Canon launches its lightest DSLR, EOS Rebel SL3, with Dual Pixel autofocus

“The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is priced at $600, and is an entry segment offering with DIGIC 8 image processor and Dual Pixel autofocus”

As mirrorless cameras continue taking precedence in the interchangeable lens segment, Canon’s latest launch has suggested that it has not entirely forgotten the world of DSLRs. Its latest product launch is of an entry level DSLR, dubbed the EOS Rebel SL3, which brings the tried and tested 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor back in a tiny DSLR package that weighs only 449 grams. Incidentally, the new EOS Rebel SL3 is the smallest and lightest DSLR by Canon ever, blurring the lines between Canon’s mirrorless and DSLR camera ranges.

Canon EOS Rebel SL3

In terms of specifications, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3’s 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor is accompanied by the DIGIC 8 image processor that also powers the Canon EOS M50 mirrorless camera and is sufficiently fast and offers good buffer response time. The biggest draw of the EOS Rebel SL3 would be the inclusion of Dual Pixel autofocus with the sensor, which further enables eye tracking in Live View mode and should generally improve autofocus performance, even in low light. The optical autofocus system includes nine autofocus points and spot-weighted metering for specific area-based subject selection.

The combination of the optical and sensor-based autofocus mechanism will be a big advantage for such an entry level, which will primarily compete against rival Nikon’s new generation 3-series DSLR. Other specifications include 5fps continuous shooting and native ISO range of up to 25600. When it comes to video capabilities, the EOS Rebel SL3 features 1080p video recording at restricted sensor crop and Dual Pixel autofocus. However, while the camera does feature 4K video recording, it only makes use of contrast autofocus, which makes it slow in focusing. Furthermore, there is no mechanical stabilisation, as a result of which the digital stabilisation crops into the sensor. There is already a standalone crop for processing the 4K video output, leading to overall sensor crop of 1.6x, which limits the overall quality and performance.

EOS Rebel SL3

Nevertheless, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is a decent entry segment package, reducing the bulk while largely retaining the essential features of an entry level interchangeable lens camera. It is certain to launch in India under a different moniker than the ‘Rebel’ tag that it launches in North America, although its body-only price of $600 (~Rs 41,500) is probably going to remain similar or may even be slightly lesser. With the 18-55mm kit lens, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3’s basic bundle will sell at $750 (~Rs 51,900), which sounds slightly steep for what it offers.

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