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  • Canon's Tiny New DSLR

Canon wasn't out to break any records. But, records were broken all the same. The new Canon SL1 is the lightest and smallest DSLR camera in the world. Does a light camera make for a better camera? How about a cheaper camera? And, how is the SL1 different than its predecessor? All is unveiled below!

Just How Small is Small?

The SL1 is 28% lighter and 25% smaller than the Rebel T4i. How small is that? Pretty darn small, but still big enough to classify as a "real" camera -- or one that is not of the point-and-shoot variety. In addition to all the small talk, the SL1 also comes with a bunch of new features.

Feature Specific

The SL1 has a Digic 5 processor; 18-megapixel APS-C sensor; and a Hybrid CMOS AF II sensor (which makes focusing in Live View faster and better). The back of this camera boasts a 3.1-inch touchscreen display that's just as responsive as all of Canon's touchscreens appear to be.

The still ISO range on this camera is 100-12800, and shoots HD Video at 1080p (Full HD) at a rate of 30fps, 25fps, or 24fps.

100-6400 when it comes to video (four frames per second continuously). As with most Canon cameras, the SL1 comes with a nice kit that includes an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. The SL1 is also compatible with any Canon EOS lenses, though it might look strange attached to a much larger lens. Canon is taking a huge leap of faith when it comes to the size and weight of this camera, though.

Does Size Matter?

Most professional photographers (or those who like to shoot photos as a hobby) enjoy the weight of a camera. Quality cameras tend to be on the heavier side, and that's the way it's been for a long time. Canon's new camera is not only light, but it also feels a tad too plastic. This may turn off some buyers who are looking for that rugged and solid feel.

There's also the price of this camera to consider. Canon will be selling the SL1 for around $649 without the optional kit. If you want the kit that goes with this camera, the price you'll be paying is around $799. This is a bit short of current DSLR prices that seem to be in the $1000 range, but it's still a good deal for most people to shell out.

Availability and Other Details

Canon will begin shipping the SL1 in April of this year. Whether or not Canon will successfully appeal to the vacation crowd that it's aiming for has yet to be seen. Right now, the market that Canon is after seems to be pretty well cornered by a number of mirror less point-and-shoot options that take great photos and cost a lot less.

Canon has released some details about the SL1 on its main site, so make sure to check out those specs before you order this camera. The SL1 should be in all major retailers near you, or you can order directly from the Canon site (or online retailers). Not sure you should buy a small and light camera? My advice is to wait until this one arrives in-store to test it out.