Best DSLRs for £700
Canon EOS 600D
The Canon EOS 600D features much the same specification as its predecessor, the EOS 550D. It offers a sensor with the same 18MP resolution as the 550D, 7D and 60D, although Canon is keen to point out that it's not an identical chip.
The model's ISO range runs from 100 to 6400, with an extended setting equivalent to 12,800, while a DIGIC IV processor also features, facilitating 14-bit Raw files capture and a burst rate of 3.7fps. There's also a 63-zone metering system and nine-point AF system complete with a central cross-type point to enhance sensitivity.
The rear of the camera features an impressive 3in LCD screen complete with a resolution of 1,040k dots. Furthermore, the LCD screen is of the vari-angle variety, meaning it can be swung out from the body 180° about a vertical axis, and then rotated about 270° on a horizontal axis. This screen offers a range of shooting angles for use during either live view or video recording, the latter of which is facilitated at 1080p with a choice of 30, 25 or 24fps.
The EOS 600D is a well-designed DSLR; it features a mode dial that gives it the feel of a more high-end model, while it also incorporates a rubberised grip which allows for a more secure hold. While the vari-angle LCD screen is of benefit when shooting at difficult angles, it does mean that the 600D is slightly more chunky than its predecessor. This screen has also resulted in the loss of eye-sensors which previously cut the shooting info on the camera's LCD screen on raising the viewfinder to your eye.
While there's no denying that the 600D feels well put together, with the well-defined handgrip proving particularly pleasing, the smooth matt exterior does feel quite plasticky. Admittedly, this may not bother everyone.
Canon's nine-point phase-detect AF system performs well in use. The points are tightly grouped in a diamond formation and generally select the subject accurately, although user selection is also offered and simply achieved.
A real benefit regarding performance is the presence of a vari-angle screen, much like that found on other models in this test, as it allows live composition and capture at a variety of angles. One disappointment is with the viewfinder which, despite being of the optical variety, only offers a 95% field of view.
- 18MP CMOS APS-C Sensor
- ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800)
- Optical Viewfinder (95% coverage)
- 3.7fps Burst Mode
- 3in, 1,040k-dot Clear View Vari-angle