Canon Rebel EOX Rebel SL1 Review

We’ve spent the past few weeks getting familiar with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 — the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR. When the box arrived on my doorstep, I dove right in and started using it.


As a mom of three lively kids, I’m always trying to capture those special moments before they disappear, so I’m in the market for the fastest, easiest camera money can buy. My ideal camera has a plethora of options for those times I want full control of manual mode (like my food photos or close-up shots of nature or travel destinations), but I also want to be able to switch it to Auto so I can capture those must-see moments when my kids are doing something particularly cute or note-worthy. AND I want a camera that is small and lightweight enough to slip into my purse. Otherwise, I won’t carry it and I won’t have it when I need it. I don’t ask for much, do I??

After using the Canon Rebel to capture our family vacation to the Poconos last week, I can say that this camera is truly a breakthrough in the DSLR market. Between my husband and me, we have quite a few cameras. In fact, our home looks like the Camera Shop threw up in here half the time. So trust me when I tell you that I know what I’m talking about! The EOS Rebel SL1 has all the benefits of a full sized SLR packaged in a lightweight, compact body that won’t weigh you down or force you to buy a bigger handbag (not that I’d mind an excuse to shop for a new handbag!)

I posted some of our vacation photos last week in my Hello from Lake Naomi post. As you can see, the colors are bright and the images are crisp.

lake naomi vaca

I’m not the most techy person on the planet, so it has to be easy to use or I won’t use it. This is my first experience with Canon, but so far I am impressed with its ease of use. There was hardly any learning curve at all. I also love that despite its small size, it has an optical view finder and a nice large touch screen LCD monitor.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 also takes excellent HD video. My husband is the videographer in the house, so I let him loose with it.

He’s impressed with the video capabilities and says it’s particularly easy to focus when it’s in auto mode. Because of some fancy feature on the lens (I told you I’m not a techie!!) it is super fast and gets a clear shot the first time. While the kit lens is adequate, we’re hoping to add the 40 mm pancake lens to our photography arsenal very soon.

I’m not kidding when I say that Paul and I have been arguing over who gets primary use of this new camera. It’s the perfect entry-level DSLR for the person who wants to upgrade from a point-and-shoot, but it’s also a great camera for the collector who wants something lightweight and fast to add to their stockpile!

Thanks to Canon for sponsoring this post.

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531 thoughts on “Canon Rebel EOX Rebel SL1 Review

  1. Maybe a new, smaller camera would be better for the kids to start using! Not to be selfish, but I’m realizing that if a stranger were to look at all of our pictures over the years, they would wonder whether all of these children really have a mother! I think it’s time to come out of hiding. 🙂

  2. What a great giveaway! I would love this camera for our upcoming vacation. I use the iPhone for all my pictures, but wish I had an awesome camera.

  3. Tis would be perfect for those candid moments at my daughter’s wedding in 2014 and for our upcoming trip to Naples, Florida!

  4. Love this! After my last camera met an untimely demise, I’ve been relying on my phone. I would love to use the Canon Rebel to capture our fall activities: apple picking, kayaking at the lake, back to school, etc. Thanks for the opportunity!!

  5. In desperate need of a new camera, as mine has been passed on to my daughter! (And with three graduations this year, it will really be appreciated!)

  6. I’d use it for everything but the best part is that since it is lightweight, I’d feel good about sharing it with my boys. I’d love to see what the photos they would capture!

  7. I love simple to use! I’m not techy at all and need something entry level! Your pics were great. I’d love to have the camera to photo my 13 grandkids at our family reunion this fall. Thanks for the info on the camera. Love your blog!

  8. What a great giveaway!! I’d use it to capture my ever-changing 2 kids. They are both teens now, so I want to remember these days because way too soon they’ll be off on their own! 🙁

  9. I like to have a camera sitting around the house so that I can quickly grab it to capture those sweet moments with the kids throughout the day. This particular camera has been on my wishlist for sooo long!

  10. My little point and shoot camera just isn’t cutting it any more! My kids are blurs in the pictures more often than not. I would love to make the jump to a DSLR to capture all those fun little moments with a 4 and 6 year old running around!

  11. I would love to have something other than my iphone to capture my daughter’s theater performances, graduation and other senior year stuff. My baby’s all grown up…

  12. I would love a good camera. All i have in my iPhone. We bought a nice camera for our honeymoon but lost left it in a taxi in mexico :(. I would love another chance!

