Iskender: I've always really liked Pentax cameras, but after reading the frothing-at-the-mouth Pentax comments below I'm now considering hating the brand. Just to spite the fanboys, you know? :P
Some of you almost sound worse than the whiners in Olympus SLR Talk back in the day.
Sigh. This is about the camera I liked. It's not an insult to other brands. I also like Pentax cameras. Read my Pentax reviews, read our camera round ups. When asked personally to pick a favorite, I will pick honestly, not based on specs, nor on reader opinion. This is a personal opinion, not a DPReview policy statement.
Also, if you missed it, size is only part of the equation. The SL1 focuses faster in Live view and movie mode than other pure SLRs. That's more important to me than water resistance most of the time, as cool a feature as that is.
onlooker: And the rabid Pentax onslaught has started.
David Hurt: EF 22mm, NO ef-s lenses for me. I am thinking of renting the SL1 & pairing it up with my 17-40L lens & my 24-105.
The 40mm is an EF lens. I'm not a lens designer, but there's probably a way to make a wide angle lens for FF that's small enough to be called a pancake.
Lawrencew: Would the new EOS M2 with EF-M 22mm fit the bill as your "perfect street shooter", if Canon would sell it outside of Asia?
It shares many of features of the SL1 including the same hybrid sensor, albeit in mirrorless form.
If you want a 'discrete' street shooter, then the SL1 is still large and indiscrete in comparison.
Or is it the lack of OVF and liveview only focusing that still puts you off an M2?
SulfurousBeast, I don't feel stuck. I have a mirrorless camera and like it a lot. But I liked my time with this more. It's my job here to be honest about my experience, and I have been.
Ayoh: Hmm you like a 40mm pancake, wish there was a 21mm version and think a 31mm lens would also be useful...ah if only someone made such eccentric lenses
Yes, they do make those, but the bodies don't focus well in live view or movie modes, and no matter how I try, I can't get those excellent Limited lenses to mount and focus on my Canon bodies. I'm sure I said this a little further down and further up. I realize now I should have picked a Pentax. My mistake. Next time I review a camera, I'll make sure to measure it against Pentax in every paragraph. And I hope you can take sarcasm as well as dish it out.
Zbyszek_Z: The 31 mm lens idea is just nonsense when you realize that there is a new Canon EF 35mm F/2 IS USM lens which is a very good one, particularly for low light photography of non-moving objects. The only obstacle here is that it is pretty expensive, unfortunately. But it is that good , that it is worth that relatively high price (about USD 600).
Nonsense to want a true 35mm equivalent? I don't agree. I'd also like it to be a pancake, without IS. It's certainly possible.
Daniel Lauring: Great for Canon shooters, but unfortunately, Canon's APS-C doesn't perform any better than the best m43 so that is a better choice for someone that wants to pack small...body and lenses. Now if this was a Nikon with a Sony sensor....
@Lab D: The Pen cameras have an EVF available, and you can attach a single-focal-length optical viewfinder, but no mirrorless camera offers a through-the-lens optical view of the scene, which we call OVF, because that would require a mirror; instead it's an electronic viewfinder, or EVF.
Heie2: And still no sign of the only camera to ever offer a selectable AA filter...
@dual12, the job was to pick our favorite camera, not the most interesting technical innovation. Sorry to disappoint you, but that would be a different article. Read further down to see what I think of Pentax, or visit my review of the K-5 II. This was about the camera I liked most, as Revenant quite correctly says.
Lab D: I like the SL1, but is it much different than the old Olympus E-4xx series or the Sony A35, A55 and A37? The SLTs were actually better for tracking during video, but with some restrictions.
It is currently available, and it works with Canon lenses, unlike the ones you mention. That matters to those with Canon lenses. Yes, I agree the SLTs were theoretically better at tracking while shooting both video and stills. But one stat isn't how I pick a camera. I pick it based on the overall package, its performance over time, and its suitability to my needs.
topstuff: I don't get this camera. Tiny body but not enough tiny lenses. And a 40mm pancake is of no use to me.
Like I said, I don't get it.
@topstuff: Then don't get it.
Bill Bentley: IMG_2635_2 in the sample gallery is not flattering to anyone in the frame, especially the little girl. It should be removed imo.
