Canon EOS 1500D
A NO-FRILLS AFFORDABLE ENTRY INTO DSLR PHOTOGRAPHY.
FOR SOMETHING THAT feels like a piece of plastic in the hand, the Canon EOS 1500D surprises in performance and image quality. It replaces the two-year-old EOS 1300D and, like its predecessor, the EOS 1500D is a strippedback, no-frills entry-level DSLR that makes it affordable for beginners to learn the ins and outs of photography.
On the exterior, the new snapper isn’t very different from the 1300D, although Canon has managed to shave 10g off the weight of the 1500D by using an all-plastic body that feels surprisingly solid. The hand grip on the front comes with an accompanying thumb rest on the back, making it easy to handle the 1500D over long periods of time. There’s also a pop-up flash, a hot shoe for additional accessories and, like all Canon DSLRs, the 1500D retains an intuitive button layout.
Under the hood, Canon has replaced the 18MP sensor of the 1300D with a 24.1MP chip that’s found in the likes of the EOS 750D. That means you’re not getting the latest sensor in Canon’s arsenal, but an aging chip sitting alongside an equally old DIGIC 4+ image processor. Even with the glaring lack of Canon’s latest DIGIC 8 engine, detail rendition on the new camera is a huge improvement over the 1300D. Another great feature the 1500D lacks is Canon’s excellent Dual Pixel CMOS AF
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technology — which was introduced in the 70D back in 2013 — which speeds up focusing while using Live View.
The 1500D retains the same 100-6400 ISO range of (expandable to 12,800) of the 1300D, but the new mdoel handles noise much better than its predecessor, with both luminance (granular) noise and chrome (colour) noise becoming apparent from ISO 3200.
All other headline features also remain the same — it retains the paltry 3fps burst speed (if sports photography is your thing, you’ll need to look elsewhere) as well as the modest 9-point autofocus (AF) system of the 1300D. The flush-sitting 3.0-inch display maintains the same 920k-dot pixel count, and foregoes touchscreen functionality, which many new users might have preferred. There’s also the standard 95% viewfinder coverage found on most entry-level cameras; meaning you’ll need to watch the edges of the images for stray elements.
While the specs don’t sound particularly great on paper, the 1500D produces some pretty good images, especially in well-lit conditions. While the 9-point AF system clustered around the middle of the frame might make it hard to focus on subjects placed off-centre, it’s a great way for beginners to learn how to compose great images. While this camera isn’t exactly a videographer’s dream, Full HD footage is also nicely rendered. The 18-55mm lens that’s supplied in the box is more than capable of producing good quality images, making this a great starter kit. However, Canon’s EF-S mount allows for flexibility by giving users the opportunity to swap out the provided kit lens for hundreds of other options.
The 1500D might be a minor upgrade from its predecessor, but for kit that costs less than $600 with reliable image quality, it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking to hone your photography skills beyond your smartphone.