Even in this day and age where smartphone cameras are becoming ever more proficient, entry-level DLSRs still hold quite a bit of appeal. Canon’s EOS 1300D is one of the best of these cameras; it offers image quality that’s still a mite beyond what even the best smartphone cameras can offer and a pretty decent feature set, and dovetails all that with Canon’s trademark quality and ease of use. It’s a great camera for budding pro photographers.
Read our review to find out more about the Canon EOS 1300D!
More than ‘just’ the basics
The Canon EOS 1300D is a simple DSLR aimed at pro photo newbies.
Are you of the opinion that just because inexpensive DSLRs aren’t pricey, they don’t matter too much to their manufacturers? Think again. Starter cameras such as these are actually of key importance because they serve as the ‘entry point’ to the brand – in most cases, they’re the buyer’s very first experience with it. If the customer is happy with said experience, he or she might just stay with the brand for quite a while; his or her next camera might just be from the same manufacturer.
This makes it no less than crucial for the manufacturer to get the camera right. Luckily for Canon, it’s achieved that and more with the EOS 1300D.
Let’s start with a peek at the camera’s specs. Canon hasn’t tried to go too fancy with the 1300D; it’s mixed some of its more fundamental but tried-and-true technologies, many of which carry over from the EOS 1200D – the 1300D’s predecessor – with some new but still decidedly less-fancy ones.
The 1300D comes with the APS-C CMOS 18MP sensor (which, the company hastens to mention on its Philippine homepage, is about 25 times larger than the sensor used in many smartphone camera modules) and the DIGIC 4+ image processor, which is good for up to 12,800 maximum ISO speed. The camera can take full HD videos, for those of you who are so inclined, and also boasts a Video Snapshot mode that stitches separate video clips together into one smooth sequence. (No 4K capability is provided.)
The most significant changes vis-a-vis the 1200D involve the screen – the 1300D’s 3-inch, 920,000-dot screen is somewhat higher-resolution than that of the 1200D – and, more importantly, new built-in wireless connectivity features, standard Wi-Fi and NFC. Users can now immediately transfer their images to other devices or share them with other people, including via social networks. Furthermore, these features also allow users to control the 1300D from a smartphone, tablet, or other connected device.
Lastly, the 1300D is quite versatile and can be used with more than 70 EF/EF-S lenses – making it a great camera for someone new to pro photography and who would really benefit from the capacity to try on as many lenses as he or she can.
A solid performer
Put the 1300D through its paces and you’ll see that it’s quite a solid camera, and, furthermore, will definitely surprise and delight its target market.
Little touches impress, like the hand-friendly materials Canon’s seen fit to use on the hand grip and thumb rest. This may not be a top-of-the-line or even a midrange DSLR, but at least it’s a lot nicer to pick up and grip than many of its competition.
This being a unit geared towards those new to the pro photography world, Canon’s also kicked out the chocks to make it simple to use, both in terms of hardware and software. The 1300D’s button set, for one, is quite simple and sensible, a cinch to understand and to get used to. It needs to be – the camera doesn’t have a touchscreen.
It also has an optical instead of an electronic viewfinder and we understand that some people might be split on this. While new photographers might be better off with an optical viewfinder so that they can better learn the basics of their craft, not using an electronic viewfinder also takes away the ability to see how changing settings affects pictures taken with the camera even before they are taken.
Autofocus-wise, the 1300D also impresses; in adequate to excellent lighting it focuses rapidly, while in darker situations it takes a little longer to do so. Its auto white balance system takes a wide range of lighting conditions well in stride. In this application, Canon’s iFCL metering system helps the 1300D generate accurate exposures (but sometimes they needed to be adjusted for better pictures). We were also happy to see that the switch to the new processor has made the 1300D a tiny bit faster than the 1200D, if not by too much – at least adjusting the settings and playing back pictures and video is more adroit than before.
How’s the image quality, though? It’s very good, quite in keeping with the level of quality we expect from a Canon camera – and possessing a level of quality that still eludes most if not all smartphones. JPEG image quality will please right off the bat, and RAW images have less contrast which gives users the latitude to work on these pictures on their own.
As for battery life, our test unit lasted about 500 shots on a single charge – in line with Canon’s estimates and pretty decent, albeit falling a little short of some competing models.
The bottom line
The Canon EOS 1300D offers what beginning pro photographers want and need – most especially those who’ve previously used just point-and-shoot cameras or smartphones. Plus it does take nice photos, even without too much fiddling – and that’s a built-in level of competency that’s always welcome.
More seasoned pro photographers might come away wanting more, such as 4K video, but then again Canon and other manufacturers offer other models for that crowd. The 1300D has been engineered specifically to appeal to those just beginning their foray into the world of DSLR photography, and it achieves its mandate quite competently.