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Canon EOS 100D Digital SLR Review

Find out how the World's smallest Digital SLR performs, in our Canon EOS 100D review.

|  Canon EOS 100D (Rebel SL1) in Digital SLRs
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Canon Eos 100d With 18 55 Stm Lens (1)

The Canon EOS 100D is a new mini-DSLR from Canon, designed to fit between the Canon EOS 600D and Canon EOS 700D, as smaller option for those looking for a Digital SLR. Featuring a similar specification to the Canon EOS 650D, with an 18 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, Hybrid AF focus, full HD video and 4fps continuous shooting, the camera is 25% smaller, and 28% lighter than the 650D, with every component made smaller.

Canon EOS 100D Features

Canon Eos 100d  (12)

The 100D features the same 18 megapixel APS-C Hybrid-AF CMOS sensor as the 700D, with phase detection pixels on the sensor for improved live view focus, as well as focus during video recording. Hybrid CMOS AF II covers 80% of the shooting area, which should give improved AF focus and tracking speeds during live-view or video recording.

The rear features a capacitive 3inch touch-screen, with 1040k dot resolution, that can be used to browse menus and settings as well as used as a touch shutter to set the focus point.

Canon Eos 700d Vs 100d Front

Canon EOS 700D Vs 100D Front

Shooting modes include Auto, intelligent Auto, as well as full manual shooting, along with new candle-light, food and kids modes. It's possible to shoot creative effects with a preview showing the effect before taking the shot, and new to the EOS 100D is the ability to record two versions of the photo, one with the effect applied and one without, both as JPEG files, so that beginners don't need to resort to the RAW file if they don't like the effect, or left the effect on by mistake.

Canon Eos 100d With 18 55 Stm Lens (3)

Key Features

  • 18 megapixel Hybrid AF APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 3inch capacitive touch-screen with 1040k dots
  • Self-cleaning sensor unit
  • 9 point AF, 1 centre cross-type
  • 0.87x magnification optical viewfinder
  • Full-HD movies with Hybrid CMOS AF II
  • Microphone socket
  • Creative Filters and Extra Effect Shot
  • Built-in Feature Guide
  • 4fps continuous shooting
  • ISO100 - 12800, expands to 25600

Canon EOS 100D Handling

Canon Eos 100d With 18 55 Stm Lens (7)

Handling - The Canon EOS 100D is noticeably smaller than other Digital SLRs, and has a large rubber grip that also surrounds the shutter release button to make sure it's possible to get a good hold of the camera. We found the grip quite deep, and combined with the new 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens the camera didn't feel too small in hand.

The Canon EOS 100D weighs just 370g (excluding battery and memory card), and measures 116.8 x 90.7 x 69.4mm giving it a very compact body for a Digital SLR with an optical viewfinder. Smaller than the Pentax K-30 and Sony Alpha A37, both regarded as compact.

The Q button on the rear brings up a control panel on the rear screen which can be used with the touch screen which makes changing settings quick and easy, without having to go into the camera menus. A good number of buttons and controls can be found on the rear and top of the camera, including a dedicated ISO button near the shutter, as well as a command dial used for setting shutter and/or aperture. Unfortunately the 4-way controller doesn’t have any functions assigned to left/right/up/down, and is simply used for moving around the menus. However, the Q button and touchscreen works well when used.

Optical Viewfinder (OVF) – There are 9 focus points, with 1 cross type in the centre, and shooting information is displayed clearly in the viewfinder. The Hybrid AF on the sensor provides 80% coverage, although is only activated in live view or video recording modes, and live view focusing is not up to the same speeds and standard of performance as you would get from good compact and mirrorless cameras.

Canon Eos 100d With 18 55 Stm Lens (4)

Menus – The menus are clearly laid out with the sections colour coded, as well as a 'My Menu' screen where you can customise the options available making it easier to get to your favourite options and settings. The touchscreen can be used as a touch shutter when using live view as well as used to move around the menus.

Canon Eos 100d With 18 55 Stm Lens (8)

Battery – Battery performance is rated at 380 shots according to Canon / CIPA testing, which is average, for a DSLR, with the 700D offering more. The 100D uses a new, smaller, battery to enable the smaller DSLR body.

