Should I buy a Canon EOS Rebel SL3?

Decent DSLR for keen beginner photographers, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is an affordable option.

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 7
(Image credit: Canon)

Simply put, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 hits that portion of the market where beginners with a willingness to hone their skills sit. Experienced photographers don’t really expect a lot from entry-level offerings, and for good reason. These cameras typically do not have a lot of advanced photography features, and are designed to be simple enough for even the most inexperienced shooters.  

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 begs to differ. Released only in May 2019, this DSLR isn’t exactly the most powerful camera out there, nor is it the most noteworthy. However, its terrific feature set actually leaves a lot of room for beginners to grow as photographers without costing them a fortune. 

Still, it’s not going to be for everyone, especially with some pretty tough rivals that target the same consumers. So, the question remains: should you buy a Canon EOS Rebel SL3? For its target users, it’s certainly a terrific one that won’t break the bank.

Who Is The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 For?

Also known as the EOS 250D and EOS 200D II, depending on the region, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 succeeds 2017’s EOS Rebel SL2, which was designed for entry-level shooters who want a DSLR that’s ultracompact and easy to use. 

Does the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 target the same users? It has, after all, inherited some of the SL2’s features. The answer is, absolutely. At the same time, it’s also expanding its market. It has also skipped some of the SL2’s features in an effort to simplify the design while adding some modern ones like 4K recording and a faster, more efficient processor for better battery life. 

Overall, it balances extreme portability, easier operation, and more robust internals. It may have some minor drawbacks, which we will get to later on, but they’re not anything its target users will find a deal-breaker. Better yet, at $650/£600 with an 18-55millimeter lens, it’s a bit cheaper than its predecessor at launch. 

It is, therefore, just the ticket for casual shooters as well as budding beginner photographers who are willing to learn every chance they get – whether they are on an exotic holiday with the family or just happened to come upon a beautiful sunset on their way home from work. In addition, it’s great for small-time bloggers and vloggers who need the tools of the trade, but don’t have the money to splurge on pricier DSLRs or mirrorless cameras that their more successful colleagues can afford. 

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 7

(Image credit: Canon)

Should You Buy The Canon EOS Rebel SL3: Key Features

Being touted by Canon as the world’s lightest DSLR with a moveable screen when it hit the streets, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is indeed among the lightest and smallest DSLRs to date. That’s one of its main selling points: buy this camera, take it anywhere, and it won’t feel like a burden, unlike many enthusiast-level and most pro level bodies out there.

Coupled with the fact that it offers comfortable handling, easy operation, and compatibility with a host of lenses, it’s a great stepping stone, if you must, for those who either simply want to advance from regular point-and-shoots or really hone their photography skills.

It isn’t that big of an upgrade from Canon EOS Rebel SL2. However, it has those updates where it matters. This 24MP APS-C camera now boasts a faster and more energy-efficient processor inside, the same one that Canon’s EOS M mirrorless series have, giving it a longer battery life – 1,070 shots on a single full charge (CIPA rating) when using the optical viewfinder, to be exact. 

On top of that, it has 4K recording capability and continuous eye-detection AF, which comes in handy for vloggers and bloggers, much like its very responsive Vari-angle touchscreen LCD that you can twist and turn in many different angles for shooting flexibility.

Depending on your preference, you might love the Canon EOS Rebel SL3’s optical viewfinder, which offers a natural view with a wider dynamic range, as opposed to an electronic one – though that type also comes with its own advantages.

For inexperienced DSLR shooters who want to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of photography, it comes with a really useful guide that some say may be among the best out there.

Meanwhile, its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity gives every user that instant gratification of mobile editing and social media sharing on the go, as well as remote camera control while setting up and capturing shots.

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 7

(Image credit: Canon)

Should You Buy The Canon EOS Rebel SL3: The Downsides 

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 has some pretty impressive features and capabilities, especially for its target users. At the same time, it does keep some dated features. That autofocusing system, for example, is pretty ineffective in this day and age, especially for beginner photographers who aren’t as well-versed in the basics of focusing in photography. Nay, especially when there are a lot of point-and-shoots out there utilizing a much better and much faster autofocusing system.

On top of that, its 4K video capability is really nothing to write home about. It’s not only cropped, but it’s also been known to have rolling shutter issues. While 4K shooting comes in handy for some vloggers, this might be a disappointment to those with more discerning visual acuity.

Finally, there’s Canon’s EF-S lens lineup. While the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 does give its users the ability to switch to different lenses – and there’s a lot of them on offer – the lenses in the lineup themselves aren’t all that impressive. Then again, the folks that would use this camera would probably hardly notice the difference between these lenses and their higher quality counterparts.

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 7

(Image credit: Canon)

Should You Buy The Canon EOS Rebel SL3: Verdict

This entry-level DSLR may not be perfect, coming with some limitations that may be a deal-breaker to the more advanced shooters. However, to its target audience, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is already a pretty great camera in its own right, one that brings in some nifty features that will help you either improve your photography skills or produce decent content for your blog or YouTube channel and comes with a price tag that’s accessible.

Whether you’re a casual shooter seeking to upgrade to an affordable DSLR, a beginner photographer looking for an entry-level body to use for honing your skills, or a budding vlogger or blogger who needs a cheaper tool of the trade, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is a great option.

With some pretty tough competition that offer largely the same features and performance, however, it still boils down to your personal preferences – whether or not you like its more minimalist design or optical viewfinder, for example. Whether or not the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is the ideal camera for you is entirely up to you.

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Michelle Rae Uy

Michelle Rae Uy is a tech and travel journalist, editor and photographer with a bad case of wanderlust. She is a regular contributor for IGN, TechRadar and Business Insider, and has contributed to Thrillist, Paste Magazine, Nylon, Fodor's and Steve's Digicams. Living mainly in California with her adorable cats, she splits her time between Los Angeles, London and the rest of the world.