Canon EOS 200D

Canon’s light­weight and be­gin­ner-friendly DSLRs have al­ways been pop­u­lar, but how good is the com­pany’s lat­est adap­ta­tion? Michael Topham tests it to find out

Amateur Photographer - - 7days -

canon’s lat­est be­gin­ner­friendly DSlr is tested by Michael Topham

Just a few months af­ter adding the EOS 800D to its range of be­gin­ner DSLRs, Canon un­veiled the re­place­ment for its four-yearold EOS 100D. The Canon EOS 200D is small, light­weight and very con­ve­nient to carry on the go.

Bear­ing the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the world’s light­est APS- C DSLR to fea­ture a vari-an­gle screen, it slots in be­tween the en­try-level EOS 1300D and the more ad­vanced EOS 760D and EOS 800D mod­els. It’s a cam­era aimed at those look­ing to pur­chase their first DSLR as well as peo­ple who’d like to de­velop their skills.

The EOS 200D is pe­tite in DSLR terms, but don’t let that fool you into think­ing it’s lack­ing in up-to- date fea­tures. It boasts Dual Pixel CMOS AF tech­nol­ogy, a vari-an­gle screen and Wi- Fi. So, what’s the cam­era like to use?

Fea­tures

Canon has done away with the 18MP APS- C CMOS chip as used in the EOS 100D and re­placed it with a 24.2MP APS- C CMOS sen­sor. This sen­sor is iden­ti­cal to that used in the EOS 77D and EOS 800D, and works in tan­dem with Canon’s lat­est DIGIC 7 im­age pro­ces­sor. The new pro­ces­sor has im­proved the con­tin­u­ous-shoot­ing speed – al­beit marginally – to 5fps, which is 1fps faster than the EOS 100D.

As with the EOS 800D, the EOS 200D of­fers an ISO range of 100-25,600, which can be ex­panded to a max­i­mum of ISO 51,200 in its ‘H’ set­ting. It comes with an Auto ISO set­ting, where the ceil­ing is ISO 25,600.

It was only a mat­ter of time be­fore Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF sys­tem fil­tered down to more ba­sic EOS cam­eras, and at the

time of writ­ing the EOS 200D is the cheap­est DSLR in Canon’s line- up to fea­ture this tech­nol­ogy. This sen­sor-based, phase-de­tec­tion aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem not only in­tro­duces high-per­for­mance Servo AF track­ing, but it also rules out the lethar­gic AF per­for­mance in live view mode that’s as­so­ci­ated with older Canon DSLRs.

The EOS 200D presents a fairly ba­sic lay­out of nine AF points in a di­a­mond for­ma­tion with one sin­gle cross type in the cen­tre. This ar­range­ment is iden­ti­cal to the EOS 100D and presents an AF work­ing range of 0.5EV to 18EV.

As well as of­fer­ing the full man­ual shoot­ing con­trol you’d ex­pect from a DSLR, the EOS 200D of­fers good op­tions for be­gin­ners in the shape of a Scene In­tel­li­gent Auto mode, a se­lec­tion of Cre­ative Fil­ters, as well as 11 scene modes, all of which are easy to ac­cess di­rectly from the mode dial. Me­ter­ing and ex­po­sure are looked af­ter by a 63-zone dual-layer me­ter­ing sen­sor. Ex­po­sure can be re­fined us­ing the ex­po­sure-com­pen­sa­tion sys­tem, which of­fers 1/3-stop or 1/2-stop in­cre­ment ad­just­ment over a ±5EV range.

The shut­ter-speed range spans 30sec-1/4,000sec and, like most of Canon’s en­try-level DSLRs, there’s only a sin­gle scroll dial on the top-plate. To make quick ad­just­ments on the fly, there’s an im­pres­sive 3in, 1,04-mil­lion-dot vari-an­gle touch­screen, above which is an op­ti­cal viewfinder. Al­though cov­er­age isn’t a full 100%, at 95% it’s re­spectable for a cam­era of this type, and ben­e­fits from diop­tre cor­rec­tion and depth- of-field preview.

The built-in flash has a guide num­ber of 9.8m (ISO 100), and a flash re­cy­cle time of 3 sec­onds.

The EOS 200D boasts built-in Wi- Fi. This ties in with the Canon Con­nect app, which per­mits im­ages to be shared be­tween mo­bile de­vices and al­lows the user to take con­trol of the cam­era’s key set­tings when work­ing re­motely. In ad­di­tion, it is NFC equipped and there’s the op­tion to ini­ti­ate an al­ways- on lowen­ergy Blue­tooth link be­tween cam­era and mo­bile de­vice.

