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Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Review

Over the past few years, there has been a dramatic movement in the market for cameras that have interchangeable lenses. Once upon a time, the hefty DSLR was the unquestioned king of photography. Nowadays, however, smaller compact system cameras are making tremendous inroads toward snatching the crown.

The Canon EOS M was Canon’s first-ever compact system camera (CSC), released just one year ago. This year, Canon unveiled the Canon EOS Rebel SL1, the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR camera.

Compared to the Canon EOS Rebel T4i (also known as the Canon 650D in the UK), this model is around 25 percent smaller and 28 percent lighter.

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It differs from the Canon EOS M in that it retains the typical DSLR appearance, even though the bulk of the internal electronics has been shrunk.

The sensor, which maintains its APS-C size and has 18 million pixels, is the primary and most notable exception to this rule; nevertheless, the module has been thinned out to fit within the more compact housing. Although Canon claims that this is a brand-new sensor, we anticipate that it will deliver the same level of performance as the sensor found in the EOS Rebel T4i and Rebel T5i (or the 700D in the UK).

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Build Quality

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is the digital single-lens reflex camera that is both the tiniest and lightest in the world. It is undoubtedly relatively compact compared to other entry-level cameras available at this price range, with a body size approximately comparable to that of a camera such as the Panasonic G5.

Having stated that, even though it is a small camera, the Rebel SL1 has an excellent button arrangement that does not seem claustrophobic or unpleasant. Even when firing with one hand, you won’t feel like losing control of the weapon because of its excellent chunky grip. Most of the buttons are within the thumb’s reach, and if you’ve ever used a Canon DSLR before, you’ll feel right at home with this one.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Performance

Since it was announced, the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 has been a source of considerable excitement for us. It is pretty incredible what the engineers at Canon have been able to accomplish in terms of reducing the size of the essential components of the DSLR, especially considering that the performance of the camera’s sensor is said to be comparable to that of the Canon EOS Rebel T4i.

Thankfully, the image quality provided by the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 has not left us feeling let down. With 18 million pixels, this sensor can resolve a great deal of information, and there is very little sign of picture smoothing when it is used at lower sensitivities.

The colors produced by the EOS Rebel SL1 are likewise excellent, having a bright and lively appearance without being too so. If you can experiment with different Picture Styles, you also can enhance some aspects of the image, such as saturation, if you believe that the setting calls for it.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Image Quality

Throughout the test, the Canon EOS 100D generated photographs of a very high standard. The noise management is quite impressive, considering the high pixel density. If you want to take several images with a high ISO, you should consider shooting in RAW rather than JPEG since it will allow you to capture higher detail with less chroma noise.

We think the colors are a touch on the muted side, but this isn’t anything that can’t be adjusted in-camera by playing around with the different Picture Styles or by making your own.

We captured significantly more highlight information in high-contrast scenes by setting the camera to the Highlight Tone Priority mode. This would not have been feasible without the camera’s ability to avoid underexposing the mid-tones and shadows. The built-in flash did not result in any instances of red eye, and the nighttime shot turned out well. Overall, it was a pretty strong performance.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Specs

Body typeCompact SLR
Body materialAluminium alloy and polycarbonate resin with carbon and glass fiber
Sensor
Max resolution5184 x 3456
Other resolutions5184 x 2912, 4608 x 3456,3456 x 3456, 3456 x 2304, 3456 x 1944, 3072 x 2304, 2592 x 1728, 2592 x 1456, 2304 x 1728, 2304 x 2304, 1920 x 1280, 1920 x 1080, 1728 x 1728, 1696 x 1280, 1280 x 1280, 720 x 480, 720 x 400, 640 x 480, 480 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels18 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors19 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDigic 5
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayRGB Color Filter Array
Image
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 (25600 with boost)
Boosted ISO (maximum)25600
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
File formatJPEG: Fine, Normal (Exif 2.3 compliant)Design rule for Camera File system (2.0),RAW: 14bit RAWDigital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampby built-in flash
Manual focusYes
Lens mountCanon EF/EF-S
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage95%
Viewfinder magnification0.87×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modesProgram AEShutter priority AEAperture priority AEManual (Stills and Movie)Scene Intelligent Auto (Stills and Movie)No FlashCreative AutoPortraitLandscapeClose-upSportsSCN
Scene modesKidsFoodCandlelightNight PortraitHandheld Night SceneHDR Backlight Control
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range9.40 m
External flashYes (via Hot-shoe)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modesSingleContinuousSelf timer (2s, 10s+remote, 10s + continuous shots 2-10)
Continuous drive4.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2s, 10s+remote, 10s + continuous shots 2-10))
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotPartial
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 25 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (HDMI mini)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (RC-6)
Physical
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion LP-E12 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)380
Weight (inc. batteries)407 g (0.90 lb / 14.36 oz)
Dimensions117 x 91 x 69 mm (4.61 x 3.58 x 2.72″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSOptional
GPS notesvia GPE2

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Verdict

What Canon has accomplished with the EOS Rebel SL1 is pretty remarkable: it has a very compact body that maintains the same DSLR stylings as its larger brothers, and it offers excellent image quality. That is quite an accomplishment.

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