Canon's entry-level camera for 2017, the Canon EOS 200D / Rebel SL2, might just be the best entry-level camera for beginners.
Don't let its size fool you, the Canon Rebel SL2 is a very feature packed entry-level camera. Is it perfect? Of course not. But with features like Canon's Dual Pixel Autofocus and a beefy 24 megapixel sensor, this is a camera I'm very excited about.
To understand why I think that the Canon Rebel SL2 is such a great camera for beginners, let's run through its main specifications and features.
Resolution and megapixels aren’t the most important spec to look at when you’re buying you first camera, but they do make a difference. The extra resolution gives you sharper images, more room to crop, and the option to make large prints, should you choose to. You can be sure, that partnered with the Canon Digic 7 Image Processor, the SL2 won’t be a slouch performer, even at slightly higher ISOs.
Dual Pixel AF in Live View
While the 9-point AF system when using the optical view finder isn't anything to write home about, the addition of Dual Pixel AF in the SL2 means you don't have to worry about getting the shot.
Electronic viewfinders and shooting with the rear LCD screens is the future of photography, and Canon is making it extremely easy with their industry leading Dual Pixel Autofocus system. When using live view, Canon cameras with this newer AF system can focus almost instantly! The initial appeal to this technology was its application to shooting video, but it's performance in photography is now being realized.
Vari-angle Touch Screen
Continuing from our previous point, when you're going to be shooting using the screen on the back of the camera, you'll want to be able to position the camera at different angles while still being able to see your composition. That's what makes the Vari-angle screen of Canon so great. You can practically shoot form almost any position and still see how your photo is going to turn out.
That's not even the best part. The addition of a touch sensitive display allows you to change settings on the fly and use it to take photos as well. Touch to focus and touch to take a photo are features that once you've tried, it's hard to go back to anything else.
Wi-Fi Connectivity (And a few more options)
Wi-Fi is a feature that I need when I'm looking to purchase a new camera, and I'm so glad that even entry-level cameras now have this feature. I use Wi-Fi to transfer photos to my phone for quick editing and uploading all the time. Again, its one of those things that once you've tried, it's hard to go back to anything else.
Some of you might not care for video features at all, but if you're new to the craft, I encourage you to try it out. It's something that I didn't start doing right away, I now love taking videos almost as much as I love taking photos.
Here are some of the specs that make the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 great for videos.
60p Recording at 1080p
Having the option to shoot in 60p will allow you to experiment with slow motion footage. It's nice to see this feature at the SL2's price point because not even my Canon EOS 6D, at triple the cost, has this feature!
The addition of the microphone input allows you to utilize external microphones like the Shure VP83 Lenshopper. In-camera microphones in basically all cameras are pretty terrible, so this is a must-have for shooting video.
Digital Image Stabilization
While it's not the same as true sensor shift images stabilization, it's nice to have digital image stabilization for times when you really need some smooth footage.
When you pair all of the above with the previously mentioned Vari-angle touch screen and dual-pixel autofocus, you have an incredible compact and powerful video setup with the Canon EOS SL2.
Lenses to Buy with the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D
If you've decided to purchase this camera, you might now be wondering what lens to get with it. Here are some of the options that I'd take.
On a budget and just starting out
If you're a complete beginner on a budget, I'd look to purchasing the camera as a kit with the 18-55mm lens. That'll give you a good range for all types of photography, and it'll also help you understand what you'll eventually want next as your next lens.
If you can put together a little bit more money, I'd also spring for the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. On the SL2, it'll make a great portrait lens and allow you to experiment with very shallow depth of field.
When you want just a little bit more
Two lenses that make upgreat all around kit for Canon shooters are the 18-135mm and 10-18mm lens. Those two lenses will cover you from the ultra wide angle range all the way up to the telephoto range. Throw in the 50mm f/1.8 and you have a solid kit that'll deliver amazing results.
It's always hard to bestow the title of "best DSLR camera for beginners" to any one camera, but I think that the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is one that sits near the top of that list. As a Canon shooter myself, this a camera that I'd recommend to anyone that wanted my advice. If you purchase it with the 3 lenses that I mentioned in the last section, you'd have a kit that'll last you many, many years, and gift you with lots of great photos.