The concept that ‘one of the best digital camera is the one you may have with you’ has been round for ages.

Until a number of years in the past, after all, it wasn’t really true – however then smartphones arrived and turned the world on its head. These days, one of the best digital camera usually actually is that little black rectangle sitting in your denims pocket.

All of which leaves a DSLR resembling the brand new Canon EOS 250D in fairly a tricky place: it’s aimed squarely at newcomers and is marketed as the subsequent step up for a budding smartphone snapper.

And in some methods, it’s. It has an enormous 24MP APS-C sensor, shoots 4K video and may deal with a whole lot of lenses starting from quick primes to bird-bothering lengthy zooms.

But in a world the place the most recent Huawei telephones pack 4 cameras and may zoom optically, is it actually ok of a step as much as be value spending £500 on? Let’s discover out.


Whatever else it achieves, the 250D comfortably wins the award for Most Spurious Claim To Greatness In a Consumer Technology Product, 2019.

It’s proudly billed as being ‘The world’s lightest DSLR with a movable display’, which is akin to me boasting that I’m essentially the most good-looking man over the age of 40 in my home at 2.42pm on a Wednesday in November – which is to say it’s each technically appropriate and totally insignificant.

That stated, the 250D is impressively mild and it does have a really good movable display, so perhaps I’m being harsh.

As a correct DSLR, mirror and all, it’s larger than its CSC competitors, with a chunky grip that matches very properly into the hand and an enormous prism on high which homes the viewfinder and flash.

The physique is usually plastic – no shock at this worth – however it’s actually well-built and feels stable sufficient that you just gained’t fear about stuffing it within the backside of your tote.

It’s not unattractive, both, although the black and silver choices are a lot nicer than the white model I’ve examined, which relatively screams Fisher-Price First Camera at you.

The massive 3in LCD show around the again actually is great. Canon was the primary to grasp the artwork of tiltable screens and the one right here does every little thing you’d need it to.

It can flip out to the aspect then swivel spherical in 270 levels, so you’ll be able to shoot in any respect method of strange angles and even take a selfie if the temper takes you. And once you’re completed, you’ll be able to flip it again and retailer it flat in opposition to the physique, so it could possibly’t be broken when travelling. It’s touch-sensitive, too, and has a good decision (for the worth) at 1.04okay dots.

The optical viewfinder is merely high quality by DSLR requirements, providing 95% protection and 87% magnification, however it’s larger than the digital efforts you’ll discover in lots of comparable CSCs.

Although small by DSLR requirements, the 250D has room for loads of buttons – however sensibly, given its newbie focus, they’re stored to a minimal. You get a single mode dial and a single command dial on high, whereas the on/off button additionally has a 3rd place for choosing video.

The mostly used choices, as an illustration ISO and Liveview, additionally get devoted controls, however lots of the others are hidden away throughout the Menus. Fortunately, the mixture of the idiot-proof Q shortcut and the touchscreen provides you quick access to every little thing else, with out the necessity for a lot looking.

My solely actual criticism on this entrance is that a number of the buttons are slightly small, with the d-pad specifically being biased in opposition to these of us with sausage fingers.

On the plus aspect, battery life is great. Canon reckons you’ll get round 1000 pictures from it, though that determine will go down swiftly in case you use a variety of Live View, and in per week of testing it I by no means as soon as needed to cost it up.


The 250D packs a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and Canon’s newest DIGIC eight processor, and that mixture serves up nice ends in most conditions.

The photos themselves are definitely a minimize above something you’ll see on any cellphone, with that giant APS-C sensor delivering luggage of element and sharpness you might minimize a steak with.

Colours are effectively dealt with, too: barely muted in comparison with the typical smartphone however way more lifelike and with a lot better distinction and dynamic vary, and noise is just actually noticeable from about ISO 3200 on.

Impressive although the stills are, the digital camera does have some vital limitations in comparison with different, costlier DSLRs.

Autofocus is the primary downside – the 250D has solely 9 focus factors when taking pictures by way of the viewfinder, whereas the equally priced Fujifilm X-T100, as an illustration, has 91.

In follow that signifies that letting the digital camera focus for you is a little bit of a hit or miss affair – you’re typically going to be higher selecting the centre level and doing it manually, notably in case you’re taking pictures a busy scene.

