Canon SL2 versus Canon 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 revealed to the public, 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 megapixel, whereas the SL1 provides 17.9 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 SL2 vs Canon SL1
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SL2 and the Canon SL1. 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. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the SL2 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
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 find an overview of suitable optics 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.
|Camera Body Specifications|
|Canon SL2»||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon SL1«||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-|
|Canon T7« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||16.8 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.3 oz||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon 77D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||19.0 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon M100« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.7 oz||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|Canon M6« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||13.8 oz||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|Canon T7i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||18.8 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|Canon M5« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.4 in||15.1 oz||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|Canon T6i« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749||-|
|Canon T5« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449||-|
|Canon T5i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Nikon D3400« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.7 oz||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|Panasonic G6« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||13.8 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||599||-|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.
Sensor comparison: Canon SL2 vs Canon SL1
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SL2 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixel, compared with 17.9 MP of the SL1. This megapixel 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.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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 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 T7« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|Canon 77D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78|
|Canon M100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78|
|Canon M6« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon T7i« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon M5« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.4||12.4||1262||77|
|Canon T6i« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71|
|Canon T5« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63|
|Canon T5i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61|
|Canon G16« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54|
|Nikon D3400« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86|
|Panasonic G6« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, 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.
Feature comparison: Canon SL2 vs Canon SL1
Apart from 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SL2 and Canon SL1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Canon T7« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||8.2||Y||Y|
|Canon 77D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n|
|Canon M100« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||6.1||Y||n|
|Canon M6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n|
|Canon T7i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n|
|Canon M5« »||2360||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n|
|Canon T6i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Canon T5« »||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Canon T5i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Canon G16« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||2.2||Y||Y|
|Nikon D3400« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic G6« »||1440||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||4000||7.0||Y||n|
The SL2 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the SL1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SL1 was succeeded by the Canon SL2.
Review summary: Canon SL2 vs Canon SL1
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SL2 or the Canon SL1 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of 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 video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (650 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 3 months of technical progress since the SL1 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2013).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL2 is the clear winner of the match-up (8 : 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the SL2 and the SL1 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon SL2»||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon SL1«||Rec||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-|
|Canon T7« »||rev||-||3.5/5||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon 77D« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon M100« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|Canon M6« »||-||80/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|Canon T7i« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|Canon M5« »||Rec||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|Canon T6i« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||-|
|Canon T5« »||Rec||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||-|
|Canon T5i« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-|
|Canon G16« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Nikon D3400« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|Panasonic G6« »||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||-|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when refering 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. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.
- Canon 1D vs Leica Q Typ 116
- Canon 6D Mark II vs Panasonic GH5
- Canon 7D II vs Panasonic GH5
- Canon T3i vs Canon T3
- Fujifilm X-H1 vs Pentax K-3 II
- Fujifilm X100T vs Fujifilm X100F
- Leica M9 vs Sony RX1R II
- Nikon D100 vs Nikon D70
- Nikon D750 vs Leica T
- Panasonic LX100 vs Panasonic FZ100
- Sony A58 vs Canon 1300D
- Sony RX100 vs Leica S-E Typ 006