Like many people, my interest in photography began at the advent of digital cameras. My first was a Canon PowerShot S100, a rectangle of metal that could take around a hundred photos. It cost around $400, if I remember correctly. The pictures had a blue cast to them but I didn’t notice or care at the time. Having a camera, without the expense of rolls of film, was enough for me. Digital was amazing.
Then came the DSLR revolution in 2004. I picked up a Canon Rebel for a little more than a thousand bucks. With its big body hanging over my shoulder, I felt like a “real” photographer. You know, one who looks through the viewfinder and fiddles with apertures and so on (though 90% of the time I had it on auto mode).
There were other cameras after that, my last being the Canon Rebel T2i. But with the advent of the iPhone, the excitement left the DSLR world. Why take a big camera when you can get okay pics with your iPhone that you could share instantly? I upgraded my iPhone continuously but new Canon models came and went without me purchasing anything.
Until I saw I could get the Rebel SL1 and a nice lens for $299 in the Canon Refurb store. The price was awesome but I wondered… would I actually use it? Who likes to carry stuff around anymore? Billed as the world’s smallest DSLR, I decided to go for it.
And I really like it! The SL1 has all the features I like in a DSLR – a viewfinder, crisp pictures, high image quality – in a small package. It’s no iPhone but if you’re used to carrying around bulky DSLRs, it weighs nothing. I wanted a camera that I could put in a backpack and bike around the city with. It’s perfect for that – I barely even notice that it’s in there.
Here’s some photos from the camera, taken while wandering around DC on a very mild Veteran’s Day.