While camera manufacturers seem to focus increasingly on mirrorless interchangeable lens models, Canon clearly believes there’s plenty of life left in the digital SLR market and has launched a new entry-level model – the EOS 250D – to ensure it stays active in this important market sector. The company already has a number of models in this segment of the market, so we thought it was worth looking at how the new model compares to the camera it will ultimately replace; the EOS 200D. For the time being, both are available, so which one makes the better buy for you?
Design and build
Canon claims that the EOS 250D is the world’s lightest DSLR with a movable screen and while we have no reason to doubt this, the difference between the two cameras is modest to say the least. In fact, the EOS 250D, complete with battery and memory card on board, is a mere 4g lighter than the EOS 200D – not much to write home about. Quite how Canon has shaved this amount off is something of a puzzle as the dimensions of the two cameras are exactly the same.
Given these identical measurements, there are, unsurprisingly, some very close similarities between the two models. Both feature a well sized handgrip and a simple top-plate layout with a main exposure mode dial, on/off switch, command dial, shutter release and a couple of function buttons. It’s the same story on the back of the camera and while there are some minor cosmetic differences between the two, you’d need to be a true Canon aficionado to spot them all.
It terms of resolution, you might expect a gain on the new model, but this isn’t the case and it’s something of a puzzle. The older EOS 200D has a 24.2 megapixel resolution and produces a maximum file size of 6000 x 4000 pixels. The EOS 250D drops to a 24.1 megapixel resolution, yet produces the same maximum file size. Both sensors are APS-C sized CMOS offerings but the 250D has Canon’s DIGIC 8 processor as opposed to the DIGIC 7 on the 200D – more on this later.
There is one undeniable difference, however, that will become evident when you start shooting with the 250D. It has a far superior battery life compared to its predecessor. The EOS 200D claims to offer around 650 shots per charge if you shoot in reasonable temperatures with the optical viewfinder and use flash on 50% of the shots. Under the same conditions, the EOS 250D will deliver around 1070 images. That’s a significant improvement that will make a real world difference.
Alongside the similarity in resolution between the two models, there are other image-related specifications that point to a consistent performance between this pairing. The ISO range, for example, is exactly the same, stretching from 100-25,600 with the option to expand up to 51,200. They also share the same shutter speed range (30 seconds to 1/4000sec plus B), maximum flash sync speed (1/200sec) and the same maximum frame rate of 5 frames-per-second. Further similarities come with the optical viewfinders which both show 95% of the image area and the nine user-selectable autofocusing points in the viewfinder.
There are some autofocusing differences though, which kick in when you switch to Live View and compose shots using the rear LCD. Do this on the EOS 250D and the camera will pick from 143 AF points automatically or give you the choice to manually select one of 3975 individual points. Select Live View on the 200D and you get just 49 points selected automatically by the camera or nine to choose from manually. Autofocus sensitivity in Live View has also been improved on the EOS 250D, now working in light levels down to -4EV compared to -2EV on the EOS 200D.
Both models, of course, share the same lens mount meaning both EF and EF-S mount lenses will fit and work perfectly. This gives you a huge range of options, not only from Canon but also third party manufacturers including Tamron and Sigma.
As mentioned earlier, the EOS 250D features the DIGIC 8 processor and while this will have brought the enhanced Live View focusing functionality, it also brings a significant change when it comes to video specifications.
Whereas the 200D only provided Full HD footage at 60P, the 250D adds 4K capture at 25P. Although this is a slightly slower frame rate than the 30P norm, it’s still perfectly usable and is, in fact, the frame rate favoured for movies, providing a ‘cinematic’ look to footage.
In all other aspects, video functionality is identical, but the addition of 4K is sure to prove popular among those who want to capture higher quality video footage.
There are more similarities between the two models when you consider other features. The integral flash has the same guide number of 9.8, for example, both feature Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity making it easy to shoot and share, plus both models share a vari-angle LCD touchscreen with 1.04 million dots and the same range of metering patterns.
One difference, however, is the inclusion of the Creative Assist mode, which will be a real plus for novice users and enhances the Guided User Interface (GUI) functionality that is available on both models. Essentially, Creative Assist lets you change the look of photos in real time by altering such settings as colour, saturation and focusing point, enabling you to get great results without any of the technicalities. This complements the GUI, which is like having an instruction manual built into the camera. Very useful.
On the face of it, there aren’t a huge number of changes between the EOS 250D and EOS 200D. Many of the still picture taking functions are identical, which leads us to think that unless you can’t live without the Creative Assist function and the extra battery life, there’s little need to go for the newer model.
It’s a different story if you’re going to shoot video, though, as the more significant changes are here. The addition of 4K video will undoubtedly appeal, plus the extra battery life and more sophisticated Live View autofocusing features are undeniably more helpful to the movie shooter.
In summary, we’d choose the EOS 200D and buy an extra battery if we were going to be shooting mostly stills, whereas we’d opt for the EOS 250D if capturing video was more important.
|Canon EOS 250D||Canon EOS 200D|
|Resolution||24.1 megapixels||24.2 megapixels|
|Processor||DIGIC 8||DIGIC 7|
|ISO range||100-25,600 (51,200)||100-25,600 (51,200)|
|Video||4K 25p/Full HD 60p||Full HD 60p|
|Rear LCD||Vari angle, 1.04m dots, touchscreen||Vari angle, 1.04m dots, touchscreen|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth|
|Weight (body with battery and card)||449g||453g|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8mm||122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8mm|