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Canon EOS 1200D

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Our Score:


Canon EOS 1200D: Image Quality

While the 1200D’s ISO range is fairly standard – 100-6,400 native, expandable to 12,800 – what’s really quite remarkable is how well it performs within that range. As expected, noise starts to noticeably increase once you get past ISO 1,600, however overall the images are exceptionally clean right he way up to maximum. We would be perfectly happy printing images we shot at ISO 6400 at A4 size, and with post-production noise reduction this can be improved further.

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There’s a slight trade-off – the Digic 4 processor’s in-camera noise reduction makes JPEGs a little soft – but it’s still a commendable performance.

Manually controlling white balance is easy but rarely necessary – the 1200D’s white balance detection is excellently balanced. The colour rendition is exemplary. Scenes are represented accurately, with rich, vibrant and punchy colour to every style of shot in our test. Skin tones look great, the skies in landscapes even more so.

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The dynamic range of the 1200D is both competent and versatile, responding well to every situation we threw at it. The balance between shadow and highlight detail is pretty much spot on, and it’s especially pleasing to see how much detail you can preserve in the background while still keeping the foreground subject in sharp focus. If you want to push it further, Canon’s Auto Lighting Optimiser can give a little extra boost to dark shadow areas.

The 1200D features a 63-area iFCL colour-sensitive meter, which we saw not only in the 1100D but also in the rather higher-end EOS 7D. In use, it’s very accurate and only rarely gets fooled by a scene. Even in challenging, high-contrast conditions, it delivers.

Should I buy the Canon EOS 1200D?

It’s easy to pick holes in the 1200D: not enough AF points, poor AF performance in live view, a paltry 3fps maximum burst shooting speed, the low screen resolution. All this is true, but we suspect it also rather misses the point. The 1200D is intended, completely and unapologetically, for the first-time DSLR user, and in that respect it does a lot of things right.

It’s easy to use, it’s got a host of intuitive features and the images it produces are, on the whole, excellent. Its solid construction means you can carry it about just about everywhere without worrying, and the EOS Companion app does a great job of easing you into the experience. For a first-time user, at that price, it’s hard to ask for better.

Buy Now: Canon EOS 1200D at Amazon.co.uk (£278) | Amazon.com ($399)


Despite a slightly lacklustre specification, the Canon EOS 1200D delivers a superb first-time DSLR experience. For an extraordinarily competitive price you get a lot of solid under-the-bonnet features like superb native ISO performance, a solid metering system and a sensor with a nice fat megapixel count.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Image Quality 8
  • Performance 8
  • Value 9

barney klingenberg

April 21, 2014, 11:01 pm

An 8 are you out of your minds for this?!
Just to name a few more cons.

Smallest viewfinder of all DSLRs.
Low dynamic range
Bad I so performance. Just check dxo the 5-6 year old digic 4 combined with this 5 year old sensor is simply outdated.
Bad noisy kit lens. They have an good stm kit lens which is not available with this.

That would make it an 5-6 out of 10 and an avoid if possible rating


March 9, 2015, 5:33 pm

I'm new to photography, and this is my first DSLR. None of those things you rattled off mean anything to me, I love the camera, and I'm excited to take pictures with it. You're simply expecting too much out of it, it's a beginners camera, and it suits me just fine.

barney klingenberg

March 13, 2015, 3:00 pm

I made this reply a year ago.
This camera was $500-600 and it performed worse then any Dslr on the market. And it still does.

You may be happy with it. But it's slower provides worse image quality and has nothing to make it stand out to any of it's peers.

You made a wrong buying decission and you like it well that's fine but does not make the product competitive

Chess Revolution

March 26, 2015, 6:32 am

Nikon ? Sony ? Pentax afficionado ?
Canon 1200D is one of the best camera in its class. Again, in its class ! Having practically a Canon 600D at this price is fantastic !
Very good sales all over the world ! Why ? Because is a bad camera ? Because the idiots are in love with it ?
Nope !
It's a superb entry class camera !

barney klingenberg

March 26, 2015, 6:40 am

Best in class?!
The pentax k500 same class has similar noise levels but more dynamic range
A 100% viewfinder
Twice the resolution rear lcd
Shoots 5 fps.

