In this review, we’ll be comparing two entry-level cameras; the Sony a5100 vs Canon SL2. The basic idea of doing his is to help you decide which the better camera is for you and not necessarily which is the overall better camera.
This is why we have put together the features of each camera. And we’ve not just put them together, we’ve actually compared the features of one camera against those of the other camera so that you can see exactly where one camera does better than the other.
However, in too much of a hurry and need to make a quick decision? Just check out the comparison overview and comparison table sections. Those two sections contain what’s important in bite sizes and will help you make that quick decision.
Nonetheless, we do advise that you take the time to read through the entire article to be well informed. We also recommend that you check out some of our other Sony-Canon reviews like the Sony a7S Vs Canon 70D for a wider frame of reference.
Comparison Overview — Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
Here’s a quick rundown of the basic ideas of this review:
Overall Rating Of The Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
From our research, we believe it is safe to say that both cameras are decent cameras. They are both entry-level and have features that beginners will find interesting and easy enough to understand and make use of.
They are actually almost equally matched. However, the Canon SL2 does have a few more interesting features that we’ll get to see soon enough.
Rating Of The Features Of The Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
As we already mentioned, the Canon SL2 has a few more interesting features than the Sony a5100. It has its own viewfinder while the Sony a5100 doesn’t even have a viewfinder port. This camera also has a microphone port, the Bluetooth feature and a flash port.
That is not to say that the Sony a5100 doesn’t have some interesting features of its own. However, those features you will also find in the Canon SL2. For instance, both cameras have a decent 24 megapixel sensor resolution.
Furthermore, they both have an articulating screen (that of the Sony a5100 is a tilting screen while that of the Canon SL2 is a full-flex screen, just to be clear), and they both also have an inbuilt wireless connection.
Both cameras can shoot in the Auto Bracketing mode and can also shoot in RAW format. However, it isn’t all roses and daisies as they both do not have a weather sealing feature and both do not have an inbuilt image stabilization feature. Thankfully, that can be prevented by getting optical stabilization lenses.
Which Has The Better Price-Value Ratio: Sony a5100 or Canon SL2?
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 has a better price-value ratio than the Sony a5100. Yes, they will both be giving you good value for your money, but the SL2 is the more affordable one (by more than a hundred bucks) and on top of that, it is arguably more functional than the a5100.
About The Brands
The Sony brand is probably most popular for its entertainment sector. However, its cameras are also quite popular; not as popular as Nikon and Canon but pretty popular. Sony cameras are known for having a great sensor and a not so great battery life.
The Canon brand is one of the leading producers of cameras and other imaging and optics products like camcorders, printers and such. Canon has been in the business long enough that it has been able to amass a large collection of lenses. However, a good number of those lenses a quite expensive. Its cameras does have a better battery life than Sony cameras, though.
Comparison Table — Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
|Weight||0.6 pounds||1 pound|
|Dimensions||4.3 by 2.5 by 1.4 inches||4.8 by 3.7 by 2.8 inches|
|Continuous Shooting||6 frames per second (fps)||5 frames per second|
|Battery Life||400 shots per charge||650 shots per charge|
|External Flash Port||No||Yes|
|Screen Type||Tilting Screen||Full-Flex Screen|
|ISO Range||100 to 25600||100 to 25600 and can be expanded to 51200|
Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2 – A Comparison Video
Which Is Better For What — Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2?
|This camera has way more focus points than its opponents so it will focus faster than the Canon SL2. Consider getting this one if you know you’ll be pressed for time.||On the other hand, you’ll frame better with this camera because it has its own viewfinder.|
|Add that to the fact that this camera has a 1 frame per second faster continuous shooting rate than the Canon SL2 and you have the faster camera.||And while both cameras have the same video resolution, this one is a better idea for recording videos because it has a microphone port.|
Common Features — Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
Here are things that make the Sony a5100 and Canon EOS Rebel SL2 similar:
i. 24 mega pixel APS-C CMOS sensor
ii. Articulating screen
iii. Built-in wireless connection
iv. Auto exposure bracketing
v. 100 – 25600 primary ISO range
vi. Continuous shooting
vii. Full HD video
viii. RAW support
ix. Face detection focus
x. Built-in flash
Let us now look at each of them in detail…
1. Sensor Resolution
When we talk about the sensor quality of a camera we do not necessarily talk about the quality of the photos that said camera will take. Or it kind of refers to it in a roundabout way.
