What’s up guys, welcome to another Tech Gear Talk video. Today we’re going to check out the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 which outside of North America is known as the 200D. We’re going to talk about why this is an outstanding camera for vlogging and creating YouTube content in general.
What makes this camera so popular is the fact that it’s amazingly light and portable and yet at the same time Canon just crushed this thing with features. This camera is a DSLR but it’s a lot smaller and lighter than something like the 5D. The body alone weighs less than 1 lb which is just crazy. My iPad 2 weighs more than that. Together with this 18-55 STM lens, which weight a little over a pound, this whole kit believe it or not is still under 2lbs, that’s bananas.
I seriously can’t wrap my mind around how much stuff is in this super small DSLR. One of the reasons why people choose to go with mirrorless camera like G7 X Mark II or M6 vs DSLRs is that they are so small and light. This camera isn’t quite as small as those 2 mirrorless cameras, but I promise you that with this setup, the weight isn’t going to be an issue.
My goal with every product review is to give you a detailed overview of the product features as they relate to real life use. If you find it helpful please let me know by giving it a like and consider hitting the subscribe and notification button for more camera and tech reviews.
I’m going to get into details for each aspect of the camera but I’ll start out with some overall key features.
Again, I just love how much Canon was able to pack into the camera and at this price range I think it’s a great choice. So let’s jump into the features in a little more detail.
In general the bigger the sensor the better it is. Bigger sensor means better image quality because it’s able to use more information to create an image with more detail and better dynamic range. This APS-C sensor is excellent for what you need if you’re creating video for YouTube or are just a hobbyist. It’s going to give you really nice and crisp video and of course Canon’s color science is fantastic.
That was the sensor, let’s talk a little about the processor. Again, like those more expensive cameras, the SL2 also uses the new DIGIC 7 processor which combined with the large sensor gives you sharper video and better low light performance.
The DIGIC 7 also makes the camera really fast to operate. It’s nice and responsive for both video and stills. Image preview is quick, video playback is fast and just doing things like starting up the camera, using the menus and going between functions is really fast.
For photography, the DIGIC 7 allows the SL2 to have 6fps burst, or continuous, shooting in both jpeg and even RAW. So you can just hold down the shutter and the camera will just keep firing. This is a nice feature if you’re photographing kids running around and any fast moving subjects.
From a video standpoint, the DIGIC 7 is what makes the SL2 be able to shoot full HD 1080P at up to 60 fps.
And this comes down to what kind of look you prefer to have for your video. If you like a more cinematic look, you can go with 24fps and if you like a sharper more crips look you can shoot at 60fps. If you edit your videos at 30 fps like I do, you can play your 60fps footage at 30fps and you can slow things down by 50%.
I really wish that this camera could shoot 4K video, that would be incredible. But again, at this price point, and with all these other features, that’s asking for too much. I always like to mention that when it comes to these types of features, you should ask yourself things like do you really need 4K? Can you even reasonably edit 4K footage on your existing machine? It’s one of those terms that gets thrown around and you should just ask yourself if that is something that you even need at this stage.
The important thing is that you have options and you’re not stuck with a fixed lens. That lets you buy a camera with maybe a one lens kit now, but then continue to build on this camera body as your needs change or maybe you start making money off your YouTube channel.
One other thing to remember is that because the SL2 uses an APS-C sensor, there is a crop factor, in this case 1.6x. And without putting you to sleep what that means is that if you want to get the 35mm equivalent of the lens, you have to you have to take the focal length on the lens and multiple it by 1.6.
For example, this lens is a 18-55, which when I multiply it by 1.6 actually makes it a 29-88mm equivalent on a full sensor camera. Since I can’t imagine anyone is deciding between the SL2 and a full sensor camera, it doesn’t really come into play, but I like to educate viewers whenever I get a chance. Also, because this camera has an EF mount in addition to the EF-S mount, I could actually use my higher end lenses with it. But in reality, this would completely defeat the purpose of getting a light and portable rig.
That’s super important when you’re vlogging and walking around with the camera. You could in theory set your focus and and lock it, but as you’re walking around, the camera moves, you don’t stay in exact same distance away from the camera, then your arm gets tired so you switch to your other arm. What some people don’t realize is how much these little movements can affect focus.
The dual-pixel system crushes it! You can seriously just forget about focus altogether. You can just click on your face (even though it will auto-detect it) and then watch it follow you. It’s so cool. For the purpose of creating YouTube content, I think good continuous video autofocus is definitely a feature that you should want. Another thing I can do is click on different items in the screen I can easily change focus. So I can get a really cool transition where I if in my video I talk about one thing and then want to shift the viewers attention to something else, I can bring it into focus. No need to pull focus, no focus rings, click and you’re done.
See how fast it does this, no hunting for focus, you know when things keep coming into and out of focus because the autofocus system can’t quite identify what it should be zoning in on. There is none of that junk with the dual-pixel system and I can’t say enough nice things about it. For photography, you can still use the dual-pixel system if you want to frame your image and set focus and take pictures using the LCD display. Or, you can use the 9 point focus-system in the viewfinder if you’d rather do it that way.
Basically there are 9 points on the screen and you can click the button that brings up the grid, then use the arrows to move between them. What’s nice about that feature is that if you want to use the rule of thirds and don’t want your subject in the middle of the frame, you can just move the point of focus off center to the one-third line on either side, then you can set focus and take the pictures without having to re-frame.
Without this kind of system you’d have to get the focus with your subject in the center, then re-frame it on the one third line and take the shot. And if you wanted to take 4 shots, you’d have to keep doing it over and over. With these nine points, you can just set it one time and then keep shooting.
