The Canon EOS 2000D / Rebel T7 is one of three Canon entry-level DSLRs. Audley Jarvis finds out if it’s the best of the trio out of the 4000D, 2000D and 200D.
In years gone by, Canon used to offer a single entry-level DSLR that fulfilled the task of providing an affordable and easy-to-use camera that those new to DSLR photography could learn with. Canon now offers no fewer than three entry-level DSLRs to tempt newcomers and beginners into its EOS ecosystem.
The cheapest of these is the 18MP Canon EOS 4000D. At £369 with an 18-55mm kit lens, it provides a no-frills entry point to the Canon system. For an additional £100, the 2000D we have here bumps resolution up to 24.1MP. It also comes with an expanded set of physical controls along with a significantly sharper rear display. Sitting above both is the 24.2MP 200D, which at £559 with a 18-55mm kit lens costs around £90 more than the 2000D. There’s also the Canon EOS 250D, for £590 with 18-55mm lens, which offers 4K video.
Given that the 2000D sits neatly in the middle of these, it’s likely to be a tempting proposition for anyone looking to buy their first DSLR. That said, it makes sense to weigh up its relative merits and shortfalls against Canon’s other entry-level DSLRs beforehand.
Canon EOS 2000D / Rebel T7 Features
In terms of its key hardware components and headline specifications, the 2000D is almost identical to the Canon EOS 1300D from 2016 that it succeeds. The main difference between the two is that the 2000D comes with a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor compared to the 1300D’s 18MP chip. This puts the 2000D more into line with its main rival, the 24MP Nikon D3500 (£450 with 18-55mm AF-P VR kit lens). Elsewhere, though, there is little to separate the 2000D and 1300D. For example, the 2000D comes with the same DIGIC 4+ image processor found inside the 1300D, the upshot of which is that it doesn’t offer any significant upgrades in terms of performance.
Sensitivity also remains unchanged, with the 2000D providing a native range of ISO 100-6400 plus an extended setting equivalent to ISO 12,800. By way of comparison, the Canon 200D can be extended to the equivalent of ISO 51,200, while the Nikon D3500 offers a maximum setting of ISO 25,600. Video recording abilities also remain at 1080p Full HD capture at 30fps, backed up by 720p HD capture at 60fps and VGA capture at 30fps. This puts the 2000D slightly behind both the Nikon D3500 and Canon 200D, both of which can record Full HD video at up to 60fps.
- Picture styles – These JPEG-processing effects can be used to give your images a certain look. There are six to choose from: Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral and Faithful. In addition, you can tweak the sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings.
- Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity – In addition to built-in Wi-Fi, the 2000D also provides NFC connectivity. The Canon Camera Connect app is free to iOS and Android users and allows you to transfer images as well as control the camera remotely from your smart device.
- Creative filters – The 2000D has five creative filter effects: grainy B/W, soft focus, toy camera, miniature effect and fisheye. They aren’t used at the point of capture, but applied when the camera is in Playback mode.
- Auto Lighting Optimizer – Found inside the main menu, this processing tool is designed to lighten shadow areas when the camera is faced with backlit subjects or high-contrast situations.
- Built-in flash – With a guide number of 9.2m at ISO 100, the 2000D’s pop-up flash can be called upon to illuminate close-by subjects in poor light. There’s a hotshoe on top of the pop-up flash, which allows you to use more-powerful flashguns.
- Creative Auto mode – Located on the exposure-mode dial, Creative Auto provides an easy way of controlling depth-of-field settings through the use of simplified slider controls.
On the back, the 2000D has a 3in 920k-dot LCD display that is vastly superior to the 2.7in/230k-dot display of the 4000D. Unlike the 200D and 250D, however, it is fixed in place and lacks any touch functionality. Above this sits a pentamirror viewfinder that provides 95% coverage. While it’s bright and clear, it is small compared to those found on higher-end DSLRs, at 0.5x equivalent magnification.
In addition to the standard quartet of PASM exposure modes, the 2000D provides a fully automatic Scene Intelligent Auto mode for point-and-shoot duties, alongside a Creative Auto mode for simplified depth-of-field control. The exposure-mode dial is rounded off by a Forced Flash Off mode and six individual Scene positions: Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Food and Night Portrait. In terms of JPEG image-processing options, the 2000D offers Canon’s shadow-boosting Auto Lighting Optimizer, plus the usual array of Picture Styles that can be used to adjust contrast, saturation and sharpness.
