Canon EOS 1200D Review

April 7, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 18 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Canon EOS 1200D produced images of very good quality during the review period. This camera produces noise-free images at ISO 100 up to ISO 800, with some noise appearing at ISO 1600. The faster setting of ISO 3200 is still usable, although we'd suggest avoiding ISO 6400 and especially 12800 if possible. The 18 megapixel images were quite soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. The built-in pop-up flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was very good, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and Bulb mode allowing you to capture enough light in most situations.

Noise

ISO sensitivity can be set between ISO 100 and ISO 6400 in full-stop increments. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and the RAW equivalent on the right.

JPEG

RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg

File Quality

The Canon EOS 1200D has 2 different JPEG file quality settings available, including Fine and Normal, with Fine being the higher quality option. Here are two 100% crops which show the quality of the two options.

Fine (6.17Mb) (100% Crop) Normal (2.92Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg
   
RAW (22.6Mb) (100% Crop)  
quality_raw.jpg  

Sharpening

The out-of-camera JPEGs are quite soft and at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes via the Picture Style options.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the EOS 1200D are Auto, Manual Flash On/Off, and Red-Eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (29mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (29mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (88mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (88mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting nor the Red-Eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Night

The Canon EOS 1200D's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds, aperture of f/8 at ISO 100.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Picture Styles

Canon's Picture Styles are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings. You can tweak these Picture Controls to your liking, and there are also User Defined styles so that you can create your own look.

Standard

Portrait

picture_style_standard.jpg picture_style_portrait.jpg
   
Landscape

Neutral

picture_style_landscape.jpg picture_style_neutral.jpg
   
Faithful

Monochrome

picture_style_faithful.jpg picture_style_monochrome.jpg

Creative Auto

Creative Auto offers nine options including Standard, Vivid, Soft, Warm, Intense, Cool, Brighter, Darker and Monochrome, all of which can be interactively tweaked to suit your taste.

Standard

Vivid

creative_auto_01.jpg creative_auto_02.jpg
   
Soft

Warm

creative_auto_03.jpg creative_auto_04.jpg
   
Intense

Cool

creative_auto_05.jpg creative_auto_06.jpg
   
Brighter

Darker

creative_auto_07.jpg creative_auto_08.jpg
   
Monochrome  
creative_auto_09.jpg  

Auto Lighting Optimizer

Auto Lighting Optimizer performs in-camera processing to even out the contrast and correct brightness. There are 4 different settings - Off, Low, Standard and Strong.

Off

Low

auto_lighting_optimizer_off.jpg auto_lighting_optimizer_low.jpg
   
Standard

Strong

auto_lighting_optimizer_standard.jpg auto_lighting_optimizer_strong.jpg

Highlight Tone Priority

Highlight Tone Priority is a custom function (C.Fn-6), which can be enabled from the main menu. Use of this custom function improves highlight detail by expanding the camera's dynamic range in the highlights. Highlight Tone Priority reduces the extent of highlight blow-out considerably. The 100% crops also reveal that highlight detail was better retained and defined.

Off

On
highlight_tone_off.jpg highlight_tone_on.jpg
   
highlight_tone_off1.jpg highlight_tone_on1.jpg

Peripheral Illumination Correction

Peripheral Illumination Correction is an in-camera solution designed to reduce the effect of light fall-off in the image corners. It clearly works, as this example shows

Off

On
peripheral_off.jpg peripheral_on.jpg