We've provided this printable version of our review for your convenience. Please remember that your shopping clicks support this site. If you think this camera is a good choice for you, please consider returning to the link below to check prices and make a purchase via our shopping links.

Also note that this is just one of the pages from this review. Full reviews have several pages with complete analysis of the many test shots we take with each camera. Feel free to download and print them out to see how the camera will perform for you.

Full Review at: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/canon-sl1/canon-sl1A.HTM

Like this camera?
Save money online!
Prices as of 11/26/2014
Canon SL1 digital camera image
Save Money!
Canon SL1

$676.05



- That's the average, click to find the BEST price!

Your shopping clicks support this site, help keep the reviews coming!

Canon SL1 Performance

Timing and Performance

Generally good performance for an entry-level DSLR these days.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.6 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~0.2 second

How long it takes camera to turn off.

Buffer clearing time
3 seconds
after 20 large/fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
5 seconds
after 8 RAW files*
5 seconds
after 4 RAW+L/F JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

The Canon Rebel SL1 turned in a reasonably fast startup time of well under a second. The Canon Rebel SL1's buffer clearing times were quick with a fast UHS-I card.

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.3 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~1.0 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.3 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

The Canon SL1's mode switching times were quite fast; no complaints here.

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Optical Viewfinder, 18-55mm IS STM

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF

0.264 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Auto Selection AF

0.102 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF
TTL flash enabled
0.219 second
Time to capture while forcing flash to fire. Metering pulses from flash often slow shutter response.
Continuous AF
0.122 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.094 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.076 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Live View, 18-55mm IS STM
Full Autofocus
Live View
"Quick Mode"
(Phase Detect)
Single-point
0.597 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is phase-detect autofocus, the camera drops the mirror to focus, then raises it to grab the shot.
Full Autofocus
Live View
FlexiZone AF
Single-point
0.768 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is using the new Hybrid CMOS AF II system.
Prefocused
Live View
0.082 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Canon Rebel SL1's full autofocus shutter response was a touch slower than average these days when using our standard single-point AF test, at 0.264 second. Interestingly, switching to Auto Selection AF and allowing the camera to choose the focus point reduced shutter lag to 0.102 second, which is very fast for a consumer SLR. Enabling the built-in flash resulted in full AF lag of 0.219 second which is pretty fast. In Continuous AF mode, shutter lag was a fast 0.122 second, though the subject may be out of focus in this mode. Shutter lag with Manual focus was very good, at 0.094 second. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure resulted in a lag time of only 0.076 second, which is very good for a consumer SLR.

As expected, the Canon Rebel SL1's AF lag time in Live View mode was quite a bit longer than using the optical viewfinder, however it was faster than average for Live View. We measured 0.597 seconds using "Quick Mode" (phase-detect AF). The SL1's new FlexiZone AF mode was noticeably slower than "Quick Mode" at 0.768 second, but that's still pretty good. Prefocused shutter lag in Live View mode was surprisingly fast at only 0.082 second, not much slower than with the optical viewfinder.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.

Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.33 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 3 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.32 second

Time per shot, averaged over 8 shots, 5 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW + Large/Fine JPEG
0.34 second

Time per shot, averaged over 5 shots, 5 seconds to clear.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.25 second (3.93 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.25 second (3.95 frames per second);
8 frames total;
5 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 8 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.72 seconds or 1.40 frames per second when buffer was full.

Continuous mode
RAW + Large/Fine
JPEG

0.25 second (3.95 frames per second);
4 frames total;
5 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 4 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 1.07 seconds or 0.94 frames per second when buffer was full.

Flash recycling

2.6 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times in the Canon SL1's single-shot mode were quite good for a consumer SLR, at 0.33 second for large/fine JPEGs, 0.32 second for RAW mode and 0.34 second for RAW + large/fine JPEGs.

Continuous mode speeds were fair for an entry-level model, at about 4 frames-per-second no matter the file type.

Measured buffer depths in continuous mode were good for large/fine JPEGs frames at over 20 frames, but quite shallow when RAW files were included. We were only able to capture 8 RAW frames or 4 RAW + large/fine JPEGs before the frame rate slowed. (Note that in our cycle time testing we shoot a target consisting of a fine-grained digital noise pattern, designed to be very hard to compress. This gives us worst-case buffer capacity numbers for compressed files: You're likely to see greater buffer capacity when shooting more normal subjects.) Buffer clearing was fast, though.

The Canon Rebel SL1's flash took an average of 2.6 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge, which is very good.

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

11,379 KBytes/sec*

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, the Canon Rebel SL1's download speeds were very fast.

Bottom line, the Canon Rebel SL1 offers generally good performance for an entry-level model, but buffer depth are a little shallow when shooting with RAW files. The new Hybrid CMOS AF II system in Live View mode is an improvement over the T4i, however it's still slower than most CSC or SLT cameras.

Battery

Battery Life
Below average battery life for a lithium-ion SLR design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Optical Viewfinder)
380
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Live View LCD)
150

The Canon SL1 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life is below average when using the optical viewfinder even for a consumer SLR (a price paid for the SL1's below average size), and of course Live View mode draws more power reducing battery life. We recommend you pick up a spare battery (or two) and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the Canon Rebel SL1 is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))