CONSUMER D-SLR OF THE YEAR:
Canon EOS 800D
Canon EOS 800D
Let’s face it, innovation is starting to get thin on the ground in this category, and many so-called new cameras are really just minor updates of the previous models.
To its credit, then, Canon is still working hard to give the D-SLR extra appeal amid all the seductions of the rival mirrorless cameras. Although it’s an entry-level model, the EOS 800D still has quite a bit of Canon’s higher-end D-SLR tech, including the brilliant ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ which maintains phase-difference detection autofocusing in live view and when shooting video.
But this model is mostly about attracting new users who have discovered the photographic limits of their smartphone and are ready for a real camera. To this end it gets touchscreen controls – more or less fully implemented – and both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity for easier online image sharing.
However, where Canon has really thought this through is with the 800D’s completely redesigned monitor-based user interface, which replaces the standard info screen with a ‘Guided’ display. This is more graphic-based and it’s designed to help new users understand exactly what’s happening visually when settings – such as apertures and shutter speeds – are changed. The graphics and terms used have been carefully researched to succinctly relate camera adjustments to the visual effects (which can be hard to connect if you’ve only ever been pointing and shooting, and wondered why you never got the result you wanted). Warnings also appear in plain English – for example, “images will be underexposed”.
It’s simple, but effective and, over time, a valuable learning aid which has the potential to avoid the it’s-all-too-hard hurdle which has undoubtedly stopped many taking their photography beyond snapshooting.