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
The nine-point AF system of the EOS 1100D has been used well in other EOS models higher up in Canon’s range and marks an improvement over the seven-point system of the EOS 1000D. Also, it has wider coverage and a more sensitive cross-type central point.
The AF button on the body gives access to three AF modes: one-shot, AI servo or AI focus. The first is for static subjects, the second for moving objects and the third switches automatically between the two when the camera detects movement. When shooting street scenes, I mostly stuck to the automatic AI focus mode to ensure I was ready for any candid moments.
I found the phase-detection AF responsive, even in low-contrast light. However, the contrast-detection AF in live view is slow, taking a good second to hunt back and forth to find the focal point. This makes live view unsuitable for any high-speed shooting, although it is helpful in other circumstances. Quick AF offers an alternative method for focusing while in live view. In this mode the mirror flips down momentarily to allow phase-detection AF to kick in. However, this is still not as quick as shooting via the viewfinder.