The Canon EOS Rebel Line Continues With the SL1 and T5i

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (Image courtesy of Canon, Inc.)
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (Image courtesy of Canon, Inc.)

Canon’s EOS line has come a far way since the first model, the EOS 650, which was released in 1987. Now, the camera company has released two of its latest models — the EOS Rebel SL1 (100D) and the EOS Rebel T5i (700D). The Rebel line of cameras are entry-level D-SLRs, that are aimed at amateur and advanced amateur photographers. The SL1 is branded as the “smallest and lightest D-SLR”, and the Rebel T5i improves upon the already well-performing T4i.

What Do the Rebel SL1 and the T5i Have in Common?

EOS Rebel SL1 - Front View
EOS Rebel SL1 – Front View
EOS Rebel T5i - Front View
EOS Rebel T5i – Front View

Both cameras sport a number of similar features including:

  • Image Sensor: 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C)

  • Image Processor: Digic 5

  • Video: Full HD 1080

  • ISO: 100-12800, expandable to 25600 for Stills

  • Lens Compatibility: EF and EF-S

  • Autofocus: 9 AF Points

  • Media Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, and Ultra High Speed (UHS-I)

  • GPS Compatibility: Canon GPS Receiver (GP-E2)

  • Touchscreen: 3.0” (3:2 wide) LCD ClearView II

  • Dual-Layer Metering: 63 Zone

  • LiveView Mode

  • Exposure Control: Includes A+ Scene Intelligent Auto

  • Aspect Ratio Function

  • In-Camera Processing: Creative Filters

  • Feature Guide

  • Picture Style

  • HDMI and USB Connectivity

  • Direct Printing: PictBridge Compatible Printers

  • Automated Dust Removal: Self Cleaning Sensor Unit

  • Video Snapshot

  • Special Scene Modes: Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene and HDR Backlight Control mode

  • Canon Image Gateway 

What are the Differences Between the SL1 and the T5i?

EOS Rebel T5i – Top View
EOS Rebel SL1 – Top View

Size & Weight: The SL1 is almost 30 percent smaller, and nearly 40 percent lighter than the T5i. Considering that the T5i is already a relatively small camera, the SL1 is an ideal choice for casual photographers who would like to have D-SLR functions packed into a small body. When comparing the T5i to the mirrorless EOS M, it’s about 30 percent heavier, and 70 percent larger (mostly due to it’s thickness).

Note: These comparisons are based on weight and dimensions of the body only — without any battery, memory card or lens attached.

Special Scene Modes: The SL1 has three additional special scene modes from the three mentioned before, including the modes: Kids, Food and Candlelight. These offer greater automatic settings for common social scenes among family and friends.

Continuous Burst Mode: The T5i can shoot with up to 5 frames per second, compared to the SL1’s 4 frames per second.

External Flash: The T5i has an integrated Speedlite Transmitter, that can control Canon 600EX-RT (Master) wirelessly in E-TTL mode.

Autofocus System: The T5i uses the Hybrid CMOS AF system, whereas the SL1 uses the more advanced, Hybrid CMOS AF II system.

Vari Angle LCD: The T5i retains the swivel LCD screen from it’s predecessors, the T4i and T3i, which makes it convenient to shoot videos.

Cost: Based on Canon’s estimated retail prices, the cost difference between the SL1 and T5i kits (with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM) — is a $100. Canon’s estimated retail prices for the: SL1 — $799.99; T5i — $899.99.

What Kit Lenses are Available for the SL1 and T5i?

Both the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM are the available kit lenses for both cameras. These lenses are new but upgraded lenses, with the integration of a STM (Stepper Motor). The first STM lenses were released with the EOS M mirrorless camera, and are meant to offer a more fluid, less noisy, autofocusing experience. STM lenses are particularly beneficial for videos, in which smooth focusing is paramount.

Who is the SL1 and T5i for?

Due to the SL1’s size, weight and creative modes, it is intended for casual photography. This camera is a great pick for vacations; occasions with family, friends, and kids; pets and general use. It’s small and easy to carry around — very convenient. It’s additional automated features, such as special scene modes, make it much easier for amateurs to get great shots without knowing intricate D-SLR knowledge.The SL1 is a true D-SLR, and users can use this, as the starter-D-SLR it is, to learn how to use advanced features.

The T5i continues the well-established crop-sensor Rebel line, and is suited for the photographer who wants to learn the rudiments of D-SLR photography on a budget. This camera can also serve as a good backup camera for pro’s and semi-pro’s. It’s HD video capabilities make it an excellent choice for videos, and can serve an aspiring D-SLR filmmaker a “cheap” alternative to get started.

The Bottom Line

Both Rebels, the SL1 and T5i, are packed with great features that are suited for the amateur and advanced photographer. They can be used with the full line of EF and EF-S lenses, and have decent performance in low light settings. They are also social media friendly, as both cameras can be used with the Canon Image Gateway, which allows members to upload up to 10GB of photos and videos to a personal library. Members can share albums with family and friends by e-mail, or on Facebook or Twitter.

About Shane Brown-Daniels

I'm a freelance writer and event photographer who is always up for an adventure. From capturing the beauty of a woman, the strength of a man, onto the adrenaline-pumped action scene, you'll find me aiming for the shot.

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