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The Best iPhone Camera Alternative for Professional Quality Photos

Canon Rebel 1
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The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have some of the best cameras available in the smartphone market today. While you can take great photos with the standard iPhone camera or dramatic shots with the help of an app, photos often come up short. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are not professional cameras and have never claimed to be; that’s why you often find yourself in a predicament where your smartphone just isn’t doing your photography justice.

We take so many photos with our iPhones because the iPhone camera is convenient and easy to use. What if there was a camera that produced professional quality photos but didn’t take a professional photographer? What if there was a camera that would out-perform the iPhone camera nearly every time, but was compact enough to be just as convenient?

The Canon Rebel line of DSLR cameras have been known for quality for years. Time after time, Canon releases a Rebel that trumps most cameras in its class. There has been one DSLR that has proven against the test of time and has been maintaining a great reputation for nearly two years. The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is an “entry-level” camera that boasts more features than any entry-level photographer could possibly need. Due to its small size and ease of use, the Canon Rebel could be the iPhone’s ultimate sidekick for professional-looking photography. Canon describes some of the most notable SL1 features below.

18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor

The EOS Rebel SL1 features a newly-developed Canon 18.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor in the world’s smallest and lightest digital SLR. Perfect for enlargements or for cropping detailed portions of the composition, the camera’s sensor captures images with exceptional clarity and tonal range. This first-class sensor features many of the same technologies used by professional Canon cameras to maximize each pixel’s light-gathering efficiency and has center pixels that aid in the EOS Rebel SL1’s accurate AF performance. This APS-C size sensor creates an effective 1.6x field of view (compared to 35mm format).

EOS Full HD Movie Mode with Movie Servo AF

The EOS Rebel SL1 offers easy-to-use, professional video capture without compromise. Capable of shooting in a number of recording sizes and frame rates, the EOS Rebel SL1 offers outstanding video capturing performance, quality and simplicity. The EOS Rebel SL1 enables easy manual control of exposure, focus and Live View features, even in-camera editing! Movie Servo AF allows continuous autofocus tracking of moving subjects while recording video. When shooting video with one of Canon’s STM lenses, Movie Servo AF takes advantage of the lens’ stepping motor for smooth and quiet continuous AF. With an STM lens attached, the EOS Rebel SL1meets high standards for SLR moviemaking performance.

Canon Rebel 2


Canon’s amazing Hybrid CMOS AF System is perfect for shooting photos and video in Live View. Combining two different kinds of AF – phase and contrast detection – and aided by pixels on the camera’s CMOS sensor that assist in predicting subject location, continuous focus tracking becomes faster and more accurate than ever before in Live View. And with the EOS Rebel SL1 you’ll get Hybrid CMOS AF II, which provides the same fantastic performance as the original but boasts an increased AF area that covers approximately 80% of the sensor for easier composition. This performance is enhanced further by Canon’s line of STM lenses, which provide smooth and quiet operation.

Advanced Creative Filters that can be displayed in real time during Live View shooting

Adding to the fun and creative possibilities available with the EOS Rebel SL1, the camera offers seven different creative filters for still images: Art Bold Effect, Water Painting Effect, Miniature Effect, Fisheye Effect, Grainy B/W, Soft Focus and Toy Camera Effect. Each effect can be applied in three different levels (low, standard and strong), and easily previewed on the LCD panel during Live View shooting. The EOS Rebel SL1 also features the new Miniature Effect for Movies. You will be amazed and delighted by the artistry that these creative filters will allow you to create.

One of the greatest aspects of this particular camera is that it packs all of the features listed above, yet the device is astoundingly small. The Rebel SL1 measures only 3.6 x 4.6 x 2.7 inches and weighs only 14.4 ounces. Most people will appreciate its compact size for transportability, while people with smaller hands will definitely see value in this particular camera based on how easy it is to hold.

Canon Rebel 3

There are variety manual controls on the small camera body. You will find a three-stage power switch, scene settings (kids, food, candlelight, and other creative filters,) advanced shooting modes, a dedicated ISO button, the shutter release button, plus much more. Many more controls are organized within the easy-to-use touchscreen menu.

Not only is the camera compact and complete with an assortment features, it’s quick too. PC Magazine ran a few performance tests with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 and wrote, “The SL1 is impressively speedy, starting and shooting in just 0.6-second. The camera manages 0.1-second shutter lag in good light, and can fire off JPG shots continuously at 4 frames per second. If you shoot Raw or Raw+JPG you’ll still be able to keep this pace up, but only for 8 and 4 shots, respectively.”

PC Magazine goes on to mention that the SL1’s video focus is impressive and still image quality is just as good as the Rebels big brother, the T5i. PC Magazine rates the SL1 as “excellent.”

Customers of B&H rave that the SL1 is easy to use, has great image quality, accurate auto focus, and proper image stabilization. Some customers report that the Rebel had shorter than expected battery life and images could come out noisy at high ISO settings, which is expected using any camera at a high ISO setting. B&H customers have minimal complaints and, on average, rate the Rebel SL1 4.8 out of 5 stars and 99% of them would recommend this camera to a friend.

Due to this camera model’s age, you can purchase one at a lower price point than you’d probably expect. A brand new Canon EOS Rebel SL1 will retail for less than $500. Used models are being sold for around $400. If you are searching for the perfect DSLR, you can rely on the countless online reviews to tell you that this is truly an amazing camera. Although it has been around for a few years, the SL1 continues to be one of the smallest, best performing, and highest rated cameras available. While your iPhone can take great photos in most circumstances, it’s beneficial to carry the compact SL1 to produce professional quality photos when your smartphone simply can’t.

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