Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Review

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Review
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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.

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Canon EOS Rebel SL1 with 18-55mm STM with 55-250mm STM Lenses

Last update was on: May 28, 2023 5:19 am

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

In point of fact, when compared to the Canon EOS Rebel T4i (also known as the Canon 650D in the UK), this model is approximately 25 percent smaller and 28 percent lighter.

It differs from the Canon EOS M in that it retains the typical DSLR appearance, despite the fact that 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 itself has been thinned out in order 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).

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Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR with 18-55mm STM Lens (White)

Last update was on: May 28, 2023 5:19 am

The sensor is a hybrid CMOS AF II sensor, which is the second generation of the type of sensor that was found in the Canon EOS Rebel T4i and Canon EOS M. This contains phase detection pixels on the sensor to aid with autofocus whenever a video is being shot or when Live View is being used. Because these autofocus points cover around 80 percent of the sensor, we should see more consistent and precise focusing throughout the whole frame.

Canon plans to position the EOS Rebel SL1 somewhere in the middle of the EOS M and the EOS Rebel T4i in terms of its capabilities. The fact that it has such a compact body led to the creation of the tagline “A DSLR you’ll never want to leave behind.” In addition, it offers a number of entertaining features that are intended to appeal to users who are just starting out. Among these are imaginative features such as the Kids’ mode, the Candlelight mode, and the Food mode.

A variety of digital filters are also included, and they are the same ones that can be found on the Canon EOS M and the Canon EOS Rebel T4i. However, for the very first time in a Canon SLR, you are now able to preview how these effects will be presented on the screen (when shooting in Live View) before the photo is made; the EOS M also makes this possible.

In case you change your mind about using the filter at a later time, there is also a mode called Dual Shot Mode that will record both the image with and without the filter.

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Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR with 18-55mm STM Lens

Last update was on: May 28, 2023 5:19 am

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 has an optical viewfinder that offers 0.87x magnification and 95 percent coverage, despite the fact that its size is roughly comparable to that of some of the small system cameras that are now available on the market.

It features a smaller battery than the Rebel T4i and Rebel T5i, which Canon says is capable of about 380 photos – the same as the EOS M. The built-in flash has a guide number of 9.4, compared to the T4i’s number of 13, and it has a lower maximum ISO setting of 25600.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is equipped with a capacitive touchscreen, similar to that of the Canon EOS T4i and the Canon EOS M. In contrast to the T4i and T5i, which both feature displays that can be articulated, this one cannot. Other capabilities include the ability to shoot at 4 frames per second, record movies in Full HD, and utilize Intelligent Auto.

Despite the fact that it is quite a bit more compact than the majority of Canon’s other DSLRs, it still has the normal Canon EF-S lens mount, which makes it compatible with the vast majority of Canon’s lenses. In contrast to the optics of compact system cameras, they continue to be very large. To put it another way, you shouldn’t anticipate that the complete system will be more compact simply because the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 has been reduced in size.

The EF-M mount, which is used on the EOS M, is an option that Canon might have gone with, however, this camera has a somewhat smaller lens selection. The large variety of tiny system cameras that are now available on the market is something that those who are searching for something small and portable may want to take into consideration.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 may be purchased for a price of $649 on its own or for a total of $799.99 when bundled with the brand-new 18-55mm kit lens that was introduced at the same time.

Design And Build Quality

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 has the distinction of being the digital single-lens reflex camera that is both the tiniest and lightest in the world. It is quite compact in comparison to other entry-level cameras available at this price point, with a body size that is roughly comparable to that of a camera such as the Panasonic G5.

Having stated that, despite the fact that it is a little 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 you’re losing control of the weapon because of the nice chunky grip it has. The vast majority 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.

You may rapidly switch between the camera’s numerous settings by using the mode dial, which is located on the top of the camera. These settings include completely automatic, fully manual, and semi-automatic (containing aperture priority and shutter priority) modes.

In this section, you’ll also discover Creative Auto, which serves as a tutorial for beginning photographers by presenting a method for achieving effects such as background blur without requiring the use of photography terminology.

