Canon SL1 Review: The Smallest and Lightest APS-C DSLR

Who did say that Digital SLR cameras are big, bulky, and heavy? Well, it is in the past. The manufacturers are so creative and innovative that they continuously deliver better and better designs on DSLR cameras. Canon is one of these manufacturers. The company has been long competing with mirrorless cameras from Olympus, Sony, and Panasonic, which are popular primarily because of the compactness. But now let’s meet Canon SL1. Canon SL1 has been proclaimed as the smallest and lightest APS-C DSLR camera in the world. Seriously, with its design, it can easily win over the other DSLR models in its class and compete against those notoriously compact mirrorless models. It is incredibly slim, compact, and lightweight, making it very portable and easy to bring along on your trips and travels.

Canon SL1 Review

As attractive as it can be, Canon SL1 is not only all about compactness. Another thing to note that is equally impressive the camera’s capability to retain the power, features, and controls found on a typical DSLR camera. It has downsized various internal components to have a smaller shutter mechanism, smaller circuit board, and thinner sensor module. Yet, it still provides a front dial, dedicated ISO control, exposure compensation, as well as AF and AE lock buttons. The touch screen has excellent resolution, providing such crisp and detailed image preview, but is unfortunately fixed instead of articulated. However, there is indeed an optical viewfinder that is very powerful and reliable. The optical viewfinder is very convenient to use and very effective for better framing and more precise control.

Canon SL1 comes with the second version of Canon’s Hybrid CMOS autofocus system, which was first seen in Canon Rebel T4i. Although the manufacturer does not make any claim or emphasis on the autofocus system, we are pleasantly surprised by the improvement. The autofocus system has been very much improved, primarily in the speed in the hybrid phase/contrast detection.

- 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor - 4 FPS continuous shooting - 9 point AF system, center AF point is cross-type - ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600) - 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps) and 720 (60, 50 fps) HD video

The standard equipment for Canon SL1 is the EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. This lens, as well as other Canon’s STM lenses, has been designed to take the full advantage of the hybrid autofocus system. The STM focus motor is incredibly quiet. It is also astoundingly fast when you are using the optical viewfinder. However, in live view, the autofocus system noticeably slows down.

The image quality is great. Canon SL1 support both JPEG and RAW. The 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor performs very well in various light conditions. The images can be sharp, crisp, and detailed and the colors are accurate. The high ISO shots, even the ones above ISO 6400, are usable. The night modes are great and useful for shooting in low light. The chromatic aberration correction works as well.

Specifications of Canon SL1
Type: Digital AF/AE single-lens reflex camera with built-in flash
Recording Media: SD, SDHC, SDXC, compatible with UHS-I and Eye-Fi Cards.
Image Format: Approx. 22.3mm x 14.9mm (APS-C)
Compatible Lenses: Canon EF lenses (including EF-S lenses)
Lens Mount: Canon EF mount
Image Sensor Type: CMOS Sensor
Effective pixels: Approx. 18.0 megapixels
Total pixels: Approx. 18.50 megapixels: 5288 (H) x 3506 (V) pixels
Aspect Ratio: 3:2 (Horizontal : Vertical)
Video: MOV (Image: H.264, Audio: Linear PCM)
White Balance Settings:
Auto, Preset (Daylight; Shade; Twilight, Cloudy, Sunset; White Fluorescent Light; Tungsten Light; Flash), Custom (Approx. 2,000° – 10,000°K), WB Correction, WB Bracketing
Viewfinder Type: Eye-level SLR
Autofocus Type: TTL secondary image-forming, phase-difference detection
AF Points: 9 points
Exposure Control Metering Range: EV 1.0 – EV 20.0
For Stills: Manual setting range of ISO 100-12800, expandable to ISO 25600
Auto ISO 100-6400
Shutter: Vertical-travel, mechanical, focal-plane shutter, electronically-controlled
Shutter Speeds: 1/4000 to 30 sec.
Monitor Type: TFT color, liquid-crystal monitor with capacitive Touch Panel LCD
Monitor Size: Wide 3.0-inch (Aspect ratio of 3:2)
Pixels: Approx. 1,040,000 dots
USB Terminal: For PC communication and PictBridge (Hi-Speed USB)
Video Out Terminal: HDMI mini OUT terminal Type C
Battery: Battery Pack LP-E12 x 1, or AC Adapter Kit ACK-E15
Dimensions (W x H x D): 4.60 x 3.57 x 2.74 inches
Weight: Approx. 13.06 oz. / 370g (Body only)

Pros of Canon SL1
– The AF has 80% frame coverage
– Powerful and incredibly quiet STM focus motor
– Allows continuous AF with subject tracking in the movie mode
– Extremely compact and lightweight design
– Excellent image quality

Price of Canon SL1
Check the best price of Canon SL1 here!

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