Canon’s introduction of the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 DSLR should not have surprised anyone. Canon is the last of the major camera companies to fight tooth and nail going mirrorless and its engineers are probably gleeful that they have succeeded in crafting a traditional mirrored APS-C DSLR that is smaller than even many of the mirrorless DSLRs that use a smaller image sensor. They are hoping the dimunitive size of the EOS 100D/ Rebel SL1 will silence the traditional mirrored DSLR vs. mirrorless DSLR (or DSLM, Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) debate.
Just how small is the Canon EOS 100D / Rebel SL1?
See for yourself, courtesy of Camera Size. You can view the EOS 100D / SL1 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 side by side or with the OM-D (Camera 2) in front.
It’s positively amazing that Canon engineers have been able to shrink the dimensions of their DSLR to match that of the OM-D as far as width and height are concerned. Olympus (and Panasonic) should be concerned that their size advantage has just suffered a blow.
But switch to the top view for both cameras and with the OM-D on top (Camera 2 in front) — and it becomes clear where the problem lies: the mirror in the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 makes it 66% (27.5 mm) thicker than the OM-D!
Can anyone deny that the future is mirrorless? In fact, if Canon were to convert the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 to a mirrorless DSLR, the micro FourThirds size advantage enjoyed by Panasonic and Olympus would simply evaporate on all fronts.
Since the size issue with using an APS-C sensor is now for all practical purposes solved, perhaps Panasonic and Olympus should both seriously consider moving to using an APS-C image sensor. They still retain a technological edge as far as Live View autofocus speed is concerned, but that advantage won’t be there for too long.
In time, as other technical challenges (especially those pertaining to lens size) fall by the wayside, there is no reason why mirrorless DSLRs (DSLMs) should not be using a full-frame image sensor — and still retain the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 size. This is the product development direction all DSLM camera manufacturers should be aiming for.