The d3300 has a sensor that is better then the one in the 7d mk2. Again with a better rear lcd and shoots 5 fps despite the 24mp.

The sony a58.
100% coverage and much larger viewfinder
Better sensor.
Better rear lcd.

Then it is NOT a 600d
It does not have the sensor cleaning
Nor the crisp lcd. It doesn't have a flip-out screen. Not to mention the 600d is pretty dated these days as well.

Now.why they sell it.
Brand recognition and marketing
You can find one on sale in the folders of electronics department stores across the whole planet. It's not a good camera and never will be.

Chess Revolution

March 26, 2015, 7:59 am

Pentax k500 has only a 16 megapixels sensors.
Nikon d3300 needs a live histogram and a higher-resolution feed. The movie mode would still benefit from a truly working full-time AF feature.
Sony SLT A58 is (a bit) in other class. Hasn't an optical wiewfinder but an electronic one. With some +, but also with some -.A hybrid between A37 & A57.
We need a lot of discussions. In fact everybody is free to have its own opinion. I like Canon 1200D !

barney klingenberg

March 26, 2015, 4:02 pm

Like 16mp and 18mp with a slightly smaller sensor would ever make a difference in terms of actual detail captured.

The 16mp sony has less noise in shadow area's and the files can be pushed.a.lot more 2-3stops at the lower iso's.

High resolution feed?!
No camera is quick enough to give us 24mp live feed in live view.

You can argue the whole day about evf vs ovf. But you can't argue with 3 vs 6 fps.

If you like the 1200d you must have pretty low standards. Canon basicly putted all their dusted dated crap into 1 piece of missery.

Tom P

March 30, 2015, 9:41 pm

haha Barney Klingenberg you are one sour and angry man who has too much time to put a lot of negativity into creating an argument for not buying something...which makes me think why on earth are you even looking at a page dedicated to the 1200D if you don't like it?! You either work for a competitor or have too much time on your hands ;)

Plus, despite what you say, even if there are 'better' cameras out there, just like the first 'Emmit' said, it suits their needs which is EXACTLY what marketing and product development is about. The business I own may not be perfect but it suits exactly what the customer needs and makes money because of it. Just look at Apple. Not the best phones but made the company the wealthiest company to EVER exist.

barney klingenberg

April 1, 2015, 2:44 pm

Because i want people to enjoy their photography with a p[roper camera that they can grow upon.

And the 1200d is so terrible that it doesn't suit anyone but the Canon board that get's rid of all their outdated scrap parts that were already at their last legs about 3 years ago.


April 6, 2015, 7:44 am

barney is just a nikon fanboy ;)

barney klingenberg

April 7, 2015, 2:11 pm

Makes sense since i mentioned a pentax and sony as well.
I don't even own a Nikon body at this point. But it's impossible to argue about the sensor performance.

Adena Noble

November 19, 2015, 4:37 am

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January 13, 2016, 3:34 pm

Had a great laugh. Yah it's 10 months ago, so Barney don't point out the bleeding obvious. A camera is a tool. I have 2 Nikon full frame cameras, an assortment of lenses and I also own this 1200D, cracking camera with the 10-18 uwa, nice and light for traveling..just saying..but I'm sure you'll have a retort for this too..GBS


June 22, 2016, 3:13 pm

Hi ... I bought this with two lenses that were thrown in with the deal - both Ultrimaxx 58mm 0.43x (wide angle) and 2.2x (telephoto) but the thread of the camera doesn't fit these lenses, what are you supposed to do? There was no step up adaptor ring included in the package deal that I got. Any advice?

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