Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) Review

Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) Review

With the Canon Rebel SL1 (named EOS 100D in most of the world, Rebel SL1 is the name for the United States), Canon recently presented the smallest and lightest DSLR camera currently available. However, Canon has only slimmed down the appearance of the Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) to a large extent. Under the hood there is an 18-megapixel sensor in APS-C format, the scope of equipment hardly appears to be lacking at first glance in the brochure and a decent three-inch monitor also found room on the back of the slim housing. So the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) takes up pleasingly little space in the photo bag. But what is the handling of such a miniaturized DSLR like? We have investigated this question in detail in a user test I has the opportunity to perform.

Short evaluation


  • Fast autofocus (but not for Live View)
  • Touch screen with many functions
  • Good image quality (especially of the set lens)
  • Very compact, lightweight DSLR


  • Rigid display
  • Micky, dark viewfinder image
  • Slower AF in Live View and Video
  • Small, sometimes poorly arranged operating elements

Ergonomics And Workmanship Of The Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D)

When the parcel messenger hands over the test camera from the distributor where I am located (Deerfield near Chicago), I had some slight doubts: “Is the Rebel SL1 actually in this package? But the package does not only contain the camera, Canon has also packed the new set lens EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM into the box. And so the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) presents itself almost as slim and slim as a mirrorless system camera in DSLR design, for example from Panasonic. Only the zoom lens is slightly larger than its Micro Four Thirds counterparts, but for a DSLR it’s surprisingly compact and lightweight. The camera is also light, so the station wagon only weighs a good pound on the scale. This lightweight is primarily due to the generous use of plastic, both in the camera and in the lens. Canon doesn’t even try to hide this saving and slimming measure, the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) is visibly and tactilely dressed in a plastic cover. Only the narrow grip bead has Canon with a cover in carbon look somewhat more handsome and above all, grip safe designed. So the small DSLR can just be held securely with one hand as long as the photographer’s hands are not too big.

On the slim back of the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D), they had just found enough room for a three-inch display that lives up to its status and has a pleasingly high resolution of more than one million pixels. However, the space for the rear controls becomes tight: The buttons are extremely tiny, but at least they delight with a long key stroke and a well defined pressure point. Unfortunately, the latter doesn’t apply to the four-way rocker, which also turns out to be as puny as a compact camera and is also arranged very low.


Fortunately, you don’t need this control too often, as the display is touch-sensitive – a pleasing number of parameters can be entered with a fingertip. Touch input even works when navigating the main menu. However, the entries for this are quite small – it takes a little tact to select the desired command. This allows you to move better through the camera menu with the four-way rocker. Canon has structured it well, there is no list to scroll through.

To the right on the top of the camera is a neat mode dial with twelve positions. It can be turned without an end stop, which speeds up the selection of the desired parameter. Right next to the mode selector, Canon has placed the main switch, which also switches between photo and video mode. A setting wheel for exposure compensation or for time and aperture preselection is within easy reach of the right index finger. There was also room for a button for ISO selection. The trigger lies pleasantly far in front on the grip bead, but requires that the index finger must be bent strongly – undoubtedly a tribute to the small case.

The handy housing of the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) also offers little space for the battery, which is inserted at the bottom. So only a rather small energy dispenser fits into the battery compartment, its capacity is only sufficient for 380 photos when using the optical viewfinder. If you shoot exclusively in Live View mode, the battery capacity drops to around 150 shots – there should always be a charged second battery in the photo bag! This is all the more true as the display of the remaining capacity is quite inaccurate – in practice it dropped quite quickly from 75% to “battery empty”. The memory card compartment is also hidden under the battery door. However, the space at the bottom of the camera is also very narrow, so an attached tripod plate inevitably blocks access to the battery and memory card. The fact that the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) is a genuine DSLR can be seen by looking through the viewfinder. Despite the space- and cost-saving pentasmirror construction, the viewfinder image is acceptably bright, but very small. If you want a lush viewfinder image, the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) can switch to Live View mode. However, the fact that Canon has rigidly installed the display proves to be a bit of an obstacle, as it can neither be swivelled nor rotated.


Today, even entry-level DSLRs offer a wealth of features that will not disappoint unneeded photographers or ambitious enthusiasts. The Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) is no exception: If you don’t want to spend a lot of time adjusting the camera to the shooting situation, you can confidently leave this to the automatic systems of the 100D. If necessary, they even let the on-board flash jump up and trigger it. The camera’s automatic subject control takes over complete control of the action. Creative automatic control allows a few more intervention options – here, for example, the background sharpness (depth of field), brightness (exposure correction) or various image styles can be changed.

