REVIEW: Canon EOS 200D – a tad too small?

HÅNDGREP: Canon EOS 200D har et hendig håndgrep, selv om det er litt liten plass til fingrene rundt det. (Foto: Toralv Østvang)
REGULAR ZOOM: This is the kit many buyers choose: Canon EOS 200D with an 18-55 mm zoom lens. (Photo: Toralv Østvang)

Canon EOS 200D is the smallest single lens mirror reflex camera from Canon. Is there really a point in having such a small DSLR?

[toc] When I wrote a review story on the Canon EOS 77D a while ago, Canon Norway also sent me the little brother, the EOS 200D (known as Rebel SL2 in the U.S.). The 200D is a moderate upgrade of Canon’s smallest digital single lens reflex camera, EOS 100D, which was launched in 2013.

Those readers who are interested in the EOS 200D should just read the story I published already on EOS 77D. The two cameras are nearly identical, except for weight and size. Just imagine you are reading about a version of EOS 77D which has shrunk in the wash.

PRØVD: Canon EOS 77D – flott til video (in Norwegian language only)

Well, it is not that simple. There are more differences between those two cameras than just size and weight. The differences are fairly small, though.

About being the largest

Size matters in the world of DSLRs. A single lens mirror reflex camera which is large and heavy, tend to be well liked. At least among veteran SLR users with many years of experience as a photographer or as a photo enthusiast.

SMALLER: The Canon EOS 77D (left) is a fairly compact DSLR. The EOS 200D is even smaller, but we may be visually tricked by the smal pancake lens in this picture, which makes the 200D look even smaller. (Photo: Toralv Østvang)

However, I have been told often by experienced photographers that a camera must be of a certain size and weight. If not, it is difficult to hold it steady for good pictures of low light scenes. I don’t think those photographers have much confidence in digital image stabilization systems, nor in optical stabilization, though.

An extra camera, or the only one…?

Often used in promoting small DSLR cameras is the point that they have an important position to fill as an extra camera, a reserve camera, or the-number-two camera (or three or four) for photographers who are already carrying one or more heavy-weight DSLRs.

Bringing a small and light-weight DSLR with you in the camera bag does not make it noticeably heavier. If your main camera should fail, you can hook any lens in your lens collection to this little camera, rescuing a photo mission which might otherwise have gone bad.

HAND GRIP: The Canon EOS 200D has a handy grip, although the camera is not so well fit for people with large fingers. (Photo: Toralv Østvang)

Furthermore, a small DSLR like the EOS 200D is handy when you are off duty and don’t want to carry neither a large camera bag nor a big DSLR. If you buy a small pancake lens to your miniature DSLR, you have a camera system which is close to a compact camera in size, but which works like a proper mirror reflex camera. It makes you feel at home.

However, I frankly do not believe that that was the target group the Canon folks had in mind when they designed the Canon EOS 200D – and its forerunner, for that matter.

Consumer camera

The camera is probably first of all aimed at consumers who are no longer happy with their compact or mobile camera, but who also do not want to carry around a heap of camera equipment. Furthermore, those customers do not want to spend a heap of money on a DSLR and a lot of lenses.

When reviewing the camera, I tried to put myself in such a state of mind. I actually tried to make myself believe that that camera was the only camera in my possession. Believe it or not – the camera and I soon became friends, and I actually believe we fit together very well.

Small viewer

Of course, you have to give up something for the benefit of having such a small DSLR as the EOS 200D. What I missed the most, was a larger optical viewer system. As far as I can see, the viewer of D200 is even a tad smaller than the viewer of big brother 77D, which is small enough as it is.

COMPACT: This is how the Canon EOS 200D looks from the size. A very compact DSLR system indeed. (Photo: Toralv Østvang)

In my write-up on 77D I claimed that you lose some of the pleasure of using an SLR camera when the viewer image is so small. This is an even bigger problem with 200D.

However, the reduced viewer size may not matter that much to the main target group of the EOS 200D. Most of the buyers will probably be recruited from the world of compact cameras, and those users probably have not had the pleasure of using a large and expensive single lens reflex camera with a big viewer before.

Good camera

Let us get beyond the problem of the small viewer and the small dimensions, the latter making the EOS 200D less suitable for people with big hands. I must admit that I am very pleased with the Canon EOS 200D. Actually, I felt it was as good as the EOS 77D, which I gave a good recommendation in my write-up early October.

