Monday, 5 September 2016

Review: Canon EOS 1300D DSLR Twin Lens Kit

With albums full of snaps going back to early childhood, I've always loved taking photos, but until now have always relied on the point and click of manual and then digital ease.  I've hankered after a DSLR for a while now, so when Currys and Mumsnet asked me to put the Canon EOS 1300D DSLR Twin Lens Kit through its paces, I was delighted.

In the Twin Lens Kit available exclusively from Currys, the Canon EOS 1300D DSLR camera comes with a 18-55 mm DC III Zoom Lens and an EF 75-300 mm f/4.0-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens.  At first this collection of bits looked pretty daunting, especially moving up from a simple pocket camera!  Was I ready to take the plunge...

The camera also comes with a strap, LP-E10 battery pack and charger, power cable for the charger, an interface cable and user guide, so you are completely ready to go, other than buying a new memory card.  I haven't had a great deal of time to play around with the camera due to a slight delay in receiving it, and holidays and other commitments.  (I was loathe to take it on holiday as I didn't really know what I was doing and didn't want to get sand in it or something dreadful before I'd even got going properly!)

But before we went we had a couple of days out locally, which were the ideal opportunity for me to play around with the settings and zooms, focus etc.  I should add that I really don't have a clue about shutter speed, aperture etc, yet, but I am hoping to take a self-taught crash course over the coming months.  The photos you see here then are pretty much raw, right out of the box ones, apart from a bit of playing around with speed and light levels.

The Canon EOS 1300D gives you the option to shoot in manual or auto, and in manual has a handy intuitive intelligent scene settings function, which was great for changing modes, such as close-up, sport (fast) and portrait.  The view finder and 3" LCD screen make it easy to set up your frame and also allow you to check your image and zoom in on the detail afterwards.  I was particularly impressed with the truth of colour in the photos, which required no retouching whether shooting in sunlight, clouds or into a darker space.  Apparently it's the DIGIC 4+ processor, "which faithfully recreate colours, tones and details."

I really enjoyed using the camera, even when switching between lenses, which I had initially thought would be a bit of a chore.  Although I am still figuring out which lens is best for what kind of shot, as well as moving on to using some of the other different functions.

Other features which I am yet to fully experiment with include:
  • 100 – 6400 ISO range (expandable to ISO 12800) giving the sensitivity to work in a range of conditions. Create beautiful background blur for portraiture or preserve the atmosphere of dim scenes without sacrificing quality.
  • EOS 1300D captures in RAW format for detailed editing and printing out enlargements, or JPEG to maximise storage space and make sharing easier.
  • Scene Intelligent Auto to take care of the hard work so you can pull off stunning shots without constantly adjusting settings.

And for when I am feeling a bit more confident, there is Full Manual mode, of course.  Luckily, the integrated Feature Guide is easy to use and provides smooth menu navigation to help improve ability and boost confidence.  For example, the close-ups I've tried so far haven't been perfect, so I'm keen to improve on those with the some guidance.

I'm hoping that the responsive Auto Focus and continuous shooting at 3 fps will help when I'm tryig to get the perfect shot of all the fast-moving cats and kids in our family, no more missing out on that perfect frame.  And there is also a video function which will be great for capturing our adventures and the girls playing and acting out stories etc.  The Canon EOS 1300D captures Full HD footage with a real movie-like feel, and also enables you to combine clips using Video Snapshot to create your own mini movie sequences.

For ease of sharing or backup, you can connect the camera to a smartphone, tablet or computer via WiFi, and also use this for remote shooting which is a great idea.

As you can tell there is so much more to discover with this camera and I am going to have lots of fun playing around with it and getting the best results possible over the next few months.  But, having said that, a straight out of the box try with a few tweaks and adjustments creates some pretty great photos anyway, so things can only get better!  I must admit though that, as excited as I was at having my new toy to play with, I did find it quite daunting at first, so make sure you have lots of time free to experiment and learn when you get it (unlike me!)

The Canon EOS 1300D DSLR Twin Lens Kit is currently retailing at £399.00 at Currys, which is great value considering it comes with two lenses plus the main body.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

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