Canon EOS 100D review: does the Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D offer more than its size?

Canon EOS 100D review: does the Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D offer more than its size?

The Canon Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D is the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR. But is its image quality up to scratch? Find out in our Canon EOS 100D review.

Canon finally introduced its own CSC last year with the Canon EOS M, but now it has also released the Canon EOS 100D – also known as the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 in the United States – which is the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR.

The Canon EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 is an all new DSLR that joins the EOS camera line-up, sitting between the EOS 1100D and EOS 600D. But what else does it offer apart from its size?

Here Amy Davies of our testing team takes a look at what this camera has to offer in her Canon EOS 100D review video.

Canon SL1 / Canon EOS 100D Review Video Transcript

This is the Canon EOS 100D, which at the time of launch is the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR.

Canon has managed to shrink down all of the major components of this camera, but still retain an APS-C sized, 18 million pixel sensor at its heart.

This grip, although not as pronounced as on other DSLRs, still allows for good purchase, even when shooting with the camera one-handed. This dial here just next to the grip is used for altering aperture or shutter speed, depending on the mode you’re in.

Despite the camera’s small size, Canon has managed to keep a good button layout, with the majority being easily reached by the thumb on the right hand side. There’s also a mode dial, which is used to access fully automatic modes, semi-automatic modes, and full manual modes.

You’ll also notice here that the on/off switch can be pushed one step further to activate the movie mode on the camera. This makes it quicker to reach than having to spin the mode dial all the way around, and should make capturing those spur of the moment movies much easier.

We’ve seen “Creative Auto” mode before, and it helps new  photographers get the shots they want, without using complicated photographic terms. So for instance, using this setting to make the background more or less blurred is actually altering the aperture.

Creative Auto Mode also makes accessing the digital filters, such as Toy Camera effect easy. Although you can’t shoot in raw format with digital filters, you can access a Extra Effect Shot mode which shoots one standard JPEG, and one with the effect added – useful if you decide you don’t like the filter further down the line.

Bizarrely, although digital filters can be accessed when shooting in other modes, such as aperture priority, you can only reach them when shooting in Live View mode, and the option to use Extra Effect Shot is not available.

For better control, you could choose to use Picture Styles. A number of presets are already included, such as Landscape and Portrait, while there’s also space for up to three of your own, useful if you want to create a custom setting, such as high contrast monochrome. You can also shoot in raw format too, for added flexibility.

On the back of the camera is a 3-inch touch sensitive LCD panel. This can be used for a range of things, including quickly accessing the Quick Menu. Simply tap this Q button here, then touch the setting you want to change. You can then use the scroll dial at the front of the camera to quickly move through the different options.

One of the good things about the touchscreen is that if you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to. Exactly the same operation can be achieved by using this button in the centre of the four-way control pad and the arrow keys here.

There are a lot of similarities between the button layout on this camera and other Canon DSLRs. So for instance, here we have a button to control exposure compensation, and another here to play back images.

The autofocus point can be changed in one of two ways, depending on whether you’re shooting in Live View or not. Press this button here to choose from one of the nine AF points available. You can use the touchscreen, which is especially useful in Live View mode – in fact you can also touch the screen to fire the shutter. Tap the screen at the point you want to use and the camera will focus and take the picture. This is useful in a few different scenarios, such as when using a tripod.

Unlike the majority of compact system cameras on the market, the 100D has a traditional optical viewfinder. This sensor here automatically switches off the screen when the camera is lifted to the eye. It’s worth bearing in mind however that the viewfinder doesn’t offer a 100% field of view, something to consider when composing your images.

We had high hopes for the Canon EOS 100D at its launch, with its promise of similar image quality to other cameras we’ve been impressed by in the past. In reality, the 100D delivers excellent images which are bright, punchy and detailed from a range of different shooting conditions.

However, we can’t help but feel that having the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR doesn’t mean too much when the rest of the system remains comparatively large and heavy. It’ll be interesting to see how the sales figures of this camera compare with its CSC rivals.

PAGE 1: Canon Rebel SL1 / Canon EOS 100D Review
PAGE 2: Our original Canon Rebel SL1 / Canon EOS 100D announcement story


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