Overview of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Camera
At the first glance on DSLR cameras for the beginning levels, they all look quite similar to one another. Certainly, you will find touchscreen LCDs and Wi-Fi capabilities with these cameras, but their appearance keep unchanged despite those added items.
So when the EOS Rebel SL1 was launched on the market, touting it as the smallest DSLR camera on the market, I hoped to have a change to test it. I was doubtful that the size of the camera really be small enough to get the attention. And what did Canon offer to make up for this smaller camera body?
As I figured it out in my review later on, those concerns were totally unfounded. You will see all of the features that you expect to find in an entry-level DSLR camera and the performance levels are great, while actually being small enough over other DSLRs that the difference does get your attention. Just don’t forget that in comparison with digital interchangeable lens camera (DIL or ILC), the Rebel SL1 is a little bit larger, but those mirrorless cameras can’t match the performance level in Viewfinder mode of the Rebel SL1. This camera is known as the Rebel 100D in some parts of the world.
With the inclusion of an APS-C sized image sensor, the image quality with this award-winning EOS Rebel is great. In addition, there is an optical viewfinder as well. The performance in recording videos is better than most other low-priced DSLR cameras. It is easy to recommend the EOS Rebel SL1 as an entry-level DSLR camera, throw in a very good price point. Its smaller size is just an added bonus.
Summary of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Camera
- The resolution is 18.0 megapixels
- Optical zoom: N/A, uses interchangeable lenses
- The 3.0-inch LCD has the resolution of 1,040,000 pixels
- The maximum image size is 5184 x 3456 pixels
- The camera uses a Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
- The dimensions are 5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 inches
- The camera weighs 18.5 ounces (without battery and memory card included)
- Image sensor: APS-C CMOS, 22.3 x 14.9 mm (0.88 x 0.59 in.)
- HD 1080p movie mode is supported
- The image quality is outstanding thanks to its large sensor
- The response times are very fast in Viewfinder mode
- It’s nice to find the small and light camera body for such a DSLR camera
- The camera still has very good build quality
- The price point is good for entry-level DSLR
- The LCD touchscreen is of high resolution
- Above average HD movie recording results are great
- Redesigned camera menus to take advantage of touchscreen would have been nice
- Even though camera is small, lenses still are traditional size
- There is no built-in Wi-Fi
- Menus change between Viewfinder and Live View modes, which is a little confusing
- Battery life could be better
Detailed Review of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1
Although the camera is just an entry-level DSLR camera, you will be very happy with the image quality with this Canon EOS Rebel SL1 versus most advanced fixed lens cameras. Its large APS-C sized CMOS image sensor enables you to record videos with 18 megapixels of resolution.
You will see the great image quality with the Rebel SL1 in almost all types of shooting conditions. Although you may encounter some problems with the camera’s autofocus lamp in extreme low light situations, you can use the manual focus to scope with those situations. There is an available popup flash with this camera or you can use an external flash which is attached to hot shoe for shooting photos in low light conditions.
There are two image formats you can select with the SL1, including RAW or JPEG and RAW + JPEG mode as well. When necessary, you can easily use the full manual control and the automatic mode is even easier for beginners. You can have images of great quality in any mode.
The performance of the Canon SL1 in Viewfinder mode is great. There is no need to concern about the shutter lag or delays from shot to shot. It will take you less than 1 second to shoot the first photo before you flip the power switch.
When you select the Live View mode – where the LCD screen rather than the viewfinder is used to frame images – there are some slight problems with the SL1’s performance, which is common as with other DSLR cameras. There are some shutter lag and delays from shot to shot in Live View mode.
With the high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD touchscreen included, it is enticing to use the Live View mode. The touchscreen may be an abundant aspect on a DSLR camera for advanced photographers. However, for beginning DSLR photographers as targeted, this touchscreen makes the camera easier to use and will ease the transition for these photographers.
You can easily get access to all of the Rebel SL1‘s settings thanks to a Quick menu, which further simplifies things. The Quick menu works greatly with the touchscreen. It would have been greater if Canon also redesigned its standard menus to make them easier to use with the touchscreen. However, it is the handy Quick menu which makes up for that shortcoming.
The battery life is not good with the Rebel SL1 if the touchscreen LCD and/or Live View mode is used quite often. However, the battery life should be adequate if just primarily use the Viewfinder mode.
One weak point is that there is not an articulated LCD screen with this camera.
There are some problems with the performance in video mode because it requires you to shoot movies in Live View mode with the SL1. However, the performance is still better than average with movie recording versus other entry-level DSLR cameras. This is thanks in part to the high-quality 18-55mm kit lens which is included with the SL1. This added value makes the overall Rebel SL1 package more appealing.
With a lighter and smaller DSLR camera body design with the EOS Rebel SL1 compared to other DSLRs for the beginning levels, Canon is expecting to attract photographers who want the power, reliability and performance of a DSLR but who don’t want to carry a heavy camera around. The cool camera design like the Canon SL1 shall be more appealing to those photographers.
Even if you have large hands, the Rebel SL1 is still very comfortable to handle, because its right handgrip is well-sized and the buttons are of an appropriate size.
Although Canon offers a smaller camera body with the SL1, the most interesting aspect is that it still includes most of the features that you’ll find in the other latest Canon Rebel DSLR cameras. The build quality of the Rebel SL1 is high. And there are still a lot of buttons and dials that enable you to completely control the camera if you want.
And despite the smaller size, the Canon EF lens mount keeps the same as you can see in other Rebel cameras. Therefore, you can use your older Canon DSLR lenses with this newer camera. However, because these lenses are structure to be used with larger cameras, you may feel it a little large to use them with the SL1. These lenses shall negate the smaller size of the SL1 a bit.