Hands-on with the Canon’s lightweight and beginner-friendly DSLR
Not long after adding the EOS 800D to its lineup of beginner DSLRs, Canon has released a new model to replace the four-year-old EOS 100D. The Canon EOS 200D follows in the footsteps of its predecessor and is designed to be small, lightweight and convenient to carry.
Bearing the distinction of being the world’s lightest APS-C DSLR with a vari-angle screen, it slots into the company’s range of DSLRs between the entry-level EOS 1300D and more advanced EOS 760D and EOS 800D models.
Aimed at those looking to buy their first DSLR, as well as people who’d like to learn more about photography and develop their skills, the EOS 200D inherits a good number of features found throughout Canon’s DSLR range, including the manufacturer’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF tech and built-in Wi-Fi.
The Canon EOS 200D will be available to buy in July at a cost of £579.99 (body only). It’ll also be available as part of a kit with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens for £679.99 or with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens for £649.99.
Prior to its official release, I attended a product briefing with Canon to find out a little more about the camera. These are my first impressions.
Canon EOS 200D – Features
At the heart of the Canon EOS 200D is a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor that offers a higher pixel count than the 18MP sensor used inside the Canon EOS 100D. This chip works in partnership with Canon’s DIGIC 7 image processor and provides a continuous shooting speed of 5fps, which is 1fps faster than the EOS 100D.
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The sensor is identical to the one used inside the EOS 77D and EOS 800D. It offers an ISO range of 100-25,600 and can be expanded to a maximum of ISO 51,200 in its ‘H’ setting.
The EOS 200D is, at the time of writing, the cheapest DSLR (£579.99 body only) in Canon’s EOS lineup to feature Dual Pixel CMOS AF. This technology provides increased autofocus speed and tracking performance in live view and when recording HD video.
On the subject of focusing, the EOS 200D presents a fairly basic layout of nine AF points with one single cross type in the centre. These AF points are arranged in a diamond formation and feature an AF working range of to -0.5EV to 18EV.
As well as offering the full manual shooting control you’d expect from a DSLR, the Canon EOS 100D offers image capture for the photographic newcomer in the shape of a Scene Intelligent Auto mode, with a selection of Creative Filters. Metering is looked after by a 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor and exposure can be refined using the exposure-compensation system, which offers 1/3 stop or 1/2 stop increments over a range of +/-5EV.
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The shutter speed range spans from 30sec-1/4000sec and, like most of Canon’s entry-level DSLR’s, you only get a single scroll dial on the top plate. To adjust aperture with this dial when shooting in manual mode you’re required to press and hold the AV button at the rear that’s located just above the D-pad.
Those wishing the make quick adjustments on the fly will appreciate the impressive 3-inch, 1040k-dot vari-angle touchscreen. Unlike the EOS 100D’s screen that was fixed, the EOS 200D’s display is now the pull out and tilt type and comes into its own when shooting from awkward or unusual angles. Above it you’ll find an optical viewfinder. Although coverage isn’t a full 100%, at 95% it’s respectable for a camera aimed at beginners, and benefits from dioptre correction and depth of field preview.
There’s also a built-in flash with a guide number of 9.8, and those who require a bit more power can always attach one of Canon’s Speedlite EX series via the hot shoe.
There’s no 4K movie recording, but those who enjoy shooting the occasional video can do so at Full HD (1920 x 1080) quality at up to 60fps. Other available frame rates include 50fps, 30fps, 25fps and 24fps.
At the side of the body you’ll also notice there’s a 3.5mm stereo mini jack should you wish to use an external microphone and improve the audio of recordings.
One feature lacking on the EOS 100D that the EOS 200D now boasts is Wi-Fi. For anyone looking to step up from a smartphone this is, of course, seen as a must-have feature. It ties in with the free-to-download Canon Connect app and allows you to share images between mobile devices in seconds as well as take control of the camera’s key settings when you’d like to work remotely.
Inside the menu you’ll find the same optional guided interface that you get on the EOS 800D and EOS 77D, which, when activated, changes the shooting screen and menu display on the LCD to a more animated one that provides information and practical advice specific to the exposure mode selected. The information will be particularly useful for beginners who are starting their DSLR journey with little or no previous experience.
Canon EOS 200D – Build and Handling
Canon has tweaked the layout of buttons and controls on the EOS 200D. The most obvious difference is the vari-angle screen at the rear. A small notch has been cut out of the body to make it easy to pull out, and the good news is that the screen sits virtually flush to the back of the camera when it’s not pulled out.
Live-view, playback and exposure-compensation buttons are all located in the same place, with the quick-menu button once again being located in the centre of a small D-pad.
Up on the top plate the on/off switch is now separate from the mode dial, making it slightly less awkward to operate with your thumb. Pushing the switch beyond its on/off settings engages video mode.
The mode dial has been simplified and you now get a display button alongside an ISO button to toggle through different views on the rear screen. Both the ISO and DISP buttons are fairly spongy, though, and need to be depressed quite a way before they do anything. Ahead of these you get a knurled scroll dial and the shutter button, which is no longer surrounded by the same rubberised material as you get on the EOS 100D.
Though the camera feels very similar size-wise to the EOS 100D, the finish of the grip has changed to a more traditional leatherette finish that’s more in keeping with other EOS models in the lineup. It doesn’t offer quite the same level of grip in the hand as the EOS 100D, but it does look smarter in my opinion.
As well as being made in black, the EOS 200D will be produced in white and a vintage-inspired silver and tan finish.
Those with sharp eyes will also notice a new connectivity button on the top of the camera to the left of the pop-up flash, which can be used to initiate a wireless connection.
The polycarbonate resin and carbon-and-glass-fibre body doesn’t feel as robust as the more expensive models in Canon’s range, however it feels adequately strong to shake off the occasional bump or knock it might receive in day-to-day use.
People with large hands might find the grip a little on the small side, but those with small or medium-sized hands are unlikely to have too many complaints.
With a battery and memory card inserted the camera weighs 453g without a lens. Studying the physical dimensions on the spec sheet reveals it’s fractionally larger than the EOS 100D. It measures W122.4 x H92.6 x D69.8mm as opposed to 116.8×90.7x69mm.
We knew it would only be a matter of time before Dual Pixel CMOS AF and the latest DIGIC 7 image processor were handed down to this level of DSLR. With their latest APS-C DSLR release, Canon has brought the EOS 200D bang up to date by incorporating features that until now we’ve only seen on more expensive models.
We’re expecting the image quality from its 24.2MP sensor to rival Canon’s more advanced EOS 800D and EOS 77D DSLRs. What’s most impressive, though, is how it manages to cram all the features you would expect from a mid-range enthusiast DSLR into a body that’s so much smaller. It really is quite an achievement!
Though it may be the smallest and most attractive entry-level DSLR in Canon’s EOS lineup right now, it’s certainly not short of competition in the mirrorless market. From my brief time with the camera it certainly seems like a tempting proposition for those who want the image quality and handing of a DSLR without the bulk and weight that’s so often associated with this type of camera.
Overall, my first impressions of the Canon EOS 200D are very good and I have high expectations of what it might be capable of. We’ll have to wait a couple of weeks before the first review samples start working their way through to the press. Watch this space for our full review.