Canon Rebel SL1 Hands-On

Canon Rebel SL1

The compact Canon Rebel SL1 next the iPhone 5

I’ve been running around with the new Canon Rebel SL1 for the past couple days. I’ll have some sample images and a full review later; however, I wanted to take a moment and pass along some first impressions from my brief time with the new camera.

First off, as you have probably heard by now, it is very small. Shockingly so for a DSLR. I thought this might be an issue for me since I tend to prefer a larger camera; however, it is very refreshing to see something different coming from Canon – and the size actually works quite well.

Canon Rebel SL1

The Canon Rebel SL1 next to the Canon Rebel T5i

While the Rebel T5i looks a little yawn-worthy (more on it soon too) due to lack of serious upgrades from the T4i, the SL1 seems to hit the mark. Whatever Canon’s plans for lenses have been for the camera, the Rebel SL1 was destined to be paired with the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM. It’s a perfect match in focal length and size for the SL1.

Shooting with the SL1 is very much like the past few Rebel cameras. Autofocus is responsive and accurate – and image quality is very promising. That said, contrast AF in live view and video mode is typical Canon (i.e., slow and awkward).

In short, the Canon Rebel SL1 looks like it will become my recommendation for the entry-level camera of choice for Canon shooters. Of course, I’ll have more with complete caveats and insights in later coverage of this compact DSLR.

The Canon Rebel SL1 and Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens are available from Photography Bay’s trusted retail partner, B&H Photo, at the following links:

By making your photography purchases at B&H Photo through these links, you are helping Photography Bay to continue bring quality camera tests, news and reviews. Thanks for your continued support.



  1. Radek says

    Why Americans have to have a different names for cameras? I can’t understand what is the purpose of it.
    Ok, I checked. So you are talking about EOS 100D. Well, nice toy I guess. Not for the real photographers. Smallest DSLR? And so what? Still not a pocket camera, but probably can feel well only in hands of a child. It is not a milestone in photography for sure, but I guess Canon figured out it will make money for them. As a photographer I can just regret that they are wasting time and money on such projects instead of perfecting real cameras.
    So to summarize I am not gonna buy it from B&H Photo (or any other store) and will not support Photography Bay in creating QUALITY camera test like the one above.

    • EricB says

      Got to agree with you here on the size, if I wanted a small camera I’d look at micro 4/3 – at least the good range of lenses are in physical proportion too. Can’t imagine trying to balance a big lens on this… There are times even my 5D doesn’t quite balance.

      Re: – The model names, given so many of us these days are international/internet readers a different naming convention by region is just plain annoying.

      I do like that B&H have a good product range at competitive pricing (even for overseas purchase) and wouldn’t want or expect that to change on my bias.

      • Radek says

        Can you imagine this toy with 300/2.8? Lol. Lens would probably broke the mount off the camera body and fall to the ground. But of course people who buy this camera won’t get such lens.
        I agree that in some situations carrying serious DSLR even with one lens is a pain. For example bike trips. You don’t want to cycle with heavy expensive camera and set of lenses. You probably won’t use them anyway. So you actually don’t need an interchangeable lens camera. I got for my bike trips G1X and am pretty happy with this solution. Just trying to say G1X is small enough and provides much better picture quality than micro 4/3, which I also considered some time ago.
        Yeah, I am a client of B&H Photo too. I just said I will not buy this camera. Not from them, not from anyone. I am a bit too serious about photography.