Hmm. I didn't see that. Thanks for mentioning it. It's deleted.
I think I would like an M2. As I said, I don't mind shooting from an LCD only on a small camera. What put me off the M was its very slow AF with the 22mm lens. If that's improved - which I can't know without testing - then it would be great as an everywhere camera.
JapanAntoine: Interesting choice.Why better than the Fuji XE-1 / XE-2?
It's smaller and less expensive for starters. I liked the Fujifilm cameras as well, and would buy one if the better lenses weren't quite as expensive. They're worth it, of course, I just can't afford more than two camera systems personally. The SL-1 also just works really well. I have my eye on an X-M1, though.
Xentinus: if the only matter is size,pentax has really small bodies with lovely limited lenses.to be honest i would not pay for a piece of plastic which is written canon on it.
Please note that my liking a camera does not mean I don't like others. I gave the SL1 a gold award and I gave both iterations of the K-5 II a gold award. Many Pentaxians vilified me because I had items in the Con box. We always have items in the Con box, because there is no perfect camera for everyone. I cannot possibly include "but Pentax makes great cameras too, and they're also small and waterproof," in every review of a non-Pentax camera. I'm glad you're happy with your Pentax cameras. I agree they're great and also fun to use. But I can't afford to own every brand of camera, particularly system cameras. I would if I could, and at least one Pentax would be among them. I happen to like EOS lenses, and have owned them since 1990. I also like Canon color and metering; it's a taste, much like my affinity for Kodakchrome and Tri-X. Finally, it truly should not surprise you that a camera review website would ask its reviewers to post an opinion. It's what we do here.
iudex: I do not doubt that SL1 is a nice small camera, but praising it as there were no small camera+lens combos in the past is not really fair. Take any entry-level DSLR from Pentax, add an extra small 40mm XS lens and the combo will be even smaller than SL1 with 40mm STM lens. http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1490Tha same with a zoom lens: Canon has nothing to compete with ultra-compact 20-40mm Limited zoom.
Yep, totally agree. Canon could learn a lot from Pentax's Limited lenses in particular, because they're made specifically for people who love photography. The 40mm STM is crude by comparison. My first draft of this article went into more depth about Olympus and Pentax's historical contributions to small SLR form factors dating back to the 1970's, but I cut it to stay on point.
schmaud: Nice perspective, still I have to smile a bit about the fuss on small but capable system cameras this year(3 of 5 gear of the year so far).My second hand camera I bought more than five years hold up quite well agains the newest an hottest: I have a Olympus E420 with a 25mm pancake and the small kit zoom
when looking at:http://camerasize.com/compare/#448,206I somehow do not feel the urge for an upgrade..
Yes, there is no video, no touch screen and live view AF performance could be better. But still it is a 7year old camera concept ( counting teh e-410 as almost identical).
Yep, that's a good, very small camera. I liked it very much too. Olympus stopped making it, though, so this is a good alternative for those wanting a similar product today. Glad to hear you're still happy with your camera.
I'd get out a caliper on that claim. You might be right in terms of thickness, given how slim the 40mm pancake is, but I don't think so in width or height. Pentax cameras are small, and historically so as well, no question. But they don't have the live view and video autofocus the SL1 has, which is a major point of this story. It's an SLR that can focus almost as well as fast mirrorless cameras in live view mode.
If you read the text, you'll find I own other Canon lenses, which makes it a useful body in my personal life. I own no Pentax lenses, though I have a few favorite Limited lenses I used to use quite a lot; the 43mm Limited is one I happen to LOVE. Just because I like one camera doesn't mean I think others are bad. I like this one because it's good and has served me well, during and after the review. I will regret sending it back and might have to buy one when sales get sufficiently deep. Read my detailed review for why I liked this camera in particular, complete with photographic and video samples.
I agree. The 40mm is an EF, so I'd hope for the same with the wider pancakes. I think the distinction rwl408 was making was because of the 22mm on the EF-M mount.
mholdef: I am just baffled about the wildly negative reactions about this camera
@sandy b: 18 Karat? Only 18 Karat? Anything less than 24 Karat would be an insult to photographers everywhere.