Among the rich scene mode programs, “HDR backlighting” has proven to be particularly practical. Here, the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) takes three differently exposed photos in rapid succession, which it then combines into one image that is beautifully drawn through from the darkest depths to the brightest lights. It is a pity that the camera does not allow exposure compensation.

If you don’t trust the automatic systems, you can largely adapt the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) to the respective shooting situation or your ideas of what to shoot. In addition, it offers the classic semi-automatic systems, and the exposure can also be controlled completely manually. A dipping button helps to control the depth of field in advance; the ambitious photographer does not even have to do without a mirror lock-up. The flash functions of the Rebel SL1 are extremely luxurious – it has practically everything that the professional Canon DSLRs have to offer. These include the possibilities for long and short time synchronisation, an image exposure correction as well as the quite sophisticated measured value memory at Canon for the flash exposure. The small on-board flash may not be a performance miracle, but as a brightener in backlight situations it does a good job. If you don’t want to use a flash under adverse lighting conditions, you can raise the sensitivity up to ISO 25,600.

The ISO automatic selects a maximum of ISO 6,400, but the upper limit can be reduced. In Live View mode, the EOS 100D only works with an external flash from Canon’s own company, otherwise the system shoe also accepts suitable devices from other manufacturers.

When it comes to autofocus, Canon is a little economical here. He has to make do with nine measuring fields, which also crowd into the center of the picture. In contrast, the hybrid autofocus in Live View mode has been significantly improved; it now covers approx. 85 % of the image section. With hybrid AF, special phase comparison sensors on the image converter support the usual contrast measurement, which is intended to accelerate focusing. This technology, first introduced with the EOS 650D, only works in conjunction with the new STM lenses, such as the EF-S 18-55 mm 3.5-5.6 IS STM. But despite new hybrid technology, the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) focuses very deliberately in Live View mode: In my test, with the test software, more than a second passed before the focus was set from infinity to the test board at a distance of two meters – today’s mirrorless system cameras focus three times faster! This is particularly difficult with video recordings in which the Rebel SL1 only tracks the focus very hesitantly but at least without disturbing pumping. The phase AF of the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) reacts much more quickly: The classic view through the viewfinder has it focused and triggered within 0.2 seconds – hardly a DSLR in its class is so fast. But you have to chalk up Canon that the Rebel SL1 has no AF auxiliary light on board. Instead, it fires a powerful flash volley at the scene mode in a dark environment – it’s not discreet! Due to the system, the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) offers face detection and tracking only in Live View mode.

The viewfinder image appears on the display, the focus region can be defined with a fingertip, and the recording can also be triggered with a tipper.

The Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) cuts a fine figure as a film camera. Exposure can be controlled manually or automatically, and most scene modes are also available during video shooting. Exposure correction and image styles also work, and the STM drive of the set lens adjusts sharpness virtually silently. When shooting in full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), the maximum frame rate is 30 full frames per second (fps), higher frame rates are only available in standard HD resolution (1,280 x 720 pixels). The internal microphone only records in mono, but an external stereo microphone can be connected to the Rebel SL1. As usual with Canon, the Rebel SL1 also offers a multitude of playback functions. This includes, for example, subsequent editing options via creative filters as well as useful management functions. Thus, the EOS 100D hardly has any gaps in the typical photo and video functions. The situation is different with comfort functions: The camera lacks an integrated GPS receiver as well as an electronic spirit level. After all, the camera can be upgraded with the external GPS logger GP-E2.

Picture quality

The same 18-megapixel sensor is working in the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) from the paper form, which also did its job in the EOS 650D introduced a year ago (and which was already an old acquaintance there). The EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM set lens with its whisper-quiet stepper motor focus drive is completely new. Its predecessor already knew how to cut a good figure on the EOS 650D.

The inner values of the set object are in any case greater than might be feared by looking at its disdainful plastic shell. The lens is equally sharp over the entire focal length range, the edges of the image are just as sharp as the centre – this is not a matter of course, especially with price-optimised set lenses! The 18-55 is almost exemplary when it comes to “vignetting” and “chromatic aberration” – edge darkening is just as little a problem for the lens as colour fringing on contrasting edges.

The resolution of the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D)’s 18-megapixel sensor is above average. What is particularly pleasing here is that the resolution drops only moderately towards the image edges – and that at a very high maximum resolution of sometimes more than 50 line pairs per millimeter. In distortion measurement, however, the set lens does not look quite as good: In normal and telescopic position it hardly registers, but in wide-angle position it produces strongly barrel-shaped curved lines.

