Canon EOS Rebel SL1 review

  • £579
  • $876

So what's the world's smallest and lightest DSLR like?

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What Canon has managed to produce in the EOS Rebel SL1 is pretty special - a very small body that retains the same DSLR stylings of its larger siblings, and more importantly, produces impressive image quality. That's quite a feat.

However, the problem remains that although the camera itself is small, the overall system is not. By the time you attach the 18-55mm kit lens, it's not too much smaller than other cheaper cameras in Canon's range. Furthermore, if you're intending to use several lenses, you will still need a pretty large kit bag to pack it all in.

It's worth looking at the 40mm pancake lens as an accompaniment to the Canon EOS Rebel SL1, since its incredibly small size makes it a reasonable combo for street shooting - albeit with a longer (equivalent) focal length than we'd usually recommend for such work.

It's also arguable that the intended consumer of this camera won't stray too much further than the light kit lens, which does keep the weight down significantly.

Speaking of the kit lens, the new 18-55mm STM lens is a very good performer. If you don't already have any lenses, it's well worth buying the standard kit box, rather than the body-only option. It's a great lens to get you started with until such time that you decide you want to expand your collection.

Images from the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 are impressive, with lots of detail and bright, punchy colors. Although it doesn't help with size reduction, compatibility with Canon's incredibly extensive lens range does make this a more flexible overall system than the compact system camera it's trying to take on.

We liked

Despite the reduction in size, the layout and usability of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is still very good, with buttons arranged so that they're easy to reach and the touchscreen complementary to operability, rather than a necessity.

That touchscreen really comes in handy when zooming into images during playback and accessing different functions on the quick menu.

We disliked

Perhaps our biggest bug with this camera is the hyperbole which is associated with being the world's smallest and lightest DSLR. Does that really mean anything when lenses are still big and heavy?

Aside from that, there are a few other niggles, such as only being able to use digital filters in Live View, or indeed the sluggish performance of AF in Live View.

Final verdict

It's hard to know what to say about the Canon EOS Rebel SL1. Canon has once again produced an incredibly capable DSLR, which produces excellent images.

The miniaturization element is fun, and a nifty feat of engineering, but there's still no way that a camera and system such as this can compete with the likes of the Micro Four Thirds system in terms of weight and size.

That said, if you're already a Canon owner looking for something small to add to your collection, this could be a good second shooter - though you might just balk at its current asking price of $799.99 with the kit lens.

If you're looking for something which is truly portable, but still retains DSLR-type stylings and operability, take a look at the Panasonic G5 or the newer Panasonic G6.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution18 Megapixel
USBYes
HDMIYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyEOS
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I), Eye-Fi Card
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesLive View, Face Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor, External Flash Shoe
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG, MPEG-4, MOV
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)407 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH, RoHS, WEEE, ErP
Image Sensor Size22.30 mm x 14.90 mm
Maximum Image Resolution5184 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height90.7 mm
Width116.8 mm
Depth69.4 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product Model100D
Product NameEOS 100D Digital SLR Camera
Product LineEOS
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number8576B014AA
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.canon.co.uk
Marketing Information

Canon EOS 100D
A DSLR you'll never want to leave behind.

A small and responsive DSLR to take everywhere. The 18-megapixel EOS 100D delivers superb photos and video and features an optical viewfinder and intuitive touch-screen controls.

Package Contents
  • EOS 100D Digital SLR Camera
  • Camera Cover R-F-3
  • Battery Charger LC-E12E(WW)
  • Battery Cover
  • Interface Cable IFC-130U
  • Eyecup Ef
  • Wide Strap EW-300D
  • Battery Pack LP-E12(WW)
  • AC Cable (with E-type plug)
  • User Manual Kit
Limited Warranty1 Year