The 1100D is designed to take Canon back to the top of the entry-level SLR podium. It's a little bigger than its predecessor but also a little lighter. With its 2.7in LCD screen, 720p video capture and an HDMI socket, the 1100D addresses all the key areas where the 1000D was showing its age. The autofocus sensor is up from 7-point to 9-point and the battery life is up 40 per cent to 700 shots.
It's pricier, too, although we suspect that it'll come down a little as more stock arrives on these shores. However, those in search of a bargain should be careful to make sure the bundled lens is the Mk II IS version (where IS stands for image stabilisation). A Mk III lens without stabilisation brings the price down further but the stabilised lens is well worth the extra outlay.
The more expensive Mk II lens is worth getting
Spot metering is still absent, but it's not something many people will miss. Continuous RAW performance remains more of a problem, though. It set off at 2fps and slowed to 0.8fps after just three frames in our tests. That doesn't compare well with the similarly priced Pentax K-r which captured 13 RAW frames at 5.4fps before slowing to 2fps.
At least continuous JPEG shooting – which matches the 1000D's 3fps performance – is now available at the same time as noise-reduction processing. Noise reduction was either (nominally) on or off on the 1000D, but now there are four strength levels. Selecting the maximum setting reduced continuous performance to 1.6fps, but the standard setting is strong enough for our tastes. Otherwise, performance was excellent, taking just 0.5 seconds to switch on and shoot, and the same time between subsequent shots. RAW shots were just under a second apart