Canon EOS 1200D review

Canon 1200D review – full

 

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  • Fast specifications, prices, options

Welcome to Canon 1200 D review. This is the lowest price entry level DSLR from Canon. Directed for those of you who are on a tight budget, yet demand quality result, here is the cheapest of the cheapest. The body is around 3-400 dollars with or without the lens. It comes with a 18MP APS-C crop sensor and Digic 4 image processor, 9 autofocus points, 3 frames per second , and full HD video 1080p. It can come as a body or with 18-55 F3.5-5.6 lens. It will accept EF and EFS mount lenses, Maximum ISO is 6400

  • Physical features, dials, LCD, Buttons, weight, battery, card

This is only 480 grams, the lightest  DSLR camera from Canon . As someone used to carry heavy equipment using this camera is like having a feather around my neck, but I am sure if you are used to compact cameras in your pocket, this can come as heavy. A normal and expected built quality, and easy to hold. It does have a back 3” LCD screen  and no top LCD screen if you are used with more advances cameras. You have a top dial where controls the shooting mode from manual, aperture priority, time priority and a series a friendly modes, like sports, portrait, landscape and night which I will never use, as they only are trying to address to someone with no clue about exposure. I tried some of those, however you still need to understand what you need to do not to stuff up tour pictures. The last mode is video and we’ll explore that a bit later. I just want to mention now that each of these modes might impact the menu availability. For example, switching the top dial in the video mode, you will see a different menu than if you are in manual mode, and that makes sense to organise your settings in a better and more organised manner.

The battery and the SD card are inserted from the bottom. I notice a smaller battery than the bigger brothers and that tells me that the battery life might be shorter but I could be mistaken.

You have also a top wheel selector that will help you navigate through the camera settings and menus, and you need to use also the back buttons in combination. You have got just a few buttons at the back just to simplify your life, as less buttons mean simplicity. However, from  someone like me, having less buttons is confusing and I needed to find combinations between buttons to get what I wanted, however this is not an issue, as everyone can get used to whatever options you are given.

The back LCD screen is fixed, but it will do the job just fine. Coming from the flip around high resolution screen, this comes a bit of a disappointment, but this definitely does not affect the quality of the photos you are going to take with it.

You can select the menu, shooting mode, Autofocus,  ISO, White balance, directly with the back buttons and you have also a generic button with more functions which you need to learn to combine depending on the shooting mode.

  • Menu and settings

Going through the menu, Canon 1200 has a typical Canon Menu, so if you are already familiar with it, there is no difficulty in finding what you want to find. I just want to mention that obviously for the reduced price and simplicity, there are far less features and optiosn than the Canon bigger brothers, but I can assure you, this is not an issue as the results are not impacted by how many beeps and blops you can access, but your knowledge and skills. The basics are covered anyway and the missing features are details that we’ll talk about it if relevant.

For me as an experienced photographer, the less features, the better as I need only 3 settings to work my way around, time, aperture and ISO. I do not need the rest, but I can understand sometimes life is better wish gadgets.

By selecting the shooting mode on the top dial, Manual, Aperture priority or others, back LCD will actually give you a small description what you can do in that particular mode, and I am sure this will be very good for a beginner.

So the menu is organised horizontally from left to right and top to button are selected with the directional buttons. You will get Camera settings, shooting settings, image settings, display settings, and other options more or less useful. We are going to dedicate an entire tutorial on Canon menu to go in detail o each setting to cover all cameras, but not today.

  • video settings

Most of the DSLR cameras these days have the full HD at 1080p option, so the CANON 1200D can provide video as well.  I am happy to let you know that you can set up few features manullay like the shutter speed, ISO but I do nto want to get into much detail at this stage as the main purpose of the camera is taking photos and video comes second. However I am a good DLSR video user and I will do a test next to my canon 70D to see if any quality differences. Just want to mention that canon 70D has a flip around screen which makes taking video much easier, rather than a fixed screen as there are many angles that you will nto see what you are shooting, and this is clear disadvantage of the Canon 1200 D

  • test photos, sharpness, speed, low light

Now this is the time to see what this camera can deliver. I have done a series of tests, outside, in full daylight, in studio conditions and also in low light and I will show you the differences in a second.

Compared with the bigger brother canon 70D which is about $1000, I can say there is not much difference in the quality of the result which is an amazing result.

  • test video, auto manual, settings

let’s have a look on the footages taken with te Canon 1200d and Canon 70D taken side by side with the exact same settings and you tell me if you believe they are different.

  • why you should buy – pros

price is unbeatable for a DLSR.

Camera is set up with the beginner in mind and friendly advice embedded in the menu and settings

Fantastic quality for such a price is amazing

Camera is light and easy to use for traveling, it will not break your back and neck

You can do almost everything that the bigger brothers can do, but just slower and harder

Simplicity can be a plus sometimes, less buttons and less features

  • why you should not buy – cons

If you want speed, this is not probably for you. 3 frames per second is lame and it will not help you capture motion as good as a faster camera can do

Not having a flip around screen for video is a deal breaker for me. Also LCD screen is inferior to other cameras

focus points, I found that the bigger brother having more and better they can actually focus a bit faster. I am the first person who would tell you that more focus points are not necessarily useful but focusing faster is as it can make the difference between getting the shot and not getting the shot.

  • where to buy from

I am going to place few links below where you can buy this camera from if you wish,some of the established camera equipment retailers out there, but you can do your own research and seek what is best for you.

  • conclusion

If you are a beginner and wish to have a cheap and friendly camera to learn with, take the occasional photos with your family and in park, do simple photographic assignments, this is a good place to start. Also please note that if you are a beginner, I am preparing a set of books to learn as well, coming soon on the Academy of Photography website in the BOOKS section.

One thing to remember before I go, Canon 1200D can deliver a high quality result just like the bigger brothers. I have demonstrated through the studio comparison.

I would like to remind all of you, I am personally convinced that photography is about the end result and not the tool, and this is a good enough tool.

You are asking me if I can use this professionally? I believe I can

Thanks for watching and until I see you next time, I wish you happy shooting.

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About Christian Tudor

professional photographer, main editor at Academy of Photography and owner and principal photographer of Tudor Photography

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