Canon SL2 vs SL1
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (called Canon 200D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (labelled Canon 100D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2017 and March 2013. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The SL2 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the SL1 provides 17.9 MP.
As their names suggest, both the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 and the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 belong to Canon's Rebel line of DSLR cameras. This range of APS-C cameras, which started out with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel in 2003, has been a big commercial success and the backbone of Canon's dominance in the digital camera market. The popularity of the Rebel cameras is the result of them inheriting much of the sensor and shooting technology from earlier released professional DSLRs, while being sold at a much more budget-friendly price point. The strong brand reputation of Canon and the comprehensive EOS system of compatible lenses and accessories further contributes to the appeal of the Rebel cams, including the Canon SL2 and Canon SL1. Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon SL2||Canon SL1|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)||ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Fixed touchscreen|
|5 shutter flaps per second||4.9 shutter flaps per second|
|650 shots per battery charge||380 shots per battery charge|
|122 x 93 x 70 mm, 453 g||117 x 91 x 69 mm, 407 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 and the Canon EOS Rebel SL1? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon SL2 and the Canon SL1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SL1 is notably smaller (6 percent) than the Canon SL2. Moreover, the SL1 is markedly lighter (10 percent) than the SL2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SL2 nor the SL1 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, 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.
|Canon SL2»||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549||-||Canon SL2|
|Canon SL1«||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon SL3« »||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||15.8 oz||1070||n||Apr 2019||599||Canon SL3|
|Canon T7« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||16.8 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||449||Canon T7|
|Canon T100« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||15.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||399||Canon T100|
|Canon 77D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||19.0 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.3 oz||235||n||Jan 2017||529||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M6« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||13.8 oz||295||n||Feb 2017||779||-||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.7 oz||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon T7i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||18.8 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||749||Canon T7i|
|Canon M5« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.4 in||15.1 oz||295||n||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Canon T6s« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon T5« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon T5|
|Canon T5i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon T3i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.1 oz||440||n||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon T3i|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 SL2 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the SL1 (DIGIC 5), 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 SL1. 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 SL1). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the SL2 is much more recent (by 4 years and 3 months) than the SL1, 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 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SL1 are 25.9 x 17.3 inch or 65.8 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 13.8 inch or 52.7 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 11.5 inch or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 review, the SL2 provides substantially higher image quality than the SL1, with an overall score that is 16 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.8 bits higher color depth, 2.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 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.
|Canon SL2»||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon SL2|
|Canon SL1«||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon SL1|
|Canon SL3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/25p||-||-||-||-||Canon SL3|
|Canon T7« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Canon T7|
|Canon T100« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.4||695||63||Canon T100|
|Canon 77D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78||Canon 77D|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M6« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78||Canon M100|
|Canon T7i« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon T7i|
|Canon M5« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.4||12.4||1262||77||Canon M5|
|Canon T6s« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon T6s|
|Canon T5« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63||Canon T5|
|Canon T5i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon T5i|
|Canon T3i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65||Canon T3i|
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, but the SL2 provides a higher frame rate than the SL1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the SL1 is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SL2 and the SL1 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%), as well as the same magnification (0.54x). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SL2, the Canon SL1, and comparable cameras.
|Canon SL2»||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon SL2|
|Canon SL1«||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9||Y||n||Canon SL1|
|Canon SL3« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon SL3|
|Canon T7« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon T7|
|Canon T100« »||optical||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon T100|
|Canon 77D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Canon 77D|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Canon T7i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Canon T7i|
|Canon M5« »||2360||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n||Canon M5|
|Canon T6s« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6s|
|Canon T5« »||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon T5|
|Canon T5i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T5i|
|Canon T3i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon T3i|
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 SL2 and the SL1 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 Rebel SL2 and Canon EOS Rebel SL1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon SL2»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SL2|
|Canon SL1«||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon SL3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon SL3|
|Canon T7« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T7|
|Canon T100« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T100|
|Canon 77D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 77D|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M100|
|Canon T7i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon T7i|
|Canon M5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M5|
|Canon T6s« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon T5« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5|
|Canon T5i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon T3i« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T3i|
It is notable that the SL2 offers wifi support, while the SL1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the SL2 and the SL1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SL1 was replaced by the Canon SL2, 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 what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SL2 and the Canon SL1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel SL2:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 17.9MP) with a 16% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (16 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.8 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.1 EV of extra DR).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 7 vs DIGIC 5).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- 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.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (650 versus 380) on 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.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 3 months of technical progress since the SL1 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2013).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SL2 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 1 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 SL2 and the Canon SL1 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 SL2 or the SL1 perform in practice. 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 hands-on reviews by experts 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.
|Canon SL2»||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549||-||Canon SL2|
|Canon SL1«||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon SL3« »||o||79/100||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2019||599||Canon SL3|
|Canon T7« »||o||-||3.5/5||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449||Canon T7|
|Canon T100« »||o||-||3.5/5||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399||Canon T100|
|Canon 77D« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M6« »||-||80/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779||-||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||+||-||4/5||-||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon T7i« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749||Canon T7i|
|Canon M5« »||+||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Canon T6s« »||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon T5« »||+||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon T5|
|Canon T5i« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon T3i« »||o||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon T3i|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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. 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 SL2 vs Canon SL1
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 SL2||Canon SL1|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2017||March 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SL2||Canon SL1|
|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||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||5184 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-51200 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 7||DIGIC 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||79||63|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.6||21.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.4||11.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1041||843|
|Screen Specs||Canon SL2||Canon SL1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SL2||Canon SL1|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||4.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|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 SL2||Canon SL1|
|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||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon SL2||Canon SL1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||650 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
122 x 93 x 70 mm
(4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
117 x 91 x 69 mm
(4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
|Camera Weight||453 g (16.0 oz)||407 g (14.4 oz)|
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