OK! Here’s what we’re saying. There are a number of features that are directly responsible for how your photo turns out, including lighting, aperture and even the ISO. However, the sensor resolution is responsible for detailing.
That is, the higher the sensor resolution of your camera, the more details you have on your picture. And the better detailed your photo is, the more you’ll have left when you crop.
Furthermore, the higher your sensor resolution in megapixels, the larger the photo size you can print out without losing details too. So, we could say that the sensor resolution is responsible for a large part of the after effect.
That said, both the Sony a5100 and the Canon SL2 have a really impressive sensor resolution. 24 megapixels will afford you a lot of room to maneuver things.
2. Articulating Screen
Basically, an articulating screen is that kind of screen that can be swiveled or turned in certain directions without moving the camera body at all. And the idea of this is to give you an outlet for your creativity somewhat.
An articulating screen will help you take shots from some nearly impossible angles (like overhead shots) by just adjust the screen. Now, there are basically two kinds of articulating screens; there is the tilting screen and the full-flex screen.
A tilting screen can only be moved upward and then back down again; kinda like a hinge joint on the human body. On the other hand, the full-flex screen can be rotated; kinda like the ball and socket joint on the human body.
Because the full-flex screen can be rotated, it can basically be used to run a one man show. That is, you turn the screen to face you and take selfies or record yourself by yourself. However, whatever the kind of articulating screen, it is always a better idea than a fixed screen.
That said, while the Sony a5100 has a 3 inch tilting screen, the Canon SL2 has a 3 inch full-flex screen. And just so you know, the Sony a7S has a 922k dot screen resolution while the Canon SL2 has a 1040k dot screen resolution.
3. Wireless Connection
Both cameras have an built-in Wi-Fi and this is one of those features that are exactly the same in both cameras. The built-in wireless connection allows a camera access to the internet, and via this access, apps and stuff can be downloaded off the internet while files from the camera can be uploaded to the internet.
Both cameras also feature the Near Field Communication (NFC) connection feature which, as the name suggests, is another form of connection. However, this one is offline and allows for connection between devices.
You basically just need to place one device close to the other, both of them NFC enabled of course, and a connection is established. Once that happens, you can wirelessly transfer files from one device to the other.
Finally, both cameras can be controlled using a smartphone. You’ll have download the right app on your smartphone and then establish a connection via the app. Once that is done, you can take mock shots and even do a few quick settings changes from your smartphone.
4. Auto Exposure Bracketing
Both the Sony a5100 and the Canon SL2 have an Auto Exposure Bracketing feature. First off, camera exposure is determined by a combination of the ISO, the aperture and the shutter speed.
However, if your camera has the Auto Exposure Bracketing feature, it automatically chooses the exposure for you. But it doesn’t just do one exposure, it does about 3 or 4 different exposures for the same photo.
This way, you get to choose which exposure works for you without having to make adjustments by yourself. This feature will also come in handy for HDR.
5. ISO Range
We already mentioned that the ISO is one of those factors that determine the exposure of a photo. And this has to do with the fact that the ISO range has to do with lighting; how much light the camera lets in as you shoot.
You know how you can’t always have the best lighting situation? Sometimes there is enough light and some other times there is just too much light. Or sometimes, you actually want to shoot in the dark or out in the sun and yet you want to have the best possible picture?
The ISO was created for these kinds of scenarios. If the issue is too much light or you want to shoot out in the sun, you’ll need to choose a low ISO. How low you go is dependent on how much light you do not need because the lower the ISO, the less light your camera takes in.
This automatically means is that if you want to shoot in the dark, you need to choose a high ISO. In this setting, the camera basically tries to compensate for the lack of light by letting in as much light as it can. And of course, how high you go is dependent on how much light you need.
