I received my Canon EOS 10D digital SLR yesterday, as an upgrade to my D30.

Some observations that I haven’t found on the Internet yet, and that may be useful to other new 10D owners or owners to be:

  1. The camera feels solid, but not appreciably better built than the D30. The much-hyped magnesium shell does not make much difference.

  2. As usual, the Canon software sucks. The USB TWAIN driver for the 10D does not work, breaks TWAIN and you need to restart apps such as Photoshop to be able to use other TWAIN drivers again. I use a Firewire CompactFlash card reader instead.

  3. The camera supports the PIMA (now I3A) Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP), a standardized protocol to transfer images and control a camera over a USB connection. I wish they had also implemented the USB Mass Storage Class the way Nikon did. This would allow the camera to be recognized as a hard drive by all modern operating systems.

  4. Even though the 10D is compatible with the BG-ED3 portrait grip/battery pack, the base plate is slightly different from the D30/D60, and dedicated Arca-Swiss style quick release tripod plates like the PZ-52 or BL-D60 from Kirk fit loosely and twist. In the meantime, my older, non-dedicated B24E plate from RRS will fit, but as it is held only by friction, it is a less than ideal solution.

  5. As usual with the introduction of new cameras, third-party (i.e. usable) RAW workflow software struggles to catch up. IMatch will generate thumbnails correctly, but not display the images. BreezeBrowser displays the images in quick preview mode but will not do RAW conversion yet.

  6. The eyepiece cover is now integral to the strap and is less likely to fall off.

  7. The 10D uses the same batteries as the D30/D60, but unfortunately not the same USB cable.

  8. 10x magnification is better than the D30, but I wish they could resolve down to individual pixels to check for critical focus.

  9. The camera feels quieter (muted shutter and mirror sound) and snappier than my D30, except for image review, which is still too slow for any but the most leisurely review.

  10. Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 is supplied, a nice touch as this version is far more capable than the Photoshop 5.0 LE supplied with the D30.

  11. The viewfinder is similar to the Elan 7E. It does not have eye control focus, unfortunately. The only other major missing feature is spot metering.

I also posted some sample images I took during my lunch break, with the Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM. The images were converted with Canon’s File Viewer Utility V.1.2.1

Update (2003-03-27):

Kirk Photo now has an Arca-Swiss style quick-release plate for the 10D, the PZ-80. They are expecting to have a L bracket as well in about three weeks’ time.

Update (2003-08-05):

The current version of BreezeBrowser is fully functional with 10D RAW images, and has been so for a few months now.