My wife and I got an invite from 500px.com to participate in their Global Photo Walk here in Toronto. The last time we attended one of their photo walks, I was testing the HTC One (M8) from Telus. But this time I wanted to have digital SLR as most of the people who participate in photo walks are taking photos using digital SLRs. So I reached out to Canon, and they were nice enough to send me the EOS Rebel SL1 which came with their EF-S 18-55mm lens. Physically, it’s impressively small by digital SLR standards. That makes it very easy carry and pack. Though the size does have one downside. The left side of the camera doesn’t have a lot to hold on to. For those who like to take pictures on the move and wish to have some extra stability, that might be an issue. It wasn’t for me when I was using it, but you should likely try it out in the camera store of your choice to see if it is an issue for you.
You get a ton of physical controls packed into this small camera on top of the touch screen to adjust certain settings. On the top panel you’ll find a three-stage power switch (it has settings for off, on, and video recording) that’s integrated with the mode dial, which has scene settings in addition to more advanced shooting modes. In front of that is a dedicated ISO button, the lone control wheel, and the shutter release. The Menu and Info buttons are around back, to the left of the eyepiece. To its right, there’s the button that enables Live View for stills, or starts video recording when the camera is set to video mode. On the far right you’ll find an AF point selection button and the exposure lock button. EV compensation gets its own button, as do image playback and delete. At the center of the directional pad is the Q Set control; it activates a rear menu from which you can adjust the bulk of available settings. The 3-inch rear LCD is just as sharp as the 1,040k-dot screen on the T5i, and supports touch input including swipe and pinch to zoom gestures. The good news is that it is sharp and clear unless you are in bright sunlight where it can wash out.
One advantage of this camera is it can be left in automatic mode where the camera makes all the decisions for you, or you can fully control items such as aperture, ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation, flash compensation, image effects, white balance, bracketing, brightness and contrast, the metering pattern, the drive mode, the self-timer, the autofocus mode, and image quality. Thus it makes the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 perfect for any type of photographer. To illustrate that, here are pictures from the 500px.com Global Photo Walk which were taken at 18 MP which is the maximum that the camera is capable of. Please click each picture to see it in full resolution.
First we started at 500px.com headquarters in downtown Toronto:
We then went onto King St. West which had been shut down for the Toronto International Film Festival. Along the way, we came across the new Ford Mustang:
We also came across a human sized chess game:
We then headed down past the Metro Toronto Convention Centre where we came across this building that is under construction. I caught this shot of the CN Tower reflected in the building:
We then went on to the roundhouse where we came across some old railway rolling stock:
Within the roundhouse is a narrow gauge railway for kids and their parents:
I got a chance to test out the EOS Rebel SL1’s ability to record video. It records in resolutions up to 1080p and you have the ability to set a multitude of options including frames per second. Here’s a quick clip shot at 1080p. Set it to full screen and 108p:
Other than some autofocusing at the start of the video, it was pretty good.
We then headed west along the Toronto Terminal Railway corridor and got some interesting pictures. Starting with this memorial to the Chinese workers that Canada forcibly imported to build the railway:
We then went under a bridge at Spadina Avenue where I got this very interesting shot:
The bridge also had these interesting lights:
I also caught a shot of one of Toronto’s new light rail vehicles going over the bridge. More on that in a bit:
There’s a brand new pedestrian bridge that goes over the Toronto Terminal Railway corridor where I got this artistic shot:
Plus I got a picture of this VIA Train entering Union Station via the Toronto Terminal Railway corridor:
Along the way, we came across some cute dogs:
From there, we headed south to the lakeshore. That meant we got to see traffic on the Gardiner Expressway:
Once we reached the lake, I captured this shot of the Canada Malting Silos:
Plus I used the burst mode that the EOS Rebel SL1 comes with to capture this shot from a game of basketball:
At this point the photo walk was over. So my wife and I headed home. We headed to Spadina avenue and got lucky. We managed to catch one of Toronto’s new light rail vehicles. They’re bigger than the current streetcars that Toronto is using, accessible, quiet and very cool. They will eventually replace all the streetcars in the city:
It has a state of the art payment system inside (which is paired with fare enforcement officers who will serve up a hefty fine if you don’t pay):
Here’s a shot of the length of the light rail vehicle:
Here’s a shot of the accessible area. You can flip down the seats to sit on, or flip them up for people with mobility aids:
You’ll always know where you are as it displays the upcoming stop (you also hear it as well):
It has multiple doors and you can enter and exit the light rail vehicle from any door. Here’s the back door:
Riding the new light rail vehicle was an unexpected bonus that gave us an extra opportunity to really test out the Canon EOS Rebel SL1. It really performed well with whatever situation I tossed at it. By the time we got home, I checked the battery status and it had barely moved. Given that between the two of us we took 150 pictures and several videos that’s impressive battery life. I should note that it uses a unique battery and an external charger. Because of that, you may want to get a spare if you travel.
The Canon EOS SL1 with the EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Kit goes for $779. But if you shop around, you can find it for as little for $600. It’s small, light, and a very capable camera that is well suited for all types of photographers. If you’ve grown out of your point of shoot camera, this should be on your list to look at.