And as a point of reference, even something like the 5D MKIII only has 9 points of focus through the viewfinder and I paid 7 times what the SL2 costs.
So I can easily connect a shotgun mic and you’re all set!. This is an awesome compact setup, it’s light, you’ll get great video and great audio, it’s just perfect for vlogging, shooting talking head video and really anytime where you want more directional sound pick up, instead of an omnidirectional microphone that will pick up sound from everywhere.
Now as far as using a lavalier microphone, I can use a wired lav if I don’t mind being tethered to the camera.
Or I can even go wireless if I want. I can connect my Sennheiser AVX with an XLR to 3.5mm adapter to the camera and now I’m getting a lav mic that is wireless so I don’t have to worry about being attached to the camera, and I can always put it down and step back and the mic is still on me.
That lets me quickly move from one type of shot to another without switching mics. I can walk around hand holding the camera, then put it down and step back, and now because of the dual-pixel autofocus and the fact that the mic is on me, I’m completely wireless and I have nothing to worry about. I’ll always be in focus and the the audio will sound great.
The body itself is made entirely of composite material but it doesn’t feel cheap. This grip is super deep and there is rubber all over it so it fits very securely in my hand. There is also another strip of that same material on the thumb grip so it looks like Canon made sure the major contact points offer good grip.
If you are shooting and holding the camera up in the air, you can have it pointed down and that also works for overhead shots. It’s really nice to control the menu using the touch screen and change various settings and presets in the camera. Of course, as part of the dual-pixel autofocus system, you can touch anywhere on the screen to set focus.
When you’re shooting photos you can either use the screen in liveview and then tap to focus and shoot. Or you can Turn liveview off and then you’ll different functions based on what mode you’re in. If you’re in full manual mode you’ll see your shutter speed, aperture and ISO.
If you’re in shutter-priority or aperture priority you’ll see those settings as well as some others like exposure compensation, whether you’re in single, continuous or self-timer modes, which of the 9 focus point positions you have selected and the focus preset you selected. The screen is nice and bright and worked great for me indoor and outdoors.
One last thing that I want to point out about this articulating screen that is nice when comparing it with a flip up screen like on a G7 X Mark II or an M6 is that the screen does not interfere with the hot shoe if you want to mount an external mic.
On cameras with a flip up screen, you have to mount an external mic somewhere to the side, or you won’t be able to see the screen. Here, because the screen is on the side, you can mount the mic on top of the camera so you have a more compact rig.
That’s huge when you’re working alone, you can literally use your phone as a remote monitor. There is a slight delay but it’s an awesome feature and one that I use all the time.
Something really nice for beginner photographers and videographers is the Feature Assistant. When you’re shooting using the viewfinder, the Feature Assistant will actually teach you how to use your camera better. It will show you what changing your aperture will do and then the same with shutterspeed. It’s also going to explain why you’d want to use certain shooting modes and what exactly is being changed in each scene mode.
I’ll start with one that a lot of people like nowadays which is timelapse. The SL2 can do in-body timelapse. There is nothing overcomplicated about it, you just select an interval in seconds, that’s how long between each shot, how many shots you want the camera to take, and whether you want auto exposure to be used on the first image and then remain the same, or if you want the camera to use auto exposure for each picture.
Once you select these settings the camera will show you how long it will take to shoot, and how long the final timelapse video will be. There aren’t presets that you can save, so you have to adjust it each time if you want to change the settings.
There is no in-body image stabilization but there is some in this 18-35mm STM lens. You can make a decision about how much you need. You can consider getting a 3-axis gimbal at some point if you plan on adding a lot of motion to your videos. I’ll put some links in the description to a few different models that I like.
For photography, the SL2 has a nice built-in flash, you just click this button on the side and it pops up
You can shoot at Full HD or 1080P in up to 60 FPS which also lets you do slow motion at 50% if you edit your videos in 30fps. I mentioned that the SL2 doesn’t shoot in 4K which but seriously for most YouTubers this isn’t really the most critical feature.
The ability to have interchangeable lenses with both EF and EF-S mounts is also really nice. There are a ton of options from Canon and other manufacturers and you can start out with one lens and then add to your kit as your needs change or grow.
The dual-pixel autofocus is unbelievable. It’s fast, reliable and does a great job at tracking objects through the frame and is perfect for anyone that likes to shoot video.
I love the fact that there is a mic input which lets me connect an external microphone to the camera and get much better audio without have to separately record it and then sync it in post production.
The articulating screen is also a great feature that I think anyone shooting video is going to appreciate and I like the fact that it flips to the side so you can use it together with an external microphone connected to the hot shoe.The size and particularly the weight are perfect vloggers, YouTubers and anyone else that likes to travel with their camera.
It’s crazy light but at the same time has nice build quality and very secure grip.Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options are great so you can easily move images from the camera to a mobile device and even control the camera remotely using the camera connect app. There are a ton of features and manual settings that more advanced users are going to like and also lots of presets and the Feature Assistant which beginners are going to absolutely love.
And finally we talked about the built-in timelapse mode that lets you easily get timelapse movies with just a couple of clicks.
The body alone sells right now for $499 and the kit with the 18-55mm lens is $599 which is a great deal because the lens on its own is $249, so you’re saving $150 if you buy the kit. I’ll put links in below because there are always specials and discounts and the links will be automatically updated with the lowest pricing.
I really hope this video gave you a good overview of the Canon SL2. If it was, please let me know by giving it a thumbs up, tweet it, share it, and if you haven’t yet, hit that subscribe and notification buttons.
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Good luck and see you soon.