Evolution of the Canon Digital Rebel Camera

DSLR cameras have come a really long way. If you compare digital SLRs made from the early part of this century with the ones that are shipping out of factories now, there are light years of difference. There are bound to be a few eyebrows raised when making a comparison video between two cameras from two different ages, but it’s fascinating to see how a modern day DSLR compares with one that’s over a decade old:

The comparison pits two candidates from the same series—the original Canon Digital Rebel (300D) and the latest Canon EOS Rebel T6i.

Back in 2003 the original Digital Rebel was the first DSLR that you could buy for under $1,000. Its debut inspired many enthusiasts to think about going the DSLR way. It flexed a 6 megapixel sensor, 2.5 frames per second burst speed, and an ISO range of 100–1600.

hands-on with the original rebel

The Original Canon Rebel

Though it seems out of place in the same ring as the T6i, some of the features are still good for light shooting. The ergonomically placed buttons and dials are pretty usable. It’s possible you’d rather use this camera than an iPhone.

But where the camera loses out is subject tracking, limited AF point choice, processing speed, and of course, low ISO performance. Low light performance and lack of dynamic range are definitely two areas where this camera runs out of steam and starts to look like the relic it is from a bygone era.

the original canon rebel

Image Resolution Comparison

“Really for me that was the biggest drawback of the old cameras and one of the biggest improvements. Just handling, speed, being able to think and then shoot and capture that without waiting for the camera to catch up.”


At the end of the day, while the original Digital Rebel is still a DSLR and still should make good pictures in broad daylight, low light performance is something that really leaves it huffing and puffing. So, would you shoot with this camera? Chris Niccolls says,

“Unfortunately not.”

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