  13. Thanks for the review and the opportunity for the give away! Fingers crossed that I am the lucky winner! 🙂

  14. This sounds like the perfect camera! We are planning to take the kids to Europe next summer and our point and shoot just won’t cut it for such a special trip. We are definitely in the market for something better that won’t add weight and bulk to our bag. Thanks for offering the give-away!

  15. We are going on vacation in October with my husbands entire family. I’d love to capture some of those moments with the Rebel!

  16. My Canon Rebel of 8 years just died… and I’m planning my wedding! There are going to be so many opportunities in the next few weeks and months! 🙂

  17. I’d love to capture the boys at this young age…and the new baby on the way – would be better than the newborn cell phone pics I have of the other boys!

  18. I would love to capture everyday moments – like bed head in the morning, sleeping kiddos, moments when my boys are coloring or using their imagination. Those are the times I want to remember forever.

  19. I’m always wanting to put together photo books as memory books (there’s always a deal!) and am often frustrated by the pictures I actually have to work with. We’d never be able to afford a DSLR, but when my friends have one, I like to call them the “magic” camera. 🙂

  20. I really want to work on my blog photography and I think a camera of my own would give me the push to figure out using a DSLR well. Mostly I would love to capture my girls, 1 and 5, playing with each other.

  21. I’d love to capture the kids waterskiing on the lake. And the option to quickly switch from still photos to video would be an added bonus!

  22. I’m in the market for my first DSLR Camera. I’d sure love to win, but if I’m not the the lucky one, I might just have to buy this. Thanks for your thorough review.

  23. My daughter just started her senior year of high school so there will be lots of great moments coming up. And, after she graduates, we are taking a trip to Ireland. We will definitely need a nice camera to capture all the sights on our trip.

  24. I would like a camera that gives me options but is small enough to pack around. Must see moments: birthdays, 1st day of Kindergarten, and everything in between.

  25. This giveaway is so awesome! {fingers crossed}

    My husband is a photographer and has a Cannon 7D we got about 7 months ago! I have been wanting to buy a good cannon camera for myself to use for my blogging! {of course I can never use his lol}

  26. As homeschoolers we participate in a lot of amazing field trips. This would come in handy to capture those amazing moments.

  27. I’d love to capture everything that happens when we’re on the go and don’t want to lug around the big, fancy camera….including our first baby, due to arrive early October!

  28. I’d take lots of photos of my niece and nephew, especially to show my brother because he’s overseas right now.

  29. With a new baby due in a month, as well as extensive travel planned for the next 6 months across the US, a small, powerful camera would be extremely useful.

  30. Awesome! We have been using my hubby’s smart phone as our camera and it takes great pictures and he always has it but the downfall is I rarely get to see the pictures!

  31. My family is traveling to the Caribbean for the first time next spring. I’d love to have an awesome new camera to capture all of the spellbinding beauty we’ll see.

  32. My oldest is a senior this year we need a new camera to capture all the “lasts”. It’s going to be such an emotional year!

  33. I’d love to start capturing my husband and I as we plan to grow our family! We’d capture the progress along the way!!! 🙂 🙂

  34. I would LOVE to have a DSLR!! I don’t own one but dream of it! And I love the idea of a lightweight Rebel that I can tote around.

  35. Family vacations must always be documented, but we have so many birthdays coming up that I want to photograph! (And then the holidays – they never end!)

  36. I’m trying to take more pictures of the kids since they grow up so fast. I hardly have any pictures of my second as a baby (at least not on a real camera- I have lots of blackberry pics..) and need to make up for that.

  37. Anything and everything. Right now I use a cruddy point and shoot and try my darndest to make them crisp and beautiful. But a Canon Rebel would be like taking a picture through the eyes of an angel.

  38. I’d love to capture my kiddos growing up. I have a newborn, and I’d love to take his monthly growth pics with this new camera.

  39. I always have to take pictures of my daughters, now that they are getting older and will soon be out of the house. I also want to capture moments of my parents, especially my dad who has Alzheimer’s and was a photographer by trade. I could really use a nice camera as we do not have good luck with cameras.

  40. My oldest is about to start kindergarten and about to start soccer for the first time, so I see a lot of pictures in our future.
    thank you!