The lens is therefore largely without fault and blame. But what about the image quality when the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D)’s sensor and image processor come into play? With an input dynamic of approx. 10 f-stops up to ISO 1.600, the Canons smallest DSLR is on the cutting edge. The output dynamic is also very high up to ISO 400, the camera differentiates even the finest tonal gradations very well. The signal-to-noise ratio remains quite high up to ISO 1,600, but from ISO 6,400 it becomes critical. The brightness noise corresponds to this: It remains uncritical up to ISO 1,600, but even at ISO 3,200, interference pixels are hardly noticeable.

The Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) has no problems with the particularly annoying color noise – it only becomes visible beyond ISO 12,800. However, the noise reduction of the camera is quite brash, the texture sharpness decreases continuously with increasing ISO number. At the latest from ISO 3.200 this is noticeable by a low-detail reproduction.

So there’s not much that could chalk up the shots of the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) . Most likely, that the measured ISO sensitivity is about one third f-stop higher than the set one. It remains to be seen whether this results in a preference of the camera for a rather abundant exposure. In any case, the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) tends to take rather bright pictures in practice and also accepts overexposed image areas. But this can be changed by exposure correction if necessary.

Bottom line

No DSLR is currently as small and handy as the Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D). This is both a curse and a blessing: anyone looking for a particularly compact SLR camera, for example for a trip or as a permanent companion, should definitely take a closer look at the Rebel SL1. Especially since Canon has reduced weight and dimensions, but not the range of functions. If, on the other hand, you value a camera that can be operated blindly and always lies bombproof in your hand, you will find a slightly more opulent model (such as the new EOS 700D) more appealing. The Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) with its still slow Live View AF is lagging behind many mirrorless system cameras. For this it can fall back on the immense range of Canon lenses, the flash system is also very mature. The bottom line is that the image quality is more than fine, especially the inexpensive EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM set lens is above class level.

Fact sheet

Fact sheet
Manufacturer Canon
Model Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D)
Price approx. 660 EUR at market launch
Sensor Resolution 18.5 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 5.184 x 3.456
(aspect ratio) (3:2)
Lens Canon EF-S 3.5-5.6/18-55mm IS STM
Filter threads 58 mm
Viewfinder Pentas mirrors
Field of vision 95 %
Enlargement 0,87-fold
Diopter compensation -3 to +1 dpt.
LCD monitor 3″
Disbandment 1.040.000
as viewfinder yes
Video output PAL/NTSC
Program automation yes
Aperture priority yes
Aperture priority yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long-term exposure yes
Scene modes
Portrait yes
Children/Babies yes
Countryside yes
Macro yes
Sports/Action yes
more 8
Exposure metering Multi-field, center-weighted Integral, Center, Spot
Flash yes
Flash connection System flash shoe
Remote release Cord
Interval shooting
Storage medium SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video mode yes
Size MOV
Codec AVC/H.264
Resolution (max.) 1.920 x 1.080
at frame rate 30 images/s
automatic 100-6,400 (upper limit adjustable)
manually ISO 100-25.600
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp yes
Light bulb yes
Other Shadow, flash, manual color temperature selection
Manual yes
Number of measuring fields 9
AF auxiliary light Flash salvo
Speed approx. 0.2 s
Languages German
more 24
One-hand operation
(zoom and shutter release)
385 g (housing only
)590 g (with lens*)
Zoom adjustment manual on lens
Battery life
approx. 380 images (with viewfinder
)approx. 150 images (LiveView)
(each according to CIPA)
– = “not applicable” or “not available
“* with lens Canon EF-S 3.5-5.6/18-55mm IS STM

Short evaluation


  • Fast autofocus (but not for Live View)
  • Touch screen with many functions
  • Good image quality (especially of the set lens)
  • Very compact, lightweight DSLR


  • Rigid display
  • Micky, dark viewfinder image
  • Slower AF in Live View and Video
  • Small, sometimes poorly arranged operating elements

Canon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) Datasheet


Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 22.5 x 15.0 mm (crop factor 1.6
)18.5 megapixels (physical) and 18.0 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 4.3 µm
Photo resolution
46.085 x 3.456 pixels
5.184 x 3.456 pixels (3:2)
5.184 x 2.912 pixels (16:9)
3.456 x 3.456 pixels (1:1)
3.456 x 1.944 pixels (16:9)
3.072 x 1.728 pixels (16:9)
2.892 x 1.456 pixels (2:1)
2.592 x 2.592 pixels (1:1)
2.592 x 1.728 pixels (3:2)
2.304 x 2.304 pixels (1:1)
2.304 x 1.728 pixels (4:3)
1.920 x 1.280 pixels (3:2)
1.920 x 1.080 Pixel (16:9)
1.728 x 1.728 pixels (1:1)
1.696 x 1.280 pixels (4:3)
1.280 x 1.280 pixels (1:1)
720 x 480 pixels (3:2)
720 x 400 pixels (16:9)
640 x 480 pixels (4:3)
480 x 480 pixels (1:1)
Picture formats JPG, RAW
Colour depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel), 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.21), DCF standard (version 2.0)
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 p 29 min 59 sec
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p 29 min 59 sec
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 60 p 29 min 59 sec
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 50 p 29 min 59 sec
640 x 480 (4:3) 30 p 29 min 59 sec
640 x 480 (4:3) 25 p 29 min 59 sec
Maximum recording time 29 min 59 sec
Video format
MOV (Codec H.264)
Audio format (video) WAV


