What’s the best Canon camera for beginners?
A look at Canon’s most affordable DSLRs for those looking for their first camera
With the introduction of the 200D, Canon now has a very strong line-up for the beginner photographer. Those new to DSLR photography have lots of choice in the current line-up. If the photography world is a little alien, looking at a list of specs can be bewildering. To help you out, we’ve taken a look at four of Canon’s entry-level models.
The cameras in this round-up are the brand new EOS 200D, its predecessor, the EOS 100D, Canon’s cheapest DSLR model, the EOS 1300D and last year’s 750D, which is designed to be a step-up camera, but is actually currently cheaper than the 200D. None of the cameras in this round-up cost more than £700 to buy (and that includes a kit lens).
Best Canon camera for beginners: Sensor
As we would expect for entry-level cameras, all of the models here have APS-C sized sensors. That’s smaller than the full-frame sensor that most professional cameras have, but much bigger than the sensor you’ll find in a smartphone, or an average compact camera. That means these cameras are well-equipped when it comes to low-light shooting, as well as creating that shallow depth of field effect which is associated with DSLR photography.
In terms of resolution, both the 200D and the 750D offer 24.2 megapixels, which is more than the 18 megapixels offered by the 100D and the 1300D.
Best Canon camera for beginners: Autofocus
There’s a very clear winner in this category, and that’s the 750D. While the 200D, 100D and the 1300D have a 9-point AF system, the 750D boasts 19 AF points, giving you a better spread across the frame. Not only that, but all of the 750D’s focus points are the more sensitive cross-type, making them better able to acquire focus in darker conditions. Only the central point of the other three cameras is as sensitive.
Best Canon camera for beginners: Low light (sensitivity)
When you’re shooting in darker conditions, you’ll need to up the ISO speed on your camera. Generally speaking, the higher you go, the lower quality your images will be. It helps if you use what’s known as a “native” sensitivity, rather than expanded setting. The EOS 200D has the best native sensitivity of the bunch, ranging from ISO 100 – 25600. Not only that, but it has the latest and newest processor on board, which should help with image noise reduction when using higher settings.
Best Canon camera for beginners: Viewfinder
All of these cameras use an optical viewfinder, so it’s pretty much a straight-up tie between every model. All offer 95% coverage, which means a tiny fraction of what is captured by the sensor won’t be displayed in the viewfinder.
Best Canon camera for beginners: Screen
When it comes to the screen, we see a few more differences between the models. The EOS 200D is the smallest DSLR camera in the world to feature a fully articulating touch-sensitive screen. The 750D also has a similar screen, but the overall camera is larger. Meanwhile, the 100D and the 1300D both have fixed screens, with the 100D also being touch-sensitive.
Best Canon camera for beginners: Design
If you like your cameras small and dinky, then it would make sense to go for either the 200D or the 100D. The 200D is a little bit bigger than the 100D, but as already mentioned, it features a fully articulating screen. That said, it’s also true that even though these cameras are small, they’re still not exactly pocket friendly so you’re going to need a bag to accommodate them. Both the 750D and the 1300D are roughly the same size.
Best Canon camera for beginners: Fast shooting
If you want to shoot quick moving subjects such as sports, wildlife, or even just a particularly erratic child, then go for a camera which offers a fast frame rate – often referred to as fps (frames per second). The best cameras of these models is the EOS 200D and the 750D, both of which offer 5fps shooting. Although it’s quite a modest frame rate, it should still allow you to capture some reasonably predictably moving action. The 750D, with its greater AF system is also best placed for tracking a subject.
Best Canon camera for beginners: Connectivity
Once you start to master your DSLR, you’ll no doubt want to share your shots with the wider world. The EOS 200D has Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity on board to help you quickly transfer your shots to your phone for quick sharing (and also remote control of your camera). The 1300D and the 750D have NFC and Wi-Fi too, but the 100D has no connectivity options at all.
Best Canon camera for beginners: Video
None of the cameras here offer 4K video as standard, but the 200D has it available for creating time-lapse videos. It also has the best Full HD offering, with frame rates up to 60p available. All of the other cameras offer Full HD at frame rates up to 30p.
Best Canon camera for beginners: Price
As the newest model available, the 200D is unsurprisingly the most expensive. It’s set to retail for around £679, including a kit lens. Meanwhile, the cheapest is the EOS 1300D, which is available at the bargain price of just £299 (including lens). The lowest price doesn’t always necessarily equate to best value for money though. It is arguably the 750D, with its better range of specifications which represents the better value – you can buy one for around £599 with a kit lens.
Best Canon camera for beginners: Verdict
As is often the case, think about what you’re likely to be shooting with your camera, and your budget. If you’re somebody who likes to shoot a bit of everything, the 750D is an excellent choice. It offers a high resolution sensor, fully articulating screen and the most advanced AF system of the models in this round-up.
The 200D isn’t too far behind, but you are in-effect paying for miniaturisation as it is more expensive than the 750D. That said, for the extra cash you also get a better processor and the addition of Bluetooth connectivity. The 1300D is an excellent choice for those on a budget, especially if you’re likely to mainly be shooting static subjects in good light (landscapes, portraits etc).