While we were roaming the lanes at NAB, the massive Canon booth offered a ton of cameras for users to get some hands on time with. But what I never saw was a new 4K DSLR for entry level filmmakers. Frankly, I figured it would be the Rebel T series, but instead, Canon has gone to the compact SL3 to bring ultra high definition to the masses.
“Since its inception, the EOS Rebel product line has aimed to provide imaging excellence for entry-level visual storytellers,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Therefore, it was imperative that the next step in the EOS Rebel journey include innovative features such as 4K video and DIGIC 8 Image Processor to meet the needs of emerging photographers, while living up to the high-image quality and compact size EOS Rebel DSLRs are known for.”
Once Canon decided to bring 4K into the DSLR space in the 5D Mk. IV, it was only a matter of time before it would trickle down to the lower end consumer grade DSLRs like the SL3/250D. Adding a 24.1 MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 8 image processor that was first introduced in the Canon M50 mirrorless camera, the SL3 will shoot 4K video and 4K time lapse movies, with improved third generation Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus and burst mode of up to 5fps in still images. There’s also 9 points of focusing, Eye detection AF in Live View, and a new “smooth Skin setting” which is designed to make skin tones more realistic.
Other features include:
- APS-C imaging sensor
- DIGIC 8 Image Processor
- 3.0-inch vari-angle LCD touchscreen
- 4K video in H.264 AAC, a first for the EOS Rebel lineup
- ISO 100-25,600 (expandable to 51200)
- Compatible with Canon’s full line of interchangeable EF and EF-S lenses
- Auto Image Transfer via Wi-Fi® connectivity
- External microphone jack
- Feature Assistant that guides and offers tips for more effective shooting
- Change white balance or brightness through Live View in real time
- Continuous shooting mode up to 5.0 fps
- Digital Lens Optimizer that corrects optical shifting automatically, even without a computer
Nine points of autofocus really isn’t all that impressive considering higher end models are using points in the hundreds. Additionally, while we expected 4K to be at no faster than 30 fps, we had hoped that 1080p would give users higher frame rates. It doesn’t., so it’s very limited. On top of that, the SL3 is limited to USB 2 at 480 MBit/sec, which is fairly slow for 4K file transfer.
However, the SL3 is an entry level camera, and the next step for Canon in bringing 4K into the consumer space, so you can’t expect it to have all the whistles and bells. In fact, the more I look at this camera, the more it looks like the M50 guts stuck in a DSLR body. But if you’re looking to move out of the smartphone realm or just simply get into the filmmaking game, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 will be available for $549 body-only or $649 with 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens included.