Let's start with a little bit of history:
The Canon EOS 300D (Canon Rebel Digital in USA / Canon Kiss Digital in Japan) was announced in late 2003 and by this a new DSLR category has been made. This was the first digital single lens reflex camera which was less than 1000 USD (with the 18-55mm kit lens), which was quite cheap back then, and by this the "amateur entry-level DSLR" category has been made. That good price made digital SLR cameras accessible for the masses. The other important milestone is the Canon EF lens mount: the 300D was the first camera with EF-S mount, so it was compatible with lenses designed specifically to Canon cameras with APS-C image sensor. The lenses with EF-S mount draw smaller image circle, and the back lens element could be closer to the image sensor, that way -claimed by Canon- the image quality can be better in case of wideangle lenses. The EF-S lenses are not compatible with full frame DSLR cameras because the back of the lens would make the mirror stuck. In the last (more than) 10 years, there are 8 DSLRs were released in that "three-number" cheap amateur entry level category. (The newest camera is the 700D when this article was made.) While those cameras got cheaper and cheaper, they become more sophisitcated, advanced, full of new features.
How does it feels to use a camera these days, in 2015 which was made more then 10 years ago?
Nowadays the manufacturers releasing newer and better cameras almost every year, so seems that the DSLRs have improved a lot in the past 10 years. But, the big question is if we need those new features to create better photos?
About the exterior:
The grip of the camera is absolutely comfortable, compared to the successors in the same category. Canon EOS 350D and the later models have much smaller grip, which can be better for users with smaller fingers, but if you're not one of them, a battery grip is highly recommended for holding the camera more comfortable and stabile. Or, the other solution would be to upgrade to cameras in the "two-number" (10D / 20D / 30D ...) category, which have better grip.
The other feature I like in the 300D is the separate black-and-white status LCD, which shows the main settings of the camera, and this can be easily seen in bright light also. This status screen can be found on the 350D camera, but from 400D it was merged with the main color LCD. For those who miss that feature, I would recommend to upgrade to the "two-number" enthusiast camera (10D / 20D / 30D...), which has that staus LCD on the top of the camera body. The main LCD of the 300D is very small and has low resoultion (actually, that was normal at those times), so zooming in is needed to check the sharpness of the taken photos.
The handling of the camera is simple, not overcomplicated. The buttons are comfortable to use, can be easily reached, and there are no more than it is needed. Apart of the camera's main program modes (M, Av, Tv, P, Auto) there are 7 can be choose from. Actually, I use only the manual, Aperture priority and (in some cases) the Auto mode, which can be found on all of the DSLR cameras, so all the other modes are not necessary for me.
The camera is available in two colors: first came the grey (silver), and a little bit later came the black version. I prefer the 300D in black, because the scratches on the silver version can be more easiy seen. The camera grip and the part around the connectros has a matte, rubber-like, anti-slip finish, which shows wear after a slight amount of use. (This was improved from the 400D and later.)
After the exterior of the camera, let's look what is inside:
The most important part of the camera is the image sensor, which is 6.3 Megapixel in the 300D. This is not much compared to the DSLR cameras nowadays, but as we know the resolution determines only the dimensions of the final print. My opinion is that even a 6 MP camera is enough for average consumers, because high quality A4 prints can be made from the photos that this camera takes. Viewing back the photos on monitor / TVs?: most of them has FullHD resolution which has about 2 Megapixels, but even the excellent Apple Retina displays has less then 6 MPs. So, having a camera with higher resolution sensor can be beneficial when the photo should be cropped... so using the 300D I have to pay attention to the original cropping. Also, higher resolution photos might be required by photo agencies or photo competitions, so in those cases a newer camera could be a better choice.
The maximum sensitivity (normally) can be ISO 1600, which is quite low compared to the modern DSLR cameras. In some cases I would have used higher sensitivity, but 99.99% of my pictures are made with less than ISO1600, so this sensitivity is enough for me. I have to mention that there is an extended firmware exists for the 300D, which can add extra features for the camera, like the "Hi" (extended) sensitivity, which is ISO3200. If this is not enough, a trick can be used: lowering the exposure by 1 EV when taking the photo, and then brightening it on the computer by the same 1 EV is the same as if a higher ISO sensitivity would have been used, but by doing this there will be much more noise on the photo... so use it carefully.
Another useful feature could be that the 300D needs a BP-511 / BP-511A battery, which is compatible with lots of other Canon cameras and accessories. Using the Canon 300D as a secondary body, we might save some weight by having a battery which is also compatible with the other, main camera.
The Canon EOS 300D has 7 autofocus points, which haven't changed a lot since: the newest Canon DSLR from the same category (700D) has 9 AF points, but I think it is not a problem, because it covers the most important parts of the image. As I remember, I usually use the middle AF point, which is actually the most sensitve. It is interesting that the AF mode (AI, One Shot, Servo) can't be set: it depends on the shooting program. So, in Auto, P, M, Tv, Av and with no flash the camera is using the AI / One Shot AF mode, in Sport program mode the AI Servo is being used and in all the other program modes the One Shot is used.
The camera can take 2.5 frame per sec up to 4 images in continous shooting mode, which is not really fast. The AI Servo focus mode is only available in Sport mode, where saving in RAW is not possible. So, as it can be seen, the camera is not designed for continous shooting, I would recommend the Canon EOS 40D DSLR camera for that, which has very good price/value ratio.
The Canon EOS 300D is an old and very cheap DSLR camera. In spite of the cameras nowadays has much better specifications and more features, my opinion is that the 300D is fine for general purposes. Besides its low price, the ergonomics is big pro, the 6.3 Megapixel resolution allows to develop good quality A4 sized prints, the autofocus points and ISO sensitivity is enough for the hobbists. The biggest disadvantage for me is the main LCD screen: it is small and has low resolution, which makes checking the sharpness of the photos difficult.
It can be a good choice for amateur, beginner photographers who are starting to get familiar with the basics of taking photos, and they want a cheap DSLR camera which is easy to use. Furthermore I would recommend the 300D for creating time-lapse videos, because the resolution is much higher than FullHD, it's a very cheap camera, it is light, so it can be easily used on rotating / sliding tripod heads, and it has standard remote shutter connector.
Do you think that a good camera is necessary to create good pictures? I believe that the quality of light and the lens is more important than the camera, so if you would like to make amazing photos, then invest in the lenses!
Here are some great photos. Can you beleive that all of them were made by Canon EOS 300D?