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The Best Beginner/Budget DSLR You Can Buy in 2018! (In Depth Review)
November 12, 2017
Hey whats up everyone, my names Chris Winter and today I'm going to do an in depth review of the brand new Canon SL2 or 200D, so hopefully i can help you decide if it's the right camera for you.
So let's start off this review by first taking a look at build quality of this new Canon SL2. And the first thing you notice is that this is a tiny little DSLR.
In fact it's one of the world's smallest DSLR's which is something you really feel once you pick it up. The SL1 which came before the SL2 really introduced the idea of tiny DSLR's and I'm glad they've kept the size in the SL2.
Now with micro four third cameras really coming into the mainstream these days, we're seeing smaller and smaller cameras. But if you are looking for that tradition shape of a DSLR, the SL2 is about as small as you can get, which will be great for travel.
Now even though the SL2 is a tiny DSLR, Canon have been pretty agressive in trying include a tonne of new features, one of which is on the back here.
And that's here with it's brand new articulating screen. I'm not going to lie, but when I heard rumors that the SL2 was going to have an articulating screen I got pretty excited and to see it come through I'm very happy.
It's also a fully articulating screen as well which is great for getting your shots from different angels, whether thats from up high or down low or even flipped to the front which is brilliant for filming yourself, but we'll talk more about that later on.
Either way the inclusion is one of the best new features on the Canon SL2.
Now staying on the back of the Canon SL2, another brilliant feature is that this articualting screen is a touch screen as well.
Now sometimes you might think that a touch screen is a little bit of a gimmick, but ever since I first used one a few years back on the Canon 70D I've found them to be incredibly useful.
Sure I still use the buttons on the camera and the dials on top, but having the touch screen makes life so much easier.
For example you can quickly jump through menus without having to scroll but the best feature is really for focusing.
Now we'll talk about it more in depth later on in this review, but the Canon SL2 has a brilliant new autofocus system called Dual Pixel and when you pair it up with the touch screen on the back of the camera, it's amazing.
You can simply press what you want ot be in focus and the SL2 will quickly and smoothly come in to focus. It's brillaint.
Now another nice inclusion with the Canon SL2 is it's inclusion of a microphone jack. This means that rather than relying on the inbuilt mics on teh SL2, you can plu in a shotgun mic or a wireless mic and record fantastic audio.
Unfortunately we are still missing a headphone jack which would have been nice to see, but I probably didn't expect it in a camera this cheap.
Now the inbuilt mic isn't terrible, but it isn't great, so I'd highly recommend getting a mic to plug in and you should be good to go.
Burst Rate & AF Points & Speed :
Let's talk about the burst rate on the Canon SL2. Now the Canon SL2 can shoot an a very impressive 5 frames per second which sounds a bit like this:
Now 5 frames per second is a pretty substantial jump from 3 frames per second which has been the standard for beginner cameras from Canon for a long time.
This means that the Canon SL2 will be great for shooting sports, pictures of fast moving kids and even some wildlife shots.
Now talking about the Autufocus on the Canon SL2 and as I said before the autofocus in much improved even in stills.
The SL2 has 9 autofocus points with 1 cross type, which isn't the most impressive number out there, but in day to day use it worked well.
I found myself having no problems catching my subjects in focus on most occassions, even on some relatively low light shots.
So overall, the SL2 was a very solid performer, especially for a sub $600 camera.
Now if I was to point out a weakness on the SL2 it would probably be it's battery life.
The SL2 uses the LP-E17 battery which is found in some other Rebels series cameras and it isn't the best in terms of holding battery.
For stills the SL2 was fine, but it did chew through battery pretty quickly when shooting video, so I'd advise in picking up another battery from places like Amazon or eBay.
Ok so now I want to touch on the video side of the Canon SL2 and this is where things get impressive.
To me the Canon SL2 is essentially a mini Canon 80D or Canon 77D, it's brilliant.
The SL2 has a few killer video features which I never thought I'd see in a budget beginners DSLR.
Firstly, it's got that fully articulating screen which I was talking about before. For video it really does make shooting a lot easier. Rather than trying to see the rear LCD in akward positions, you can move the camera around with ease simply moving the LCD.
We've also got that touch screen which again makes life a lot easier. So rather than having to pull focus manually, on the Canon SL2 you can now simply touch on the screen and whever you touch will pretty magically go into focus.
And really that's all down to the new Dual Pixeld Autofocus system in the SL2. It's trickled down from the 70D and 80D and is to me the best autufocus system for video in any camera on the market.
The Sl2 also has face tracking autofocus which is actually somethign Im using right now. So rather than having someone behind you keeping track of focus, you can just let the camera do the work and it actually works really well.
Another new feature is that the Canon SL2 can now also shoot in 1080p 60 frames per second. With this you can slow down the footage in post and get some smooth slow motion. And they've even thrown in a built in timelapse mode for good measure, which is great if you film vlogs.
Add in the fact that you can now also record good quality audio with the built in mic jack and you've got yourself a bit of a winning video camera.
In fact I think that the Canon SL2 will be the most popular camera for youtube by next year, it's that good for the price.
So speaking about the price, the Canon SL2 comes in at about $550. This is an incredible price for this level of camera.
I just quickly wanna talk about the menus on the Canon SL2.
Overall if you've ever used a Canon camera before you'll feel right at home. Even if this is your first DSLR you won't really have any problems especially with the new touch screen on the back.
Another nice inclusion on the Canon SL2 is it's inclusion of wifi & nfc. Essenitally this allows you to quickly pair it up to your smart phone to transfer photos wirelessly without having to connect it to a computer.
Overall I found it worked really well, especially when paired up with the Canon Camera Connect app.
So as you can probably tell, I'm in love with this little DSLR. This is the best beginner DSLR you can buy at the current time and if you're thinking about buying one today, I'd highly recommend it.
I hope you all have a fantastic day and I’ll see you next time.