Canon T3 versus Canon SL1
The Canon EOS Rebel T3 (called Canon 1100D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (labelled Canon 100D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2011 and March 2013. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The T3 has a resolution of 12.2 megapixel, whereas the SL1 provides 17.9 MP.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon T3 and the Canon SL1. 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 T3 – represents the basis for the calculations 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 (18 percent) than the Canon T3. Moreover, the SL1 is markedly lighter (18 percent) than the T3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3 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 comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Canon T3 (⇒ rgt)||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||no||2011||449||discont.||check|
|Canon SL1 (⇒ lft)||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||no||2013||549||discont.||check|
|Canon SL2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||no||2017||549||latest||check|
|Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||no||2014||449||discont.||check|
|Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||no||2013||649||discont.||check|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||no||2013||549||latest||check|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||no||2012||799||discont.||check|
|Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||no||2012||849||discont.||check|
|Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||no||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Canon T2i (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||no||2010||699||discont.||check|
|Canon XS (⇒ lft | rgt)||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||no||2008||449||discont.||check|
|Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||no||2008||799||discont.||check|
|Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt)||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||no||2006||799||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||no||2013||599||discont.||check|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The T3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 18 percent) than the SL1, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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 SL1 is 3 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.
With 17.9MP, the SL1 offers a higher resolution than the T3 (12.2MP), but the SL1 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.15μm for the T3). Yet, the SL1 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 1 month) than the T3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon T3 (⇒ rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||720/30p||21.9||11.0||755||62|
|Canon SL1 (⇒ lft)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63|
|Canon SL2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79|
|Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63|
|Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62|
|Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65|
|Canon T2i (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66|
|Canon XS (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||no||-||-||-||-|
|Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||no||21.9||10.8||692||61|
|Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||no||22.1||11.0||664||62|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
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 SL1 provides a better video resolution than the T3. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the T3 is limited to 720/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The T3 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon T3 and Canon SL1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Canon T3 (⇒ rgt)||optical||no||2.7||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||9.2||no|
|Canon SL1 (⇒ lft)||optical||no||3.0||1040||fixed||YES||4000||4.9||9.4||no|
|Canon SL2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||9.8||no|
|Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3||460||fixed||no||4000||3.0||9.2||no|
|Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||13||no|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||922||fixed||no||4000||2.2||7||YES|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||922||Swivel||no||4000||1.9||7||YES|
|Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||13||no|
|Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3||1040||swivel||no||4000||3.7||13||no|
|Canon T2i (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||fixed||no||4000||3.7||13||no|
|Canon XS (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||13||no|
|Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||230||fixed||no||4000||3.5||13||no|
|Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||13||no|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1440||no||3.0||1036||swivel||YES||4000||7.0||10.5||no|
Both the T3 and the SL1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The T3 was replaced by the Canon T5, while the SL1 was followed by the Canon SL2.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon T3 or the Canon SL1 – 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 T3:
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (18 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2011).
Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 21%.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.9 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x91mm vs 130x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 88g or 18 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 1 month of technical progress since the T3 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL1 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 3 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.
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 T3 and the SL1 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. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Canon T3 (⇒ rgt)||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2011||449||discont.||check|
|Canon SL1 (⇒ lft)||Rec||78/100 Gold||4/5||4/5||4/5||2013||549||discont.||check|
|Canon SL2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||78/100 Silver||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||2017||549||latest||check|
|Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4/5||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2014||449||discont.||check|
|Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||76/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||649||discont.||check|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||549||latest||check|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||79/100 Rec||76/100 Silver||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2012||799||discont.||check|
|Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2012||849||discont.||check|
|Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt)||reviewed||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Canon T2i (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||77/100 Gold||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2010||699||discont.||check|
|Canon XS (⇒ lft | rgt)||82/100||HiRec||3.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2008||449||discont.||check|
|Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2008||799||discont.||check|
|Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt)||85/100 HiRec||HiRec||reviewed||4.5/5||4/5||2006||799||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||2013||599||discont.||check|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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