Movie mode, which was once accessible through the mode dial on previous Canon DSLRs, may now be activated using the on/off switch. To get directly into recording mode, you need to move the switch past the point where it says “on.” This is a lot quicker than having to push the mode dial all the way around, and it makes it a lot simpler to capture videos in a spur-of-the-moment fashion.

On the rear of the Rebel SL1, there are fewer buttons than you might anticipate, allowing you more direct access to a variety of camera settings. However, there is a button that allows you to access a Quick Menu. This menu allows you to skim through the settings that are used the most frequently, such as the metering and the white balance. Alterations may be made by using a combination of the arrow keys and the scroll dial located on the front of the camera; alternatively, you can use a combination of the touchscreen and the scroll dial if that is more to your liking.

The Canon EOS Rebel T4i was the first DSLR in the world to include a touchscreen in its design. It is a function that is getting more and more popular on cameras, and it is particularly handy for very fast adjusting the settings. It is becoming more and more prevalent on cameras.

However, it most likely comes into its own while examining photographs, since it enables you to swipe through shots and pinch to zoom in order to rapidly assess whether or not the focus is right. When shooting in Live View, you may also use the touchscreen to shift the focus point or trigger the shutter release. This is something that is particularly handy when filming videos, when using the camera from an inconvenient posture, or when using it on a tripod.

You don’t have to use the touchscreen if you don’t like it, which is one of the fantastic things about the design of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1, which is one of the excellent things about the design. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it does make the camera more usable in a variety of situations. Everything that can be done by touching the screen can also be done by pressing the buttons on the device.

When you are not using the Live View mode, you may change the focusing point by pressing the direct access button that is located in the top-right corner of the camera’s back. Once you have done so, you may then make use of the arrow keys to navigate around the frame until you reach the spot that you desire to use.

If you want, you can use the touchscreen to modify the focusing point after hitting the AF button; but, given that you can’t see what’s in front of you, this isn’t going to be very useful. It is far more beneficial to have a system like the TouchPad AF found on the Panasonic G5 and Panasonic G6. With this system, you can touch the screen to select the focusing point even while looking through the viewfinder, making it much more usable.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 features a variety of digital filters, but accessing them requires a few steps that aren’t quite standard operating procedure. You can only utilize the vast majority of shooting modes, such as aperture priority when shooting in Live View, which you may access via the Quick Menu on your camera. In addition, you won’t be able to take pictures with them when the raw format is active, so you’ll have to turn that feature off first. In the Creative Auto option, you have quicker access to the filters, but at the expense of losing control over other aspects of the photograph, such as the shutter speed.

Included as presets are a variety of Picture Styles, some of which are Landscape and Monochrome, for example. These may be captured in raw format as well as with the regular photography mode, which is a significant improvement over digital filters in that they are accessible via the fast menu. If you wish to create your own unique style, such as high contrast black and white, Canon has thoughtfully provided room for you to build up to three of your own custom preset modes. This is handy if you want to do so.

The primary menu system is intuitively broken down into shooting choices, playback options, and general settings, making it easy to navigate for anybody who has experience using a Canon camera. You may designate any features that you discover you frequently use to the “My Menu” shortcut, which can be found at the very end of the Menu folders. This will prevent you from having to wade through multiple pages of menus every time.


Since it was announced, the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 has been a source of considerable excitement for us. It is fairly 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.

The image quality provided by the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 has, thankfully, not left us feeling let down in any way. This sensor with 18 million pixels is able to 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 great, having a bright and lively appearance without being too so. If you have the capacity to experiment with different Picture Styles, you also have the possibility to enhance some aspects of the image, such as saturation, if you believe that the setting calls for it.

The automatic white balance performs a fine job in the majority of lighting settings; nevertheless, when confronted with artificial illumination, it has a tendency to prefer somewhat warmer tones. If you aren’t pleased with its performance, though, switching to a white balance option that is more suited may be done in a relatively short amount of time.

The evaluative metering of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1, which is how general-purpose metering is referred as on Canon DSLRs, is a decent performer. It assists the camera in achieving well-balanced exposures in the vast majority of shooting scenarios. However, if there is a lot of contrast in the picture, the camera will have trouble adjusting its exposure properly, and depending on how bright the subject is that it is focusing on, it will either underexpose or overexpose the image. Because the exposure is so heavily weighted toward properly exposing the subject that is directly beneath the AF point, it behaves in some respects more like a center-weighted or even a spot meter in other instances.

