Canon EOS 1300D: Getting Connected

 

EOS-1300D-20The Canon EOS 1300D is the latest member of the company’s range of entrylevel DSLRs, to feature WiFi with NFC. Conchita Fernandes puts it to the test.

The Canon EOS 1300D, like most of the company’s cameras in this range, is aimed at beginners looking to graduate from their compact cameras or for students looking to buy their first DLSR. It succeeds the 1200D (released in 2012), but at least on the basis of first impressions, it did not appear significantly different from it. However, there are a few updates in the camera, one of the important ones being WiFi with NFC. Let’s take a look at the rest of the device.

Features

The camera features the same 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor with a continuous shooting speed of 3fps, and a maximum buffer of 110 JPEGs, in comparison to the 69 shots in the 1200D. The camera also offers an ISO range of 100–6400 (expandable to 12800), made possible with the new DIGIC 4+ image processor. There is a 9-point AF system with a cross-type sensor at the centre too, and the camera can shoot Full HD videos at 30p. However, the 1300D continues to miss a microphone input. This is something that Canon should have looked into and updated, especially considering that many other entry-level cameras such as the Nikon D3200 have the feature.

Additionally, the 1300D has a sensor cleaning option, something that the 1200D lacked. It also features a higher resolution LCD at 920,000 dots, in comparison to the 460,000 dots in its predecessor. The LCD however, continues to remain fixed, which can be a little cumbersome if you have to photograph from a lower angle. The older Nikon D5200, available at a slightly higher price, has the same.On the other hand, this could be a good thing for beginners who are used to looking at the camera screen, as this will ensure that they use the viewfinder more.

WiFi with NFC is one of the significant additions to the 1300D. Users can download the Canon Camera Connect app, (available for iOS and Android users), and can conduct fast transfers of their photographs onto their cellphones. With the NFC feature, you just have to tap your phone to the camera body and this will establish a connection between the two. The app also allows for remote shooting, but with a slight lag. Here, you can change the shutterspeed, ISO and aperture. This is a significant feature addition considering the primary target audience of the camera, and also considering that competing Nikon cameras are not connected.

The kit lens allows you to get nice and up close, and the rendition of skin tones, is excellent in different kinds of light. Exposure: 1/200sec at f/8 (ISO 1000)

The kit lens allows you to get nice and up close, and the rendition of skin tones, is excellent in different kinds of light. Exposure: 1/200sec at f/8 (ISO 1000) Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

Handling

The camera’s plastic exterior has left it lightweight, but a liberal use of engineering plastics means that it is actually quite sturdy, by entry-level standards. The layout of its controls is easy enough for a beginner to understand, and there are dedicated buttons to control the ISO and White Balance, both of which aren’t seen in entry-level Nikons. Canon has still not added an AF assist lamp to the camera, which can be quite a disadvantage considering that most entrylevel cameras from other manufacturers feature the same. In the 1300D, the camera fires a burst of low-intensity flashes to try and focus in the dark, which can be quite an irritant to the subject, and a dead giveaway if you are trying to be discreet. On the top of the camera too, everything is featured on the right-hand side. There is a dedicated mode dial with an additional food photography mode and an exposure dial.There is a button next to it for the popup flash too. The 1300D also comes with a textured right-hand grip, and a thumbpad on the rear of the screen.

Performance

In terms of camera performance, the 1300D doesn’t give much to complain about. Its AF is fast, even in low light, but was a little sluggish in situations where there was a lot of movement involved. In my case, it included children running around in an interior setup. However, for an entrylevel camera, the 1300D does a very good job in locking focus on the subject, and is definitely faster than mirrorless options.

The image quality of the 1300D is quite pleasing. Although there is visible noise from ISO 800 onwards, the camera can still produce usable photographs up to ISO 6400, that is, if you shoot in RAW and convert them to JPEG from an external software. However, remember to expose the photographs correctly. On the other hand, the JPEGs up to ISO 1600 are quite pleasing, where they appear nice and sharp with good colour rendition. But as you progress to the higher ISOs, the detail in the JPEGs progressively get mushy. Therefore, if you do decide to use a higher ISO, it is advisable that you only shoot in RAW.

This photograph was shot in a dim hall, lit with tubelights. The AF using the central point is quick, and the IS in the kit lens, quite effective. Exposure: 1/40sec at f/5.6 (ISO 1000) Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

This photograph was shot in a dim hall, lit with tubelights. The AF using the central point is quick, and the IS in the kit lens, quite effective. Exposure: 1/40sec at f/5.6 (ISO 1000) Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

Conclusion

Considering that the 1300D was released two years after the launch of the 1200D, I expected the camera to have at least a few significant updates. WiFi and NFC is a very useful addition, but there isn’t much else. That said, when compared to the Nikon D3300, there isn’t much to choose between the two. That said, this is a very competitive price range, and the older Nikon D5200 is now available at a price that is only Rs. 3000 more, while offering significant advantages like a better sensor, significantly faster AF and a tilting screen. Compact camera owners who want a small camera may also want to spend a little more and get the feature-packed Sony A5000. The 1300D is decent value for money, if you are planning to buy a kit that gives you reach—the dual kit option with the 18–55mm and 55–250mm stabilised lenses, at Rs. 38,995, is quite a steal.

The sensor is actually quite good at low ISOs, but the kit lens does not do full justice to it, especially at the corners. Exposure: 1/200sec at f/5.6(ISO 200). Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

The sensor is actually quite good at low ISOs, but the kit lens does not do full justice to it, especially at the corners. Exposure: 1/200sec at f/5.6(ISO 200). Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

FINAL RATINGS
Features
WiFi with NFC, better resolution LCD, Full HD
video, better DIGIC 4+ processor
24/30
Performance
Decent high ISO performance when shooting RAW, reliable AF, good battery life
25/30
Build Quality
Lightweight and sturdy
16/20
Ergonomics
No tilting LCD, dedicated ISO & WB buttons
12/15
Warranty & Support
Two-year warranty and service facility
4/5
MRP Rs. 29,995 (with (EF-S 18–55mm f/IS II kit lens)        Rs. 38,995 (with EF-S 18–55mm IS II & EF-S 55–250mm IS II lenses)
OVERALL 81%
VALUE FOR MONEY 3.5/5
Who should buy it? Beginners looking for an entrylevel
DSLR and an effective multi-purpose kit.
Why? There are better cameras at the same price point if
you get the regular kit, but the dual kit option that is availablealong with a telephoto, is a great value buy.
Tags: Anniversary Issue Vol 2, beginners, canon camera, Canon EOS 1300D, Conchita Fernandes, DSLR, July 2015, Review, WiFi with NFC enabled