  41. I LOVE this giveaway! I would love to have this camera to take pictures of my crafts and so that for when my husband and I have a baby, we have lots of gorgeous photos!

  42. It would be great to use the camera on our upcoming beach vacation to SC because it’s small and easy to use.

  43. I would love to capture the simple moments of everyday life and the beauty of
    God’s nature that surrounds us. It’s so wonderful to look back at those simple little
    things and re-live that enjoyment!

  44. Our son just received his medical clearance to play sports again after sitting on the sidelines for 10 months from a football injury. He even had to sit and watch as his basketball team went to the state tournament for only the 2nd time in over 90 years! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to capture his return to the football field and basketball court this fall and winter. Thank you for this opportunity. I really enjoy your blog.

  45. Beautiful, clear, crisp photos! I would love to take photos of my grandchildren, my dog, my flowers and my knitting.

  46. Throwing my hat in so that I can have my own camera to use at Type A NOLA and during my upcoming ClicknMoms class. What an awesome opportunity!

  47. …and as for moments… I want to learn to capture so many. Going to Longwood tomorrow and Disney and Universal this month, then the boys’ bdays… So many moments to learn to capture.

  48. The must-see moments I want to capture are when my kids are playing nicely together, sharing, reading to each other, or teaching each other how to do things. I love those moments and it would be fabulous to capture them on camera.

  49. I want to capture life…just as it is with three crazy, fun, wild boys 6 and under. They days are long but the years are short. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  50. Wow! We have also been through too many cameras. They are all “good” but not “great”! I have been dreaming about a Canon Rebel for some time now. It seems to be the best one out there for the price!

  51. I’d capture those fleeting moments of life; smile on the face of my teenage son when he wins a tennis match, my middle daughter dancing and my youngest trying her hand at volleyball this fall. Time is flying by and I want great photos to remember they by.

  52. i would like to capture pictures of my niece and nephew and my cousins wedding coming up as well it would be a great opportunity to get a camera since i cant afford it.

  53. I would love to capture more moments with my kids. They grow so fast! We love to watch old video together as a family and I’d love to build that library too.

  54. It would be terrific to take photos at my cousin’s daughter’s wedding. I’d like to get lots of family photos there

  55. What must-see moments would you like to capture on the Canon EOS Rebel SL1?

    The must-see moments I would love to capture would be my 2nd graders and all their awesome learning. I would love to use to capture awesome moments with my friends and family as well!

  56. I would love to capture our family trips with this camera. My kids and I love to look over all our photos from trips to amusement parks, zoos, etc. and remember the fun we had.

  57. I’d love to capture my kids special moments mostly, first day of school, birthdays, having fun,etc. I’d also like to capture my 94 year old Aunt’s upcoming birthday 🙂
    Thanks so much.

  58. This looks like a great hybrid camera that I could snap some great pictures on vacation, at school events and some of the ordinary moments at home.

  59. Moments like my four boys going back to school in a couple of weeks, because they are growing up way too fast 🙁

  60. We have a lot of “firsts” coming up! First day of elementary school AND first day of middle school for us in a few short weeks. Looking forward to capturing those moments!

  61. Capturing moments when my kids try new things is important to me. This weekend my son went to the creek and did his first rope swing drop into the water. This would have been a perfect moment for the Canon Rebel.

  62. Kevin is the photographer at our house and like you is always searching for the best small compact camera. This would be great for him!

  63. I have two little girls that I love taking pictures of! I owned a Canon Rebel T3i for a few short months but had to sell it earlier this year in order to raise money for our adoption. I’d love to win this to take GREAT pictures of them again!

  64. My must-see moments for the portable and lightweight Canon EOS Rebel SL1 would be anything and everything, especially my trip to Tennessee to see my sister, later this year (hopefully), and my friend’s wedding next year. Owning the fantastic Canon EOS Rebel SL1 would make me the happiest person in the universe. I’ve never owned a DSLR in my life so this would be perfect for me to learn how to use one and to finally capture those unforgettable moments in crisp and crystal clear quality! It would be an incredible upgrade from my lousy point-and-shoot camera. I can just imagine capturing beautiful Florida sunsets or pictures of my family. Thank you very much for this super amazing giveaway! You’re awesome!!! 😀

  65. My daughter’s 5th birthday is coming up! She is having a big party! It would be great to capture all these precious moments!

