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Take five: Best budget cameras on test

C anon EOS 1200D w i t h 18-55mm l ens £429 / $549 minently popular as an SLR for beginners, the Canon EOS 1100D is over three years old. Its refresh comes in the shape of its direct replacement, the 1200D. Despite still being on the bottom rung of Canon’s SLR ladder, the new camera boasts significant improvements over the 1100D. The maximum pixel count for still images gets a boost from 12.2MP to 18MP, while the video format is upgraded from 720p to 1080p. The 1200D is also a cleverer camera than its predecessor. It adds an intelligent auto-shooting mode, based on analysis of any given scene. Creative filters are another addition, including options for ‘toy camera’ and fisheye. There’s even EOS Companion, an app you can add to your iOS or Android smartphone or

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tablet for learning photographic tips and tricks. However, the Guide shooting mode that’s actually built into the Nikon D3300 is more useful – at least for those of us with only two hands. The 1200D retains the 1100D’s ageing Digic 4 image processor, whereas other recent Canon SLRs and even the EOS M CSC have newer Digic 5 or 5+ processors. At least the LCD screen is improved from a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot screen to a 3.0-inch, 460,000-dot display. That said, it has the joint-lowest resolution in this group, matching the E-PM2 while failing to deliver that camera’s touchscreen. The nine-point AF system works well in most situations, but can struggle in dull lighting. The 3fps maximum drive rate is also slow, and we’d hoped for less noise when shooting at high ISOs.

Photography Week Issue 100  

Photography Week, the world's best-selling digital photography magazine, has been given a makeover, and to celebrate we're giving away a fre...

Photography Week Issue 100  

Photography Week, the world's best-selling digital photography magazine, has been given a makeover, and to celebrate we're giving away a fre...