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.
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.
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.
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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 850D||131 mm||103 mm||76 mm||515 g||800||n||Feb 2020||749|
|2.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|3.||Canon RP||133 mm||85 mm||70 mm||485 g||250||n||Feb 2019||1,299|
|4.||Canon SL3||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599|
|5.||Canon 250D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599|
|6.||Canon G5 X Mark II||111 mm||61 mm||46 mm||340 g||230||n||Jul 2019||899|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark III||105 mm||61 mm||41 mm||304 g||235||n||Jul 2019||749|
|8.||Canon 2000D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|9.||Canon T7||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|10.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|11.||Canon 200D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|12.||Canon 800D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|13.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|14.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|15.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|16.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|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 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.
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.
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.
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 |
|3.||Canon RP||Full Frame||26.2||6240||4160||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Canon G5 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
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.
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.
|6.||Canon G5 X Mark II||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark III||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
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.
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.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|6.||Canon G5 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark III||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
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.
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.
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.
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 850D||4/5||+||80/100||4/5||3.5/5||Feb 2020||749|
|2.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|3.||Canon RP||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||1,299|
|4.||Canon SL3||..||o||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2019||599|
|5.||Canon 250D||..||o||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2019||599|
|6.||Canon G5 X Mark II||4/5||+||82/100||..||4/5||Jul 2019||899|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark III||..||+ +||81/100||4/5||..||Jul 2019||749|
|8.||Canon 2000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|9.||Canon T7||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|10.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|11.||Canon 200D||4/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|12.||Canon 800D||4.5/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|13.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|14.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|15.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|16.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|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.
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 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 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 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||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%|
|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|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 850D||Canon SL2|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||7.5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-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|
|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 Life (CIPA)||800 shots per charge||650 shots per charge|
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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