Japanese giant Canon is one of the few brands which caters to an entire spectrum of photography enthusiasts. From its IXUS and PowerShot series of compact shooters to EOS range of DSLRs and even high-end professional-grade offerings like 5D or 6D, the brand’s camera offerings span different price segments. However, the most popular category for the brand has been entry-level DSLRs, a segment which attracts not just beginners but those who want to upgrade from smartphone photography without breaking the bank as well. Over the years, Canon has released a number of products to cater to this genre, with the EOS 1300D that launched two years ago being one of its most popular offerings. Now, the company has introduced its successor in the form of the EOS 1500D along with its affordable sibling dubbed EOS 3000D. We’ve been using the latter for almost a month, and now it’s time to see whether the Canon EOS 3000D is a worthy investment for a first-time DSLR user or not.

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Specs at a glance

  • Measures 129.0 x 101.6 x 77.1 mm
  • Weighs 436g (body only)
  • 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Digic 4+ image processor
  • 9-point autofocus
  • 2.7-inch TFT display
  • Records up to Full HD videos at 30fps
  • Supports ISO 100 – ISO 6400
  • Wi-FI 802.11 b/g/n

Design and build

Well, the EOS 3000D is designed just like any other budget DSLR, though its build quality isn’t as good considering it’s constructed out of plastic. That said, it does manage to offer a solid feel when held in the hand. Thanks to the rubber grip towards the right side, the DSLR fits ergonomically in the hand as well. The choice of construction material also allows the camera to be lightweight as it tips the scales at 436g.

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In terms of controls, the top portion offers the shutter button, the dial to change the shutter speed / ISO, and a mode dial. Even though the Canon EOS 3000D is an entry-level DSLR, it doesn’t skimp on shooting modes as it offers Intelligent Auto, Creative Auto, portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Food, Night Portrait and Video. In terms of manual modes, it offers the usual options – Manual Exposure, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, and Program AE. Up top, you’ll also find the flash module and hot shoe mount.

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The EOS 3000D features a 2.7-inch TFT display with a resolution of approx. 230,000 dots. While it’s not the brightest or sharpest display around, it’s fine to preview images and adjust different settings. However, I’d have liked the ability to use the screen in some other angle, which would’ve allowed for some creative shots. Above the screen, you’ll find the optical viewfinder along with a spate of buttons for navigation and other options. There’s the ability to zoom into or zoom out of pictures, start video recording, change aperture or exposure / delete button, Q button to enable self-timer (it can also be used to access quick settings), toggle display, and access the menu or view previously clicked shots with the buttons further below. The navigation buttons follow the regular convention with up, down, left and right keys as well as the OK / SET button. These buttons also double up as controls for continuous shooting mode, changing ISO, changing autofocus points, and adjusting the white balance (from left to right).

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At the front, as with any DSLR, the 3000D comes with a lens mount, and there’s a lens release button alongside. The camera is compatible with any EF-S lens. The left portion is empty, with the right spine hiding the HDMI mini and a digital port. At the base, you’ll find the tripod mount and a slot to insert the battery and SD card.

Overall, the 3000D doesn’t take too long to get used to, even for a newbie. It can be carried and used the entire day with ease thanks to its superb grip and lightweight design.

Image performance

Spec-wise, the Canon EOS 3000D comes with an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor, with the company claiming that its sensor size is 19 times larger than the sensors on our smartphones. What that means is that the camera is able to capture much more light and details in any situation. Processing the images captured by the DSLR is the brand’s in-house DIGIC 4+. It has nine autofocus points, which doesn’t sound much, but it must be noted that we’re talking about an entry-level device. It also supports ISO levels from 100 to 6400. Canon has bundled the shooter with an 18-55mm lens.

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Targeting novices, Canon has offered a Feature Guide, which guides users about different modes. It’s quite handy and helps you decide which mode is ideal for shooting the scene. For the purpose of this review, we used the kit lens and mainly shot using the Intelligent Auto and Creative Auto modes, with quite a few shots taken in the manual mode. The interface also offers an option called Creative Filters, which lets you add effects like Grainy B/W, soft focus, etc.

