Yesterday, we spent the entire day at the Photoshow in Milan, which is the most important here in Italy. It was a great occasion to test mirrorless cameras we have yet to review, as well as to see many new products that will hit the market in the days to come. But our first article from this event isn’t about mirrorless cameras at all, but a possible mirrorless competitor …
Three days ago, Canon announced the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR ever built, the Canon EOS 100D (or Rebel SL1). Many started to speculate whether this new mini DSLR was aimed to compete with the mirrorless camera market. One of the biggest advantages of interchangeable mirrorless cameras is their weight and size. In fact, many photographers have started using them both as a second camera system, as well as a body to use when travelling light or when they want to be more discreet. There is also the fact that the first Canon Mirrorless camera, the EOS M introduced last year, wasn’t a big success due to autofocus limitations, the lack of a vast range of lenses, and the harsh competition from the likes of Sony, Olympus and Panasonic.
So, is this new SL1 a mirrorless killer? The camera is indeed very small. It is actually a fun camera to hold and use. But it is also bulky. Canon tried to reduce both the horizonatal and vertical dimensions of the camera, but the result is a rather humorous roly-poly appearance.
The truth is that the EOS M and a lot of other mirrorless cameras are still smaller than the EOS 100D. Also, there isn’t only the question of body, but also the question of lenses. The Canon stand didn’t have the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, so I asked to try the smallest lens they had, and they gave me the 50mm f/1.4 (the f/1.8 version, which is smaller, wasn’t available). With a lens mount on it, the size of the 100D can increase a lot, as you can see in the pictures below.
Of course, the EOS 100D has some important features, such as a viewfinder (optical of course) and flash, while the EOS M needs an external flash and doesn’t have any viewfinder options.
I personally think that this camera is aimed at the entry-level DSLR market, but isn’t a mirrorless competitor. I also have the impression that Canon won’t drop the M line. I spoke with one of the Canon guys at the desk, and while he didn’t have any information about specs or a probable release date, he didn’t have any doubts about the continuation of the M line.
To finish off, here are a couple of pictures taken with the new 100D.
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