Tuesday 19 June 2018

Adrian Weckler: Canon goes back to basics with new cameras for beginners

Canon camera
Canon camera
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Canon is replacing its entry-level DSLR interchangeable lens cameras with two new models: the Eos 2000D and the new basic model of the Eos 4000D.

The €379 4000D is the new base model and is almost indistinguishable from the currently entry-level Canon DSLR, the 1300D. It uses the same 18-megapixel APS-C sensor and has the same Digic 4+ processor. It includes wifi but, to save money, Canon has printed some of the function symbols on the plastic of the camera rather than on the buttons themselves. The result is a camera that really does look and feel like a rock bottom DSLR.

While €380 (or €430 with the 18-55mm kit lens) isn’t a lot for a DSLR, shops currently sell the 1300D for less than that, so it’s questionable whether anyone should be rushing out to buy this while the 1300D is still around. My bet, though, is that this price will quickly come down to something closer to €350 for the body only and under €400 for the body plus lens. Even at that price, it’s still treading water compared to what electronic stores currently sell Canon cameras at. For example, PC World often packages a 1300D, an 18-55mm lens and a 75-300mm zoom lens for under €500. That’s a far, far better deal than a 4000D plus 18-55mm lens for €429.

It’s a similar story with Canon’s other new DSLR, the 2000D. Canon is positioning this as a slightly better entry-level DSLR. It has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor and (Bluetooth) NFC added to the wifi, but still sports the same basic processor, which means the same relatively slow, basic autofusing system.

Obviously there’s no 4K video on either camera, although 1080p is available. Both camera displays are non-touchscreen, too.

To be fair, both the 4000D and the 2000D are capable of superb photography, especially when paired with specialist lenses. As every photographer knows, it’s often the lens that makes a great photo and not the camera body. If I were buying one of these entry-level cameras, I’d absolutely invest in Canon’s 50mm f1.8 lens (around €130) for great results.

It’s not just entry-level models Canon has launched.

It has also introduced a new mirrorless interchangeable lens model to sit somewhere around the middle of its current lineup (between the M100 and the M5).

The Eos M50 (€629 body only or €759 with its 15-45mm kit lens) has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor and, with a processor that’s far more powerful than the entry-level DSLRs, can shoot up to 10 frames per second. It also includes dual-pixel autofocus, which is probably one of Canon’s genuine selling points over other camera brands.

Other boasts include 5-axis stabilisation and a 3-inch flippy-out touchscreen.

It’s a relatively impressive camera, designed to keep Canon in touch with the overall move toward mirrorless cameras and away from flappy-mirror DSLRs. There’s one slightly disappointing thing about it, though - it doesn’t really shoot silently. It’s capable of doing this, but only if you enter a specific scene mode, which is clumsy and awkward to do. Shooting silently is one of the reasons to get a mirrorless camera over a traditional one and most of the Eos M50’s rival devices from Panasonic, Fuji and Sony can do this.

Nevertheless, the M50 can shoot in 4K, a novelty for a Canon camera. It also supports semi-slow motion at 120 frames per second in 1080p high definition.

It has a 3.5mm jack for connecting an external microphone. But just in case you were tempted to save a few euro by buying this as your video-blogging camera and not one of Canon’s €1,000 Eos 80D models instead, there’s not headphone jack for monitoring audio during recording.

Overall, this is a welcome addition to Canon’s lineup. The company is widely expected to add a mirrorless full frame camera later this year, which will undoubtedly be its biggest launch in many years.

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