Canon 1200 D review: A good camera to start with

The camera offers superb results and the two-lens kit makes it a good value for money buy

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
EOS 1200D (36)_tcm14-1136432 The Canon 1200D is priced around Rs 31,000 with an extra zoom lens
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Updated: June 21, 2014 11:41 am

For the past year or so I have been on a quest to find a replacement for my trusted old Canon 400D. I have been tempted by the mirrorless cameras from Olympus and Sony, swayed by the Nikon D5300 and awed by the Sony RX1. But I never took the plunge, as I did not want to throw away my old camera and lenses accumulated over the years or give it away at throwaway prices. Now, I have with me the 1200D which could be a good, affordable replacement for my camera, though it is hard to call it an upgrade. I took the camera with me on a trip to cover Computex 2014 in Taipei. Here are the results.

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The 1200D has a very compact chassis, not much different from the other entry level cameras from Canon. The camera offers a good grip and stays balanced even when you are using zoom lenses. All the buttons and controls are to the right of the 3-inch LCD, which is fixed to the body and is not touch enabled. There is a simple mode dial on top with Manual and Preset controls. The control ring just above the trigger lets you change the values in any manual setting. A button next to the viewfinder lets you switch to the Live LCD mode, useful when you are shooting video.

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I first used the camera extensively during a visit to the famous Shilin Night Market in Taipei. While the stuff on sale did not excite me much, it was a good night out for the 1200D. As I jostled my way through the thick crowd of tourists, I made occasional stops to pull out the camera with its stock 18-55 lens to click some pictures of the exotic foods on offer. I never use the flash, even at night and prefer to adjust the shutter speed to get what I want. The 1200D did not complain and played along. In fact, some of the pictures came out much better than what I expected, given that each staff had different light sources ranging from halogen to LED lights.

The auto-focus of the camera was particularly impressive. It is fast and lock on to the subject real fast, even in low light. At no point did I have to strain to get the focus right. When you have multiple subjects it is quite easy to shift from the one in the foreground to background. This should make the 1200D an easy camera to learn with for first timers.


As far as first timers go, I think the Creative Auto mode in the camera can really help them move from being addicted …continued »

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