• 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 22.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600
  • APS-C 332.3mm2
  • 18.0 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800

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Differences

Canon 5D Mark III advantages over Canon SL1

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 6.25 vs 4.30 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Higher effective ISO
    2,293 vs 843 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 950 vs 380 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • More cross-type AF points
    41 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Less shutter lag
    0.12 vs 0.26 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.71x vs 0.54x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    22.3 vs 18.0 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • More AF points
    61 vs 9
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.0 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    6.0 fps vs 4.0 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    18 vs 8 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    102400 vs 25600 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Canon SL1 advantages over Canon 5D Mark III

  • Less expensive
    $579 vs $2850
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Yes vs No
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    1140 vs 63 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Canon 5D Mark III

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Canon SL1

Review Excerpt

  • Superb still and video image quality; Powerful, fast, and accurate AF system with loads of cross-type points, loads of configurability and great frame coverage; Rugged, weather-sealed body with great control layout and user-interface configurability.

  • Dynamic range is limited by noise in deep shadows; Somewhat heavy-handed noise suppression and sharpening at default settings. (Shooting RAW avoids both.); No AF illuminator.

  • Extremely compact and lightweight for a DSLR; Delivers good image quality that's virtually identical to the Canon T4i/T5i; Accurate and relatively fast autofocus with improved Live View and Movie Hybrid CMOS II AF; Full 1080p HD movie recording; Better-than average kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM).

  • Still not as compact as most mirrorless cameras; Slightly worse than average dynamic range and high ISO performance; Poor battery life.

The Competition

Compared to Canon 6D

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 6D
  • $2850
  • 35mm
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Less shutter lag
  • $999
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
Canon SL1
Canon 6D
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Touchscreen
  • $999
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Canon 5D Mark IV

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $2850
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger pixels
  • $3099
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
Canon SL1
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash
  • $3099
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony A850

Canon 5D Mark III
Sony A850
  • $2850
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Canon SL1
Sony A850
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Sony A99

Canon 5D Mark III
Sony A99
  • $2850
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $1998
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Canon SL1
Sony A99
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $1998
  • 35mm
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Focus peaking

Compared to Sony A58

Canon 5D Mark III
Sony A58
  • $2850
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor
  • $598
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
Canon SL1
Sony A58
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $598
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
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