- ISO range from 100-25600
- 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen LCD
- Full HD video at 1080p and 60fps
I remember when I first started in photography, not only did I have no idea how to take a good picture, but I had no idea what gear I needed.
Beyond that, I didn't know what gear was best for me as a budding photographer.
So, like any rational person, I bought a Nikon D3 full frame camera with all the bells and whistles imaginable (for that time, anyway).
A full frame camera for a beginner photographer is usually not a good idea - I found myself overwhelmed even more because the camera I bought had far too many capabilities.
That got me thinking...what would an ideal camera be for a beginner photographer today?
Editor's Tip: Buying a new camera is a big investment, but you can save money by buying a pre-owned camera body. MPB is one of the largest online marketplaces for buying pre-owned gear, with a huge selection of cameras for beginners, intermediates, and expert photographers. See their inventory here.
Enter the Canon EOS Rebel SL2
There's a lot to like about the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 if you're a beginner.
First and foremost, it's small and lightweight, so it doesn't feel like you're carrying around a giant camera. That's important for beginners that are likely moving from a smartphone up to their first DSLR.
In this case, the SL2 weighs barely more than 14 ounces (body only), so it's easy to carry and maneuver around.
In addition to being lightweight, the SL2 also has a small form factor.
Again, the smaller dimensions are great for new photographers that are just getting used to handling a "real" camera.
The SL2 is 4.8-inches wide, 2.7-inches deep, and 3.6-inches tall, which makes it one of the smallest DSLRs on the market today.
But don't think that because it's a small DSLR that it's light on capabilities.
The SL2 features a 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor from its big brother, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i.
This camera also sports Canon's latest imaging processor, the DIGIC 7, which is capable of handling 14 times as much data as its predecessor.
In other words, though this is a small, budget-friendly camera, it's got technical specs that allow you to learn and grow as a photographer without outgrowing your camera.
Other technical specifications include:
The SL2 is Easy to Use
Perhaps best of all, the SL2 is actually easy to use, which is precisely what you want in a first DSLR.
Canon upgraded the user interface to be more streamlined, making it much easier to learn how to use the camera and its various shooting modes. It's a guided experience as well, so you get a nice walkthrough of the camera's features.
Canon also included a beefier grip than what they had on the EOS Rebel SL1, so the SL2 is easier to handle than its predecessor.
As noted earlier, the SL2 has a vari-angle touchscreen LCD, which aids in getting the best shots.
That's because you can get low-angle and high-angle photos for a unique look with the vari-angle screen.
What's more, since it has touchscreen capabilities, you can maneuver through the camera's menus, review your images, and even focus the camera simply by touching the screen.
The camera's buttons and dials are also laid out in an intuitive manner, so learning where things are and how to use them is a breeze.
Editor's Tip: Most new cameras include just the camera body, and if they include a lens, it's typically a kit lens that's not the best quality. Upgrade the lens for your camera by shopping for a high-quality pre-owned lens at MPB. All of MPB's products go through a rigorous rating process, that way you know exactly what you're getting when you buy. See all the lenses MPB currently has in stock by visiting their website.
Is the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 the perfect camera? No.
It's got a plasticky finish, the autofocus system has just 9 AF points, and it doesn't shoot 4K video.
The price is fairly steep as well, at least when compared to similar cameras from other manufacturers.
However, the SL2 has plenty of features that are great for beginners - the guided user interface, the vari-angle touchscreen LCD, the excellent ISO performance, and the small size of the camera body, just to name a few.
If you need further help determining whether or not the SL2 is for you, check out the video above by Kai W.