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Canon’s new baby DSLR may be world’s smallest, but isn’t short on performance

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Check out our review of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 digital camera.

While Canon’s new EOS Rebel T5i isn’t anything more than an evolutionary product, its new EOS Rebel SL1 is a different story. Canon calls the SL1 the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR, and when you put it next to Canon’s other compact DSLR, the difference is noticeable.

We’ve been hoping Canon would release a follow-up to its EOS M soon, but instead of a new highly compact mirrorless camera, Canon gave us shrunk-down DSLR. The camera weighs 14.4 ounces, and it’s 25-percent smaller and 28-percent lighter than the outgoing Rebel T4i. While it’s still larger than a mirrorless model, the SL1 is essentially a traditional DSLR stuffed into a much smaller body, but with newly enhanced features.

The SL1 introduces a new 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor paired with Canon’s DIGIC 5 image processor, with an ISO range of 100-12,800 for stills and 6400 for video. Continuous shooting is up to four frames per second. The SL1 also has a new nine-point cross-type autofocusing system that includes Canon’s new Hybrid CMOS AF II sensor, which has a wider phase area that covers 80 percent of the sensor – significantly wider than the Hybrid CMOS AF sensor in the T4i and the new T5i. For video capture, the SL1 records at Full HD 1080p at 30 fps. The LCD is a touch-screen that’s identical to the one in the T4i, but it’s fixed. The SL1 lets you make basic photo edits via the LCD, and creative filters are now displayed in real-time during live view shooting.

It’s obvious that Canon has designed the SL1 to compete with mirrorless cameras, which are growing in popularity. They target the same buyer, those who want to step up to a more advanced camera but don’t want to lug around a big DSLR. Canon says the SL1 is also designed with female customers in mind.

The SL1 is scheduled for an April release in stores for $650 (body). It’ll also be available with the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens for $800.

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The two images above show the size difference between an EOS Rebel SL1 (left) and the EOS Rebel T4i (right).

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The renderings show the size difference between the EOS Rebel SL1, EOS Rebel T4i, and the EOS M.

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