Even at middle-range sensitivities like ISO 400, the noise performance is extremely good, and there is a lot of detail that is really sharp. The quantity of luminance and color noise does rise from roughly ISO 1600 forward, although it is not especially evident at printing and regular web sizes due to the large size of the image. Even photographs captured at ISO 3200 may be used effectively at small sizes; however, when viewed at a zoom level of 100%, noise and a reduction in resolution become more obvious.

When you shoot in raw format, you have the ability to regulate the degree of noise reduction that is done to your photographs. Because of this, shooting in raw format is advised when you are photographing something that contains a lot of fine detail. In most cases, however, the JPEGs produced by the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 demonstrate an excellent balance between low levels of noise and the preservation of a respectable amount of detail.

When shooting through the viewfinder, the performance of the autofocus is outstanding, effortlessly and swiftly latching onto the subjects being photographed. Only the center AF point is a cross-type, which means that it is more sensitive than the other AF points. If you are trying to catch quickly unfolding action, you may want to maintain the focus point on this central point and focus and recompose the shot.

In spite of having a hybrid autofocusing technology, employing Live View has the unintended effect of significantly slowing down the autofocus speed. You might have to wait for a few seconds for the camera to complete “searching about” for focus, and it’s certainly no match for other cameras such as the Olympus PEN E-PL5 or the Panasonic G5, both of which have autofocusing skills that are nearly instantaneous.

Because of this, we only advocate utilizing Live View for subjects that are stationary or almost still, and only if you have a sufficient amount of time to take the picture. However, it works well for close-up or tripod photography.

People who are turned off by the electronic viewfinders found on many small system cameras will find that the optical viewfinder (OVF) that is included with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is quite enjoyable to use. Despite its little size, the viewing area is surprisingly well-lit and transparent. When framing a picture, it is important to keep in mind that, unlike the majority of electronic viewfinders, it does not provide a field of vision that is 100 percent, since this is something that must be taken into consideration.

If you need to take pictures from slightly unusual angles, the 3-inch screen of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 does provide an acceptable angle of vision, despite the fact that it is not an articulating device. Even though it is more difficult to use in direct sunshine due to glare and reflections, it is still simple to use in the vast majority of situations.

The touchscreen is quite responsive and offers an enjoyable addition for those who enjoy using them; nevertheless, its presence is not necessary for those who do not enjoy using them.

It’s great to see Canon catering to its customers by providing filter effects on the Rebel SL1, and a couple of them are a lot of fun to experiment with. If you’re the type of person who enjoys playing with different effects, you should definitely give it a shot. The effect of the toy camera and the grainy black and white was very appealing to us.

Even if you can’t shoot in raw format, you can get around the issue of being trapped with a filter you don’t like in the future by utilizing the Dual Shot option. This method helps to alleviate the problem.

Image Quality

As part of our analysis of the image quality provided by the Canon EOS Rebel SL1, we took pictures of a resolution chart when the Canon camera was equipped with our default Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens.

If you view our crops of the central section of the resolution chart at 100% (or Actual Pixels), you will see that, for instance, the Rebel SL1 is capable of resolving up to approximately 24 (line widths per picture height x100) in the JPEG files that have the highest possible quality. This is the case when the ISO is set to 100.

Final Verdict

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

The issue that still exists, despite the fact that the camera itself is rather compact, is that the system as a whole is not. After you connect the 18-55mm lens that comes with the package, it doesn’t end up being that much smaller than some of Canon’s other less expensive cameras. In addition, if you want to use a number of lenses, you will still need a very big kit bag in order to fit all of your equipment inside of it.

Because of its extremely compact size, the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 and the 40mm pancake lens make a good combination for shooting in the street, despite the fact that it has a longer (equivalent) focal length than we would typically suggest for this type of work. It is worthwhile to consider purchasing the 40mm pancake lens as an accessory for the Canon EOS Rebel SL1.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Spes

Body typeCompact SLR
Body materialAluminium alloy and polycarbonate resin with carbon and glass fiber
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
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
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (HDMI mini)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (RC-6)
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
GPS notesvia GPE2

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Price

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