Canon EOS Rebel SL2 Review

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 Review
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The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D in markets outside the US) is one of the most compact DSLRs produced by Canon. It is intended to appeal to consumers who are looking for a camera that is easy to use and does not appear intimidating, but who also desire image quality that is superior to that of a compact model.

The first EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D was released some four years ago and was supposed to attract people away from the assault of mirrorless cameras. However, since then, Canon’s own mirrorless range of cameras has increased, so where does the EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D currently come in?


It should come as no surprise that the resolution of the EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D has been increased to 24.2 megapixels, as the 18-megapixel sensor found in the EOS Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D, which is being discontinued, is starting to look very dated in comparison to competition that is much more recent. It is the same sensor that has been seen in contemporary Canon cameras such as the EOS Rebel T7i, EOS 800D, and EOS 77D.

In addition, the camera is equipped with Canon’s most recent picture processor, the DIGIC 7. It is believed that the DIGIC 7 is capable of handling 14 times more information than the DIGIC 6, thus it should be an even larger step up from the DIGIC 5 chip that is found in the Rebel SL1 and the 100D.

This should give a significant improvement in AF performance, which we will discuss momentarily; however, the DIGIC 7 also helps to support the ISO range of ISO100-25,600 that is available on the Rebel SL2 and the 200D. That is an additional stop over the maximum ISO setting of 12,800 that is found on the Rebel SL1 and the 100D, and there is also a Hi option that is comparable to ISO51,200; however, you will need to pick this in the custom menu in order to use it.

In contrast to the Rebel SL1 / 100D, which featured a display that was flush with the body, the EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D features a touchscreen display that is 3.0 inches in size and has a resolution of 1,040,000 dots. Additionally, the display can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of viewing angles. The coverage of the optical viewfinder is only 95%, which is usual for DSLRs at this price point, so while reviewing your photographs, you can see that undesired objects have crept into the margins of the frame. If proper framing is of the utmost importance, you should look at the image on the back display.

The Rebel SL2 and the 200D both include Canon’s new graphical user interface, which is intended to make it easier for inexperienced users to become familiar with their camera and the different shooting modes it offers. This interface can be disabled in the menu and replaced with Canon’s more conventional user interface.

As has been the case with Canon’s other recent DSLR announcements (with the exception of the EOS 5D Mark IV), the EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D does not include a 4K video capture. Instead, Canon has settled with Full HD video capture, with the ability to record footage at up to 60 frames per second.

The EOS Rebel SL2 and the EOS 200D are being promoted by Canon as “the perfect substitute for the enthusiastic smartphone photographer who is eager to step up to their first camera.” In addition, in order to entice users to switch over, it has incorporated a new selfie mode, complete with options for skin smoothing and backdrop blurring.

Integrated networking through Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth is now a common feature on virtually all cameras. This means that users accustomed to immediately posting their photographs to social media should be able to pick up just where they left off with their new camera. To take advantage of this, all you need to do is download the free app on your device.

Design And Build Quality

Although it is the smallest DSLR with a vari-angle screen, the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is unable to unseat the Canon Rebel SL1 (also known as the 100D) as the world’s smallest single-lens reflex camera (DSLR).

This is because the vari-angle display is included in both cameras. With a battery and memory card loaded, it weighs just 450 grams and has dimensions of 122.4 millimeters wide by 92.6 millimeters high by 69.8 millimeters deep, making it remarkably portable for a DSLR.

There are three different finishes to choose from when purchasing a Rebel SL2 or 200D. There is a white version and a silver/tan alternative, but the majority of customers will probably choose the more subdued black version since the matte surface contrasts especially well with the silver-toned controls that are on the top plate.

The majority of the camera’s surface finish, however, suffers from the same plasticky feel that we disliked on both the Rebel T7i / 800D and the EOS 77D; it just doesn’t feel that nice to the touch. This is due to the combination of polycarbonate resin and carbon-and-glass fiber, which causes the majority of the surface finish.

In an effort to reduce the size of the original SL1 / 100D, the hand grip was pretty much non-existent; therefore, it is wonderful to see that the grip on the EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D is now pleasingly deep, and it should provide sufficient support for the majority of users.

