Nikon's and Canon's consumer-level cameras follow an interesting parallel: a 10.1-megapixel entry-level body at the bottom end, and a higher-resolution, HD-capable model for a few hundred dollars more.
The EOS 1000D is Canon's cheapest DSLR, and the first thing to note is that it doesn't particularly feel like it. Indeed, held side by side with the more expensive 500D, it's hard to tell the difference. The 1000D lacks the rubberised grips of the 500D, but that's about it.
The 1000D has a more noticeable difference on the back: compared to the 500D's lush 3in screen, the 1000D's is just 2.5in.
The excellent menu system is inevitably a little more cramped, but we were pleased with its brightness. As with the 500D, the 1000D has a Live View mode, but it's curiously difficult to use.
It's turned off by default, and you have to dig through the custom settings menu to enable autofocus once it's activated.
A few more serious cuts have been made to the 1000D's feature list. It's the only camera here to suffer the ignominy of losing spot metering; even the Pentax K-m has that, despite costing less.
It's also significantly slower than almost any other camera here. It hit 3.6fps in our tests, but maintained this speed for just four shots. Over five seconds it took only nine shots at a rate of 1.7fps.
The 1000D will shoot at a maximum ISO 1600. This isn't as impressive as some, but it means the maximum ISO you can opt for still looks good.
Noise levels were low, and the 18-55mm EFS lens that comes with Canon's consumer DSLRs these days is a big improvement over what went before. It has image stabilisation built in, and we noticed a pleasing lack of chromatic aberration in our high-contrast shots.
The Sony A330 undoes all the 1000D's good work, though. For a shade more money, you get a larger screen, and one that can pivot and swivel.
You also get in-body image stabilisation, which means you'll spend less on lenses over the years. Our tests also suggest that the A330 is better when it comes to continuous shooting, too. It's an agonising decision as to which camera is this month's runner-up, but the Sony just takes it.