Canon took Gadget Luxe to an unusual underground location yesterday, all in the name of testing a new range of cameras. London’s disused Aldwych tube station was the venue which, although closed since 1994, has more recently been used as a film set for Creep, V for Vendetta and 28 Weeks Later. The event was designed to promote a new range of cameras, specifically an entry level DSLR in the shape of the 100D and the new 700D, PowerShot N, PowerShot SX280 and PowerShot GX 1 cameras. Read our thoughts below and note that each camera is accompanied by a shot taken by that camera as well as an image of the camera itself. If you want more detail, check out the full size gallery of untouched images from each camera here.
Canon EOS 100D: review
The ultra lightweight 100D is designed for the casual snapper turning to a DSLR camera for the first time. Speaking at Kings College campus before the event, Canon claimed that the 100D was the ‘smallest and lightest’ DSLR camera on the market and, at the time of writing, that’s the truth. The 100D boasts an 18 megapixel sensor and training guides so you can easily get to grips with the basic features before exploring the high-end settings. At 407g with a touchscreen, it’s a decent stab at getting novice photographers interested in DSLR and the performance per pound ratio is very good indeed, given the £699 price tag which includes a 18-55mm lens. It’s the natural (and easier) alternative to stepping into hobbyist photography compared the 500D. Pros will instantly look for the battery as the lightweight body genuinely feels like it’s missing something…
Canon EOS 700D: review
The only downside of the 100D is that it’s joined by the impressive 700D at £749 with a 18-55mm lens, though you’ll need DSLR skills to get the most from it of course. Boasting 5 frames per second for sports style shooting, the autofocus system offers 9 focus points across a frame and decent low light shots with a 100-12,800 ISO range. The LCD II Touch screen is clear and it’s absorbed the rugged finish of Canon cameras further up the price bracket.
PowerShot N: review
Canon call this 12 megapixel cube camera a ‘concept camera’ and, admittedly, it looks odd. With a diagram showing you how to capture pet shots listed in the manual, it’s designed as a simple family camera. There’s even six instagram style creative effects on a single shot if you hit a single button. The 8 x digital zoom is used by rotating the lens and shooting requires you to push the top of the lens, rather than a traditional button on the top right of the camera. In keeping with the mini profile, the PowerShot N uses MicroSD cards instead of standard SD cards. At £269, it’s beyond the price of an entry level point and shoot camera but with a good HD video mode and sturdy build, we like the PowerShot N and can see the practical use at home, on holiday or at a gig when viewed against rival smartphones, especially where video is concerned. The small, square frame is great for close-ups on a solid surface, without the faff of a tripod too.
PowerShot SX280HS: review
Billed as a ‘super compact’, the SX280HS uses Canon’s DIGIC 6 processor and a 20 x zoom mode, alongside 60fps HD video. The 12 megapixel sensor produced clean shots in the disused Aldwych station but it’s the zoom which didn’t fail under shaky shots and offered decent stabilization. The panorama mode worked well but, size wise, the new G15 offers a step change in what you can achieve with a similar size frame…
PowerShot GX 1: review
The GX 1 actually arrived last year but the £479 compact is still something very special. Designed as a smaller snapper, designed to back up your DSLR, it’s the first Canon compact to boast a 4:3 aspect, 14 megapixel sensor. The rotating screen allows for extreme angles and the low level track shots from Aldwych station deal with light and the lack of it brilliantly. Rugged, practical and packed with features, it’s solid shooter and great with video. You can see untouched shots from each camera below and full size versions here.