The Canon Rebel SL1 is our top pick for anyone who's thinking about taking a Canon DSLR with APS-C sensor underwater. Read on to find out how the Rebel SL1 boasts more bang for the buck than its larger cropped sensor brothers.
The Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 stands toe-to-toe with most of Canon's current and former cropped sensor line, with an 18 megapixel APS-C sensor and maximum video recording resolution of 1920x1080 at 30 fps.
In terms of quality underwater photography, there is only one category where the Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 makes compromises due to the smaller form factor: battery life. The camera's CIPA rated battery life is 380 shots per charge, compared to 440 for most of the Rebel series and up to 960 for the EOS 80D. We find that the camera has perfectly adequate battery life for a day of diving when shooting with the optical viewfinder. Battery life is comparable to most similarly sized mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras on the market right now.
The Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 wins hands-down in a comparison of size and weight. The underwater system is significantly smaller and several pounds lighter than the comparable system for any other cropped sensor camera.
With RAW image recording and full access to all important camera controls, there is no limit to your creative control with the Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 compared to other Canon cropped sensor DSLR cameras.
For some guys, the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 may feel a little small in the hands compared to larger Canon DSLR cameras. But the camera's diminutive size significantly boosts its ergonomics underwater, where the camera is wrapped in protective layers of air, plastics, and metals. The smaller housing puts everything within closer reach and makes it a lot easier to handle, with or without gloves. You'll also experience less arm and leg fatigue at the end of the dive due to the system's more neutral buoyancy and reduced drag.
A key distinction between the housing for the Rebel SL1 and those for other Canon DSLR cameras is the port system. To keep the overall system compact, Rebel SL1 housing uses the smaller diameter DLM port system. This limits the range of lens support to only those lenses which operate the best in the water. Lens support for the Rebel SL1 includes all of the top go-to lenses for underwater photographers including:
See the complete Port Chart for the Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1.
The Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 is much more affordable than its larger APS-C brothers*.
|Other Rebel Cameras||EOS 100D Rebel SL1|
|Average Housing Price||$ 1,600||$ 1,149|
|Average Dome Port Price||$ 200-550||Included|
|Average Camera Body Price||$ 549-849||$ 399 with instant savings|
* Average US market suggested retail prices. Actual sales prices are determined by the retailer and may vary based on season and region.
Even if you already own a Canon cropped sensor DSLR, it's typically less expensive to pick up the Canon Rebel SL1 camera body and housing than it would be to take your camera underwater. There's also a bonus convenience of traveling with your larger camera body for land shooting, and using the SL1 as a dedicated underwater system.
Each housing is specific to a camera model. In general, differences in lens and control placement prevent newer cameras from being used in housings for older models. So when making an investment in underwater photography equipment it is wise start with the current camera model you can afford.
Based on performance, size, and sustainability, we strongly recommend the Rebel SL1 for anyone who is considering a housing for any of the following models:
We recommend that owners of the following models consider the Rebel SL1 instead due to the significant size and weight advantages of the system:
The results of the system speak for themselves. Check out our SmugMug gallery of images taken with the Canon Rebel SL1 to see what the system is truly capable of.