I’ve been a fan of the Canon DSLR series for quite some years now and my current weapon of choice is the Canon 600D, this is the one we use for most of our Lazygamer interviews and so far it has been a perfect combination of a great HD video camera and a static photo taker.
Previously we looked at picking up a Canon 1100D but while it looked like a solid camera it just didn’t quite have enough in it to use as a fun camera and a professional camera at the same time. So when Canon approached us to review the new 1200D I was eager to see what it had to offer.
Look and Feel
If you’ve ever handled a Canon DSLR before then you are going to be instantly comfortable with the 1200D. However you are also likely going to be surprised at how light the camera is, weighing in at a mere 480g.The body is nice and solid and all moving parts definitely feel well made and you definitely don’t get the feeling that you’ve decided to cut costs by opting for the entry level DSLR at all.
As expected the lenses are entirely interchangeable with the entire Canon range and even better is that you are also able to purchase from a wide range of 3rd party providers to try and keep those all important costs down.
Those all important figures
- 18 Megapixel
- ISO 6400
- 9 Point Auto Focus
- 3 frames per second continuous shooting
- 1080p video capability
- Built in filters
And a ton more stuff that honestly I as a point-and-clicker really don’t understand.
What’s it missing?
Apart from all the technical mumbo jumbo, which may be important to you, the biggest thing I noticed the 1200D was missing over my 600D was the flip out screen on the reverse. That’s something which has actually been a big help to me when making stupid chilli eating videos or unboxings so that I can see that I’m actually in the frame. If you are intending on being the subject of your videos and the camera man then this is a big deal. Else it really doesn’t make any difference.
However the lack of an external mic jack is a crucial issue and while it will make no difference to anyone doing normal videos, if you are looking for a camera that is great for one on one interviews then you are going to need to stump up extra cash to get the 650D at the very least .
Who’s it for?
Buying a DSLR is a big decision, especially if you aren’t much of a photographer at the moment. The Canon 1200D is the entry-level camera into the DSLR range. With prices starting from around R4800 ($400) you really are making quite an investment. However what I found even more difficult when I was buying mine was that for a bit more money you can pick up the better spec’d 650D (R6500). So what’s the difference? And that leads me directly onto the question that I got asked when I took the camera to a serious hobbyist.
This camera is directly targeted at anyone who wants to get into the DSLR market but doesn’t have a ton of experience. You know you want to change lenses, apply physical filters and attach an assortment of lighting to your rig but right now you also want to point and click. If you don’t know the difference between your DIGIC, CMOS and ISO then look no further.
The Canon 1200D is the perfect entry-level camera for you. The camera has more than enough power and features to keep ahead of your learning curve for at least a couple of years and everything you learn to do with this will put you in good steed for when you are ready to upgrade to the big boys.
With top quality stills, 1080p visuals and the ability to attach a ton of accessories you really are likely not to require a new camera for quite some time.
Who isn’t it for?
If you consider yourself a good photographer now and you want minute control over the core settings of each and every image then this isn’t for you. It goes a long way to providing that power but there is a reason this is under R5k and the Canon 1D is R80 000, don’t forget this is an entry-level camera.
Also if you are just looking to point and click and have absolutely no interest in tweaking the raw files or using different lenses in different scenarios then again a standard fixed lens camera is your best bet. Or if as I mentioned if you are looking to use it for interviews or at anytime where you are going to need a superior microphone then that is why Canon have the better ranges.
DSLR’s are tricky, you can mess up images quite easily and while they offer a point-and-click functionality that isn’t what they are designed for.
Would you buy it?
I guess that’s the million dollar question. I’ve owned a DSLR for over 8 years now in one form or another and while I’m by no stretch of the imagination a professional I do demand a lot from the camera. I need it to provide me with crystal clear video and photography, I need to interchange lenses and I need to be able to attach my lighting. Previously this meant I had to go one step up in the range and stick with the 600D and now the 650D however Canon has upgraded the 1200D to a point where it has now become a solid backup device.
That’s why I’ve ordered a brand new one to supplement the video ability of the team and it should be arriving today. The missing microphone jack is a problem but we already have 2 SLR’s with external mic capability so this will add to our multi shot capability perfectly.
If that isn’t a ringing endorsement then I don’t know what it.
Show and Tell
Fine you are still on the fence, so here’s a quick show and tell. I turned around from my desk now and took a quick snap of my shelf of loot. All the images below are optimised for web so don’t zoom in on them and call shenanigans, the original picture was 5.7Mb
Last Updated: October 13, 2014