Kiss X7-1

I am in Tokyo again this week, and when I am here I always make sure to have a camera with me as I make my way around the city. With all the walking and hopping on/off trains in crowded environments, smaller is better when it comes to cameras and this is why I am reluctant to carry around my full-size 5D bodies. In previous trips my “walk-around” camera has been either the Canon G11 or my FUJI X-100 and they have served me well.


For this trip I have opted to go with Canon’s new “world’s smallest” DSLR, the EOS 100D Kiss X7 (identical to the soon-to-be-released EOS 100D Rebel SL1 in the states). I’ve paired the body with my 40mm f/2.8 “pancake” lens for an ultra portable setup. After spending 3 days with the setup hanging on my shoulder, I am in love with it. The compact size (compare it to my iPhone 4s in the photo above), light weight and snappy SLR performance is great. I love my FUJI X100, but using this camera I have to say I haven’t missed the quirkiness of the X100 one bit. Even though it only has a limited amount of focus points, especially compared to my 5D Mark III, it does its job well.

Erika BW-1

The huge selling point for me is that the camera disappears when I sling it over my shoulder. The light weight and the narrow profile (especially with the pancake lens) combine for a very unobtrusive package. And with the camera looking like nothing to be taken serious, people hardly pay attention to me snapping pics. When I have pulled out a 5D III with a battery grip and 24-105 in similar environments, it is very evident that people take notice.

I’m not going to dig into image quality (check out the sample pic gallery on for that), but I will say that I am pleased with what is coming out of the camera. They do lack quite a bit behind my 5D III with L glass, but of course this little setup can be had for about 1/5 of the cost.


The only shortcoming that I feel with it so far is the limiting focal length of the 40mm (64mm equivalent) pancake lens. I could pair it with an 18-55 kit lens, but the size of that would hamper the compactness. I would really like to see Canon add another pancake form factor in a wide angle focal length to their lineup.  An 18mm pancake would be awesome.

At around $650 in the US for the body, I feel that the camera is a bargain. It will take its place as my everyday carry-around camera for the foreseeable future.