If you are looking take photographs as opposed to snapshots the best way of achieving this is to upgrade from a digital point and shoot camera to a digital SLR. Making the decision to upgrade is easy however choosing an ideal digital SLR can be confusing. The cost of digital SLRs has decreased and it is now possible to buy an entry level digital SLR camera for less than a top end digital point and shoot camera, and achieve better quality photographers providing used correctly.

Many manufacturer’s produce entry level digital SLR cameras and Canon’s offering is the EOS1000D. The Canon EOS1000D has been around for the best part of three years now, and on paper it does look fairly poor in comparison to other entry level digital SLR cameras. With a 10.1Mp CMOS sensor, maximum ISO of 1600, 7 autofocus points, and 3 frames per second burst rate it is lagging behind the competition somewhat.

However, the Canon EOS1000D is not really that bad. The handling of the EOS1000D is lovely as it just feels so natural. There is a good range of direct access buttons that include exposure compensation, AF points, metering mode, drive mode and picture styles. Everything you may need whilst looking through the view finder whilst framing a shot is there for the taking.

The rear LCD screen is 2.5 inches and 230K pixels. The viewfinder is bright and gives a 95% coverage, which is quite impressive and a definite plus for those starting out in the world of digital photography with a digital SLR camera.

Even though the EOS1000D has a mere 10.1Mp sensor, which is less than many point and shoot digital cameras, the image quality possible with the EOS1000D is very, very good. The colours are natural and there is a good level of contrast. The EOS1000D really does prove that you don’t need high megapixels to get good image quality. I have a 12.1Mp Olympus compact camera that produces images that are many times worse than those produced by the EOS1000D. The image quality is helped by Canon’s intelligent metering system and auto lighting optimizer, both of which are very good and accurate, even high contrast scenes.

The EOS1000D is made out of plastic, and whilst it is not the best quality it is fit for purpose. The build quality and durability of the EOS1000D isn’t fantastic, but if you look after it the camera will look after you. That said, the Canon EOS1000D really ought to be a bit better built.

The EOS1000D is supplied with a 18mm – 55mm kit lens, which compared to kit lenses supplied with other Canon digital SLR cameras is exceptionally poor. The kit lens supplied with the EOS1000D not only lacks the sharpness of the newer kit lens but it also lacks the image stabilisation feature which is a shame, especially since the EOD1000D doesn’t have sensor-shift stabilisation built in.

Comparing the Canon EOS1000D kit to other entry level digital SLR kits on the market it is not the best, nor does it represent the best value for money. The competition, including the Nikon D3100, Olympus E-450, Pentax K-X and Sony Alpha A290 are all better value packages. The image quality is good but it is let down by the disappointing kit lens. Changing the lens for a decent one will greatly improve the overall quality of the images produced but this will add an additional cost. The strong point of the EOS1000D is in the handling and the ease of use as it is just so intuitive.