That said, we could say that both the Sony a5100 and the Canon SL2 have an impressive ISO range. It might not be the most impressive that we’ve ever seen but it is really impressive and could be the solution for a wide range of your lighting issues.
They both have the same ISO range which is between 100 and 25600. However, that of the Canon SL2 can be expanded up to 51200.
6. Continuous Shooting
This one kinda has to do with speed and will really be appreciated by those who do the kind of photography where speed is required, either because the subjects move around really quickly or because the photographer has a limited time to shoot.
This category could include wildlife photographers, sports photographers, the paparazzi and even photographers at a toddler’s birthday party.
That said, what is continuous shooting? Continuous shooting is a mode that allows the camera take more than one shot in just one second. Different cameras have different continuous shooting rates and it is calculated as frames per second.
Both cameras have an average continuous shooting rate with the Sony a5100 offering 6 frames per second and the Canon SL2 offering 5 frames per second.
7. Video Resolution
Both cameras have the exact same video resolution of 1920 by 1080. And while they both cannot record 4K videos, 1080p videos are actually really good quality and, depending on your professional level, you might actually not miss the 4K video feature.
8. RAW Support
Both the Sony a5100 and the Canon SL2 can also shoot in RAW. Why is this a good thing? Basically every digital camera can shoot in jpeg which is alright. However, professionals are not really into this format because jpeg usually compresses photos which reduces their quality. And if you’ll be delivery to clients, you want to give them as good as you can.
This is why a lot of people prefer to have that RAW option. RAW allows the photo to remain in its original quality so you can use it for your professional needs. However, because these photos are not compressed, they are usually quite heavy and take up a lot of space. You’ll have to invest in some memory cards.
9. Face Detection Focus
Both the Sony a5100 and the Canon SL2 can recognize faces when they see them and then focus on those faces. What this does is to help reduce the possibility of having blurry pictures. The focus stabilizes the sensor so that the camera can shoot stable pictures.
However, this feature only takes care of portraits. If you are shooting any other kind of picture and your camera does not have an image stabilization feature, you could get blurry pictures. Anyway, this face detection feature makes both cameras good portrait cameras.
10. Built-In Flash
What we like about this feature is that it is always available seeing as it is built-in. A flash is basically a quick light fix. You need to shot in a dark place? Just click your flash and there is a burst of light that could be enough to light things up. The built-in flash will not solve all your low light problems but it sure comes in handy.
A Sony a5100 Demonstration Video
Unique Features — Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
Mirrorless vs DSLR: Sony a5100 vs Canon SL2
The Sony a5100 is a mirrorless camera while the Canon SL2 is a DSLR one. This is a very important difference between them as it explains the basic workings of both cameras. The basic difference between a mirrorless and a DSLR camera is the absence/presence of a mirror and an optical viewfinder, respectively.
Here’s how things work. When light passes through the lens attached to a DSLR, it first hits the mirror. The mirror then bounces off part of the light unto the autofocus sensor. The other part goes on to hit the optical viewfinder which (the light) is responsible for the image you see on the viewfinder.
On the other hand, when light passes through the lens attached to a mirrorless camera, it goes on straight to hit the sensor seeing as there is no mirror. The sensor then sends a digital image to the electronic viewfinder or the LCD screen as the case may be. This is another difference we’ll need to shed some light on soon.
Moving forward, because of the presence of the mirror, DSLR cameras are usually heavier than their mirrorless cameras. Also, mirrorless cameras usually do not have as long a battery life as DSLR cameras and this might have something to do with the kind of viewfinder they have. Which leads us to….
Which comes with a viewfinder: Sony a5100 or Canon SL2?
The Canon SL2 comes with a(n) (optical) viewfinder while the a5100 does not. Now, a viewfinder is a small screen that you look through to frame your photos. That is, you look through this tiny screen and see whatever it is that you’re trying to shoot and decide if what you see is what you want to see. There are basically two kinds of viewfinders; the optical kind (which you’d usually find on a DSLR) and the electronic kind (which you’d usually find with a mirrorless camera).
