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Canon 850D vs SL2

The Canon EOS 850D (called Canon T8i in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (labelled Canon 200D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2020 and June 2017. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 850D versus Canon SL2
Canon 850D Canon SL2
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/24p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200) ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Swivel touchscreen Swivel touchscreen
7.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
800 shots per battery charge650 shots per battery charge
131 x 103 x 76 mm, 515 g 122 x 93 x 70 mm, 453 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 850D 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 850D and the Canon SL2 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 SL2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the 850D is only available in black.

Size Canon 850D vs Canon SL2
Compare 850D versus SL2 top
Comparison 850D or SL2 rear

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 (16 percent) than the Canon 850D. Moreover, the SL2 is markedly lighter (12 percent) than the 850D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 850D 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 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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 850D 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 18.2 oz 800 n Feb 2020 749 i
 
Canon SL2 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon RP 5.2 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 17.1 oz 250 n Feb 2019 1,299 i
 
Canon SL3 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 15.8 oz 1070 n Apr 2019 599 i
 
Canon 250D 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 15.8 oz 1070 n Apr 2019 599 i
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 4.4 in 2.4 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 230 n Jul 2019 899 i
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 235 n Jul 2019 749 i
 
Canon 2000D 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon T7 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon 77D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 200D 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon 800D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749i
 
Canon 750D 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon T6s 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon SL1 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 SL2 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the 850D, 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.

Sensor comparison

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 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.

In terms of chip-set technology, the 850D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the SL2 (DIGIC 7), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 850D and Canon SL2 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the 850D and the SL2 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the 850D is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the SL2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon EOS 850D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

850D versus SL2 MP

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.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon 850D APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon RP Full Frame 26.2 6240 41604K/30p........
 
Canon SL3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/25p........
 
Canon 250D APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/25p........
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Canon 2000D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p........
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon 800D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 850D provides a higher video resolution than the SL2. It can shoot video footage at 4K/24p, while the SL2 is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 850D 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 850D (0.54x vs 0.51x), 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 850D, the Canon SL2, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon 850Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.5 Y n
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon RP2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon SL3optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 250Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G5 X Mark II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
 
Canon G7 X Mark IIInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
 
Canon 2000Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T7optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 200Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 800Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
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 850D and the Canon SL2 both have 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 850D and the SL2 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

Connectivity comparison

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 850D and Canon EOS Rebel SL2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon 850DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon RPYstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SL3YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 250DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
 
Canon G5 X Mark II-stereomono--micro3.1Y-Y
 
Canon G7 X Mark III-stereomonoY-micro3.1Y-Y
 
Canon 2000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 200DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 800DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---

The 850D is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SL2 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SL2 was succeeded 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.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 850D better than the Canon SL2 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 850D:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 8 vs DIGIC 7).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/24p vs 1080/60p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.5 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (800 versus 650) on a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the SL2 launch.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel SL2:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.51x).
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x93mm vs 131x103mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 62g or 12 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2017).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL2 comes out slightly ahead of the 850D (6 : 5 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.

850D 05:06 SL2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 850D 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 850D or the SL2. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 850D+......3.5/5 Feb 2020 749 i
 
Canon SL2+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon RP+..4.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2019 1,299 i
 
Canon SL3o79/1004/5..4/5 Apr 2019 599 i
 
Canon 250Do79/1004/5..4/5 Apr 2019 599 i
 
Canon G5 X Mark II+82/100....4/5 Jul 2019 899 i
 
Canon G7 X Mark III+ +81/1004/5.... Jul 2019 749 i
 
Canon 2000Do..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon T7o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 200D+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon 800D..80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
 
Canon 750D..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon T6s+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon SL1+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 850D:
Check Amazon price
Canon SL2:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon 850D 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 850D 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 2020 June 2017
    Launch Price USD 749 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon 850D Canon SL2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 3.72 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 7.22 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/24p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 51,200 ISO 100 - 51,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 8 DIGIC 7
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 79
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1041
    Screen Specs Canon 850D Canon SL2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.51x 0.54x
    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 Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 850D Canon SL2
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 7.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer 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 UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon 850D Canon SL2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon 850D Canon SL2
    Battery Type LP-E17 LP-E17
    Battery Life (CIPA)800 shots per charge650 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 131 x 103 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    122 x 93 x 70 mm
    (4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 515 g (18.2 oz) 453 g (16.0 oz)

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