Almost three years on from its release, Canon has updated its entry-level DSLR with HD video, an improved sensor and greater ISO range. We put the Canon EOS 1100D to the test
White balance and colour
This overcast scene is served well by some of the picture modes, particularly monochrome, and even the portrait and landscape modes boost the saturation a little
Like most of the key controls, white balance can be accessed directly on the back of the camera body. As well as auto, there are six presets and a custom option, which works by taking information from a photo file (preferably with a grey card in the frame) and setting the appropriate colour temperature.
In the EOS 1000D the picture modes have a dedicated button on the body, but on the EOS 1100D they are accessed via the quick or main menu. There is much fun to be had taking pictures using these different settings – such as monochrome, portrait and neutral – and then fine-tuning the effects ±3 for saturation, colour tone, sharpness and contrast.
As well as the six presets, there are three custom spaces for the user to create their own colour setting. I created a high-contrast black & white setting, a low-contrast and low-sharpness sepia setting for a dated look, and a punchy and vivid setting. As JPEG image processing can be slightly soft, I found it worth boosting the sharpness of my well-used colour modes a little. There is no in-camera option to adjust the colour post-capture.
Standard monochrome colour mode produces pleasing results, but for creative images there are three slots for user-defined versions
In its standard mode, the colours demonstrate a strong, subtle and natural tone. There is an option to suit every taste in the picture modes, but not too many to baffle the photographer. Overall, I am happy with the colours produced by the 1100D.
I used the camera across various types of lighting. The auto white balance does a good job in overcast light and in sunny conditions, producing almost neutral results. The custom setting is even closer to neutral, while the white balance presets give warmer results. I found the auto white balance offers a pleasing compromise.
When shooting outdoors at night and in tungsten light, it is advisable to use the appropriate white balance preset or take a custom reading because the camera does little to take away the yellow hue.