Hands on: Canon EOS 1200D review

Maybe this will be the next Bailey's first camera?

What is a hands on review?
Canon 1200D review
The Canon 1200D is an SLR, so it has an optical viewfinder - and you can use interchangeable lenses.

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It's early in the day to be giving a final verdict on a camera such as this, but we haven't been disappointed with any of Canon's recent DSLR output, so we expect more of the same from the 1200D.

In my brief time with the camera I was able to test the autofocus speeds of a pre-production model and they seem to be pretty swift, locking onto targets quickly and accurately. I was testing the camera in a fairly well-lit room though, so it will be interesting to see how the camera compares in less favourable conditions once a full production sample comes in.

Switching to live view to compose images on the screen means switching to the contrast detection autofocusing, which is much slower than the phase detection system available when using the viewfinder. This may be a little disconcerting for those users coming from a compact camera background who are used to using a screen to compose.

Canon 1200D review

Early Verdict

Probably the most interesting thing about the new EOS 1200D is the accompanying app for iOS and Android. That said, Nikon offers something similar in its D3300 directly in the camera, so it may be a little frustrating to some that you need to download something extra to be guided through the camera and its key functionality.

The tutorials and challenges are more interesting though, but that's something which could be used by any camera user, not just those who are working with the 1200D, so it's not something which is particularly special about this model.

Price will undoubtedly be a determining factor for many deciding to purchase their first DSLR, and it is this which Canon has the edge here with the 1200D, coming it at significantly cheaper than the Nikon equivalent.

We'll be keen to put a full production version of the camera to the test once it becomes available, look out for that review soon.

Canon 1200D review

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar. 

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.