Nigel Atkinson Photography

Equipment review: Canon EOS 350D


Before reading this review please read my general introduction to reviews here



The EOS 350D was my first DSLR and I was really surprised by the high quality images it produced. I had used EOS3 film cameras for years and had recently bought an EOS 1v, and found the 350D producing better photos and giving instant feedback on exposure and composition. To be clear, using the camera was never as joyful as with the EOS 3 but I was prepared to make lots of allowances because of the image quality, digital convenience and price.


Writing now in December 2007 I'm using the 350D much less than before but I'm still really pleased with it. The small size remains its most striking feature when you pick it up. I did buy the battery grip for the ease of vertical shooting rather than a dislike of the basic camera but I rarely used it and sold it fairly quickly. Travel with the 350D and a couple of prime lenses is a real pleasure as they can fit into a small pouch or even my coat pockets. I shoot raw all the time and find great flexibility when converting. Now that it has become almost worthless I'm prepared to take it almost anywhere with the 35mm f2 if its likely to get me better pictures than the IXUS 850 IS.


Biggest problem with the camera is the very basic auto focus. Its obvious that I would miss the 42-point system of the EOS 3 but the issue is actually the accuracy of focus with very fast lenses. Shooting at f2 and wider means depth of field is very short. Often I find that the camera indicated focus but it wasn't quite there so I now find myself shooting short bursts to compensate. The viewfinder is also poor - like looking down a long dim tunnel.


Competition is now tough in the DSLR world and this camera has been superseded in almost no time yet it remains a capable camera if you know what you are doing, and can make use of the best lenses. No compact point and shoot camera comes remotely close to what this camera can deliver - especially above ISO 400.


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Nigel Atkinson