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Canon SL3 vs T8i

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (called Canon 250D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel T8i (labelled Canon 850D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2019 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 SL3 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 SL3 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 SL3
versus
Canon T8i
Canon SL3 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
4K/25p 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
1070 shots per battery charge800 shots per battery charge
122 x 93 x 70 mm, 449 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 SL3 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SL3 and the Canon T8i. 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SL3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the T8i is only available in black.

Size Canon SL3 vs Canon T8i
Compare SL3 versus T8i top
Comparison SL3 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 SL3. Moreover, the T8i is markedly heavier (15 percent) than the SL3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SL3 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. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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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 SL3 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 449 g 1070 n Apr 2019 599 i
2.
 
Canon T8i 131 mm 103 mm 76 mm 515 g 800 n Feb 2020 749 i
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark II 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 387 g 305 n Oct 2020 599 i
4.
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779 i
5.
 
Canon T7 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
6.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
7.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i
8.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749 i
9.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749 i
10.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
11.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549 i
12.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SL3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the T8i, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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.

Canon SL3 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 SL3 and the T8i have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the T8i is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the SL3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 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.

SL3 versus T8i MP

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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 SL3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/25p...... ..
2.
 
Canon T8i APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p...... ..
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark II APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p...... ..
4.
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p...... ..
5.
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p...... ..
6.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.3971 78
7.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.41041 79
8.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p...... ..
9.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.0919 71
10.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
11.
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.3843 63
12.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66

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 SL3 provides a higher frame rate than the T8i. It can shoot video footage at 4K/25p, while the T8i is limited to 4K/24p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SL3 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 SL3 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SL3 and Canon T8i along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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 SL3optical 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 M50 Mark II2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T7optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T7ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
12.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 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 SL3 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 SL3 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 SL3 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 SL3YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
2.
 
Canon T8iYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
7.
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
8.
 
Canon T7iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
9.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---

Both the SL3 and the T8i are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The SL3 replaced the earlier Canon SL2, while the T8i followed on from the Canon T7i. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SL3 better than the Canon T8i or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel SL3:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/25p versus 4K/24p).
  • 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 66g or 13 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1070 versus 800) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2019).


Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T8i:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.5 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (10 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL3 is the clear winner of the match-up (7 : 2 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.

SL3 07:02 T8i

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SL3 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SL3 and the T8i in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 SL3..o79/1004/54/5 Apr 2019 599 i
2.
 
Canon T8i4.5/5+80/1004/53.5/5 Feb 2020 749 i
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark II4/5....4.5/53.5/5 Oct 2020 599 i
4.
 
Canon M50..+79/100..3.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i
5.
 
Canon T7..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
6.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
7.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i
8.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..80/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i
9.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749 i
10.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
11.
 
Canon SL14/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549 i
12.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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.

Canon SL3:
Check Amazon price
Canon T8i:
Check Amazon price

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SL3 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 SL3 Canon T8i
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2019 February 2020
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon SL3 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 4K/25p 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 8 DIGIC 8
    Screen Specs Canon SL3 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 SL3 Canon T8i
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus 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 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 SL3 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
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SL3 Canon T8i
    Battery Type LP-E17 LP-E17
    Battery Life (CIPA)1070 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 449 g (15.8 oz) 515 g (18.2 oz)

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