Canon EOS 100D Hands-On

Today I had the opportunity to play a little with Canon’s new mini-DSLR, the EOS 100D. Besides being a cute little machine, it is a full featured DSLR (full featured on the xxxD level). I won’t talk about things that you can read in the press release or on the usual review web sites. I just want to share my positive impressions that make me to consider the 100D – despite its size – a serious camera.


In the Hand

I have large hands, but the 100D has deep enough hand grip to accommodate my fingers. Shutter button placement might look odd at first, but this way Canon was able to place it right under your fingertip.

Did I say it’s light – unbelievably so. With the 40mm f/2.8 pancake it’s almost pocket-able. The thickness of any EOS is dictated by the lens mount, so they can’t make the camera arbitrarily thin. The 100D is pretty close to the theoretical minimum. It won’t fit in a shirt pocket, but will in a larger coat pocket.


They Way I Like It

There are a few things I want in an EOS – at any size. First of all mirror lock-up. It’s there (although it’s not mentioned in the press release and first previews).

Then I want exposure and auto-focus to be controlled by separate buttons. This is what some call “back-button focusing”, moving the auto-focus start functionality off the shutter release button. I configure my Canons this way for a decade, so it’s pretty much a must. Seeing the * button’s position on the first product images I was wondering whether it will be comfortably usable or not. And I found that you can swap the function of the * and the AF point selection buttons. So in my configuration AF is engaged by the AF point selection button and the AF point is selected by pressing the * button. And the shutter does what it should: engaging metering and shutter release.


What Else?

Control placement is similar to the 650D. The rather minimalistic control set augmented by the touch screen makes the camera’s user interface really usable. The most important things: shooting mode, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation and live view can be controlled directly with no need to go into the menus.

On the battery front I think serious shooters will need to keep a spare around as the capacity isn’t great. This is nothing new – I have at least two batteries for each camera I own.

I had no time to take pictures and check them, but based on my experience with the 650D I suspect it to be good.


If you like your 650D, you will love the 100D. It’s so cute. It can do almost the same things as the 650D, in a much smaller and lighter package. I’m seriously tempted to replace the 650D with this one.

I would choose the 100D over any of the current mirrorless options (I still don’t like them).

I wish that Canon or Sigma had a wide pancake prime (21mm or wider) with the image quality of the 40mm f/2.8…