Canon EOS 1300D review

The 1300D is a reasonably specced, good-value option for beginners or those looking for a cheap back-up camera

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

The Canon EOS 1300D is a solid if uninspiring entry-level DSLR, eschewing eye-catching features in favour of image quality and low cost. It's a great beginner option, but less impressive as an upgrade.

For

  • Good value
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Textured coating
  • High-resolution screen

Against

  • Fixed screen
  • No touchscreen
  • 95% viewfinder
  • Slow focusing in live view

Despite their low price point 'entry-level' cameras are incredibly important for manufacturers. These are the cameras with which the consumer starts their journey with a brand – and many of those consumers will stay with that brand for a very long time.

Because of this, you can get a lot of camera for relatively little money these days. The Canon EOS 1300D (badged as the Rebel T6 in the US) is Canon's latest entry-level proposition, and it's available at a great price for beginners, students or anyone new to DSLR photography.

The 1300D doesn't represent a major upgrade from its predecessor, the EOS 1200D – which itself was hardly a huge overhaul of the 1100D. It seems Canon has once again played it relatively safe with the spec sheet, which helps to keep the camera affordable for those all-important entry-level customers.

Canon EOS 1300D review

The sensor is the same as the 1200D's at 18 million pixels, while the processor gets a modest upgrade to the Digic 4+ (the 1200D had a standard Digic 4). However, considering that Canon's latest processor is the Digic 7, the 4+ is still pretty old technology.

The 1300D uses the EF-S lens mount, which is compatible with all of Canon's EF lens range, so it's a camera that existing Canon DSLR owners looking for a backup camera may want to consider too.

Several of the other features of the Canon 1300D are the same as in the 1200D. It has the same 9-point autofocusing system, with one central cross-type (more sensitive) point. There's also a 95% coverage optical viewfinder.

Native sensitivity remains at ISO100-6400, expandable up to 12800, but given the slightly better processor a modest improvement in low-light performance is promised.

Canon EOS 1300D review

One feature that has seen an upgrade is the screen. The 1300D's LCD is a 3-inch, 920k-dot unit, whereas the 1200D boasted only 460k dots. This upgrade should make viewing images, and using the menus, a more pleasant experience.

The headline new feature for the 1300D is the inclusion of inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC. This enables you to control the camera from a connected device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and you can send images from the camera to your devices to share quickly online.

As well as the fully automatic and scene shooting modes you'd expect in a camera aimed at novice photographers, there are also manual and semi-auto aperture priority and shutter priority modes, plus the ability to shoot in raw format.

As with the 1200D, the 1300D offers full HD (1920 x 1080) video recording, and you can take manual control of video, with 30, 25 and 24fps frame rates available; not surprisingly for a camera at the price point, there's no 4K shooting.

Canon EOS 1300D review

Battery life remains at a respectable 500 shots, which should see you through a typical day's shooting without the need for a recharge.

An obvious competitor to the EOS 1300D is Nikon's 24 million pixel D3300. That camera offers higher resolution and better battery life (700 shots) and its maximum burst rate of 5fps beats the 1300D's 3fps.

However, the Nikon is more expensive and doesn't have inbuilt Wi-Fi or NFC, so which camera you prefer will depend on which specs are most important to you.