Canon Eos 100d With 18 55 Stm Lens (6)

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Canon EOS 100D
Shutter Response 0.1
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.15 / 0.55 (Live view, Flexzone)
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.15 / 0.55 (Live view, Flexzone)
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 0.65
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.4
Shot to Shot with Flash 0.6
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
4fps (31 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash 2fps
Continuous Shooting - RAW 4fps (7 shots)

Focus speed is very quick, and using live view the focus speeds are quicker than previous Canon EOS DSLRs. Shot to shot time is also very good.

Canon EOS 100D Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Canon EOS 100D (Rebel SL1) Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Colour from the camera is excellent with pleasing saturated colours and excellent skin tones, with very good levels of detail. Exposure is reliable with the camera coping in a variety of situations.

Canon EOS 100D (Rebel SL1) Lens test images

Lens Performance - Dynamic range is good, and the new lens is capable of delivering detailed images at both wide and telephoto ends of the lens. Purple fringing is visible in areas of contrast, particularly towards the corners of the lens. Lens aberration correction can be switched on, with options for peripheral illumination (vignetting), as well as chromatic aberration. In our test shots we left chromatic aberration correction switched off to see the results from the lens without correction.

Macro performance is impressive for a kit lens, with the lens focusing on subjects 25cm away from the camera, and good results are possible when using the full telephoto zoom, although for better results a macro lens is recommended. There is slight barrel distortion at the wide-end of the lens and some pincushion distortion at the telephoto end, however this as not overly noticeable in photos.

Canon EOS 100D (Rebel SL1) ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - The ISO range goes from ISO100 to ISO12800, with ISO25600 / H available if enabled in the custom menus. ISO100 results, as expected, are very smooth, with very low levels of noise. ISO800 results are good although slight grain becomes visible. ISO1600 is when noise becomes slightly more noticeable. At ISO3200 the noise increases with slight colour loss. ISO6400 noise becomes more dominant with more noticeable colour loss. There are hot pixels visible at ISO12800 and ISO25600, and as these show the highest levels of noise, these could be avoided for best results.

Canon EOS 100D (Rebel SL1) White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives slightly warm results under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving similar results. AWB performs very well under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset giving almost identical results.

Canon EOS 100D (Rebel SL1) Digital filters

Digital Filters - The 100D features a number of creative effects as well as colour options. Depending what mode you are alters how the files are recorded, with the new "creative filters" mode saving both an unsaved version as well as an altered version of the photo – both are recorded as JPEG. Colour options can be adjusted where you can set sharpness, contrast, saturation, and colour tone.

Canon EOS 100D (Rebel SL1) Scene modes

There are a number of ways to increase the dynamic range captured, by using the HDR backlight scene mode, using the Auto Lighting Optimiser (ALO) option, or the highlight tone priority option in the custom menus. Using the Auto Lighting Optimiser can make greens in landscapes look a little luminous or glowing, so it's worth using a lower setting at times, or switching it off. The camera does not feature a panoramic mode.

Video - Video is recorded at 1920x1080 at 25 or 24fps, 720p at 50fps, and 640x480 at 25fps. Audio options include manual level settings, as well as the option to disable audio recording. There are also options for wind filter and attenuator. The camera records mono sound, with a microphone socket provided for those that require stereo sound recording.





Value For Money

The Canon EOS 100D is priced at £479 body only, or £585 with IS kit lens, which is more expensive than the Sony Alpha A58 (20mp, £399), Nikon D3200 (24mp, £385), Nikon D5200 (24mp, £549), and Pentax K-30 (16mp, Weather sealed, £499). For not much more money, the 700D is available at £549 body only, £619 with lens, or for much less money the Canon EOS 600D is available for around £410 with kit lens.

Alternatively there is a vast range of mirrorless cameras available, which are worth looking at if small size is of a priority, including the Sony NEX-3N / NEX-5R, Panasonic Lumix GF6 / G6, Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 / E-PM2, and Samsung NX300 to name a few.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.



