Canon EOS Rebel SL2
A light, easy-to-use step up from a smartphone
$549 (body), $699 (with 18–55 mm lens) From Canon, usa.canon.com Features 24.2 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, ISO100–25,600, 3.0-inch vari-angle screen
To tempt you from your phone’s camera to a DSLR, the Rebel SL2 has a selfie mode, skin smoothing and background blurring, and a graphical interface that describes the effects of changing key settings. It also includes lens abberation corrections found on pricier EOS models.
The autofocus system performs fine in good light and darker indoor conditions in general, and better with low-contrast subjects than expected. However, in situations like tracking moving subjects you’ll be left wanting.
The camera uses phase-detect AF for faster Live View focusing speeds; focusing is smooth and fast, and easily matches mirrorless rivals. Nine AF points are arranged in a diamond and fairly well spread out, but with just one cross-type point, you may need to rotate the camera to achieve focus.
Detail is very good up to ISO1600. There’s no noise at ISO3200, what’s visible at ISO6400 is controlled, and ISO12,800 is still very useable. Dynamic range is also good, but lacks some rivals’ scope to recover detail in raw files.
The body feels unpleasantly plasticky, yet the hand grip is welcomely deep. The ISO/display buttons are somewhat spongy, and the shutter release has a hollowness. 650 shots per charge is better than comparable mirrorless rivals, but that plummets to 260 when using Live View pretty much full-time.
the bottom line. The EOS Rebel SL2 isn’t a bad option for new creative photographers, but there are better-value alternatives. Phil Hall