Canon 50D vs SL3
The Canon EOS 50D and the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (labelled Canon 250D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2008 and April 2019. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 50D has a resolution of 15.1 megapixels, whereas the SL3 provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 50D and the Canon EOS Rebel SL3? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 50D and the Canon SL3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SL3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the 50D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SL3 is notably smaller (28 percent) than the Canon 50D. Moreover, the SL3 is substantially lighter (45 percent) than the 50D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 50D is splash and dust resistant, while the SL3 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|2.||Canon SL3||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599|
|3.||Canon T8i||131 mm||103 mm||76 mm||515 g||800||n||Feb 2020||749|
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||387 g||305||n||Oct 2020||599|
|5.||Canon T7||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|6.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|7.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|8.||Canon 80D||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|9.||Canon 7D II||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|10.||Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199|
|11.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark IV||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999|
|13.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|14.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|15.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|16.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|17.||Canon 5D||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The SL3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 54 percent) than the 50D, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, the SL3 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the 50D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SL3 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 15.1 MP of the 50D. This megapixels advantage translates into a 26 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SL3 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 4.69μm for the 50D). However, it should be noted that the SL3 is much more recent (by 10 years and 7 months) than the 50D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SL3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SL3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 50D are 23.8 x 15.8 inches or 60.4 x 40.2 cm for good quality, 19 x 12.7 inches or 48.3 x 32.2 cm for very good quality, and 15.8 x 10.6 inches or 40.2 x 26.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The SL3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS 50D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|17.||Canon 5D||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||none||22.9||11.1||1368||71|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The SL3 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 50D does not. The highest resolution format that the SL3 can use is 4K/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 50D and the SL3 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 50D has a higher magnification than the one of the SL3 (0.59x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 50D, the Canon SL3, and comparable cameras.
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|9.||Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
One feature that is present on the 50D, but is missing on the SL3 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.The SL3 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 50D does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon SL3 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The 50D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the SL3 uses SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 50D and Canon EOS Rebel SL3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the SL3 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 50D does not provide wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 50D (unlike the SL3) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The SL3 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the 50D has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 50D was succeeded by the Canon 60D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So how do things add up? Is the Canon 50D better than the Canon SL3 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 50D:
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.54x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.3 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2008).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel SL3:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 15.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 8 vs DIGIC 4).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/25p video.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (122x93mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 373g or 45 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1070 versus 800) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (54 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 10 years and 7 months of technical progress since the 50D launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL3 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 50D and the Canon SL3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 50D or the SL3. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 50D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|2.||Canon SL3||..||o||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2019||599|
|3.||Canon T8i||4.5/5||+||80/100||4/5||3.5/5||Feb 2020||749|
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2020||599|
|5.||Canon T7||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|6.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|7.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|8.||Canon 80D||4/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|9.||Canon 7D II||4.5/5||+||84/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|10.||Canon 70D||5/5||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199|
|11.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark IV||5/5||..||89/100||..||..||Oct 2009||4,999|
|13.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|14.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|15.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|16.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|17.||Canon 5D||..||88/100||+ +||o||..||Aug 2005||3,299|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 50D vs Canon SL3
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 50D||Canon SL3|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2008||April 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 50D||Canon SL3|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.1 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4752 x 3168 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.69 μm||3.72 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.53 MP/cm2||7.22 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||4K/25p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC 8|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.8||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.4||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||696||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 50D||Canon SL3|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 50D||Canon SL3|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||6.3 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 50D||Canon SL3|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 50D||Canon SL3|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||800 shots per charge||1070 shots per charge|
146 x 108 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
122 x 93 x 70 mm
(4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||822 g (29.0 oz)||449 g (15.8 oz)|
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