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The 3000D offers decent focusing speeds and while the shutter speed isn’t the fastest, it does the job. The same remains the case with the continuous shooting mode which can capture three images in a second.

For an entry-level camera, the EOS 3000D offers pleasing results across different shooting conditions. The images captured by the DSLR offer ample level of details. However, when landscape images are viewed in the original resolution, the sharpness levels seem to deteriorate. Close-up shots on the other hand, turn out to be quite impressive with a good depth-of-field effect as well. The colour reproduction is natural and quite accurate. In low-light, the camera tries to adjust for the less lighting by amping up the ISO levels and while the resulting image looks good, unsurprisingly, it has a lot of noise. Here’s a look at the camera samples shot with the Canon EOS 3000D.

To capture images with the DSLR in the poorly-lit environments, the manual modes come in quite handy, letting you adjust shutter speed, aperture and more importantly, the ISO to get a better output. Take a look at the following gallery which shows how effective each of the ISO levels is, with the beautiful London Eye serving as the backdrop. It comes as no surprise that increasing the ISO levels lets in more light into the sensor, but it also results in more grains. We also liked the fact the 3000D offers bulb exposure mode as well, which keeps the sensor open as long as you keep the shutter button pressed, and could prove handy to shoot fireworks and other such subjects which require a long exposure.

If you’re well versed with Photoshop or want to add more life to your images, then you can shoot in the RAW mode as well and edit it later. Talking about videos, the Canon EOS 3000D is capable of recording 1080p clips at 25fps. The quality is okay at best as the shooter struggles in locking the focus even when it’s kept stationary. However, it must be noted that the maximum movie size it can shoot is limited to 4GB or 29 min and 59 sec.

Connectivity options and more

Aiming squarely at the social-savvy generation, the EOS 3000D comes with built-in Wi-Fi, which lets the user transfer images to your phone instantly. One can download Canon Camera Connect app on Android or iOS to do the same. Pairing the camera with the phone is relatively simple and you just need to follow the on-screen steps. The transfer speeds are also pretty fast, with the app giving you the option to download the image in a reduced size or in its full resolution. The app can also serve as a remote trigger, which is really useful if you’ve mounted the camera on a tripod and want to capture a shot remotely. The viewfinder on the phone’s screen also lets you access settings or change focus, though there’s a noticeable amount of lag.

Talking about the battery, the Canon EOS 3000D surely impresses on that front. Even after capturing more than 500 shots in both Large + RAW mode, the DSLR’s battery only drained to 50 percent levels.

Verdict

The Canon EOS 3000D carries a retail price of Rs 31,995, though on e-commerce websites, you can get it for as low as Rs 23,000. With such a price tag, it becomes quite an attractive proposition, especially for the features it offers. In fact, it’s possibly the most affordable DSLR that comes bundled with a kit lens in the market right now. Additionally, the company is also offering a 16GB SD card with the purchase. Perhaps that’s what the brand envisions the camera to be… a stepping stone for users to venture into the world of photography. That’s what Canon India’s Vice President Mr Eddie Udagawa stated in an interaction with 91mobiles. He also shared that the brand will be expanding the footprint of its Image Square retail stores across the country to let prospective buyers experience the product before purchasing.

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All in all, while the Canon EOS 3000D doesn’t offer the best image quality and the build quality doesn’t inspire much confidence, it compensates for that by offering a wide range of options and a solid battery life – at an attractive price. However, if pricing isn’t really a constraint and you can go till Rs 32,000, then you can also look at the Nikon D3400 or Canon EOS 1500D, both of which come with higher-res 24-megapixel sensors.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • A versatile shooter
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Slow shooting speed in burst mode
  • The screen isn’t bright or flexible

Product photos by Raj Rout

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