New Canon EOS Camera and Macro Ring Lite Flash

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Canon EOS 1200D camera

Canon have just announced the release of the EOS 1200D camera (Rebel T5 in North America) and Macro Ring Lite MR-14 EX II. The 1200D updates Canon’s entry level digital SLR camera and you can also download a free companion smartphone app (iOS and Android) that helps you get the most out of the camera, a first for Canon. The Ring Lite flash is designed for macro work (not portrait or fashion) and updates an older version of the same unit. Both are available for pre-order and should ship in March.

EOS 1200D / Rebel T5

February 2014 | (£349 body only or £449 with 18-55mm kit lens / $549+tax with 18-55mm kit lens)

Canon EOS 1200D camera

The EOS 1200D replaces the EOS 1100D (still available at a very cheap price if you want to grab yourself a bargain) and brings Canon’s entry level digital SLR camera closer in specification to the EOS 100D, 600D and 700D cameras, the next up in the line.

The main improvements over the EOS 1100D are an 18.0 megapixel sensor (up from 12.2 megapixels), a larger LCD screen with more resolution, the addition of Creative Filters and an improved Movie mode.

However, you don’t get an upgrade to the latest DIGIC processors, which suggests that the image quality, especially at higher ISOs, won’t match that of the EOS 100D or 700D, nor do you get the touch screen of the EOS 100D or 700D.

That gives you four enthusiast level cameras to choose from (plus the EOS 1100D while it’s still available), so let’s try and simplify the reasons you might buy one over the other:

EOS 1100D/Rebel T3

An incredibly inexpensive digital SLR. You may remember the excitement when Canon released the EOS 300D/Digital Rebel, the first digital SLR kit that cost less than £1000/$1000. The 1100D is a much more advanced camera and you can buy it for a fraction of that price while stocks last. Ideal for anybody on a tight budget or buying a relatively inexpensive gift. While it is not as sophisticated as Canon’s other models and keen photographers will outgrow it quite quickly, it is ideal for learning. The image quality and specification will be more than good enough for some users.

EOS 1200D/Rebel T5

A more advanced entry level camera with more megapixels than its predecessor and an improved Movie mode. An incremental update rather than a radical overhaul, and a little more future proof and up to date than the EOS 1100D. Still aimed at beginners or those on a tight budget.

EOS 100D/Rebel SL1

The world’s smallest and lightest digital SLR, this camera would make a good choice for photographers who like small cameras. This is a very discrete camera when used with small primes like Canon’s 28mm f2.8, 40mm f2.8 or 50mm f1.8/1.4 lenses.

EOS 600D/Rebel T3i

A cheaper alternative to the EOS 700D, the 600D still has some advanced features such as vari-angle LCD screen and built-in wireless flash control that elevates it above the EOS 1200D and 100D.

EOS 700D/Rebel T5i

The most advanced of Canon xxxD range, the EOS 700D has a Digic 5 processor for better image quality, a vari-angle LCD screen with touch control and built-in wireless flash control. Buy this camera if you want an advanced model but are put off by the price or size of more advanced models such as the EOS 70D and 7D.

You can read more about the rest of the Canon EOS lineup in my article How to Choose Your Next EOS Camera.

The EOS Companion app

Along with the EOS 1200D Canon have released the Canon EOS Companion smartphone app which you can download for free from the Apple or Android app stores. Specifically tailored to the 1200D, it teaches you how to use the camera’s functions and is a good learning companion for beginners. There are video tutorials and you can download a basic instruction manual that covers the most basic operations to save on your phone. But don’t expect any content aimed at more advanced users, there isn’t any.

EOS Companion app for EOS 1200D camera

Macro Ring Lite MR-14 EX II

February 2014 | (£599.99 RRP | $549+tax)

Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14 II flash

This flash unit updates the Macro Ring Lite MR-14. It is aimed at photographers who require ring flash for close-up and macro work. It has several improvements over its predecessor:

  • New lock lever to attach it more firmly to camera’s hotshoe
  • New design makes it easier to fit filters to lens.
  • Integrated LCD panel lets you adjust lighting ratios between left and right flashes.
  • The focusing lamps have higher powered LCD bulbs to aid manual focusing.
  • There are 12 new custom functions and three new personal functions to help you customise the flash to work the way you want it to.
  • The cord is attached to the left of the flash body rather than the right so it doesn’t get in the way of the shutter button.

Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14 II flash

Note: The Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II isn’t listed at Wex Photographic yet, so I’ve given you the recommended retail price instead.

You can read about Canon’s other flash units in my article Canon Speedlite Buyer’s Guide.

Further reading

How to Choose Your Next EOS Camera (excluding the new EOS 1200D)

Canon Speedlite Buyer’s Guide – You’ve bought a new EOS camera, now you want to buy a flash unit to go with it. This article explores the current range of Canon Speedlite units (excluding the new Macro Ring Lite MR-14 II).

These articles will give you more information about the Canon EOS system. My EOS autofocus series goes into the autofocus systems of some of the above cameras in much more detail:

Understanding EOS

Understanding EOS ebook

My ebook Understanding EOS is the perfect guide for anybody who wants to learn how to get the best out of their EOS camera. Click the link to learn more, and see the other ebooks in the Understanding EOS series.

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