Build and han­dling

The poly­car­bon­ate resin and car­bon-and- glass-fi­bre body is ad­e­quate enough to shake off the oc­ca­sional bump. Nat­u­rally, though, it’s not as ro­bust as more ex­pen­sive mod­els in Canon’s range. The leatherette fin­ish of the EOS 200D’s hand­grip doesn’t of­fer the same level of grip as its pre­de­ces­sor, but is more con­sis­tent with other Canon mod­els and looks more stylish.

While it’s a small cam­era, its di­men­sions are ac­tu­ally very slightly greater than the EOS 100D’s. It’s a cam­era you’ll re­ally want to get in your hands and try out be­fore you buy.

Live view, play­back and ex­po­sure- com­pen­sa­tion but­tons are all found in the same place as on the 100D, with the quick-menu but­ton once again be­ing lo­cated in the cen­tre of a small D-pad. To the right of the thumb rest are the AF point se­lec­tion and ex­po­sure lock but­tons, which dou­ble up as zoom but­tons in play­back.

The sin­gle scroll dial on the top-plate is used to con­trol aper­ture and shut­ter-speed set­tings when shoot­ing in the re­spec­tive aper­ture-pri­or­ity or shut­ter-pri­or­ity modes. To ad­just aper­ture with this dial when shoot­ing in man­ual mode, you’re re­quired to press and

hold the AV but­ton at the rear, which soon be­comes sec­ond na­ture.

On the top-plate, the on/off switch is now sep­a­rated from the mode dial, mak­ing it 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 the PASM man­ual modes are clearly marked from the au­to­matic modes. In front of the mode dial there is a dis­play but­ton to switch off the screen when it’s not be­ing used. Both the ISO and DISP but­tons are fairly spongy, though, and need to be pushed quite hard be­fore they do any­thing. Ahead of these you get a knurled scroll dial and the shut­ter but­ton.

There’s 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 fast wire­less con­nec­tion. A green LED blinks to tell you the cam­era’s Wi- Fi is ac­tive, and turns con­stant when con­nected. Be­low the lens re­lease is a depth- of-field preview but­ton.

The build qual­ity of the EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM kit zoom is about as good as one would ex­pect for a starter lens. It doesn’t have a metal mount and isn’t the re­tractable type, but its op­ti­cal im­age sta­biliser is ef­fec­tive.

Viewfinder and screen

Vari-an­gle screens have been found on more ad­vanced mod­els in the EOS line-up, so it’s good to see one in­tro­duced on the en­try-level EOS 200D. It’s one of the main ad­vance­ments over its pre­de­ces­sor and makes it a real plea­sure to use. A small notch has been cut out of the body just be­low the live-view but­ton to make it easy to pull out, and the screen sits vir­tu­ally flush to the back of the cam­era when it’s pushed back in. The touch­screen is so sen­si­tive and pre­cise that you’ll find you rarely press an in­cor­rect icon or menu set­ting. Touch con­trol of the screen also comes into its own for in­spect­ing im­ages in play­back mode, where you can use pinch-and-zoom ges­tures to zoom in. You can also dou­ble-tap the screen in play­back to pull up a mag­ni­fied view, while hit­ting the Q but­ton in play­back opens op­tions such as rate, re­size and ro­tate. If you pre­fer, how­ever, you can dis­able touch con­trol al­to­gether.

The op­ti­cal viewfinder seems large for one that cov­ers 95% cov­er­age of the frame with 0.87x mag­ni­fi­ca­tion. It can’t be cus­tomised to dis­play things like the drive mode or bat­tery level, but it can be set up to prompt you when the mono­chrome pic­ture style or spot me­ter­ing is set. There’s also a rub­ber eye cup and diopter con­trol.

Aut­o­fo­cus

Raise the viewfinder to your eye, or hit the AF point-se­lec­tion but­ton when the screen is ac­tive, and you can view the nine AF points. One is found above and be­low the cen­tral cross-type point, with a pair of AF points off­set ei­ther side. The AF

points on the left and right of the frame can be se­lected us­ing the direc­tional but­tons on the D-pad. To tog­gle be­tween man­u­ally se­lect­ing the AF point and au­to­matic se­lec­tion mode, hit the AF point se­lec­tion but­ton fol­lowed by the Q/Set but­ton. While the num­ber of AF points is low, they are spread fairly widely across the frame. Test­ing the cam­era in a low-light scene re­vealed that the cen­tre cross-type AF point is the quick­est to ac­quire fo­cus, so you may some­times find your­self half de­press­ing the shut­ter to fo­cus be­fore re­fram­ing.

