Canon 600D vs SL2
The Canon EOS 600D (called Canon T3i in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (labelled Canon 200D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2011 and June 2017. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 600D has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the SL2 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 600D and the Canon EOS Rebel SL2? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 600D and the Canon SL2. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SL2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the 600D 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 SL2 is notably smaller (15 percent) than the Canon 600D. Moreover, the SL2 is markedly lighter (21 percent) than the 600D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 600D nor the SL2 are weather-sealed.
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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 600D||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|2.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|3.||Canon SL3||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599|
|4.||Canon T7||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|5.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|6.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|8.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|9.||Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|10.||Canon 700D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|11.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|12.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|13.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|14.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|15.||Canon 550D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|16.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SL2 was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the 600D at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 tend to be more expensive and 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 SL2 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the 600D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SL2 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the 600D. This megapixels advantage translates into a 16 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SL2 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 4.31μm for the 600D). However, it should be noted that the SL2 is much more recent (by 6 years and 4 months) than the 600D, 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 SL2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SL2 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 600D are 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The SL2 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS 600D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the SL2 offers substantially better image quality than the 600D (overall score 14 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.5 bits higher color depth, 1.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the SL2 provides a faster frame rate than the 600D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the 600D is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 600D and the SL2 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 SL2 has a higher magnification than the one of the 600D (0.54x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 600D and Canon SL2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The SL2 has a touchscreen, while the 600D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The Canon SL2 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 600D and the SL2 write their files to SDXC cards. The SL2 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the 600D cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 600D and Canon EOS Rebel SL2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the SL2 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 600D does not provide wifi capability.
Both the 600D and the SL2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 600D was replaced by the Canon 650D, while the SL2 was followed by the Canon SL2. 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 600D better than the Canon SL2 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 600D:
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2011).
Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel SL2:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (14 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.5 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.9 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 7 vs DIGIC 4).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.53x).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (122x93mm vs 133x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 117g or 21 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 440) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 600D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL2 is the clear winner of the contest (20 : 1 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 600D and the Canon SL2 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 600D or the SL2 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 600D||3/5||o||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|2.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|3.||Canon SL3||..||o||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2019||599|
|4.||Canon T7||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|5.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|6.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|8.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|9.||Canon 100D||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|10.||Canon 700D||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|11.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|12.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|13.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|14.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|15.||Canon 550D||..||+ +||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|16.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon 600D vs Canon SL2
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 600D||Canon SL2|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2011||June 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 600D||Canon SL2|
|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||17.9 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||3.72 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||7.22 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC 7|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||65||79|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||23.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5||13.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||793||1041|
|Screen Specs||Canon 600D||Canon SL2|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 600D||Canon SL2|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3.7 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||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 600D||Canon SL2|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 600D||Canon SL2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||440 shots per charge||650 shots per charge|
133 x 100 x 80 mm
(5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
122 x 93 x 70 mm
(4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||570 g (20.1 oz)||453 g (16.0 oz)|
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