Canon EOS 4000D
£369 with EF-S 18-55mm III DC lens It’s Canon’s cheapest DSLR so far – but there’s a price to be paid with the feature set
How does this latest affordable beginner model measure up in the EOS range?
For anyone planning to invest in their first interchangeablelens camera, a DSLR is still the cheapest option; and with the EOS 4000D, Canon is aiming to get the price down lower than ever. The 4000D is one of two new entrylevel cameras to be announced by Canon; the other is the slightly more upmarket EOS 2000D (which we’ll review next issue). In the short term, Canon’s cheapest DSLR remains the outgoing EOS 1300D, but we expect the 4000D to take over its crown as the cheapest EOS ever.
It’s easiest to think of the EOS 4000D as a whole new model, with whole new levels of economy, and its specifications are certainly basic. It has the 18-megapixel sensor familiar from so many past EOS DSLRs and uses Canon’s long-running nine-point autofocus system. In Live View mode it relies on simple contrast autofocus technology, and although it can shoot Full HD video, it doesn’t offer continuous autofocus while filming.
With a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot rear screen and Canon’s most basic 18-55mm kit lens with no stabilisation, USM or STM autofocus, the EOS 4000D is basic indeed – though arguably adequate for beginners just starting out in DSLR photography.
Build and handling
The EOS 4000D is a very similar size and weight to the EOS 1300D, but with a simplified control layout that ditches the separate power switch and instead adds an ‘Off’ position on the main mode dial. It also uses a single paint colour – another cost-saving measure, we’re told – for the buttons and labels. The plastic construction is fine, though, and in fact the simplified controls and rounded contours make this camera quite pleasing to handle.
Some of the other cost savings are a little more unexpected. For a start, the EOS 4000D has a plastic lens mounting plate, which we haven’t seen before, but then EOS 4000D users will probably not be the sort of photographer who do a lot of lens changing, so any wear might not be an issue.
The small rear screen and its low resolution do have a somewhat jarring effect. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen a camera with a screen like this, and while it displays
your photos and the camera’s menu screens like any other, it doesn’t have the smoothness and detail we now take for granted.
And if you’re waiting for the flash to pop up when you’re shooting in full Auto mode in low light, you’re going to be waiting a long time: on the 4000D, you have to pull the flash up manually when you want to use it. There’s no diopter control for the viewfinder eyepiece either, so spectacle wearers will probably need to keep their glasses on to see a sharp viewfinder image.
As an introduction to DSLR photography, the EOS 4000D provides all the basics you need, with an adequate sensor and enough manual control to help you develop your skills.
But there are some issues. The ultra-basic kit lens supplied with the EOS 4000D has rather slow and noisy autofocus by Canon’s usual standards. It’s a minor irritation in regular viewfinder photography, but a major one in Live View mode, which is already hampered by its old contrast AF system.
As an introduction to DSLR photography, the EOS 4000D provides all the basics you need
Quite apart from its sluggish autofocus, the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens delivers pretty disappointing results, too. It’s sharp enough for the job, but produces large amounts of chromatic aberration towards the edges of the frame, and the effect isn’t easy to get rid of in editing software.
The EOS 4000D is a basic but decent beginner’s camera that’s capable of capturing good-quality images, but its standard kit lens won’t show its full potential. It might be worth shopping around to try to get a better lens option, such as the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM or EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, but this step up in the lens is likely to take the EOS 4000D out of its bargain price bracket.
The EOS 4000D is capable of capturing good-quality images, but its kit lens won’t show its full potential
2 2 The viewfinder is the same as other entry-level Canon DSLRs, though there’s no diopter adjustment for eyesight corrections. 3 The 2.7-inch 230k-dot screen does the job, but it does seem quite small and grainy compared to modern rivals. 3
1 1 The 18-55mm III kit lens supplied with the EOS 4000D is as basic as they come, with no image stabilisation and lacks USM or STM autofocus.
4 The power switch has been incorporated into an ‘Off’ position on the mode dial, and a single paint colour is used for the buttons. 4
1 Detail rendition 18 megapixels is pretty modest by today’s DSLR standards, but with good technique the 4000D can capture fine detail well. 2 Colour Colours look rich, saturated and natural, but you need to watch out for overexposure (above left) in high-contrast lighting. 3 Noise The EO S 4000D’s older sensor design can’t match the low noise levels of newer cameras, especially at higher ISOs.
Below The EO S 4000D’s fuss-free design is actually quite endearing, but its low-cost kit lens rather lets it down.
Left The 18-55mm ‘DC’ kit lens may lack stabilisation, but it does focus quite close for detail shots like this.
Above There’s nice detail in this ornate ceiling, but watch out for camera shake in low light.