I decided to buy the Canon EOS 250D and I wanted to describe why I made that decision. This isn’t a review (that’s here), just a reflection on what affected my choice.
Whilst I have wielded a camera, it was many years ago and it used 35mm film. So really I am just starting out in photography. There is so much information our there, that it is more than a little daunting wading through the huge range of cameras currently on the market.
What doesn’t help is that everything is in some sort of code that, as a newbie, you just don’t understand. Surely, a higher model number on a camera must mean that it is better, or newer, or something, yes? Well, no, not really. And confusions don’t really stop there.
Some cameras aren’t on the market any more, but you can still buy them. And people really look after their cameras, so there is a thriving second-hand market. Quite a lot of advice, and I read quite a lot of advice, isn’t dated and so you have no real idea whether it is current. So where to begin?
What did I want?
For me, and you might be different, the issues that were most important were:
Was it sufficiently flexible? Could I set it on full automatic so that if I had the camera in my hand I could take a ‘snap’? But could I also use the camera to learn? I wanted to be able to use this camera to explore the new world of digital photography and take pictures of my family on the beach.
Image quality is, of course, crucial. I wanted to have photographs that I could frame and hang on a wall. But I also wanted a camera which is straightforward and intuitive to use: I wanted a pleasurable hobby, not a frustrating technical exercise.
The camera also needed to last me for a few years – I may upgrade to a super-functional, super-professional and, yes, super-expensive camera later. But for now this was me trying out a new-ish hobby.
Why a Canon EOS 250D?
First, a confession, I did have some experience with Canon and already had some lenses that pulled me in that direction. My very elderly film camera was an SLR, and so again I felt myself pulled in that direction because it felt more comfortable. I also help run a website, and so I needed images that were high quality. They can alway be cut down to improve download speeds, but grainy images on a website look awful.
So, full disclosure, I was already looking at a Canon DSLR that could produce a high quality image.
The Canon EOS 250D, (also known as the EOS Rebel SL3 and the EOS Kiss X10 in different territories – see what I mean by confusing names?), is designed for beginners. Many reviewers praised it as a very capable camera that can focus quickly and quite a number said that it is the best entry-level DSLR around.
The Canon EOS 250D also has a moveable screen and there is a choice of two interfaces. The guided interface is great for beginners and the standard interface is better for more experienced photographer. They give the same type of information, but the guided interface appears friendlier and is easier to understand.
Either the viewfinder or the screen can be used to take pictures. Some reviews observed that only nine points are available when you’re using the optical viewfinder. So, it’s often easier to use the screen because you can tap on the subject to get it in sharp focus.
The 24.1Mp APS-C format sensor delivers great results with a good level of detail. The camera also handles exposure and white balance well in the default settings. So, you can concentrate on getting the composition right.
Price of the Canon EOS 250D and kits
The camera retails at about £500. Currently, the Canon website is offering the body-only (i.e. no lenses) for £539.99. Amazon has a kit with the Canon EOS 250D, a Canon EF-s 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens and a 64Gb memory card for £628. The kits are good value and an 18-55mm lens is a good starter.
I think I made the right purchase for me, although I’ll probably return to this over time. This isn’t a review of the camera, but a description of what influenced me. I hope that this helps other beginners think about their priorities.