Lens mount
Canon EF-S


Autofocus mode Phase comparison autofocus with one cross sensor, autofocus working range from 0 EV to 18 EV, contrast autofocus
Autofocus Functions Single autofocus, Continuous autofocus, Tracking autofocus, Manual, AF Assist Light
Focus control Depth of field control, dimming button, Live View

Viewfinder and Monitor

Reflex viewfinder Reflex viewfinder (95 % image coverage), 19 mm interpupillary distance, diopter compensation (-3.0 to +1.0 dpt), replaceable focusing screens, grille can be faded in
Monitor 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 1,040,000 pixels, viewing angle 170°, brightness adjustable, with touch screen


Exposure metering Centre-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 63 fields, spot measurement (measurement over 4 % or 9 % of the image field)
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 30 s (automatic
) bulb function
Exposure control Program automatic, Aperture automatic, Time automatic, Manual
Bracketing function Bracket function with maximum 3 shots, step size from 1/3 to 2 EV, HDR function
Exposure compensation -5.0 to +5.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 100 to ISO 6.400 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 25.600 (manual)
Remote access Remote release, cable release
Scene modes Various scene modes, landscape, night scene, close-up, portrait, sports/action, fully automatic, and 1 additional scene mode
Picture effects Fisheye, Miniature effect, Toy camera, Soft focus, Watercolor, Grainy black and white, SoftFocus
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sun, White balance bracket, Fine-tune, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent lamp, Incandescent lamp, Manual 1 memory locations
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous-advance function max. 4.0 fps at highest resolution and max. 28 stored photos, or 7 RAW images
Self-timer Self-timer at intervals of 2 s, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Shooting functions AEL function, live histogram


Flash built-in flash (hinged
)flash shoe: Canon, standard centre contact
Flash range Flash sync time 1/200 s
Flash number Guide number 9 (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, Fill Flash, Flash On, Flash Off, High Speed Sync, Slow Sync, Flash On Second Shutter Curtain, Red-Eye Reduction, Flash Exposure Compensation from -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV


Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
GPS function GPS external (wired or plug-on receiver)
Microphone present
Power supply Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Canon LP-E12 (lithium ion (Li-Ion), 7.2 V, 875 mAh
)440 CIPA standard images
Playback Functions Crop images, rotate images, protect images, highlight / shadow warning, playback histogram, playback magnifier with 10.0x magnification, image index, slide show function with music and fade effects, zoom out
Voice memo Voice memo (WAV format)
Face recognition Face recognition
Special functions Grid can be faded in, orientation sensor, Live View
Ports Data interfaces: USBUSB type
:USB 2.0 High Speed
AV connectors AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D
)Audio input: yes (3.5 mm stereo microphone jack)
Audio output: no
Supported direct printing methods Canon Direct Print, PictBridge
Tripod socket 1/4″
Features and Miscellaneous built-in low-pass filter with dust protection functionHybrid AF
when recording videoDIGIC 5 signal processorHighlightTone PriorityAuto
Lighting Optimizer Simultaneous
JPEG and RAW recording possiblePTP supportAdjustableimage parameters (6 Picture-Style-P

references 3 custom settings)
8 Personalization function with 24 settings7x
lossless digital zoom through crop in VGA video recordingAutomatic
vignetting correctionMulti-recording
(four) for noise reductionNight recording
without tripod (combination of four recordings)

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 117 x 91 x 69 mm
Weight 407 g (ready for operation)


included accessories Canon LP-E12 Special BatteryCanon
RF-3 (Housing Cover)
Battery Charger LC-E12EVideo Connection CableUSB Connection CableBajonet CoverCarrying StrapPicture Editing SoftwareZoomBrowser EXPicture Editing Software
Digital Photo ProfessionalCamera Software
EOS Utility / Remote CaptureCamera Software
Photo StitchTwain
Driver 2000Picture Viewing
and Management Software Zoom Browser EX (PC) or Image Browser (Mac)
optional accessory Canon LP-E12 special batteryCanon
RS-60E3 cable remote control mains adapter
ACK-E15 interchangeable memory cardCanonEF and EF-S interchangeable lens systemCanon
Speedlite EX system flash units, IR remote control RC-6, GPS receiver GP-E2


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