An optical viewfinder works kinda like a window. That is, when you look through it, what you see is exactly what your eyes would see if you looked directly at the subject. Because this viewfinder is optical, it can run without using battery power. However, it doesn’t give the most accurate representation of what the sensor sees seeing as the sensor sees digital.
The electronic viewfinder, on the other hand, is kinda like the opposite of the optical viewfinder. It is a small LCD screen so the images you’ll see are digital. As a result, the electronic viewfinder provides a better representation of what your sensor sees.
However, because the sensor has to send a digital image to the viewfinder, it has a slower response time than the optical viewfinder. Also, while electronic viewfinders are mirrorless cameras’ thing, not all mirrorless cameras have a viewfinder, like is the case with the Sony a5100.
So, with the Sony a5100, you’ll have to make do with the LCD screen which could be alright unless you decide to take a shot in very bright light. If the light is too bright, it will be difficult for you to see what’s on the screen.
Which is more lightweight: Sony a5100 or Canon SL2?
Neither of these cameras is exactly heavy, but the a5100 is the more lightweight of the two. The Sony a5100 weighs 0.6 pounds while the Canon SL2 weighs 1 pound. However, this is just the body. If you add a lens to either camera, it would definitely get heavier.
How do we find this out? Just by checking out the sensor size; the camera with the larger sensor will require heavier and larger sensors than the other which will change the comparative weight of the cameras.
Both cameras have an APS-C size sensor and as a result while attaching a lens will affect the weight of the cameras individually, it does not change the weight difference between the cameras.
Which one offers better audio quality: Sony a5100 or Canon SL2?
Both the Sony a5100 and the Canon SL2 have built-in microphones, however, only the Canon SL2 comes with an external microphone jack, making it the only one of the 2 that allows you enhance your audio quality beyond what the camera’s mic offers. And of course, it is no news that external microphones do better at producing clear audio than built-in ones.
Which is better for flash photography: Sony a5100 or Canon SL2?
Both the Sony a5100 and the Canon SL2 have built-in flashes, however, only the SL2 has a hot shoe on which an external flash can be mounted. For this reason, the SL2 is the better camera for flash photography. And even with the built-in flashes, that of the SL2 has a longer range than that of the a5100 (9.8 meters vs 4 meters).
Which has more available lenses: Sony a5100 or Canon SL2?
Both the Sony a5100 and the Canon SL2 are interchangeable lenses; that is, their lenses are not built in and you’ll have to get them separately. As a result, it is necessary to know how many lenses each camera has available with it. That said, the Sony a5100 has 2 lenses available while the Canon SL2 has 319.
Furthermore, both cameras do not have an in built image stabilization feature. The implication of this is that when you take pictures with either camera, the pictures taken could come out looking blurry if the camera is jostled mid-shot.
To prevent this, you’ll have to get optical stabilization lenses that will stabilize the sensor and eliminate the possibility of blur in pictures. That said, the Sony a5100 has 23 of them available while the Canon SL2 has 91 lenses available.
A Canon SL2 Demonstration Video
Unique Pros — Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
Pros Of The Sony a5100
- First off, the Sony a5100 is significantly lighter than the Canon SL2.
- Furthermore, this camera has way more focus points (179) than the Canon SL2 (9).
- This camera also has a 1 frame per second faster continuous shooting rate than the Canon S2.
- Finally, the Sony a5100 has a better ISO for low light (1347) than the Canon SL2 (1041).
Pros Of The Canon SL2
- First off, we absolutely love that this camera has a viewfinder which is always a better idea than using the LCD screen to frame. However, this isn’t exactly surprising seeing as this camera is a DSLR and DSLR cameras are usually not without their viewfinder.
- Furthermore, this camera has a longer battery life (650 shots per charge) than the Sony a5100 (400 shots per charge) which is another thing we are not surprised about.
- We also like that this camera has a flash port because it means that you can use an external flash with this camera.
- And as for the inbuilt flash, this camera’s inbuilt flash has a wider coverage (9.8 meters) than that of the Sony a5100 (4 meters).