FAMILIAR: Seen from behind, the Canon EOS 200D looks very similar to many of the larger Canon DSLRs. (Foto: Toralv Østvang)

During the reviewing period, I used both cameras simultaneously in a video project that I wrote about in my 77D story. Of course, it is not possible to see with which camera the various video sequences were shot.

The EOS 200D is built on the same Canon technology as the EOS 77D, which for example means that the 200D is equipped with the same Canon Dual Pixel autofocus system. The autofocus system has received a lot of praise. The autofocus is faster and more precise than what the competitors can come up with, particularly notable in poor light conditions.

However, in order to gain the benefits of an extremely compact DSLR, you have to give up something. The autofocus system in the EOS 200D is slightly more primitive than that in the EOS 77D, as it has nine autofocus points only, compared to 45 autofocus points in the EOS 77D. Furthermore, in continuous shooting the EOS 200D is capable of only five frames per second, whereas the EOS 77D can make six images per second. However, I will not claim that this is an important difference. Hardly noticeable, actually.

FLEXIBILITY: The Canon EOS 200D is a very flexible camera, easy to handle. The touch screen can be turned in almost any direction. (Photo: Toralv Østvang)

What matters more to me, though, is that you can switch from the ordinary 3:2 proportion dimension to for instance 16:9 in Live View only, not while you are using the optical mirror reflex viewer. You can do that on the EOS 77D. Maybe I’m a little picky on this, but as a matter of fact, I often prefer to take still pictures in the 16:9 format.

This is because I often integrate still pictures with video sequences, editing those two sources of content into a video presentation, using a video editing program on my computer. In those cases, I find it practical to have all the raw material in the same proportions.

You may say it’s a quick job to crop a 3:2 picture into a 16:9 picture, and doing it after you shot the picture may have some benefits, such as the option of fine-tuning the crop. That is right, but I still prefer to shoot with the same picture proportions intended to be the final result. I must admit I was a little disappointed when I discovered that the EOS 200D has some limitations here.

PANCAKE: The Canon EOS 200D with the Canon pancake lens of 24 mm, which would be a moderate wide angel lens of approximately 38.5 mm on a 35 mm-system. (Photo: Toralv Østvang)

It should be noted though, that many competitors, such as Nikon’s consumer DSLRs, do not provide a choice of proportions at all, neither in the optical viewer nor in Live View.

Wishes fulfilled

In conclusion, I will say that Canon EOS 200D is a small and handy single lens mirror reflex camera which satisfies most of my wishes for a small and handy DSLR. The fact that the optical image viewer is rather small and that the flexibility in image proportion cropping is limited, do not in any substantial way degrade the camera. If you accept those limitations, I would be more than happy to recommend this camera to you, just as I did with the EOS 77D.


Canon EOS 200D is not just a very small camera. It also happens to be an inexpensive portal into the world of digital single lens mirror reflex cameras. According to the web site, the EOS 200D camera body costs approximately NOK 5,800 at major camera dealers in Norway. The predecessor EOS 100D is still available on the market for approximately NOK 4,300.

A kit consisting of the EOS 200D and the 18-55mm f/4.0-5.6 IS STM zoom lens is available for approximately NOK 6,750. This is a fairly inexpensive ticket into the world of DSLRs, even though you can have for example a Nikon D3400 kit at a fairly lower price.

Furthermore, the EOS 200D kit is considerably less expensive than Canon’s new compact alternative, the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III, which is an APS-C-size camera with an almost similar zoom range, although without the option of switching lenses. The price of the G1 X MIII is NOK 11,590.

Sensor photo detectors26 megapixels
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Max resolution6,000 x 4,000 pixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C 22.3 x 14.9 mm
Sensor typeCMOS
Light sensitivityISO 100-25,600, expandable to 51,200
Image stabilizationNo
Number of focus points9
Lens mountCanon EF/EF-S
LCD screen3 inches
LCD screen resolution1,040,000 pixels
Viewfinder typeOptical with pentamirror
Viewfinder magnification0.87x (0.54x 35mm equivalent)
Shutter speed30 sec.-1/4,000 sec.
Built-in flashYes
Continuous shooting5 fps
Video formatsMPEG-4, H.264
StorageSD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-1 compatible)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
Battery life (CIPA)Approx. 650
Weight incl. battery453 g
Dimensions122 x 93 x 70 mm

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