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2013.03.21

Today, Canon unveiled three new digital cameras, including the smallest DSLR on the market: The Canon EOS Rebel SL1.  Also launched next to the SL1 is the Rebel T5i which is identical for all intents and purposes to its predecessor, the T4i which it replaces.

The new  SL1 one packs nearly all features of its larger Rebel sibling and an incredibly compact body for a DSLR. It remains an entry-level model with a reasonable number of controls, including direct ISO and DOF-Preview buttons. Despite the diminutive size, the viewfinder offers 0.87X magnification and 95% coverage which is very close to that of other Rebels.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1

The core of this new DSLR is an 18 megapixels CMOS sensor with 1.6X crop factor. It features second-generation on-sensor Phase-Detect autofocus assist-points to help the 9-point traditional Phase-Detect AF sensor. The powerful processor pipeline lets the SL1 shoot continuously at 4 FPS for up to 1140 full-resolution JPEG images or 8 RAW files.

The Canon Rebel SL1 appears to be well thought-out. Its L-shaped grip, as seen from the front, allows it to be more narrow while retaining a comfortable shutter-release position. There is a single control-dial and traditional mode dial on the top-plate which means that controls have not been compromised beyond its predecessors.

Simultaneously with the new DSLRs, Canon is introducing an STM version of the 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS kit-lens. Specifications are the same as the non-STM version except that the internal focus motor is more suitable for Contrast-Detect autofocus which remains necessary for video and Live-View.

The third camera unveiled today is the Canon Powershot SX280 HS which is a travel-zoom with full manual-controls. The version launched in North America features built-in WiFi and GPS while a version without either of these features, the SX270 HS is being launched abroad.

Canon Powershot SX280 HS

The SX280 and SX270 are built around a 12 megapixels high-speed CMOS sensor capable of recording 1080p video at 60 FPS. It is paired with a stabilized 20X ultra-wide-angle optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25-500mm.

The Rebel SL1 is schedule to be available next month for $649 USD. The Rebel T5i will also ship the same month but for a suggested price of $749 USD. Availability of the SX280 HS and SX270 HS has not been announced yet.

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