Canon EOS 100D Review

May 30, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |


The EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 is the smallest and perhaps the most surprising DSLR camera that Canon have ever released. Nobody really expected this camera when it was unveiled alongside the more traditional EOS 700D. In many ways it perfectly straddles the divide between its bigger brother and the EOS M compact system camera, surprisingly offering very similar handling and performance to the former while not being that much bigger than the latter. Indeed, the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 almost certainly spells the end for the rather unloved EOS M, at least until/if Canon release a second-generation version of what for them has been a disappointing release.

It's not all good news for the EOS 100D, though, as the larger 700D offers a better grip and control layout, articulated screen, better flash options, stereo sound and a more versatile auto-focus system for not that much more money. Also the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 makes less and less sense as you attach bigger and bigger lenses to it - with the 40mm pancake it's almost as small as some of the mirrorless camera competition, but fitting the 18-55m STM kit lens or some of the bigger EF lenses makes the overall package much bigger and reduces the camera's appeal. You really need to give careful thought to how you'd mainly use this camera before buying.

As with the EOS M and 650D, the EOS 100D is designed to appeal to owners of compacts who have outgrown their camera and want to step-up to something that gives better results without being too complicated. The touch-screen operation is seamlessly integrated, offering the ability to take a picture with one press of the screen. Even if you prefer using the viewfinder and hate touch-screens and the need to hold the camera at arm's length to use it, you'll still appreciate the ability to review your images by swiping from side to side and pinching to magnify them (at least we did), although the innovative Hybrid AF system still doesn't solve the camera's sluggish Live View auto-focusing.

Image quality is up there with the other Canon APS-C sensor DSLRs - shrinking the 100D has thankfully not affected its photos in any negative way - and it's one of the main reasons why you'd consider the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 over some of the similarly-sized mirrorless competition. Compatibility with Canon's vast range of lenses is also another big attraction. You will have to pay a premium for this though, with £709.99 / $799.99 for the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 and a the 18-55mm STM kit lens being quite a bit more than its main rivals, and as stated before not that much less than the 700D.

In summary the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 is a surprising camera in many ways, not least that it delivers the typical EOS experience without too many compromises at all. It makes a compelling alternative to a compact system camera when paired with the smaller Canon lenses (including the EOS M), but we'd choose the more capable EOS 700D instead as a natural partner for Canon's larger optics.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 3.5