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Canon SL2 vs T8i

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

As their names suggest, both the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 and the Canon EOS Rebel T8i 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 T8i. Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon SL2 versus Canon T8i
Canon SL2 Canon T8i
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
1080/60p Video 4K/24p 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
5 shutter flaps per second 7.5 shutter flaps per second
650 shots per battery charge800 shots per battery charge
122 x 93 x 70 mm, 453 g 131 x 103 x 76 mm, 515 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 T8i? 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

The physical size and weight of the Canon SL2 and the Canon T8i are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SL2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the T8i is only available in black.

Size Canon SL2 vs Canon T8i
Compare SL2 versus T8i top
Comparison SL2 or T8i rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T8i is notably larger (19 percent) than the Canon SL2. Moreover, the T8i is markedly heavier (14 percent) than the SL2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SL2 nor the T8i 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SL2 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549i
2.
 
Canon T8i 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 18.2 oz 800 n Feb 2020 749 i
3.
 
Canon SL3 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 15.8 oz 1070 n Apr 2019 599 i
4.
 
Canon T7 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
5.
 
Canon 77D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i
7.
 
Canon M6 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779i
8.
 
Canon M100 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499i
9.
 
Canon T7i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749i
10.
 
Canon M5 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
11.
 
Canon T6i 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749i
12.
 
Canon T6s 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649i
13.
 
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.

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 T8i, 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.

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Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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.

Technology-wise, the T8i 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 SL2 and Canon T8i 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 SL2 and the T8i have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the T8i 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 Rebel SL2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The Canon EOS Rebel T8i offers exactly the same ISO settings.

SL2 versus T8i MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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
1.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
2.
 
Canon T8i APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
3.
 
Canon SL3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/25p........
4.
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p........
5.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
7.
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
8.
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
9.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
10.
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
11.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
12.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
13.
 
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 T8i provides a better video resolution than the SL2. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/24p, while the SL2 is limited to 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The SL2 and the T8i 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 T8i (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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SL2 and Canon T8i in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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
1.
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Canon T8ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.5 Y n
3.
 
Canon SL3optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T7optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 8.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
9.
 
Canon T7ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
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 SL2 and the Canon T8i 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 SL2 and the T8i 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.

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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 Rebel SL2 and Canon EOS Rebel T8i 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
1.
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
2.
 
Canon T8iYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
3.
 
Canon SL3YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
7.
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
8.
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
9.
 
Canon T7iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
10.
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
11.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
12.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
13.
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---

The T8i 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.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SL2 or the Canon T8i – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages 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 thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 62g or 12 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • 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 available for much longer (launched in June 2017).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T8i:

  • 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: Gets more shots (800 versus 650) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the SL2 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL2 comes out slightly ahead of the T8i (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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SL2 06:05 T8i

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SL2 and the Canon T8i 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 SL2 or the T8i. 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 (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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
2.
 
Canon T8i4.5/5+80/1004/53.5/5 Feb 2020 749 i
3.
 
Canon SL3..o79/1004/54/5 Apr 2019 599 i
4.
 
Canon T7..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
5.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
6.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II4/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i
7.
 
Canon M6....80/1004/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
8.
 
Canon M1003/5+..4/53.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
9.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..80/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
10.
 
Canon M54/5+82/1004/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
11.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
12.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
13.
 
Canon SL14/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SL2:
Check Ebay offers
Canon T8i:
Check Amazon price

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon SL2 vs Canon T8i

    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 SL2 Canon T8i
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date June 2017 February 2020
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon SL2 Canon T8i
    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 1080/60p Video 4K/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 51,200 ISO 100 - 51,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 7 DIGIC 8
    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 SL2 Canon T8i
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.51x
    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 SL2 Canon T8i
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 7.5 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 SL2 Canon T8i
    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 NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SL2 Canon T8i
    Battery Type LP-E17 LP-E17
    Battery Life (CIPA)650 shots per charge800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 93 x 70 mm
    (4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
    131 x 103 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 453 g (16.0 oz) 515 g (18.2 oz)

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