Canon EOS 1200D review: Canon has upgraded its entry-level DSLR along with a new iOS and Android app for guiding you through the process of using it.
Canon EOS 1200D Review: Features
The new Canon EOS 1200D is the successor to the EOS 1100D and situs just below the 100D as the first camera in the line-up.
The Canon EOS 1200D isn’t a huge upgrade over its predecessor, the 1100D. One of its key selling points is a new app for iOS and Android, which is aimed at beginner photographers.
The Canon EOS 1200D app walks photographers through the camera’s key functions, providing tips and short tutorials that explain how to use them. The app also incorporates tutorials aimed at inspiring photographers to try different types of pictures.
In terms of specifications, it seems like Canon has played it relatively safe with the EOS 1200D.
The camera features an 18-megapixel sensor and a Digic 4 image processor, which although it is not Canon’s most recent imaging engine, it has proven to be a decent performer in previous Canon cameras we have tested.
The Canon EOS 1200D is aimed at beginner photographers I the entry-level market, and as such the camera offers several automatic modes, including Scene Recognition Auto and some Creative modes to give images a different look.
Canon has offered this before with the EOS 100D, but the difference here is that on the EOS 1200D these creative filters can only be added after you’ve taken a picture.
The Canon EOS 1200D also features a 3in, 460k-dot LCD screen on the back, which unfortunately isn’t neither touch-sensitive. Nor does it tilt or articulate. This is joined by an optical viewfinder offering a 95% field of view.
Other features include full HD video recording, with the added bonus of having full manual control during the recording – something rare for an entry-level DSLR.
The camera’s native sensitivity range runs from ISO 100 to 6400, which is expandable up to ISO 12800.
Like the EOS 1100D, the Canon 1200D offers 9 AF points, with just the central point being cross-type for extra sensitivity.
What’s more, the camera can shoot at up to 3fps, which doesn’t compare particularly well with the Nikon D3300, which can capture 5fps.
One feature we would have liked to see on the Canon 1200D is built-in Wi-Fi or NFC connectivity, but the camera is compatible with Eye-Fi cards.
The EOS 1200D uses Canon’s EF/EF-S lens mount, which is compatible with hundreds of different lenses. The size of the sensor (APS-C), makes for a 1.6x crop factor. What’s more, the Canon 1200D comes with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens, offering an equivalent 28.8 – 88mm.
Canon claims the 1200D’s battery lasts up to 500 shots, which falls a little short of the Nikon D3300′s 700 shots per charge.
That said, the Canon 1200D has one important advantage over the Nikon D3300: it is much cheaper.
Canon EOS 1200D Review Video
Canon EOS 1200D Review Video Transcript
Hi I’m Amy Davies from Future Publishing’s Photography Testing team and today I’m going to take a look at the Canon EOS 1200D.
The 1200D sits at the bottom of Canon’s line-up of DSLR cameras, and is aimed at beginners.
Canon has given the camera an improved look and feel in comparison with its predecessor, the 1100D, bringing it more in line with the 700D, which sits ahead of it in the line up. This deep grip and textured coasting give it a feel of quality, but also make it easy to hold, even if you want to use it one-handed.
As there is no touchscreen on the 1200D, unlike some of the other DSLRs in Canon’s range, including the 100D and the 700D, every element of camera control is via the physical buttons.
Despite it being an entry-level model, there’s still a decent level of direct control via the buttons here on the back of the camera, including dedicated buttons for white balance and sensitivity.
By pressing this Q button, you can quickly scroll through twleve different settings, which are displayed on the screen. You change them using this scrolling dial. So, for instance, you can navigate to the metering setting, then scroll with the dial to change from general purpose to spot metering.
To change the autofocus point – of which there are nine available – you need to press this dedicated button here and then use these buttons to navigate around to the point you need.
As there aren’t dozens of points, this is a pretty quick process. Pressing this central set button returns to the central AF point, which is more sensitive.
This dial here controls aperture or shutter speed, depending on the mode you’re shooting in. This button here controls exposure compensation, which needs to be held down while using the scrolling dial. If you’re shooting in manual mode, hold down the button to switch between aperture and shutter speed.
On top of the camera is a mode dial, which allows you to quickly switch between the different shooting modes available, including automatic, scene modes, semi-automatic and program automatic modes.
As the 1200D is a DSLR, it has an optical viewfinder. Unfortunately, while it is pretty bright and clear, it only offers a 95% field of view, which means that occasionally the final image will have artefacts that you didn’t notice in composition.
Canon has played it pretty safe with the 1200D’s screen. It’s just 460k dots, and it isn’t touch sensitive. It’s also fixed, rather than tilting or articulating, but that probably helps to keep the price of the camera down.
On the plus side, it doesn’t suffer too badly from glare or reflections, while this button here switches off the display if you’re finding it distracting while using the viewfinder.
To activate Live View mode, press this button here. This also doubles up as the movie record button when you’re in movie mode. As you can see focusing while in Live View is fairly slow – much slower than while shooting through the viewfinder.
The 1200D feels like more of an incremental upgrade from the 1100D than anything revolutionary, and while images are great, the camera itself isn’t offering anything truly exciting.
When you compare it to some of its rivals, such as the Nikon D3300, which features a higher resolution sensor and no anti-aliasing filter, the 1200D begins to look less competitive – it is, for the moment at least, significantly cheaper however.