Canon EOS 2000D / Rebel T7 Body and design
In terms of its size, weight and general appearance, the 2000D is all but identical to the 1300D. Encased within a polycarbonate shell, it’s relatively well protected from the kind of occasional bumps most cameras sustain over time, on top of which it also benefits from a metal lens mount. As we’d expect of an entry-level DSLR at this price point, the 2000D isn’t weather-proofed, so you’ll need to take care when using it in wet weather. Aesthetically, the 2000D stays true to Canon’s principle of functional design, with its curved edges and matt-black finish giving it a relatively clean and modern look. As with its predecessor, it is guilty of feeling a bit plasticky, though. Thanks to its textured grip and sculpted thumb rest, the 2000D sits nicely in the hand, and feels well balanced with the 18-55mm IS II kit lens attached.
Compared to the 4000D, the 2000D boasts a relatively generous array of buttons, all of which are well spaced, relatively large and clearly labelled. The four buttons that comprise the d-pad provide direct access to ISO, Autofocus, White Balance and Drive Mode settings, while to the left of these is a useful Quick Menu button (marked ‘Q’), which can be used to call up an intuitive menu that’s tailored to the camera’s current exposure mode. While it lacks any user-assignable function buttons, you do get an AE-Lock button, which is a nice touch for an entry-level camera. Canon has chosen to remove the graphical user interface found on the 200D altogether, which seems an odd decision given the 2000D’s entry-level positioning.
It does, however, come with a feature guide that offers simplified explanations of what the camera’s various modes and features do as you switch between them.
Canon EOS 2000D / Rebel T7 Performance
Given that the 2000D increases resolution to 24MP but employs the same DIGIC 4+ processor as the 1300D, it’s no great surprise to discover that the camera isn’t particularly speedy. Continuous shooting, for example, maxes out at 3fps which is slower than the Canon 200D, 250D and Nikon D3500, both of which can shoot at 5fps.
At 3fps we were able to capture around 40 consecutive full-size JPEGs before the buffer filled and the speed dropped, while in raw this fell to around 10 consecutive images. In raw + JPEG, we were only able to capture around six or seven consecutive frames before the camera began to stutter.
Autofocus through the viewfinder is taken care of via the same nine-point phase-detect module used by the 1300D (and also the 4000D/200D). While perfectly functional, this now feels rather dated. Despite relatively limited coverage, focus acquisition is both fast and accurate, especially when shooting static subjects. In live-view mode, it’s a different story altogether, with the 2000D’s contrast-detect system being painfully slow to acquire focus even in good light. In this respect, Canon’s decision not to bestow the 2000D with the Dual Pixel on-sensor phase-detection technology offered by the 200D and 250D strikes us as a missed opportunity. With the supplied 18-55mm IS II kit lens attached, focusing is also rather noisy, which is something to bear in mind when shooting video, especially given the 2000D’s lack of an external microphone input.
As we’d expect, the 2000D’s APS-C sensor delivers very good image quality, producing clean and attractive JPEGs, especially at lower sensitivities. The additional resolution that the 2000D enjoys over the 1300D and 4000D is also useful for those looking to make larger prints or crop more aggressively into images without sacrificing overall image quality. Metering from the 63-zone metering module is generally reliable, while automatic white balance metering is consistently on point, producing accurate and lifelike colour.
At ISO 100 and shooting in raw, the 2000D’s 24.2MP APS-C sensor is able to resolve 3,200l/ph. Raising the sensitivity to ISO 800 produces a figure of 2,800l/ph. At higher ISO settings, sharpness falls off more rapidly, with ISO 6400 producing a figure of 2,400l/ph and ISO 12,800 resolving 2,200l/ph.
ISO and Noise performance
In-camera JPEG processing gives excellent results between ISO 100 and ISO 200, with no traces of noise even when viewing images at 100%. By ISO 400 and 800, some minor artefacts are visible in shadow areas at 100%. By ISO 1600, softening is slightly more pronounced, but images remain good overall. At IS0 3200 the softening effects of noise become more noticeable, increasing further by ISO 6400.
Canon EOS 2000D / Rebel T7 Verdict
There’s no doubting that the Canon EOS 2000D / Rebel T7 is a solid enough entry-level camera, yet there’s little about it that really stirs the senses. While it is an affordable entry point into the Canon EOS DSLR system, it provides only an incremental upgrade over the 1300D. In terms of the competition, the Nikon D3500 betters it in many departments.
The main issue, however, isn’t so much competition from rival DSLR manufacturers or indeed from the mirrorless segment but rather from one of Canon’s other entry-level models. While the 2000D is a solid enough camera in its own right, the 200D/250D easily provides much better value for money if you can extend your budget, especially when the 250D offers 4K video.
While the 200D might be a 2017 model, resolution and image quality between it and the 2000D are all but indistinguishable, on top of which you’re getting a much more refined and feature-rich camera. If your budget simply won’t stretch that far, and you’re determined to buy into the Canon DSLR system, then the Canon EOS 2000D / Rebel T7 remains a solid if unspectacular alternative.
For more options have a look at the Best Canon DSLR cameras, and the best Canon EF mount lenses.