  66. I would love to capture my stepfather riding a motorcycle for the first time since he was hit last year and lost his leg.

  67. I’d like to capture my children, my oldest is going to be a senior in highschool, my youngest is starting highschool. These are the last few years I have to capture their smiles before they fly the nest.

  68. I would love to capture the moments of my kids growing up together. Just being brothers and enjoying all the fun of being a kid!

  69. I’d love to capture my parents’ 50th anniversary, my cousins’ college graduations, family vacations, and holidays with the Canon Rebel!

  70. I would love to photograph memories of holidays, parties, people and places. Memories may fade but with a photo you can remember and relive the moment all over again.

  71. I would LOVE to capture my best friend’s wedding day with this camera! I’ll be a bridesmaid, but I definitely want to take some beautiful behind the scenes photos!

  72. I am in the market for a new DSLR and I love my old Rebel….this is the exact one that I want as well. Have done the research – it’s a fabulous camera!

  73. I’m planning on traveling through South American for 6 months next year. Some of the places I want to photograph are Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, and Copacabana beach.

  74. I’ve been dying to use an advanced camera to take pictures at horse shows! The pictures would definitely be a lot clearer and sharper than the ones I’ve been taking recently. I would also take pictures of my beloved rescue dog!

  75. Wow, the pics you took really did come out great! If I win the EOS, I’d like to photograph my hometown, because it changes everyday, and I miss how it used to look. I really wish I had half a mind back then to realize everything would drastically change, so that I could’ve documented every street and big emty, beautiful field on camera. Also, In my town, There are great hills/mountains I’d like to go up on and capture my hometown. There’s a neigbouring town which is known as “horse country”, and it looks great, I wanna get some great snapshots of it, before it too, soon changes. I really need to start documenting my life, it’s going by with each blink. All I have are a whole bunch of old film cameras, which aren’t of any use anymore.

  76. Would love to have a new camera! My daughter is starting soccer in the fall. I would love to get a few shots of her with the ball, my old camera doesn’t cut it.

  77. I am an iPhone junkie and most of my pics get taken with that. I need something better to capture my kids in the moment AND get great shots for my blogs. Winning a DSLR would be awesome because it definitely isn’t in the budget!

  78. This would be a great way to record my senior year of college as a social work major before I enter the real world!

  79. Very nice pictures.My 22 year old doesn’t have a camera and she’s an amazing pastry chef. She takes all of her pics with her phone and they’re not clear and hard to see.I would love this for her.

  80. My wife and I really need a good camera and Canon is the best. We would love to share great photo’s to family across the USA and to our future kids.

  81. Love to have a very good camera to take to Hi. when my son 4 th Gen. Navy, puts on his Chiefs anchors, being in for less then 9 years. Grate….

  82. I would love to be able to capture some fun moments together as we visit our 2 year old grandaughter next month!

  83. Would love to capture pictures and videos of my two daughters. My wife is a great photographer but hasn’t been able to upgrade to a DSLR because of finances.

  84. I would use it to capture moments with my children, especially the moments when they play together because those melt my heart.

  85. I have three small kids and my “good” camera broke 2 weeks ago at my oldest two kids’ birthday party. 🙁 It is going to cost about the price of a new one to fix…so I am going through each day without a good camera! I would take everyday pics of them!

  86. I would love to take some pictures of the changing leaves when I visit my family in Virginia this fall!

  87. With my missions trip to the Dominican Republic coming up this would be FANTASTIC!! And also with the possibility of going to Brazil!!

  88. What a lovely and happy looking couple! Thanks for this wonderful opportunity as Canon makes wonderful cameras and I need to upgrade my 35mm Canon A1 to a digital system.

  89. This canon camera sounds awesome…. the smallest?!! who wants to lug around a huge camera when on a family vacay or capturing a dance recital or hiking outdoors?? not me!! i’d love to own one… thanks for the in-depth review!!

  90. I know this is an awesome camera! I’ve been looking at it a long time even before I saw this. It has everything I’M looking for!!

  91. After five years with a smartphone for baby pictures I would love to bump up tosomething awesome like this for baby#2

  92. Would be awesome to use on my wife and I’s upcoming trip to Europe… we could finally use something apart from our cell phone cameras.

