2019 Buying Guide: Best cameras for beginners
Published Nov 2, 2018 | dpreview staff
Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (EOS 200D)
24MP APS-C CMOS sensor | Dual Pixel AF | 1080/60p video
What we like:
- Excellent JPEG color
- Dual Pixel AF offers quick focus and good tracking
- Feature Assistant makes adjusting complex settings easy
What we don't:
- Poor subject tracking when using optical viewfinder
- JPEGs a bit soft at default settings
- No USB charging
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is a compact DSLR that shares the same 24MP Dual Pixel CMOS sensor and Digic 7 processor as many other 2017 Canon cameras. The SL2 is for those who want the styling and optical viewfinder of a DSLR in a body that's not a burden to carry around (at least until you put on a larger lens).
Being a small camera, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that the SL2 is a bit short on buttons and dials. They're all well-placed, though, and the grip is quite comfortable for those with larger hands. The camera's touchscreen LCD can flip to the side and rotate 270 degrees, and Canon has created an easy-to-use 'Feature Assistant' for those just getting started with a more advanced camera. Sharing photos is easy thanks to the combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is an easy-to-use camera for those who prefer the design and viewfinder of a DSLR, and don't want to haul around something that will cause shoulder pain
How well the SL2's autofocus system performs depends on whether you're shooting through the viewfinder or the LCD. If using the viewfinder you're saddled with an old 9-point system, which handles approaching subjects well, but stumbles if they're moving erratically in the frame. The Dual Pixel AF system, used when in live view or video mode, is excellent, able to track both approaching and randomly moving subjects.
The SL2 produces JPEGs with great color rendition and low amounts of noise. Images are a bit soft straight out of the camera, though some easy adjustments can remedy that. Raw files have low noise levels and plenty of detail, though its dynamic range is just fair.
The SL2's 1080p video quality is fine for most purposes, and Dual Pixel AF makes it really easy to use the touchscreen to focus. 4K would be nice, but Canon hasn't even made that jump on their mid-range DSLRs yet. The camera is light on manual controls, though it's nice to have audio level adjustment and the ability to use exposure compensation together with Auto ISO in manual mode.
Overall, the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is an easy-to-use camera for those who prefer the design and viewfinder of a DSLR, and don't want to haul around something bulky. It's a solid choice for most situations, from landscape to social photography, though if you're planning on shooting action through the viewfinder then you'll want to look elsewhere.
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