Canon EOS 100D Verdict

The Canon EOS 100D is the smallest DSLR available with an optical viewfinder, and appears to be Canons answer to DSLR-style mirrorless cameras, being roughly the same size as the Micro Four Thirds Panasonic Lumix G6, as well as roughly the same price, although the G6 features a swivelling touch screen, quicker continuous shooting, and more advanced features built in (including Wi-Fi). In addition, Micro Four Thirds lenses are generally smaller than Canon EOS lenses. And herein lies the dilema with the Canon EOS 100D, while the camera body is much smaller, the lenses remain large and the new 18-55mm IS STM is in fact larger than the lens it replaces. Add to this the extremely competitive pricing of the latest mirrorless cameras, you have to wonder who will buy this new camera?

If you want a small camera with DSLR image quality, you can buy a much smaller mirrorless camera, for much less, or if you want a DSLR for more advanced features then the 600D and 700D are available with the extremely useful vari-angle screen. If the 100D was a replacement or update to the 1100D and had an entry level price point to match it, then the reduced number of features of the 100D would make sense, however at the moment the lack of some features, which most competitors now feature (stereo sound, panoramic, longer battery life), make it feel slightly limited at times.

However, if you have an investment in Canon lenses, want as small a body as possible, and prefer an optical viewfinder, then the Canon EOS 100D delivers excellent images, is well built with good handling, despite the small size. For many having a true DSLR that is as small as possible will appeal, and the Canon EOS 100D certainly doesn’t disappoint, although there are a few negatives due to the small size, namely the shorter battery life, slower continuous shooting (compared to the 650D/700D), and slightly fewer features and buttons. We would also recommend trying the camera in person, as you may prefer a bigger camera, if you have larger hands.


  The Canon EOS 100D offers excellent image quality in the smallest DSLR body available.

Canon EOS 100D Pros

Excellent image quality
Excellent colour
Excellent noise performance
Very good build quality and design
Optical viewfinder
Q-button gives quick access
Smallest DSLR available
Great touchscreen
Improved live view focus speeds

Canon EOS 100D Cons

Relatively high price
Relatively large lenses
RAW not available in some modes
4-way controller could be better implemented
Shorter battery life (due to reduced size battery)
Lacks panoramic mode
Wi-Fi would have been nice



Canon EOS 100D (Rebel SL1) Specifications

Effective Magnification1.6x
Image Sensor
Pixels18Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5184
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeAPS-C
Sensor Size (width)22.3mm
Sensor Size (height)14.9mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution1,040,000
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • AF Fine Tuning (Micro Adjustment)
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Partial
  • Spot
  • TTL
ISO sensitivity100 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-5
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting4fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30/25/24
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable Li-ion Battery LP-E12
Battery Life (CIPA rating)380shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data

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Photographs taken using the Canon EOS 100D (Rebel SL1)

Aircraft and the MoonOur Friendly Robin.UntitledBlackpool North Shore, Lancashire ~ The Cabin Lift and the BoatiOrrery (mechanical representation of planetary motion) LiverpoolAtyla and the Albert Dock, LiverpoolThe Port of Liverpool BuildingThe Duke of Wellington and the Nelson Monument, Edinburgh.Female BlackbirdCockburn Street, EdinburghBlackbirdBottoms UpA Young Grey SquirrelGrey Squirrel

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derekt 14 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2013 10:54AM
I agree with the observation about lens size. What's missing are more small lenses to go with it. The 40mm pancake is a great option for a short tele and the combined size and weight would make this a pocketable combo. But who wants just one tele lens or bigger primes and zooms? The best idea would be to convert the 22mm pancake (from the M series) to use on this body, producing a semi-wide walkaround lens that would be a winning combination for me and, I suspect, many others ...despite it being too small for my hands
Paul Morgan 21 19.7k 6 England
5 Jun 2013 8:24PM
Worlds small, probably the smallest out of the current DSLR`s, there have been smaller.
5 Jun 2013 9:54PM
Why oh why didn't Olympus continue to develope the e400 series, still got my e410.
Paul Morgan 21 19.7k 6 England
6 Jun 2013 8:45PM
The 410 is still the smallest DSLR, although its 5g heavier than this Canon Smile

You could almost say the 400 series developed into the M4/3 you see today.
10 Jun 2013 9:50PM
My Olympus OM-D have better IQ. Ready to prove Tongue
19 Feb 2016 2:38AM

Quote:My Olympus OM-D have better IQ. Ready to prove Tongue
Not in low light Tongue

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