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Canon Rebel SL1 | Top of the Canon Crop Sensor DSLRs

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.

Camera Specifications

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.

Size comparision Ikelite housing for Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1Actual size comparison: (left to right) Canon EOS 80D; Canon EOS 750D Rebel T6i; Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1

Size and Weight

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.

Size comparision Ikelite housing for Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1Actual size comparison: (left) Size of housing for other Canon DSLRs with APS-C sensor; (right) Housing for Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1

Creative Control

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.

Ergonomics

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.

Lens Support

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:

  • Canon EF-S 10-18mm STM
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm STM
  • Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye
  • Canon EF-S 60mm Macro
  • Canon EF 100mm Macro IS USM

See the complete Port Chart for the Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1.

Canon EOS 100D Compatible Lenses

Affordability

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.

Bottom Line

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:

  • Canon EOS 30D
  • Canon EOS 40D
  • Canon EOS 50D
  • Canon EOS 60D
  • Canon EOS 400D Rebel Xti
  • Canon EOS 450D Rebel XSi
  • Canon EOS 500D Rebel T1i
  • Canon EOS 550D Rebel T2i
  • Canon EOS 600D Rebel T3i
  • Canon EOS 650D Rebel T4i
  • Canon EOS 700D Rebel T5i
  • Canon EOS 1000D Rebel XS
  • Canon EOS 1100D Rebel T3
  • Canon EOS 1200D Rebel T5
  • Canon EOS 1300D Rebel T5

We recommend that owners of the following models consider the Rebel SL1 instead due to the significant size and weight advantages of the system:

  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EOS 80D
  • Canon EOS 750D Rebel T6i
  • Canon EOS 760D Rebel T6s

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.

Size comparision Ikelite housing for Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1Shot with the Canon SL1 and Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye Lens. Copyright 2017 Steve Miller
Size comparision Ikelite housing for Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1Shot with the Canon SL1 and Canon 60mm Macro Lens. Copyright 2017 Steve Miller
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