The whole point of the cameras we call interchangeable-lens compacts (ILCs) was supposed to be their small size. Sure, it’s a bit unfair to compare the two, as the Lumix is weather-sealed and decked out with high-end features—and costs about twice as much as this new Rebel. To see how big a splash the world’s smallest DSLR could make, we subjected it to the rigors of the Popular Photography Test Lab and extensive field tests. The SL1 earned an Extremely High rating in overall image quality from its lowest sensitivity of ISO 100 through ISO 1600—impressive for such an inexpensive camera, and covering a wide enough range for most family shooting scenarios. While resolution could be higher, given its 18MP APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, the camera delivered a maximum of 2440 lines per picture height in our test—very close to an Excellent score. The SL1’s main phase-detection autofocus system proved very fast and maintained plenty of speed as we dimmed the lights. Despite the camera’s small size, the SL1 doesn’t suffer as much as you’d expect when it comes to controls. The camera’s grip is so small that we’d challenge any adult (or even a big kid) to keep a pinky on the thing while shooting.
A nicely rubberized area on the camera back provides a scooped out area for your thumb, making the camera about as comfortable as you can expect from a body this size; it also keeps your thumb separated from the two control buttons on the upper right of the back, preventing accidental presses. If you’re hoping to use the SL1 for sports shooting, you may find the burst rate of 4 frames per second a little on the slow side. Continuous AF during video shooting was on par with most ILCs, though our brief hands-on time with a preproduction EOS 70D, which includes Canon’s new Dual Pixel CMOS AF, made us think that this soon-to-be-released DSLR will become the new gold standard for AF while shooting video, at least for amateur shooters.
In ads for ILCs and DSLRs, you’ll most likely be told about video shooting these days, but we’re not convinced that people are shooting more videos than stills with these kinds of cameras.
But the SL1’s optical finder still beats any of the electronic viewfinders available in the SLR-style ILCs.
Add to that the vast number of lenses available for the Canon mount (some of which will look silly and may not balance well when attached to the SL1’s tiny body), plus all the accessories available for the Canon system, and the SL1 makes a very compelling option right now. This item will be posted through the Global Shipping Program and includes international tracking. Estimated delivery dates - opens in a new window or tab include seller's handling time, origin postcode, destination postcode and time of acceptance and will depend on postage service selected and receipt of cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab. Will usually send within 2business days of receiving cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab.
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By removing the mirror, manufacturers could shrink camera bodies to heretofore impossible levels of tininess. The noise-reduction presets in the Digital Photo Professional RAW conversion software that ships with the camera make control simple. At the brightest level of our test, it was able to focus and capture an image in a mere 0.38 seconds.
We also found that it eventually would focus at EV –2, as well, though the speed varied from just over a second to nearly two, averaging about 1.35 seconds.
For those occasions, the SL1 boasts an increased area of coverage—80 percent of both the horizontal and vertical frame—compared with the previous bodies with Canon’s Hybrid AF system. Sure, there aren’t that many physical controls, but there are dedicated buttons for live view, ISO, exposure compensation, AF point selection, and more. Most of the time, we had both pinky and fourth finger tucked up underneath the body—though there’s room for the fourth finger, it felt most comfortable under the camera. The AF does a reasonably good job of keeping up with moving subjects, though you can expect a few more soft shots than with the tracking systems in one of Canon’s more expensive bodies, such as the EOS 60D. But given the strong competion at this level, as well as Canon’s demonstrated capabilities, we found a few things lacking. While the Lumix GH3 is ever so slightly larger, most ILCs—especially those that seek to mimic the rangefinder style—are actually smaller.
Whatever you capture, if you plan to hold the camera above your head, or shoot at low angles, it’s not as flexible a body as Canon’s own T5i (tested in our August issue) or the Fujifilm X-M1. Photographers who don’t love the blocky shape of rangefinder-style ILCs will find in the SL1 a truly portable camera that can tackle most of the situations a casual shooter will encounter. Contact the seller- opens in a new window or tab and request a postage method to your location. You've read and agreed to the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab. Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase your maximum bid amount. If the item comes direct from a manufacturer, it may be delivered in non-retail packaging, such as a plain or unprinted box or plastic bag. By clicking Confirm bid you commit to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder.

Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. Now, five years after we gave Panasonic’s Lumix G1 our Camera of the Year award for pioneering that concept, Canon has delivered the EOS Rebel SL1, an 18MP DSLR that is smaller than Panasonic’s current flagship ILC, the Lumix GH3.
Past that point resolution drops sharply, landing at 1800 lines at the SL1’s top sensitivity of ISO 25,600 (Canon calls it H). It remained under a half-second until the living-room light level of EV 6, where it took 0.52 seconds to lock and fire. And since that lens can close-focus to less than a foot, there were few photographic opportunities we couldn’t tackle.
Plus, the quick menu—with its dashboard style presentation—lets you check or change any of the most important shooting parameters. For most parents shooting their kid’s field hockey or lacrosse games, though, the SL1 should do fine. Built-in Wi-Fi, for instance—the drive toward connectivity is unstoppable at this end of the market, and we feel the SL1 should have met that demand. Persnickety videographers might notice some compression artifacts, but for the average family, the SL1 will produce very pleasing footage. And if you want built-in Wi-Fi, you’ll need to look elsewhere, or else opt for an Eye-Fi card to go with the littlest EOS. For most family shooters and anyone looking for an easy-to-carry vacation camera, Canon’s EOS Rebel SL1 is an excellent option.
If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. The recently released Rebel T5i eked out just slightly more resolution, despite having a similar, if not identical, sensor. It doesn’t reach an Unacceptable level until ISO 12,800, and even at ISO 25,600 it remains lower than that of a lot of cameras.
The camera was able to focus in less than a second throughout the range of light levels in which Canon states AF will function. If your child turns out to be a track and field star in high school, you might want to step up to a faster burst and fancier AF tracking. An articulated, or at least tilting, LCD monitor is another feature we missed here (in its defense, the fixed touch screen probably saves space). In our color accuracy test, it easily earned an Excellent rating with an average Delta E of 7.1.

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