- It is definitely worthy of note that this camera has a slightly better screen resolution (1040k dots) than the Sony a5100 (922k dots).
- Furthermore, the microphone port will definitely come in handy for people who are looking to do video coverage with their camera.
- You can time-lapse record with this camera without needing to download a special app. When you time-lapse record, the camera records in a slow frequency but when the recorded video is played back it runs faster than a regular video. It’s basically about creativity. To do this with the Sony a5100, you’ll have to download the appropriate app.
- Finally, this camera can make use of an Ultra-High Speed memory card; the UHS-I kind to be specific. This kind of card allows for the transfer of files in ultra-high speed.
Unique Cons — Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
Cons Of The Sony a5100
- First off, this camera does not have a flash port which means you cannot use an external flash with it. This isn’t a fantastic idea because the inbuilt flash isn’t as good as the external flash and this particular camera’s inbuilt flash doesn’t even have half as much the coverage of the Canon SL2’s inbuilt flash.
- Also, this camera does not have a viewfinder. You might be able to survive with the LCD screen but you’ll have to think of how to survive with it out in the sun.
Cons Of The Canon SL2
- This camera doesn’t have a lot of focus points and this could actually slow down the camera at the focusing stage.
Check out these other articles:
- Sony a5100 vs a6000 – Detailed Comparison
- Sony a6300 vs a6500 – Detailed Comparison
- Sony a6300 vs a6000 – Detailed Comparison
- Canon 6D vs 5D Mark III — A Detailed Comparison
- Canon 5D vs 6D — Which Should You Buy?
- Canon 5D Mark II vs 6D — Detailed Comparison
Common Pros — Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
|Sensor Resolution||24 megapixels is really impressive and will allow you crop your photos and print them large without losing details.||Same as the Sony a5100.|
|Articulating Screen||We like that this camera has a tilting screen because it allows you take shots from some somewhat impossible angles.||Same as the Sony a5100. However, this camera has a full-flex screen which you could use to record yourself by yourself.|
|Wireless Connection||The Sony a5100 has an inbuilt wireless connection that allows it access to the internet. It also has the Near Field Communication connection that will allow it connect with other devise that have this feature and this connection forms a channel for transferring files. Finally this camera can be controlled from a smartphone, provided that smartphone is connected to the camera via the appropriate app.||Same as the Sony a5100.|
|Auto Exposure Bracketing||This camera can automatically choose different exposures for you if you choose the Auto Exposure Bracketing mode.||Same as the Sony a5100.|
|Inbuilt Flash||We like that this camera has its own inbuilt flash because I is always available.||Same as the Sony a5100.|
|Touch Screen||This camera has a touch screen which helps make controlling your camera that bit easier.||Same as the Sony a5100.|
|RAW Support||We like that this camera can shoot RAW photos because RAW photos maintain their original quality which in this case is a good thing.||Same as the Sony a5100.|
|Face Detection||Finally, this camera can recognize faces. And when it does, it is able to focus on those faces so that when you shoot the pictures do not come out blurry. You have to know, though, that this only affects portraits.||Same as the Sony a5100.|
Common Cons — Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
|Image Stabilization||This camera does not have an in body image stabilization feature. As a result, if the camera is jostled mid-shot, the picture taken could come out looking blurry. Thankfully, this can be prevented by getting optical image stabilization lenses.||Same as the Sony a5100.|
|Weather Sealing||This camera is not protected against any of the elements; water dust, nothing. So, you’ll have to be really careful when and where you use this camera.||Same as the Sony a5100.|
What People Think About Both — Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
|When people talk about what they consider the bright spots of this camera, a good number of them mention the weight. This camera is most popular among beginners who really just need a camera for basic photography stuff. So, they usually consider the lightweight and general portability a good thing. Some people (vloggers especially) like the tilting screen a lot because they can basically do their own recording by themselves.||It seems to be general consensus that this camera is a good idea for beginners. People like that it has a decent selection in its menu and that it is pretty easy to use. Someone even referred to the Canon SL2 as a great step up from a point and shoot. It looks to us like the customers understand that the camera is an entry-level and doesn’t expect it to be a pro camera. In fact a good number of them are pleasantly surprised that it has a full-flex screen and is still really portable.|
|However, not everybody is comfortable with the absence of a viewfinder especially seeing as there is no external viewfinder port. Some others have also complained about the absence of a microphone port that would have allowed them use an external microphone.||However, a few people have complained that some of the lenses that this camera comes with are not awesome. But then again, there are 319 of them, there has to be something that works.|
Our Take — Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2
|We must say that we like this camera and believe it has a number of features that beginners will find interesting. The fact that it is really small and really light is something we consider an awesome thing. Other features are pretty decent; nothing too extraordinary but decent.||We also like this camera and believe that it makes for a good beginner camera. It could even do well as a semi-pro what with its full-flex screen, microphone port and decent battery life. Also, very importantly, it has its own viewfinder.|
|We would have liked this better if it had a viewfinder or at least a viewfinder port.||Maybe there is a thing or two that could be there but aren’t.|
Sony a5100 Vs Canon SL2 – FAQs
Is the Canon SL2 good for photography?
