The first steps into buying a DSLR can be quite daunting. It’s not just about buying a camera body. You’re then thrust into the world of interchangeable lenses and how that side of things work. Luckily, camera manufacturers produce entry-level DSLRs to fit most budgets. One example is the Canon EOS 4000D, also referred to as the Rebel T100.
These budget DSLRs are a great stepping stone to higher-end, fully-fledged camera features. They are also cameras which usually lead to buying into that brand for future camera bodies and lenses. In this respect, these entry-level DSLRs need to be feature-rich and prove to the customer that the brand is worth sticking with for years to come.
One thing to remember from the start is that you’re getting basic features. Basic, compared to today’s top DSLR camera bodies, but shoot back more than ten years and these specs were the norm. On the Canon EOS 4000D there is an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor which should be good enough for some high-quality prints, an ISO range of 100-6400 (exp. to 12800), 3fps burst mode, 9-point AF system, a fixed 2.7in LCD with 230k dots and a battery life of around 500 shots.
There are some more up-to-date features included, such as Wi-Fi without NFC and unlimited JPEG shooting, but when you’re shooting in RAW you only get a few shots at a time. The camera body is also usually sold with a kit zoom lens. It’s advised to buy the camera body only and separately purchase the cost-effective and great Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. You won’t have zoom abilities, but your images will be far superior in quality.
The camera body itself is made of plastic. It feels solid enough for general use, but it’s not weatherproofed for all occasions. The dials and switches are located on the right side of the camera body, are easy-to-use, and in a very Canon-esque way. One slight confusion at first is there is no separate on/off switch. Instead, there is just simply an ‘off’ position on the mode dial. The camera also has a built-in flash, which will soon be outgrown. Luckily the body includes a flash hot shoe to add an additional light source.
On the whole, the camera body covers all the basic features you would want on an entry-level DSLR without being overwhelming. In other words, if you can get your head around how this level of camera works, you’ll have no problem with the high-end models.
Canon EOS 4000D in Use
In this review, we are forgetting about any included kit lens and are sticking with the affordable Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. Much higher end Canon lenses will also fit the 4000D, but the 50mm is a good, affordable starting point for the beginner. On the surface, in full automatic mode with decent levels of light, images are very clear and sharp.
Speed of focusing is fine through the viewfinder, but once you get into Live View mode, things slow down considerably as there is no sensor-based Dual Pixel CMOS AF phase-detection autofocus technology. A fast-focusing lens makes the difference, but if you’re using the kit lens focusing can be frustratingly slow.
The ISO range of 100-6400 is showing its age, as per the 18MP sensor. Because the ISO range isn’t that wide, noise starts to creep in pretty quickly. This means that you can use the camera in low light up to 6400 ISO, but expect a lot of color noise. The dynamic range is also quite narrow, which means you will have to err on the side of keeping to ISO 100-300 for the best results and using an external flash for lower light conditions.
All this means that if you have good light levels, low ISO and the time to compose your shot, the Canon EOS 4000D can produce pleasing results….. as long as you don’t use the kit lens.
How Does It Compare?
Nikon provides a lot of functionality with their cameras for the price. The Nikon D3400 offers 24 megapixels, a better LCD screen, and an 11fps AF system. With a similar price point to the Canon, the Nikon is hard not to recommend. Alternatives in the Canon camp are the similar spec’d EOS 2000D which has a 24.1MP sensor and a higher-resolution LCD screen.
|Canon EOS 4000D||Nikon D3400|
In total, the Canon EOS 4000D offers good value and is affordable enough for anybody’s first foray into the world of DSLRs. But the problem with keeping such a low price point means older technology gets crowbarred into the camera. For example, the 9-point AF system and ISO levels. This would have been acceptable 10 years ago, but we expect a bit more these days.
However, with a reasonably priced prime lens, the 4000D can produce some very nice images and it’s definitely a great platform for practicing the fundamentals of photography.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, these entry-level cameras usually end up with brand allegiance. If someone buys an entry-level camera and are happy with the results, they usually buy into a bunch of lenses and stick with the brand. You get to know the layout and features, which can be hard to swap when well-practiced.
In this regard, the 4000D does an okay job and worth the money as long as you’re happy with its limited feature set.