Canon SL1 - your first Canon DSLR

You can now have the Canon SL1 as your own. It's a full-featured DSLR, now available with a lens and a nice bundle of accessories for an absurdly affordable price.

At the time of its release, it was the world's smallest DSLR, weighing it at less than a pound. My friends at DPReview gave this marvel a Gold Award.

Now that it's been on the market for a while, you can have your hands wrapped around your own Canon DLSR for a bargain.

The Canon Rebel SL1 has the specs you'd expect from a DSLR.

  1. An 18 megapixel sensor
  2. 3 Inch LCD touch screen
  3. Full array of manual and automatic settings
  1. Access to the full range of Canon EF-S lenses
  2. High ISO-Low light capabilities
  3. Fast, powerful processor

Full-sized DSLRs aren't for everyone. If you feel they're simply too big and too heavy for you to lug around, go with a compact DSLR.

If you'd love to shoot great photos and have all of features, the Rebel SL1 might appeal to you. Look at the difference in size between the SL1 and my Canon 5D Mark III.

The SL1 body weights it at less than a pound.  The 5D Mark III weighs almost exactly twice as much at just under 2 pounds. 

This camera can be used by amateurs who like fully automatic settings and its creative auto mode. Professionals could easily carry this as a nice compact back-up to their full-sized camera body.

It's a modern miracle of engineering to fit all that electronic, mechanical and optical bling in such a small space.

What has impressed the professional camera reviewers is the remarkable improvement in auto-focus.  Video is much better than previous cameras, employing the Hybrid AF II auto focus system.

Why you might want to own a Rebel SL1


When something this small works so well, it's a good fit. Cameras that are easy to carry get taken along and used.

This camera takes EF-S lenses which are smaller, lighter, and more affordable than full-sized EF lenses.


It's a good strategy to wait for a year or two after a new camera is released to get a good price. The SL1 was released in 2013.  You are at the best time to get yours right now.

The bundles being offered by on-line retailers like Adorama, B+H PhotoVideo, and Amazon are ripe for the picking.

Canon Rebel SL1 Shortcomings

Pro tennis action photo3 frames-per-second

If you are an advanced sport shooter, the Rebel SL1 may be disappointment for you with only 4 frames-per-second.

I've taken some striking pro tennis photos using a 3 frames-per-second DSLR. Professional sports photographers demand 8 or more frames-per-second.

Canon SL1 Bundles

You can get a great bundle that includes the camera body, the standard 18-55mm lens, memory card, small camera bag, and tripod.  Right now, these bundles are going for less than $500.

Canon SL1 Camera BundleCanon SL1 Camera Bundle at Adorama - September 2015

The best thing about the Canon Reble SL1 cameras?  Okay, two things.  They take great photos and they're fun to use!

Shoot more photos 

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Buy a SL1 from BHPhoto

Where to buy your SL1?

Consider Amazon.  Number one in customer service. Great place to read buyer reviews.

Written by Bruce Lovelace

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I got an email from one of my favorite retailers about a special deal on the Canon Rebel SL1