Canon EOS 3000D Kit (EF S18-55 II) Review: Get the basics right
A detailed review of the Canon EOS 3000D Kit (EF S18-55 II)
Every once in a while someone would come and ask us “what is a good DSLR for kids to buy” and in almost every situation what they actually mean is “what I can get the best for the least amount of money.” Generally, I refrain from answering such questions, but it appears that the Canon EOS 3000D may be an effective answer. Canon sent us a review unit of the EOS 3000D with an 18-55mm f / 3.5-5.6 kit lens. I have a few Canon Mount Prime lenses (Sigma 30mm f / 1.4 and Sigma 50mm f / 1.4) that I have thrown in for good measurements to evaluate the performance of the camera.
Construction and design
Holding the Canon EOS 3000D for the first time sent me back to 2008 when I first grabbed the EOS 450D. The camera is light, very compact and incredibly … basic felt. The camera uses polycarbonate for the outer shell and a rubber trimming for the front grip only. The back of the camera is very smooth with a minimal number of buttons. Unlike what you would see in more expensive cameras, there is no joystick to move the focus points around and no second dial to adjust the aperture. The buttons are not spicy and the clicks are very easy to register and they are not shaky, which is good. The lack of movement against their fall after extended (and intense) use will give you a feeling of comfort.
What’s really nice about the Canon EOS 3000D is its incredibly light and compact form factor. I was mirrorless a few years ago because of how light and compact they were and the Canon EOS 3000D gives me the same feeling. Whether you’re a first-time DSLR user or someone buying it after using a high-performance camera, there’s definitely a learning curve involved in button placement. Canon bundled the memory card slot into the battery compartment, which is good in some ways because it eliminates an extra point of weakness. The battery door itself is quite strong, so there is no reason to worry about a composite housing.
Overall, the build of the Canon EOS 3000D is light and functional, maintaining a good balance between quality and compromise. Yes, the rubber housing could have been extended to the rear, and the Canon could have included a secondary dial to independently adjust the aperture, but if that were the case, this camera would have been much more expensive than just the purchase. But maintain. However, the lack of a touchscreen that Canon is a kind of expert.
Performance – Autofocus
The Canon EOS 3000D is a basic feature, but the 9-point autofocus is tried and tested. Of these, only the center point is a cross-type, which allows for better accuracy. Part of the performance of AF also depends on the lens used. The kit lens that comes with the 3000D doesn’t have the best AF motor, so I’ve used the Sigma lens.
AF is correct with all the lenses we have used EOS 3000D at least during the day. In the evening, however, the kit lens begins to hunt, and when we are in low light conditions, the kit lens basically begins to lose AF power. When using a Sigma 30 or 50mm prime lens, AF is improved, which helps in more light by a larger aperture. Additionally, if you use a Canon lens that comes with an Ultra Sonic Motor (USM), the AF will definitely be faster.
The 9-point AF system can easily focus on the smallest objects
For an entry-level camera, the EOS 3000D is decent enough to start AF performance. If you’re coming from a smartphone, you’ll enjoy fine control over focus, which allows you to get focus tack sharp on even the smallest object. All it takes is a decent amount of light, but it will work in situations where your smartphone fails you.
Performance – Imaging
The Canon EOS 3000D has an APS-C 18 megapixel sensor. The crop sensor has a limited ISO range of ISO 100-6400, but at the top end, ISO performance is not as clear as you would expect. Even the best smartphones start to sound bad around ISO 800, but with EOS 3000D, you can expect to get usable images up to ISO 1600, maybe ISO 2000, if you apply aggressive noise reduction. You can see the high ISO sample below. Keep in mind that all image samples have been resized for the web and you can see full resolution images in our Flickr gallery.
I would like to mention that all the pictures were shot in RAW, where the pictures come out completely flat. There is very little color or contrast, as should be the case with RAW files. Editing these in Adobe Lightroom really reveals the details and depth captured by the 3000D’s sensors. The most powerful point of the 3000D’s sensor is the way it renders pleasing skin-tones, especially considering the darker skin-tones we see in India. Another thing that makes the EOS 3000D better is the way it handles green.
For those who are just starting out, the EOS 3000D will provide image quality that is more than just what you would see from a smartphone or even an advanced point-and-shoot camera. The limiting factor on image quality will be the kit lens, which limits the aperture and hence the visual quality. Pairing the EOS 3000D with a beautiful prime lens forces you to get better results and will be a great starting point for anyone leaning towards photography or wanting to upgrade their imaging game off the smartphone.
Burst mode is where the Canon EOS 3000D leaves you wanting more. The camera is capable of shooting at a maximum of only 3 frames per second. I wasn’t able to jump to treat my dog because not only is the blast mode fast enough, but the buffer doesn’t hold many images, further lowering the camera.
You can see more image resolutions in full resolution in our Flickr gallery
The last row
The Canon EOS 3000D is as basic as a DSLR. It’s a bare-sister camera that manages to get most things right, at least when it comes to the basics. The AF system will disappoint you in low light, but it’s just as good for the price. Honestly, you better buy this camera without a kit lens and spend a nice prime lens instead. The camera delivers “DSLR quality images” in every bit, something that smartphone makers claim, but fails miserably in delivery, the Canon 18-55mm kit lens will be poorly linked. In fact, a nice prime lens with its f / 1.8 or even f / 1.4 aperture will help you shoot in low light with low ISO levels. So in a nutshell, if you’re looking for a decent camera on a budget to take better pictures than a smartphone, don’t get me wrong with the Cano EOS 3000D