This was done to keep the camera from being too bulky. However, the material that is used for the hand grip has been altered. Instead of using the more contemporary-looking dimpled texture that was used for the hand grip on the Rebel SL1 and 100D, Canon has reverted to using the traditional-looking leatherette finish that it uses for a majority of its DSLRs.

Canon has redesigned the top plate for the Rebel SL2 and the 200D, making it so that the mode dial is now recessed into the body of the camera. Additionally, the company has included a new power control that provides instant access to movie recording.

In addition to the button for ISO, there are other buttons that are specifically designated for connection and display. However, the ISO/Disp buttons have a certain sponginess to them, and the shutter release button has a hollow quality to it.

The controls on the rear of the camera are virtually indistinguishable from those found on the Canon Rebel SL1 and 100D. The rear of the camera is rather plain, with the primary difference being the variable-angle screen. There is a little indentation next to the viewfinder that allows you to pull the display out from the body of the camera.

The touchscreen interface, which we have seen used on previous Canon cameras, is possibly the greatest one currently available. It provides a honed user experience for both taking pictures and looking at them later.


The 9-point AF system from the EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D gets another run out in the EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D, despite the fact that there have been numerous improvements elsewhere. Despite the fact that this camera is aimed at new users, this omission is a bit of a disappointment, especially considering that both the Rebel T7i / 800D and the 77D use a new 45-point AF system.

The points are laid out in a simple diamond pattern, and while they are rather evenly distributed over the frame, there is only one cross-type AF point. The points are placed in this fashion. In contrast, none of the 45 autofocus points on the Rebel T7i or 800D are of the cross-type. What exactly is the problem with that? Cross-type sensors are sensitive in both the horizontal and vertical planes, which means that when the camera is focusing, it is more likely to lock onto its target than a sensor that is sensitive in just one plane, which can mean that you have to rotate the camera in order to achieve focus. Since cross-type sensors are sensitive in both the horizontal and vertical planes, when the camera is focusing, it is more likely to lock onto its target.

If you want to push it into more challenging situations, like tracking moving subjects, you’ll be left wanting, but for general photography, the AF system performs fine; in our tests, it proved its worth in both good light and even in darker indoor conditions, and it focused on low-contrast subjects better than expected. However, if you want to use it for something more advanced, like sports photography, you’ll be disappointed.

One advancement has been made in this sector, and that is the introduction of Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. This system enables the camera to employ phase-detect AF, which results in quicker focusing rates in live view mode and while making movies;

For live view shooting, the majority of DSLRs available at this price point rely on contrast-detect autofocus, which, although highly accurate, may be somewhat sluggish. The focusing process is silky smooth and lightning-quick, readily competing with those of mirrorless competitors.


Canon has increased the burst shooting speed of the EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D to 5 frames per second with the introduction of the DIGIC 7 engine, increasing it from 4 frames per second on the Rebel SL1 / 100D. This burst rate is what we would anticipate from an entry-level DSLR at this price range; however, people who wish to consistently take a quick sequence of photos and who are on a budget might want to look at other mirrorless competitors instead.

Quite a few of the features that are available on EOS models that cost far more money have also been incorporated into this model. Some examples of these features are the numerous lens aberration corrections and the time-lapse movie mode. You also get raw processing in-camera, which is a very impressive feature that is perfect for people who want to share their photographs right away without sacrificing their quality of them.

Do not let the fact that all of this sounds very complicated deter you from purchasing the EOS Rebel SL2 or the EOS 200D because the straightforward graphical user interface makes both cameras ideal for first-time consumers. It is encouraging to see that Canon has followed Nikon’s lead in this regard by incorporating a feature similar to Nikon’s popular Guide Mode, which can be found on models like the D3300.

This interface was initially introduced to us on the T7i and 800D, and those who are just beginning their journey into creative photography should find it to be really helpful. On-screen instructions walk users through altering important camera settings, while different shooting modes show how those choices interact with one another. For instance, when the mode is set to Aperture Priority, the display will highlight what settings are required for a blurred or crisp backdrop, with comments that vary as you adjust the aperture value.

If you are an advanced user who plans to use the Rebel SL2 or 200D as a second body, you have the option in the menu to disable this function and instead utilize Canon’s more conventional menu structure. This is the case even if you want to use the camera as a primary body.

