PW

Canon SL1 versus Canon 70D

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (called Canon 100D in some regions) and the Canon EOS 70D are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2013 and July 2013. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The SL1 has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the 70D provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon SL1 vs Canon 70D

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SL1 and the Canon 70D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the SL1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon SL1 vs Canon 70D
Compare SL1 versus 70D top
Compare SL1 and 70D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 70D is notably larger (36 percent) than the Canon SL1. Moreover, the 70D is substantially heavier (86 percent) than the SL1. It is noteworthy in this context that the 70D is splash and dust-proof, while the SL1 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 find an overview of suitable optics in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SL1 gets 380 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the 70D can take 920 images on a single charge of its LP-E6 power pack.

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, 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon SL1» 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon 70D« 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
Canon T6« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
Canon G3 X« » 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon T5i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
Nikon D7100« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SL1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 54 percent) than the 70D, 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: Canon SL1 vs Canon 70D

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 70D is 2 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the 70D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5+) than the SL1 (DIGIC 5), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SL1 and Canon 70D sensor measures

With 20MP, the 70D offers a higher resolution than the SL1 (17.9MP), but the 70D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.11μm versus 4.31μm for the SL1). Yet, the 70D is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the SL1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

SL1 versus 70D MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 70D has a markedly higher DXO score than the SL1 (overall score 5 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon SL1» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
Canon 70D« APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon SL2
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
Canon T6« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon T6
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Canon T3i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon T3i
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366Canon 60D
Nikon D7100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683Nikon D7100
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Canon SL1 vs Canon 70D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The SL1 and the 70D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SL1 and Canon 70D along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon SL1»optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
Canon 70D«optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon SL2
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
Canon T6« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T6
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n Canon M10
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T5
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n Canon M
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T3i
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 8000 5.3 Y n Canon 60D
Nikon D7100« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n Nikon D7100
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6

One feature that is present on the 70D, but is missing on the SL1 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.

Both the SL1 and the 70D write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon SL1»YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
Canon 70D«YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
Canon SL2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon SL2
Canon 80D« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon 80D
Canon T6« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T6
Canon G3 X« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon G3 X
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Canon 7D II« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 7D II
Canon T5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T5
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
Canon T5i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T5i
Canon M« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
Canon T4i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T3i
Canon 60D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 60D
Nikon D7100« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D7100
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6

Both the SL1 and the 70D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SL1 was replaced by the Canon SL2, while the 70D was followed by the Canon 80D.

Review summary: Canon SL1 vs Canon 70D

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SL1 or the Canon 70D – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:

  • More compact: Is smaller (117x91mm vs 139x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 348g or 46 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (54 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2013).


Advantages of the Canon EOS 70D:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5+ vs DIGIC 5).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 4.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (920 versus 380) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi build in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (3 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 70D is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 4 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.

SL1 04:11 70D

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the SL1 and the 70D in practical situations. 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 table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon SL1»Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon 70D«HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon SL2« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon 80D« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
Canon T6« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon 7D II« »Rec84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Canon 60D« »Rec79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
Nikon D7100« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6

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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

~

    You are here  »   »