The lack of focus factors additionally impacts closely on motion pictures, with the 250D not at all times in a position to precisely monitor fast-moving topics. A 5fps restrict on burst taking pictures is one other limitation on this regard – it’s undoubtedly not a digital camera for sports activities addicts or wildlife fanatics.

That stated, the 250D is much more succesful in case you shoot in Live View mode by way of the display on the again. Here, the digital camera will get to play with a much more superior Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, providing a whopping 3,975 factors (I counted).

Dual Pixel is a lot better at monitoring topics and locks on immediately; set it to shoot on contact and you may swiftly seize photos with a single press. There’s even an eye-focus choice – a neat function to have on a digital camera as low-cost as this.

It’s all actually superb, similar to the AF programs on rather more costly CSCs, and manner higher than simply utilizing the viewfinder. Just keep in mind {that a} display isn’t at all times the most suitable choice for outdoor use in vibrant daylight, and can dissipate the battery extra rapidly.

In phrases of taking pictures modes, newcomers will profit from the Scene Intelligent Auto choice, which takes full management over every little thing you do by analysing the scene and deciding which settings will work finest.

It principally does a very good job of it, however I discovered the Special Scene modes to be extra correct. These embody classes resembling ‘Sport’, ‘Landscape’ and ‘Food’, with the digital camera once more selecting the optimum settings for the topic. They typically served up higher outcomes than the Auto mode – though being an professional photographer I’d after all by no means be seen lifeless utilizing something over than full Manual mode in actual life. Ahem.


Canon EOS 250D sample images


The 250D’s different massive declare to fame, exterior of the entire lightweight-with-a-flip-out-screen factor, is the truth that it shoots 4K video. Or a minimum of it type of does, as a result of the choices on this entrance are considerably restricted.

For starters, 4K video is cropped by 1.7x in comparison with full HD footage, which makes it fairly onerous to get wide-angle pictures in sure environment, until paired with the type of ultra-wide-angle lens {that a} newbie is unlikely to be utilizing. Turn on the 250D’s built-in video stabilisation choices, in the meantime, and an additional crop is utilized.

There’s additionally just one frame-rate accessible at this decision – 25fps (or 26fps if taking pictures in NTSC relatively than PAL) – whereas at full HD you additionally get 50fps. Oh, and ISO maxes out at 6400 relatively than the usual 25,600.

Worst of all, the superb Dual Pixel autofocus system is disabled in 4K, although it does work in full HD. You nonetheless get autofocus in 4K, however it’s nowhere close to as snappy.

At least the 4K footage is sweet, as you’d count on from this sensor, however it’s topic to rolling shutter points and given all the different constraints you’re in all probability higher off sticking to the peerlessly acceptable full HD choice.


The 250D is a combined bag, however at this worth that’s to be anticipated – and the nice undoubtedly outweighs the dangerous right here.

Most importantly, it takes beautiful stills that beat these from any cellphone. To put that to the check I shot the identical topic in full Auto mode and on probably the greatest smartphone snappers on the market, the Huawei P30 Pro.

There’s not a lot in it, admittedly, however for my cash the 250D’s photos are a transparent step up from even a cellphone of that high quality. Stick a very good lens on it and so they’ll go away it for lifeless.

Alright, so the autofocus is a bit restricted when taking pictures by way of the viewfinder, however then once more a cellphone doesn’t even have a kind of – and with Live View, it’s glorious.

Video is a more durable promote, with many telephones now taking pictures glorious 4K footage themselves. For that purpose, YouTubers ought to look elsewhere. It’s additionally a a lot closer-run factor in case you examine it to equally priced compact system cameras. For occasion the Fujifilm X-T100, which I examined for Stuff final yr, has lots of the identical benefits (nice stills) and downsides (poor 4K video).

Fuji’s digital camera is quite a bit nicer to take a look at, quite a bit smaller and handles much better – however alternatively, it has a a lot smaller viewfinder and much worse battery life.

You pays your cash and also you takes your selection…

Finally, keep in mind that the 250D’s predecessor, the 200D, remains to be on sale and for £130 much less. There’s not an enormous distinction between them, with the absence of 4K video and a much less superior Dual Pixel AF the primary drawbacks to the sooner digital camera. It’s undoubtedly value contemplating.

Ultimately, anybody who fancies taking dipping their toes into pictures will discover heaps to love right here. It’s a digital camera you’ll in all probability outgrow in a number of years, however it’ll undoubtedly assist provide the bug.