Canon EOS Rebel SL1 to be the world’s smallest beginner DSLR. There is no arguing about that. It is impressively small, making Canon’s standard 18-55mm zoom lens look positively huge in comparison. The 18-megapixel camera uses the same size APS-C image sensor as the EOS Rebel T5i.

However, Rebel SL1 sacrifices the hinged screen and some physical controls. It’s a top option if you want a really compact entry-level DSLR.

Canon SL1: Design and Build

The Rebel SL1 comes measures 3.6 by 4.6 by 2.7 inches and weighs just 14.4 ounces. But you might still like more of a handgrip. It extends only to the exact depth like the lens mount. The front of the pop-up flash bursts out another half-inch or so.

On the contrary, shooters with smaller hands will likely feel right at home. Despite its size, the Rebel SL1 uses the same image sensor as the Rebel T5i. If you opt for a mirrorless beginner camera, you can get the same sensor size in a smaller package.

Check Out: Best Lenses for Canon Rebel SL1

Canon Rebel SL1: Performance

You get a surprising amount of physical controls crammed into the svelte body. You’ll be enjoying using the touch screen to adjust individual settings on Canon Rebel SL1. On the top panel, you will find a three-stage power switch. It has settings for off, on, and video recording.

This entry-level DSLR comes integrated with the mode dial. It has scene settings in addition to more advanced shooting modes. In front of that a dedicated ISO button, the lone control wheel, and the shutter release.

Canon Rebel SL1: Menu

The Menu and Info buttons are found around the back, to the left of the eyepiece. To the right of Rebel SL1, there’s the button that enables Live View for stills. Or start video recording when the camera is set to video mode. On the far right, you’ll find an AF point selection button and the exposure lock button.

EV compensation gets its own button including image playback and delete. You don’t get the four directional controls as you do on most DSLRs. Instead, the 4-way pad on this best beginner DSLR is only used to navigate through menus.

Canon Rebel SL1: Images

Its 3-inch rear LCD is just as sharp as a 1,040k-dot screen on the Canon T5i. Canon Rebel SL1 supports touch input. But it is not hinged like the T5i’s screen. The fixed display helps to minimize the Rebel SL1’s size. You can use it for adjusting the focus point or even focus and fire the camera when working in live view mode. It is a feature that Canon offers in its DSLRs that competing brands haven’t yet been able to match.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1: Specifications

Body typeCompact SLR
Max resolution5184 x 3456
Other resolutions5184 x 2912, 4608 x 3456,3456 x 3456, 3456 x 2304, 3456 x 1944, 3072 x 2304, 2592 x 1728, 2592 x 1456, 2304 x 1728, 2304 x 2304, 1920 x 1280, 1920 x 1080, 1728 x 1728, 1696 x 1280, 1280 x 1280, 720 x 480, 720 x 400, 640 x 480, 480 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels18 megapixels
Sensor photodetectors19 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDigic 5
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 (25600 with boost)
Boosted ISO (maximum)25600
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Manual focusYes
Lens mountCanon EF/EF-S
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage95%
Viewfinder magnification0.87×
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range9.40 m
External flashYes (via Hot-shoe)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye
Continuous drive4.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2s, 10s+remote, 10s + continuous shots 2-10))
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
  • Partial
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 25 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (HDMI mini)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (RC-6)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion LP-E12 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)380
Weight (inc. batteries)407 g (0.90 lb / 14.36 oz)
Dimensions117 x 91 x 69 mm (4.61 x 3.58 x 2.72″)
Orientation sensorYes
GPS notesvia GPE2

Canon Rebel SL1: Conclusion

What to tell about the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is hard to remember. Once again, Canon has created an extremely capable DSLR that generates excellent images.

The miniaturization aspect is a fun, and neat engineering achievement, but there is still no way a camera and device like this will compete in terms of weight and scale with the likes of the Micro Four Thirds system.

That said, if you’re already a Canon owner looking for something tiny to add to your range, this might be a decent second shooter – even with the package scope, you might only scoff at the current selling price.

Take a look at the Panasonic G5 or the newer Panasonic G6 if you’re looking for anything that is genuinely compact, but still retains DSLR-type styling and operability.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1: Price

Image Quality
ISO Performance
Video mode
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Paul Landscape Photographer and YouTuber. He is taking photos all over the world but the main focus is the cold, rough, northern part of Europe. His style is somewhere in between dramatic and colorful fantasy and Scandinavian minimalism. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel for epic landscape photography videos from around the world.


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