Canon 1500D Review (EOS Rebel T7): How good is it for a novice?
Hello. Welcome to my Canon 1500D review – the 24.1 Digital SLR Camera for beginners and advanced novices. Also known as the Rebel T7 in the US and elsewhere.
A week ago, I got my hands on this entry-level model and spent a couple of hours to assess its pros and cons to help you make the right decision. Being a camera geek and also a teacher at heart, I’ll share with you all I discovered in this nifty little camera.
The Rebel T7 or Canon EOS 1500D 24.1 MP Digital SLR Camera comes with:
- 18-55 STM kit lens
- 16 GB memory card
- Re-chargeable Li-ion battery
- Battery charger
Headlines of my Canon 1500D review
Very cool: Fast focus, sharp pictures, high (24.1 MP) resolution, great videos
Not so cool: No provision for external mic, only internal mic for video
My overall take: A great start to your photography or a great gift for a friend or relative to get them started
More resolution, faster processor
I must begin my Canon 1500D review by stating upfront I was impressed. The Rebel T7 (as it is branded in the US) is positioned as a camera for beginners and perhaps advanced novices too – including folks who want to up their game from phone photography.
With its high 24.1 MP resolution, a beginner is given a great amount of power in his or her hands to hold.
If you think that about ten years ago, top photographers in the world were shooting at around 12 MP, you will appreciate the damage an amateur can cause today. 😉
The processor is at the heart of any digital camera. Canon’s current Digic 4+ processor is faster – 30% faster, they claim – than the earlier Digic 4 version in 1200D. The 1300D, incidentally, has the same Digic 4+ version that the 1500D has, but it has lesser resolution (18 MP vs 24 MP).
A faster processor helps in continuous mode especially, where you keep pressing down the shutter for multiple shots at one go – click, click, click… a great processor keeps pace with you, managing the buffer while letting you shoot more. Again, when you’re shooting in low light and you turn on noise reduction, faster processing power helps.
Even if you’re not into any advanced stuff, a fast processor gives you faster focussing and thus lesser likelihood of missing split-second shots. A great thing to have.
So consider all of the above as a solid starting point: a huge resolution (24.1 MP) combined with a powerful processor. Those are the most important details about the Canon 1500D.
Why is the Canon 1500D great for a beginner?
Auto shot with auto exposure. 😉 Canon 1500D’s A+ mode chooses settings automatically. Note the clarity and sharpness of lettering
Statue in park shot in hazy, early morning light using Aperture Priority mode of the Canon 1500D
The Canon 1500D is great for a beginner. It is about two things, basically.
Issue One: A beginner is not forever going to be a beginner. Once he or she learns the basics of exposure – aperture, shutter speed and ISO and how they interact – then what? Can they perform mid-level and advanced techniques with this camera? Or will they have to upgrade soon?
Issue Two: On the other hand, if they spend valuable time learning about various dials and knobs, how long will it take before they actually go out and shoot pictures? Is the camera as an expensive paper weight while they wait to complete their internet education?
There is a good crop of digital camera today that manage both the above issues well. Since this is a review of the Canon 1500D, we’ll restrict our discussion to it, which comfortably handles both the issues.
Take Issue One. The Canon 1500D or Rebel T7 comes with the so called pro modes: aperture priority, shutter priority and manual modes found in every high end camera. Even if these mean nothing to you right now, you’ll be getting to know them soon – maybe in a month or a few weeks. You want to learn photography, right? All these features are already there, waiting for you to catch up.
Awesome A+ mode
You will not outgrow the Canon 1500D in a hurry. I can see it being with you for at least a couple of years. And like a good friend, you will understand it more as you use it more. It will help you understand advanced techniques and concepts; and ultimately, the art of photography.
Take Issue Two. The Canon 1500D comes with a ‘superman’ mode: Scene Intelligent Auto mode, as Canon calls it. You will come to know it by the simple name on the dial – A+. It sounds like a blood group, but it is a life saver, really!
Once you put the camera in the A+ mode, it evaluates the light and decides what all the parameter settings ought to be. You just aim and shoot. Just make sure you’re standing in front of something interesting 😉
While putting the camera through its paces, I used the A+ mode a lot. I tried it in all kinds of light: early morning, afternoon and night. I am impressed. You can take it from me that you will use the A+ mode and start taking pictures from day one.
In fact, when you learn enough, you can learn even more by checking out what settings the A+ mode is going for. It is a mode you will keep returning to.
In a nutshell, the Canon 1500D is great for a beginner because you can use it to take excellent shots from day one besides making yourself future-proof (within reason).
At least for a couple of years, I’d say.
(Amazon US) (paid link)Canon Rebel T7 with EF S18-55 kit lens + bundle
The many flavours of auto exposure
The auto exposure mode we’ve discussed so far is A+, where the camera determines everything except where to point and what to focus on. (You are expected to do those. Come on, you should contribute something to a picture 😉 )
As part of gathering information for my Canon 1500D review, I discovered that there are other interesting variations to the A+ mode, including the following, most of which are self-explanatory.
- Moving subjects
- Night portraits
- No flash mode
Sunset in smog – the Landscape mode of the Canon 1500D automatically chose appropriate settings. There is hardly any noise in the dark areas.