The metering for the Rebel SL2 and the 200D is taken care of by a 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor, and it offers Evaluative, Partial, Centre-weighted, and Spot metering as choices. We discovered that the Evaluative mode performed a good job overall; but, it did have a tiny propensity to underexpose images, which is not always a negative thing in bright situations when you want to retain highlights.

The white balance system works really well, and it’s great that there’s an extra setting called Ambience Priority white balance included with the camera. This mode produces images with a slightly warmer tone, which helps to maintain the ambiance of photographs, which can otherwise be lost at times. The White Priority white balance option produces images that are clean and devoid of color casts, making it ideal for situations in which you need a more neutral end result.

The battery life is really impressive; at 650 shots per charge, it’s actually better than on the Rebel T7i or the 800D, and it’s quite a deal better than comparable mirrorless competitors. Be aware, however, that the battery life will significantly decrease to 260 shots if you plan on shooting with Live View on for a significant portion, if not all, of the time.

The 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor included in the EOS Rebel SL2 and the EOS 200D performs admirably, delivering extremely high levels of information at sensitivities as high as ISO 1600. You should have no trouble producing detailed prints at A3 size with a resolution of 300 dpi, and the files themselves should be able to be increased even further if that becomes necessary.

At low sensitivities, the Rebel SL2 / 200D does an excellent job of controlling picture noise. The images appear to have minimal noise even when shot at an ISO of 3200, and the colors are wonderfully saturated. Even at an ISO of 6400, the noise is noticeable; however, it is well controlled, and there is almost no chroma noise visible in any of the photographs that we took.

Even though luminance noise (which appears grainy) and chroma noise are significantly more evident at ISO 12,800, the setting is still fairly usable provided you are willing to lose some of the image’s quality. Even while there is a decrease in color saturation, the image quality is still extremely high taking into account the sensitivity level. We wouldn’t use any settings beyond that unless it was absolutely essential to do so.

This photograph was taken with the camera set to a little lower exposure setting than normal; yet, it was not difficult to bring back lost information in the shadows.

This photograph was taken with the camera set to a little lower exposure setting than normal; yet, it was not difficult to bring back lost information in the shadows.

The dynamic range is also fairly strong, although it is not nearly as good as that of competitors like the Nikon D3400. The raw files just do not have the same amount of latitude to recover highlight and shadow information as those of other cameras.

Final Verdict

It was a truly novel camera amongst its contemporaries due to the fact that the original EOS Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D had compact proportions; however, the slightly bulkier proportions of the EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D make it feel more like a slightly toned-down Rebel T7i / 800D than anything else that is truly distinctive.

What other advantages does the Canon Rebel SL2 / 200D offer if it can’t boast about its slim size anymore? Actually, quite a lot of stuff. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF in Live View is exceptional, and other features, including the sophisticated touchscreen interface and vari-angle display, contribute to the simplicity with which it may be used.

And that’s without even mentioning the guided user interface, which makes things easier and friendlier for people who are just starting out. The autofocus performance is extremely decent for general shooting, despite the fact that we would have wanted to see more AF points distributed around the viewfinder.

Should we be concerned about anything else? Disappointing as the plasticky finish and the lack of support for 4K video recording may be, the EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D’s price point in comparison to the competition is perhaps the greatest obstacle it must surmount. Even if we simply look at the digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLR) that Nikon offers at around the same price or less, you have three capable alternatives to choose from: the D3400, the D5300, and the D5600. That’s even before you take into account the mirrorless options.

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 Specs

Body typeCompact SLR
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors26 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDIGIC 7
ISOAuto, 100-25600 (expands to 51200)
Boosted ISO (maximum)51200
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points9
Lens mountCanon EF/EF-S
Focal length multiplier1.6×
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage95%
Viewfinder magnification0.87× (0.54× 35mm equiv.)
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range9.80 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Continuous drive5.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotPartial
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 60 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 30 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 12 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 30 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1280 x 720 @ 60p / 26 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1280 x 720 @ 30p / 4 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I compatible)
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + NFC + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via wireless remote or smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLP-E17 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)650
Weight (inc. batteries)453 g (1.00 lb / 15.98 oz)
Dimensions122 x 93 x 70 mm (4.8 x 3.66 x 2.76″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (videos only)

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 Price

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