  93. The must-see moments that I would like to capture on the SL1 include moments with the family, but especially during our travel journey’s. The compact nature of it, but the powerful sensor are perfect for on-the-go photography!

  94. I would love to capture my best friends wedding 🙂 we’ve been best friends since elementary school and she means the world to me!

  95. We are actually planning to start doing paranormal investigations, as a family. We’ve all had an interest in this and my daughter recently got a similar type camera to use. I would use this one for those investigations, but also for lots of other family outings! Canon always impresses me with their products.

  96. I want to capture vacations, the first day of school, trips to the park and just random family moments. Thanks so much for the chance.

  97. With a new grand baby boy and a 2 1/2 year old grand daughter, I could definitely put this to good use. Recording memories is wonderful, but remembering and reliving them 20 + years later is really a treasure!!

  98. I would cherish this camera, and I would take really good care of it. It would be great for taking quality photographs and photos of my artwork. Love it! May I please have it.

  99. The quality looks great. I really need a quality camera to take pic during my experience in college . Hope i win

  100. My wife and I found out last week that we are expecting out first child in April of 2014! I would love to capture all the moments leading up to the birth of our special gift, and then of course all the moments with our bundle of joy!

  101. My daughter growing up. She’ll start school next year, I’d love to take those first day pics with this.

  102. I would LOVE to win this camera !!! With my oldest one starting high school this year I am realizing how fast the time I have left with my kidos being kidos is flying by and I want to capture as many precious memories as I can because they all really do grow up way to fast. Before I know It they will be off to college and I want as many photos of between now and then as I can get. I never remember to bring the camera or just don’t bring it cause its just so big and bulky this would be awesome to just slip in my purse and have ready when I need it!! CROSSIN MY FINGERS!!!

  103. I would love to capture my little babies smiles. Seems like whenever i try to snap and click the camera has a delay and the split second moment has passed, I know this Canon Rebel camera would be able to capture those split second moments.

  104. There is so much I would like to capture with this camera such as pictures or my grandkids,dogs, home remodeling shots before/after and so much more.

  105. My son returns from Afghanistan in October. His daughter has had a really hard time being away from him and I would love to capture them being reunited.

  106. I would love to take photos of vacations and just everyday life. My cats are super silly and are like my children and my phone is completely full with pictures of them. Yep Im a cat lady. haha. Thank you for doing this! So nice of you! Good luck to everyone as well.

  107. I would love to capture the moments of the kids I care after and I’m actually going to school for photography soon! 🙂

  108. My husband and I live far from our family, so it would be amazing to be able to capture the times we do get to see our loved ones with a great new camera!

  109. My son will be getting his cochlear implant turned on in September. I’d love to be able to capture the moments of him hearing for the first time!

  110. I would love to take pictures of my family. My camera broke and I haven’t been able to replace it yet, so I would love to win this!

  111. I would love to capture my upcoming birthday this fall, it would be wonderful if I won this giveaway! Thank you for the chance!

  112. I would capture my first ever cruise with my boys! I want to capture the memories and have some great images to frame around the house that we can all enjoy.

  113. We are constantly taking photos of wildlife that we are blessed to see where we live. This would be a great camera for that and of course family, vacations and family events. Thank you So much for a great giveaway!

  114. I can never have enough photos of my children. I would drive them crazy taking their pictures like the Paparazzi do;) Especially with a fabulous camera like the Canon Rebel!

  115. I would love to catch my childrens first with this camera.
    The first time they see the ocean, first b-days, first theme park ride etc.


  116. My daughters are only 17 months apart and haven’t had any professional photos done yet. I’d love to take some awesome pictures of them before my youngest turns 2. Sister photos are the best!

  117. I would LOVE to win this for capturing special moments with my 3 kids. My middle son graduates this year, so the first thing I’d probably do is try my hand at senior pictures for him 🙂

  118. I would love a camera. Mine is an old Nikon that has been all over the united states with me photographing bands and lots of scenic shots.

  119. I have so many events coming up to celebrate. My best friend is due in October with her first baby, we have a vacation to Florida in November, I’m building my business, and hopefully (crossing fingers) we will be back in Italy next year! I’d love an amazing camera to capture all these moments with. Great giveaway! Thanks!

  120. If I snagged this bad boy, I’d put it through its paces, capturing pics of my ACD jumping after his discs! (Those in the know, know what I’m talking about.)

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