The ad­di­tion of Dual Pixel AF has made the EOS 200D far su­pe­rior to the EOS 100D when fo­cus­ing in live view. While most users will stick to one-shot AF for static sub­jects, there’s the con­tin­u­ous fo­cus (AI servo) op­tion for mov­ing sub­jects. There’s also a track­ing AF method, whereby you pin­point the sub­ject you’d like the cam­era to fol­low and fo­cus by first tap­ping the screen. It’s fairly re­spon­sive, but as with other re­cent Canon DSLRs I have tested, I tended to get bet­ter re­sults with fast-mov­ing sub­jects by track­ing the sub­ject in the cen­tre of the frame with the AF method set to zone AF and the AF op­er­a­tion set to Servo.

Per­for­mance

In­vest­ing in your first DSLR is a big de­ci­sion. Two of the key things you’ll want to look for are a re­li­able cam­era that’s well sup­ported by a wide range of lenses and ac­ces­sories. The Canon EOS 200D de­liv­ers in both these re­spects. It put in a solid

per­for­mance dur­ing test­ing and would cer­tainly ap­pear to be re­li­able and long-last­ing if well looked af­ter, de­spite not be­ing weather-sealed.

The EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens that you can buy with the cam­era is as good a place as any to start for a be­gin­ner, al­though it won’t take long be­fore its lim­i­ta­tions are reached. If you’d pre­fer a bit more reach at the long end, you may pre­fer the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens bun­dle. It’ll save you look­ing for a sec­ond lens, but does cost an ex­tra £240. Like the 18-55mm kit lens, the step­per mo­tor (STM) al­lows for per­fectly smooth tran­si­tions of fo­cus when shoot­ing. Not only that, but the mo­tor is silent.

Buy­ing into the Canon sys­tem means the cam­era is sup­ported by a vast range of lenses and ac­ces­sories. As well as ac­cept­ing EF-S-mount lenses, the EOS 200D is com­pat­i­ble with Canon’s EF lens range, and masses of lenses are also avail­able from third-party man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Sigma, Tam­ron and Tok­ina.

The only thing you’ll want to re­mem­ber is that at­tach­ing long, heavy lenses to such a com­pact body can up­set the feel of the cam­era in the hand. Us­ing the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM did make things seem rather front heavy. It’s clearly a cam­era that looks and han­dles at its best when it’s used with small zooms and primes. Say­ing that, great re­sults can be achieved with heav­ier tele­photo zooms as il­lus­trated in some of the im­ages that sup­port this re­view – just be pre­pared to make a com­pro­mise in terms of han­dling.

The EOS 200D meets its 5fps quota. With a SanDisk Ex­treme Pro SDHC card loaded, it cap­tured five JPEG and raw files con­tin­u­ously be­fore the buf­fer was full. Set­ting the cam­era to record raw files only saw it record the same num­ber of frames, whereas shoot­ing solely JPEG files al­lowed me to fill the card at 5fps and not worry about miss­ing a shot by hav­ing a burst in­ter­rupted.

A study of real-world im­ages re­vealed that the 63-zone dual-layer me­ter­ing sen­sor does an ex­cel­lent job, and there’s no favouritism to­wards un­der or over­ex­po­sure. Some users may like to view the his­togram or high­light clip­ping warn­ing, which is dis­played by hit­ting the info but­ton in play­back mode.

Hav­ing a cam­era bat­tery with good stamina is im­por­tant. The EOS 200D’s has an ad­van­tage over some of its mir­ror­less ri­vals in the way it can shoot up to 650 frames from a sin­gle charge when the viewfinder alone is used. This should suf­fice for most peo­ple’s needs. It’s worth not­ing, though, that the bat­tery life drops to 260 shots per charge when the cam­era is used in live view. A spare LP- E17 bat­tery for the cam­era will set you back £43.

The EOS 200D should per­form well in the hands of the be­gin­ners and novices it’s aimed at. I’d have liked to see it shoot a more raw files at 5fps be­fore the buf­fer was full, but there are other mod­els, such as the Canon EOS 800D, that per­form bet­ter in this re­spect. The AF per­for­mance in live view is where it re­ally ex­cels over the EOS 100D and there’s cur­rently no en­try-level DSLR with a bet­ter vari-an­gle screen.

This ac­tion shot was cap­tured us­ing the 200D’s 5fps burst mode while test­ing the cam­era with a tele­photo zoom lens Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, 1/800sec at f/5.6, ISO 400

The 18-55mm kit lens can be re­stric­tive. Users look­ing for a longer zoom may want to con­sider the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, 1/125sec at f/11, ISO 400

Black & white im­ages can be taken in-cam­era by set­ting the EOS 200D’s pic­ture style to mono­chrome Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM, 1/1600sec at f/6.3, ISO 800

The EOS 200D records faith­ful, true-to-life colours in its im­ages Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM, 1/800sec at f/4.5, ISO 100

A shal­low depth of field is pos­si­ble at the long end of the 18-55mm kit zoom Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM, 1/1250sec at f/5.6, ISO 400

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