Canon Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D Review

Just released in April of 2013, the Canon Rebel SL1 (also known as the EOS 100D) is making its mark by being the smallest and lightest digital SLR camera in the world. The SL1 sits between the T3i and the T4i in the Canon EOS line up. However, I read that the T4i may soon be discontinued because some T4i rubber grips can turn white and produce Zinc bis as a result of a chemical reaction. You can read Canon’s product advisory on the T4i here. Plus, Canon just released the EOS Rebel T5i, which is pretty much identical to the T4i.

But anyway, I just picked up the SL1 recently (yes, I actually bought it with my own money so rest assured this is an unbiased review). The kit lens that comes with the SL1 is the newly released 18-55mm EF-S IS STM Lens. However, I chose to buy just the SL1 body and purchased the Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM which is still an STM lens with image stabilization but also has a longer focal length range.

Video review of my SL1 findings:

General overview of the SL1:

  • 18 Mega Pixel CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 5 Image Processor
  • ISO 100-12800 (stills) and 100-6400 (movies) or expandable to 25600 (stills) and 12800 (movies)
  • 3 inch touchscreen LCD screen
  • Hybrid CMOS AF II for Auto focus tracking during Live Mode
  • 9 point AF
  • 4.0 fps continuous shooting
  • Full HD 1080 movies

You can read the SL1’s full product description on or check out the full list of specifications on the Canon website.

First some minor drawbacks:

1. SD card slot is on the bottom of the camera.

This means if you have your camera mounted to a tripod or anything else, most likely you wont be able to easily access your SD card.

2. No articulating screen.

This means it’s harder to take self portraits or shots from down low or up high.

3. Shorter battery life than other Canon bodies.

For example, the SL1 manual lists approximately 480 shots vs the T3i’s 550 shots possible in room temperature with no flash and no Live View Shooting.

Now some of the highlights:

1. Small, light, and portable.

Here it is pictured next to the Canon T3i which is the same size as the T5i.

2. Often overlooked but still important: built in flash, microphone jack and remote jacks.

Note that the built in microphone jack is monaural, not stereo. But on the plus side the camera does offer manual audio level adjustment.

3. Touch screen LCD.

Very easy to use. You can just touch the subject on the LCD to focus the camera on that subject! But if you don’t like touch screen you can always disable the feature. All the physical camera buttons are still there on the camera body to use.

4. Special Scenes Mode: Kids, Food, Candlelight, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, & HDR Backlight Control.

Here’s a sample test of the Food Mode:

5. Creative Filters: Grainy Black and White, Soft Focus, Fish Eye Effect, Art Bold Effect, Water Painting Effect, Toy Camera Effect, and Miniature Effect.

One thing to note is that only the miniature effect is available for video.
Miniature Effect:

6. Movie Servo AF

With Movie Servo AF enabled, the camera will continuously focus the subject even while shooting a movie. Without Movie Servo AF, you’d have to manually focus or press the shutter button half way every time you wanted to focus a subject. I’ll have another post with my review of just the Movie Servo AF feature.

In Summary:

If you have larger hands and don’t care about the special modes because you can manually control the overall image, you can skip the SL1. However, the SL1 is an ideal DSLR for users who want portability or are new to DSLRs because the variety of modes and filters, touch screen capability, and movie servo AF make this a very user friendly camera. Am I happy with my purchase? Yes.

If you do decide to buy the SL1, please help support my site by purchasing it through this link. There’s absolutely no additional cost to you, and I’d be extremely grateful.

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