Traffic at night shot in A+ mode of the Canon 1500D. Good contrast, saturated colours, no noise in dark spots
All of the above are still auto exposure modes where the camera decides all parameters, but you just help the camera along a little bit so that it can come up with accurate settings. If you want to tell your camera, “Hey, camera, this is a plate of tandoori chicken, not the Himalaya mountains”, then all you do is set the dial to Food mode (and not Landscape mode). Easy.
The No Flash mode is interesting. With this, you stay basically in the A+ mode but no flash will ever be used. This is good when you are in museums, plays, solemn occasions or religious places where the use of flash is prohibited.
Going beyond auto exposure
As indicated earlier, the Canon 1500D is not a toy. It can and should be put to serious use. If you put in the effort, you can go far with it.
Construction site in breaking morning light shot with Canon 1500D in Aperture priority mode. Good contrast, good colours.
Expensive cameras have many dials and knobs and settings which can be overwhelming for someone starting out. I would say that cameras like the Canon 1500D – yes, other good brands like Nikon and Sony have similar models – have just enough of those dials and knobs to take high quality pictures without having too many that distract and confuse.
At some point you will feel like taking charge of the camera controls and settings. I want to decide the ISO, you will say. And the aperture and the white balance and so on.
Low light shot of Bikes in basement parking shot with Canon 1500D in Aperture priority mode
The Canon 1500D has the ‘advanced’ features a good DSLR should have:
- Aperture priority, Shutter priority and Manual modes
- Shooting in RAW format instead of jpg
- 9-point autofocus
- Manual setting of white balance
- Back screen live view (3″) shooting in addition to through the view finder
- ISO capability 100-6400 to handle low light scenes
- Using other lenses besides the 18-55mm kit lens (bought separately)
- Taking video movies with Full HD resolution and selectable frame rates
- Using dedicated off-camera flash instead of the built-in flash (bought separately)
The 3” monitor at the back for live view shooting
Surprising features and a surprising omission
There were some surprising features I did not expect to see.
- Good grip and light weight (one-handed operation is easy – just in case)
- 18-55 mm kit lens takes sharp pictures
- Natural colours (which you can enhance/change with in-built filters if you wish)
- Wi-fi compatibility
- Excellent battery life (I heard this from users I know as well the internet)
In today’s day and age, the Wi-fi compatibility feature is so great to have. You pair your smart phone and the camera using Canon’s app Camera Connect App. Now you can browse the photos in your camera from the phone and save images to your phone or upload them to social media direct. Very cool.
You can even do remote shooting of images from the camera. Why would you do that? Because it is so convenient to take selfies or group photos this way, that’s why!
And one surprising omission I didn’t expect to see.
In these days of YouTubers and channels, it’s surprising to see Full HD video (1920 x 1080 px) being coupled with the lack of external mic capability. If you want to record voice or music live, this omission may matter. Of course you can record with the internal mic, but quality will not be as good as a dedicated mic.
Barring that glaring omission, I couldn’t find anything important or standard missing.
Summary of my Canon 1500D review
- Easy beginner modes + advanced modes for later
- Great start to photography or upgrade from phone photos
- Fast focus, sharp pictures
- Easy to use with auto modes and filters (in the beginning)
- Great learning tool with manual modes (later stage)
- High 24 MP resolution
- Good grip and light weight for one-handed operation (if needed)
- Sharp videos in good colour at FullHD resolution
- No external microphone facility
- No screen protector to prevent scratches, buy separately
So there you have it, my Canon 1500D review. The Canon 500D is a tried and trusted performer in the entry-level class of cameras for good reasons and is well worth the money. A standard Canon 2-year brand warranty comes with it. Happy clicking!
Like many people who start photography with serious intent, you too will soon find that the 18-55 mm kit lens, though of good quality, is limiting. The maximum reach of 55 mm doesn’t get you close enough on many occasions.
Canon 1500D with kit lens and 55-250 mm lens. It’s a good package to go for if you want longer reach
(Amazon US) (paid link) Rebel T7 with 18-55 kit lens + 75-300mm lens + bundle
Pink flowers by the side of the road shot with Canon 55-250 lens on Canon 1500D camera. Nice blur of the background to showcase the flowers.
Headphones shot as tabletop photo with Canon 55-250 mm lens. Zoom in to fill the frame with the subject
I recommend the Canon 55-250 mm lens for more reach you will enjoy. In the case of the Rebel T7 you great a bit more reach at the telephoto end with the 75-300mm lens along with a varied and interesting bundle (see link below).
Check out my photos ‘Pink Flowers’ and ‘Headphones’ above where the longer lens lets me zoom in and the subject fills the frame.
You can go for the camera with both lenses thrown in. Check link below.
Or you can get the camera with the kit lens now and the long lens later. Check link below.Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR with 18-55mm kit lens + Bundle (paid link)
If you’re interested in checking out a somewhat more expensive, but more full featured, Nikon camera for entry level and serious novices, read my Nikon D5600 review.
Canon is certainly a popular brand worldwide – maybe because their prices are seen as reasonable for quality products and Canon’s service centres have a good reputation too. Whatever the reasons, if you attend a wedding anywhere, chances are high that the camera for photography/videography is almost always Canon!