Canon EOS 1100D Review

4.5
March 24, 2011 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

The Canon EOS 1100D produced images of excellent quality during the review period. This camera produces noise-free images at ISO 100 all the way up to ISO 1600, with some noise appearing at ISO 3200 and more at the fastest setting of 6400. Image stabilisation via the kit lens is a feature that helps the EOS 1100D keep up with its competitors, and one that works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. The Canon EOS 1100D dealt very well with chromatic aberrations, with limited purple and cyan fringing effects appearing only at the edges of the photo in high contrast situations.

The 12 megapixel images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was very good, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and Bulb mode allowing you to capture enough light in all situations.

Noise

ISO sensitivity can be set between ISO 100 and ISO 6400 in full-stop increments. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and the RAW equivalent on the right. The RAW files were developed with Canon's Digital Photo Professional (3.10.0.0), using the software's default settings and noise reduction set to 0.

JPEG

RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

File Quality

The Canon EOS 1100D / Rebel T3 has 2 different JPEG file quality settings available, including Fine and Normal, with Fine being the higher quality option. Here are two 100% crops which show the quality of the two options.

Fine (4.33Mb) (100% Crop) Normal (2.17Mb) (100% Crop)
   
RAW (15.8Mb) (100% Crop)  
 

Sharpening

The out-of-camera JPEGs are quite soft and at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes via the Picture Style options.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens handled chromatic aberrations well during the review. The examples shown here at 100% represent the absolute worst results you can expect from this lens mated to the EOS 1100D / T3.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash settings on the EOS 1100D / T3 are Auto, Manual Flash On/Off, and Red-Eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (29mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (29mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (88mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (88mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting nor the Red-Eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Canon EOS 1100D's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds, aperture of f/8 at ISO 100. Here is a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Image Stabilisation

The Canon EOS 1100D's EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens offers image stabilisation, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than with lenses that lack this function. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with Image Stabilisation turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are two 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with Image Stabilisation turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti-shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/5th / 88mm

Picture Controls

Canon's Picture Controls are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings. The available Picture Controls are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. You can tweak these Picture Controls to your liking, and there are also User Defined styles so that you can create your own look.

Standard

Portrait

   
Landscape

Neutral

   
Faithful

Monochrome

Creative Auto

Creative Auto has been extended with the introduction of Basic +. Essentially a more extreme version of the well-established Picture Styles, this offers nine options including Standard, Vivid, Soft, Warm, Intense, Cool, Brighter, Darker and Monochrome, all of which can be interactively tweaked to suit your taste.

Standard

Vivid

   
Soft

Warm

   
Intense

Cool

   
Brighter

Darker

   
Monochrome  
 

Auto Lighting Optimizer

Auto Lighting Optimizer performs in-camera processing to even out the contrast and correct brightness. There are now 4 different settings - Off, Low, Standard and Strong.

Off

Low

   
Standard

Strong

Highlight Tone Priority

Highlight Tone Priority is a custom function (C.Fn-5), which can be enabled from the menu. Use of this custom function improves highlight detail by expanding the camera's dynamic range in the highlights. To test the effectiveness of this function, I photographed the same high-contrast scene in M mode at ISO 200 (the lowest sensitivity setting available with Highlight Tone Priority enabled), exposing for open shade. As you can see from these examples, Highlight Tone Priority reduced the extent of highlight blow-out considerably. The 100% crops also reveal that highlight detail was better retained and defined.

Off

On
   

Peripheral Illumination Correction

Peripheral Illumination Correction, first seen in the EOS 500D, is an in-camera solution designed to reduce the effect of light fall-off in the image corners. It works, though the difference is not night and day.

Off

On

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 720p, 12 megapixel, beginner, 2.7 inch LCD, dslr, DSLR, canon, digital SLR, digital slr, eos 1100d, Canon EOS 1100D Review, t3, digital rebel t3, 1100d

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