because off the high resolution, you have lots off place to crop, so you can make up your composition at home without loozing much of quality.

must i say any more? you got the mony, you want this camera, you will buy good lenses, well go for it, there is nothing that will stop you (maybe your wife because she wants to shop with the mony you will spend for this piece of fine technology)

I never needed it so I can't give my opinion about the technical support of canon (but I haven't heared a lot of good stuf)

ps : my excuse for the bad english, it's not easy to write in a language that's not yours.

If you have any questions about the camera you may always contact me : rombaft@hotmail.com

Jun 23, 2003
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Registered: Jun 6, 2003
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13
Review Date: Jun 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb build. Functions. "its a canon :-) " The "menu" is easy to get hold off. So many possibility's Good manuel. Ease off use. Supports allmost any Canon lenses. A good software packed "Filewiever and browser, photoshop elements"

At the moment the best investment in a DSLR you can make ! no Doubt there.

I primarily use the camera with a Sigma 24-70 EX 2.8 zoom - and just took a bunch off pictures at my sisters gradtuation - some underexposed pictures, but hey thats my mistake, not the equipment's.

Colours are perfect !!!
Sharpness is almost perfect in standard setup, you can do a little sharpning on the camera, but i tent too use photoshop, if i need too sharpen a picture.

Overall its the finest camera u can buy for a small amount off money, if i could give it a better recomedation than "excellent" i would do so. Its that good.

Thx Canon - from and "old" Nikon user.

Jun 22, 2003
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Registered: Jun 17, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jun 17, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,875.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Colours, ISO speeds, auto-focus
Very soft out of the camera pictures, Poor RAW convertor in camera self, very bad bundled software

I have just sold my 023* series 10d. Even though Canon tested it and said it was allright it produced very soft pictures. Tomorrow I will get my brand new 05* series 10d, hopes it performes better. I am sure the 10d is capable of producing excellent pictures, I have seen enough samples that seemed OK.

I intensivly used the D30 and D60 before. The greens of the 10d, colours generally, are much more natural. Auto focus is much faster and the Av and Tv programs function better. I am missing changing the ISO value with the SET button at the back. I don't like the little button in front of the camera.

The software with this camera is really shit, especially the ZoomBrowser is full of bugs. I switched to BreezeBrowser.

Update: since I switched to RAW and use the Capture One RAW
convertor the quality has increased dramaticly. The internal
RAW convertor of the 10d isn't very good. Also the use of
a circular polarisation filter on sunny days will boost the colour
saturation enormously, I use the Pro-F from B&W.

Jun 17, 2003
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Canon EOS 10D

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
92 124991 Jun 25, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $1,334.78
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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