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is a good camera for different forms of photography. It has a pretty impressive maximum sensor resolution (24 mega pixels) and a pretty impressive screen resolution (1.040k dots). It also has RAW support which means that you have the option of taking photos and having them store in their unadulterated form.
The SL2 is particularly great for daily and street photography. It has a pretty impressive battery which will let you take up to 650 shots per full charge; great for a beginner camera.
Which is better: Canon SL2 or SL3?
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 and SL3 are very similar cameras, and well, that ought not to be very surprising as they are both manufactured by the same company and even belong in the same series. But the SL3 was intended to be an upgrade from the SL2 so, it should not come to you as a shock that the SL3 is the better camera.
The major area where the SL3 trumps the SL2 is in video mode. The earlier shoots 4K at 120 mb per second while the latter shoots full HD at 60 mb per second. The SL3 also has a far better battery capacity than the SL2.
Is the Canon SL2 good for video?
The Canon SL2 does a good job in video mode. It is not excellent, but considering that it is an entry-level camera, it is actually impressive video performance. This camera shoots full HD at 60 mb per second. If the video you will be recording will end up somewhere on the internet, then full HD is just fine. By the way, 4K in the hands of an amateur may not be properly maximized.
Furthermore, the Canon SL2 is compatible with external microphones, so, you don’t need to rely on the built-in mic and its poor noise cancellation, you can enhance your audio quality just by purchasing a high-functioning microphone.
More so, you can record time-lapse videos with the SL2.
How long does a Canon SL2 battery last?
Per full charge of the Canon EOS Rebel SL2’s battery, you can get up to 650 shots. This is a pretty impressive number for a beginner camera. Of course, considering that it is a DSLR camera made by Canon, everyone expected that the SL2 would have a good battery package, and well, it didn’t disappoint.
With this battery, you will be able to go an entire day shooting. However, if you go on really long shooting sprees and you make use of many of the camera’s functions (Wi-Fi for example), you might want to get an extra battery just in case.
Does the Canon SL2 have wireless connectivity?
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 has not one, not two, but three different features which enable you to create a wireless connection with a compatible device and, via that connection, transfer files. First of these 3 is the built-in Wi-Fi; pretty sure you know how this works.
Secondly, the SL2 comes with near field communication which allows you connect with an NFC compatible smartphone just by touching the two devices together. And finally, the Canon SL2 also comes with good old Bluetooth.
Is the Canon SL2 good for vlogging?
The Canon SL2 is a pretty good vlogging camera; one that you can get even if you are an amateur on a tight budget. This camera shoots full HD — good enough quality for YouTube. It is also easy to use and affordable, so, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to use this one.
More so, you will be able to get good audio quality when shooting with the SL2 as it is compatible with external microphones.
And well, the best part; you can self-record very easily as this camera comes with a fully articulated, selfie-friendly, touch sensitive LCD screen.