Scarcity of photographers in the olden days required professionals for parties, event and weddings, with a hefty price. Affordable cameras and smartphones have now converted the common man into amateur photographers.
While some may argue that today's modern smartphones now offer incredible cameras and, there’s absolutely no doubting it. However, smartphones can provide almost DSLR-like quality and be well under the budget, yet they still cannot yield the type of sharpness, vividness and natural pictures which DSLRs can churn out. In short, nothing today can match what the DSLR can produce.
Canon has been a long-time player in the DSLR segment and has a feature-loaded, yet economical offering – the EOS 1300D for those seeking a low-priced professional camera. The DSLR serves just right to the budding photographers, but the company had to up its game and needed to provide more options to different photographers. The results — EOS 3000D and EOS 1500D, both of which are the successors of the 1300D. However, the former is a tad scaled-down version of the latter. We worked with the 3000D for a few days to check how the eye can perform, and were impressed equally.
The Canon EOS 3000D comes with an APS-C CMOS sensor sporting an 18MP resolution. It bundles along an EF S18-55 IS II stock lens in the kit. For video recording, the camera supports resolutions of up to 1080p with multiple frame rates. Well, let’s leave the specifications and features for later and let’s dive into the details of how the Canon EOS 3000D fares into real world conditions.
Look and feel:
At first glance, the Canon EOS 3000D seems like any other camera suitable for novices. A 2.7-inch TFT LCD display greets you up front, but is fixed and does not have a swivel option. While the swivel display is available on higher end models, having one on these babies would have added value to the product.
As with the entire Canon series, the unit here too is majorly made up of matte-finish polycarbonate plastic with a perforated rubber grip on the right. The camera weighs in at 436g and has the right balance for long use.
The control panel has a good tactile feel and the mode dial is smooth to rotate. Th mode dial includes the power OFF option and is usually a problem to many as one would often keep losing the preferred mode every time he has to switch it OFF. This is where the EOS 1500D gains an extra point as it consists of a discreet power switch. The navigation keys are pretty standard with dedicated button for videos and delete key, etc.
The connectivity ports (HDMI and mini USB) are seen on the right and enclosed with a rubber flap to keep dust at bay. The battery and micro SD card provisions are housed at the bottom as usual.
Starting with the basics, the Canon EOS 3000D is around an 18MP CMOS sensor with a DIGIC 4+ processor for all the mean number crunching. JPEG and RAW image formats are as usual, while this one also offers you a 9-point autofocus (AF) system, which can be operated manually or automatically.
Shutter speed options from a slow 30 seconds to a speedy 1/4000 are possible, while the ISO range starts from just ISO100 all the way up to ISO12800. The sensor and processor combination can capture a maximum 3fps in JPEG format. Other options for white balance include as Cloudy, Daylight, Fluorescent and Tungsten as usual. As for videos, the camera supports 1080P (@24,25,30fps), 720P (@60fps) and VGA (@30fps)and recorded in MPEG-4 AVC and MOV formats.
The Canon EOS 3000D includes connectivity options for Wi-Fi, HDMI and mini USB. Wireless networking has now seen as a standard feature in most cameras a this helps in instant viewing, saving and sharing photos over social media via the smartphone. The supporting app also features additional control over a few more functions, such as viewfinder, shutter release, mode settings and a few others, so that you can operate the camera remotely from a distance. The camera misses out on the NFC and a mic input jack, which are seen on the EOS 1500D.
Storage cards compatible are SD/SDHC/SDXC and can be expanded up to 64GB. A puny 16GB memory card is bundled along with the camera as a starter kit. Last, but not the lease, the unit is fuelled by a 860mAh Li-ion battery which equally lasts long enough to cover an entire photo session or an average of around 400 shots.
When you put around Rs 31,995 in a camera, you definitely expect it to lend you good images in almost every scenario possible. And with this budget, the Canon 3000D does manage to impress.
As spoken earlier, the 3000D's weight and body combination is good for budding photographers making their mark into the photography world. The entry-level-to-mid-range cameras have a unique shutter sound that distinguishes a Canon camera from the masses. While many prefer this sound, high-end cameras need to be silent for various purposes. This is where the lenses also play an important role. While this camera is not a mirrorless variant, and the lens here is a standard motorised one, it is a great added feedback that photographers tend to enjoy, especially beginners.
As for the core performance, the Canon EOS 3000D provides great photos as expected. While it all depends entirely on the lenses used, the stock lens itself is good enough for starters. In difficult lighting conditions too, with the right settings, photos can turn out well. With different ISO levels (as shown in the sample images above), we received a good image quality, nevertheless. However, with time and practice, budding photographers will definitely aim to master various settings on their own.
The above sample shots show images taken in daylight, but in a cloudy environment — thanks to the interfering Mumbai rains. Images shot during the day also manage to garner rich details and ample colour reproduction. Tweaking the white balance modes is also fun to play with.
(ISO - 3200, Vivid, Sunset)
Night photos also turn out good, provided you manage to tweak the ISO range and shutter speeds to the right balance. Play around with the settings to get the best of your shots.
Shooting living subjects are fun and is definitely a task for most cameras, and with the right settings and you can manage to get great shots. However, for a DSLR, it seems like a cakewalk at most times. The settings can be tweaked to get the right balance between colours, ISO and shutter speeds to get moving objects captured just right. As known, dogs in particular are known to never sit tight during photo sessions and we managed to get the above image with the least stress.
Closeups or macros are fun too. With a DSLR, macro photography, closeups and portraits are easily handled. The EOS 3000D ships with the starter lens kit (18-55mm), which is basic and does a fair job. However, if you manage to get the right lens, portraits can turn out even more dramatic.
Overall, the Canon 3000D is a great entry-level weapon for that rookie shooter in you. This camera is especially aimed at beginners so that they can get the features of a DSLR in a small budget to start their journey. If you are looking for a camera on a tight budget, the 3000D is an ideal choice. However, if you are up a few levels, the 1500D is not bad either. We would recommend the 3000D for anyone who wants to start having a fine control over the camera. the Canon EOS 3000D is presently sold for around Rs 31,995 and carries a two-year warranty.
— with inputs from Francis D'Sa, Editor...