Canon EOS Rebel SL1

Step-up entry DSLR

  • Small body
  • Light weight
  • High image quality
  • Touch screen
  • Uncomfortable for large hands

Bottom line

It's the small size and light weight of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 that draw praise from reviewers and users alike. The SL1 is "a mature camera…that's not a burden to bring along," and is suitable for family photographers looking for an easy-to-use DSLR camera. It's also ideal for more experienced shooters who want a convenient, lightweight backup camera.

Ease of use

Light in weight. Your arms won't ache after shooting with the Rebel SL1 for extended periods. It's Canon's smallest and lightest DSLR, yet it still has most of the controls and features found in its larger sibling EOS cameras. The touch screen is the same resolution as that found in the Canon EOS Rebel T5i (Est. $650 (with kit lens)) , but it's fixed in place instead of being articulated. It also has a special coating that minimizes fingerprint smudges. The Rebel SL1's small size can be a drawback: Some reviewers found that the camera was too small for people with large hands, and some of the menu option icons on the touch screen were too small and difficult to select.


High-quality images and video. The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 produces the same well-reviewed, high-quality images that previous Rebel models of DSLR cameras produce, including the larger Rebel T5i. Image noise appears only at the highest ISO settings, and the Rebel SL1 has an improved live view autofocus feature. It is responsible for the significant improvement of the HD video noticed by some reviewers, and compares favorably to other entry-level DSLRs. A battery life of 380 shots per charge is quite a bit lower than that of the Rebel SL1's rivals.


Small and solid. The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 has a solid body and is well built. Despite its small size and light weight, it still feels sturdy enough to stand the test of time.


Many creative options. The features of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 reflect its audience of novice and beginning photographers. It is packed with preset creative functions, including Scene Intelligent Auto Mode that detects faces, colors, brightness, movement and more, and automatically picks an appropriate exposure mode. New Scene modes for use during live shooting include Kids, Food and Candlelight. More experienced photographers can use the full set of manual and semi-auto modes. The SL1 has both USB and HDMI ports, and you can use Eye-Fi memory cards for wireless connectivity.

Canon EOS Rebel T5i EF-S 18-55 IS STM Kit
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Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR with 18-55mm STM Lens

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The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 receives rave reviews here, with editors saying it's "everything a family photographer is likely to want and little left over to intimidate." It's Canon's smallest camera in the Rebel range, but has most of the features and performance of its larger siblings.

Review: Canon EOS 100D/Rebel SL1 Review, Shawn Barnett, Amadou Diallo, Andy Westlake, July 2013


Mark Goldstein says the unveiling of the Canon EOS 100D/Rebel SL1 was surprising, since no one expected Canon to launch a camera to bridge the gap between the traditional EOS 700D (Rebel T5i) and its compact system cameras. The Rebel SL1 is directed at users who have outgrown their compact cameras and want to move up to a DSLR that isn't too complicated.

Review: Canon EOS 100D Review, Mark Goldstein, May 30, 2013


TJ Donegan isn't too impressed with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1. He rates it at just 76 percent, which places it as better than just 43 percent of other digital cameras. He says it doesn't set any new marks in performance, but he does applaud Canon's move in recognizing that consumers want smaller cameras and Canon's competitors are providing them.

Review: Canon Rebel SL1 Digital Camera Review, TJ Donegan, Dec. 18, 2013


Kyle Schurman points out that despite its small size, the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is not a point-and-shoot camera but a fully fledged DSLR. It has "plenty of power and responsiveness," and is very usable for people with smaller hands. However, its size advantage is lost when you use standard DSLR-size lenses.

Review: Canon EOS Digital Rebel SL1 Review, Kyle Schurman, Sept. 23, 2013


Although the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is the smallest and lightest DSLR camera evaluated here, reviewers say it's not as compact as most mirrorless cameras. However, they do agree that the photo quality it produces is on par with that of the larger and more expensive Canon EOS Rebel T5i.

Review: Canon SL1 Review, Dan Havlik and Mike Tomkins, March 21, 2013


Lori Grunin calls the design of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 "comfortable and well-executed," but unlike some other reviewers, she says its features are "slim." She advises that you can get the same quality of photos and videos in a smaller camera if you buy a mirrorless, interchangeable lens model.

Review: Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Review, Lori Grunin, June 14, 2013


More than 90 percent of these 120-plus reviewers of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 rave about their purchase choice, giving the camera an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Even some of those with complaints, usually about the battery life or video quality, still think it's worth a 3-star review.

Review: Canon EOS Rebel SL1 18.0 MP CMOS Digital SLR, Contributors to, As of February 2014

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