EOS 100D/SL1 — Canon’s Second Jab at Mirrorless, But Where Are the Lenses?

We soon reach a point where we can’t hold those darn cameras anymore! Now we get world’s smallest and lightest DSLR. Seriously, Canon gives the camera miniaturization trend another kick-start with the unveiling of the EOS 100D/SL1. Impressively small, it’s essentially a shrunken down Rebel. Is the 100D/SL1 a broad hint by Canon that Micro Four Thirds et al are really eating into their pie and that the EOS M system is a failure?

Canon's cutest DSLR yet, the miniaturesque EOS 100D/SL1.
Canon’s cutest DSLR yet, the miniaturesque EOS 100D/SL1.
This one’s probably taking the crown of world’s smallest DSLR. Nah, it’s not a NEX or Micro Four Thirds killer, but Canon’s second attempt at taking a jab at the mirrorless market. Remember Olympus years ago had a similar camera, the E-420, a little stunner, albeit unsuccessful.

Considerably lighter and a bit smaller than the Panasonic GH3 — even lighter than my beloved Oly OM-D! –, this latest Canon presents an interesting concept:

True to classic ergonomics, we get a DSLR lookalike with a relatively large APS-C CMOS sensor; larger again than Micro Four Third’s sensor, but honestly, sensor equivalence is becoming less and less of an issue when not comparing to the clear advantages of full-frame.

But then again, a compact camera is only as good as its lenses are compact. What’s the use of a minuscule body paired with oversized glass? The EOS 100D/SL1 kit with the EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS lens is certainly not a step in the right direction. This system needs pancakes. Period.

How much smaller is way too small? | canonwatch.com
How much smaller is way too small? | canonwatch.com
To really differentiate itself from a totally oversaturated market Canon better come up with pancakes à la 40mm F2.8 STM. Yet, Canon chose the EF/EF-S mount. You can use full-frame lenses. Right, you cannot fight physics, but I guess it’s native to think that Canon won’t come up with. Canon needs to release a string of mini lenses to go with this mini DLSR, and might only then have a winner — even though the ergonomics are utterly conservative.

The camera’s design shows, Canon just can’t let go of its golden calf, the DSLR market. For more traditional, established users, the traditionally designed 100D/SL1 will make the switch from big to small easier than from big to the EOS M. That’s why we don’t get the 100D/SL1 in a thousand different colors. But that’s not what I call real innovation, Canon, it’s just old wine in new skins.

Canon knows that Micro Four Thirds, NEX, NX, X series and so forth make a lot of sense, but it looks like they don’t want a market to become more popular that’s currently in the hands of the competition.

+++ You can order the EOS 100D/SL1 from Amazon (body/kit), B&H (body/kit) and Adorama (body/kit).