For reasons that are somewhat complex and annoying, I’m having to add an extra camera body to my collection (mainly as a backup camera).
As cost was a pressure, I went for something a bit cheaper than the Mid-Range Canons (60D/70D), skipped the pro-line (another 6D would had been killer to the bank balance) and headed to the consumer line – which if handled with care can yield very pro results.
At the bottom of consumer line, there’s the 1000D/1100D/1200D… which I personally wouldn’t touch with someone else’s barge poll. Sluggish to say the least, and not a great sensor, combined with a heavy body weight, and not so great metering. In the situation I’m in, not so good.
The EOS-M… is best left unsaid (least of all due to the different lens mount and the crappy performance). That and I’d need to in buy adapters to make my current set of lenses… So more expense.
So I’m left with the 600D/650D/700D – which apart from minor differences are the same camera. And they’re capable, but not outstandingly different.
My eye was drawn to the 100D – mainly because it is so damn small, but it is basically a 700D in a small package.
Canon 100D with a 50mm f1.4 on the left vs Canon 6D with a 17-40L f4 on the right.
In weight terms:
- 100D is 407g at 22.3 x 14.9mm
- 6D is 755g at 35.8 x 23.9mm
The EOS 100D (Or SL1 in the Americas or Kiss X7 in Japan and Asia), offers 18mpx sensor in an APS-C format – with a standard EOS Mount. Combined with a 4 Frames Per Second shooting speed. Heck, it beats my 6D in terms of weight and user interface (a touch screen as standard!).
The Digital Picture breaks down the differences… which aren’t that much.
Whilst there are smaller solutions out there (for example the Olympus PEN series, the Sony NEX, the Fujfilm X Series, Nikon 1 Series), they aren’t that good if you already have a major investment in lenses, and don’t want to go out buy a new range of lenses to support a “light use” camera.
But, numbers and such can mean nothing. What matters are the images and usage.
So as part of the San Francisco trip, I road-tested it in anger.
- Canon 100D with official and OEM batteries,
- 16Gb PNY U1 SD cards rated at 30mbs.
- Lens: Canon 50mm f1.4 and Canon 17-40L f4
Weight and looks. With a 50mm lens, this thing is SMALL. It fits in one hand nicely with this lens – and would be even smaller if fitted with Canon’s 40mm f2.8 STM lens (which is thin).
Handling: with a small body you’d expect compromises. And yes, there are some major ones if you’re used to bigger bodies. Controls are packed in tightly, with a console style d-pad that can be used for quick-set functions. More importantly, there is a major handing issue for those of use with bigger hands – namely the little finger will slip under the body more often than not. Additionally there’s no “official” portrait grip (as it would block access to the SD card socket).
In daily use the holding camera issue requires a slightly tighter hold on the grip for the fingered to wrap around better.
Storage: like most consumer and mid-end cameras, SD cards are the name of the game. For those who change cards often, there is a big bugbear where the SD Card slot is… And it’s in the battery slot. Annoying since everywhere else, it’s mounted on the side of the camera… And useless for quick changes or changes where you have a tripod on the camera. So Pro-Tip: Big SD cards are your friends with this camera (especially if you’re shooting RAW files).
Speed: As I shoot only camera raw files, it’s a bit of a false reading, but speed was acceptable in terms of capture at 4fps. Compared to the big brothers of the 40d or 6D, the buffer does fill up quickly (14 frames or so before I had to wait to take the next shot in a continuous burst). Still for most users – it’ll be more than enough. Focal lock was its usual quick canon self (and is more down to the Lens). Whist the focusing system is the standard 9 point canon consumer system, it got the photo I was after nearly all the time.
Pictures: it’s all well and good talking about a camera, but the big question to ask are “Are the images any good?”
And to me – they’re rather pleasing.
(I’ve posted the full resolution images at my Dropbox):
Not bad. A lot of nice colours there.
The international orange of The Golden Gate Bridge comes out nice in the evening sun.
A bit of action photography – Ok, Bird spotting from a boat
Again, I’m impressed with the detail that has come out of these images with a 50mm lens and a small sensor.
At ISO6400, Noise is clearly visible sadly.
Noise isn’t too bad in this photo, but its still visible.
So: The Perfect Travel DSLR? It’s pretty darn good, I’ll give it that. For Nikon/Pentax/Sigma/Olympus/Sony owners there are plenty of options for their platforms, but for a Canon owner who has Canon lenses, this is an invaluable too in my arsenal of equipment that’s light, small and blends in nicely when walking around at night or evening.
There are compromises – there always is when you shed weight from anything. The trick is to learn how to use them, and mitigate where possible (eg, hold the camera differently, use a large SD Card, make sure the lens doesn’t counter-balance the body too much)
Put it like this, if it was a bit faster, I’d be using it a LOT more for my day-to-day work and. Meanwhile it stays in my kit as a secondary camera. Where it does a rather good job – even at weddings…
- Review at The Digital Picture – http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EOS-Rebel-SL1.aspx
- Large JPG’s at my DropBox – https://www.dropbox.com/sh/aqd59y9u7iw1ejl/_YKK5NYwKC