The design and control layout of the EOS 250D is much like its predecessor, which is not a disadvantage. It's small and lightweight – in fact Canon claims it's the lightest DSLR with a movable screen currently available – but feels well made and handles nicely, with the pronounced handgrip meaning you can hold it securely and use it one-handed with ease if necessary. As with all cameras in this price bracket, the optical viewfinder is quite small, but the screen is sharp and reasonably bright, with black AF points that illuminate red when activated and exposure information displayed along its base. The 3in LCD monitor is one of the best in this price range, with the high-resolution 1,040,000-dot screen providing a sharp display with the added benefit of a touchscreen facility. Even better, though, it sits on an excellent vari-angle platform that allows it to be used at awkward angles or faced forward for selfies.
Ease of use
Beginners will appreciate the neat arrangement and labelling of the control buttons and dials, which makes selecting modes and functions simple. Better still is the user interface, which can be switched from standard to Guided to provide additional assistance on camera operation. Whichever user-interface set-up you use, you'll find the EOS 250D to be a very simple camera to operate.
In terms of specification, the EOS 250D shares many similarities with its predecessor. The APS-C sensor's image resolution of 24.1-million pixels is (virtually) identical to that of the EOS 200D (24.2-megapixels), but image processing has been given a boost with a DIGIC 8 processor in place of the DIGIC 7. The additional power it brings allows for 4K video capability and sees improvements to key systems such as the autofocus. The sensitivity range of ISO 100-25600 (with a Hi setting of ISO 51200) is unchanged from the EOS 200D.
Exposure modes cover the full range of options from manual and semi-auto modes for more experienced users to program, full auto and scene modes for beginners. The Guide facility comes into its own with scene modes, providing excellent information on shooting situations where each works best.
As with the EOS 200D, this Canon uses Dual Pixel CMOS AF. When used with the viewfinder, only nine AF points are available and while their diamond arrangement covers a good area of the frame, it is basic by current standards. LiveView AF has seen a big upgrade, offering 143 AF points via the camera's automatic selection or 3,975 points when used manually with Face AF.
The metering system appears mostly unchanged, with the very reliable 63-zone Evaluative pattern supported by spot, partial and centre-weighted average.
Along with Wi-Fi connectivity, there is Bluetooth, but NFC has been removed, most probably as Bluetooth is so reliable. Canon's Camera Connect app works well with the EOS 250D for transferring images and offering remote control options. An integral flash is available, with the menu allowing settings such as first- or second-sync to be applied, but unusually the auto pop-up option has been removed, so beginners need to ensure they manually raise the flash when required. Other notable features are creative digital filters such as HDR and toy camera effects, and sockets for a microphone and remote release.
The EOS 250D proves to be an enjoyable camera to use, with its size and simple control set-up making operation fast and fuss-free. The results are consistently good too, with images displaying excellent colour and tonal reproduction, good contrast and fine noise control up to ISO 3200. The autofocus system may be basic but it's fast and accurate as long as subjects are static, while the Evaluative meter can be trusted to deliver consistent results. Beginners looking for an easy-to-use camera will find this to be a great choice for producing high-quality results without having to try too hard.
Canon's history for great entry-level DSLRs is evident in the EOS 250D. It doesn't boast the depth of features of some of its mirrorless rivals, but in terms of handling and ease of use, as well as consistency of results, it's hard to fault for its price. The AF may be basic but the excellent vari-angle touchscreen LCD, sensor and DIGIC 8 processor are notable inclusions.
Guide Price: £599 (18-55mm IS STM) / £520 (body only)
Image sensor: APS-C CMOS (22.3x14.9mm)
Image processor: DIGIC8
Maximum image resolution: 6000x4000 pixels
AF system: Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. Nine AF points
Metering patterns: Evaluative (63 zones), partial (5.5%), spot (3.7%) & centre-weighted average
ISO range: ISO 100-25600 plus Auto. Expandable to 51200