Canon Rebel SL1 / 100D vs Samsung NX300 vs NX2000

June 1, 2014

Samsung NX2000, NX300 and Canon Rebel SL1 side by side

In this article I will compare the popular Canon Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D versus two Samsung compact system cameras, the Samsung NX300 and the NX2000. I had the chance to shoot with all three cameras, and I understand why people are considering moving to one of Samsung’s NX mirrorless cameras from a DSLR camera like the 100D / SL1. Nevertheless, it’s important to comprehend the differences and understand the cons and pros of each camera versus the other. After reading this comparison review, you might be convinces to get the 100D / SL1 instead of one of the Samsung’s mirrorless cameras and vice versa. Pay a close attention to the fine differences and make sure that you pick up the camera that can answer most of your photography needs and boost your motivation to grab your camera and come home with amazing photos.

So without further ado, let’s begin. I will start with a short introduction to each camera, so you’ll get an overall impression what each camera is all about. Then I’ll continue talking solely on the differences between the three models, and what make each camera unique from a novice and advanced photographer perspective. I am an amateur photographer, and I assume that many of those who are reading this comparison are also hobbyist photographers that want to become more creative and get a more advanced camera for their needs.

Canon EOS 100D / Rebel SL1

Canon Rebel SL1 camera

Canon Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D camera

The Rebel SL1 is not Canon most popular camera according or Amazon.com best seller DSLR category, and although it is positioned at the 13th spot as of the time of writing, it continues climbing up.  Both the Rebel T3 and Rebel T3i take place at the top 3 , but the SL1 does appeal more for those who search for a relatively new model, and want a camera that offer more advanced functionality. The SL1 does sits in higher position above Canon’s entry-level DSLR camera’s lineup.

Before we continue on, let’s first look at the pricing of some of the Canon DSLR cameras (with 18-55mm lens):

  • Canon EOS Rebel T3: $284 (February 7, 2011)
  • Canon EOS Rebel SL1: $450 (March 21, 2013)
  • Canon EOS Rebel T3i: $500 (February 7, 2011)
  • Canon EOS Rebel T4i: $710 (June 8, 2012)

*Prices as of 5/29/2014 via Amazon.com. Prices might be different than the one displayed here. Make sure you visit amazon.com for the latest prices.

The first thing that you’ll notice about the Canon SL1 is how relatively small it is compared to other Canon entry-level models. The mount itself looks huge on this camera, like it takes most of the front space. The SL1/100D was designed to appeal to those who find DSLR cameras to look and feel bulky, and that might make them favor to ditch their dream to own an interchangeable lens camera. In fact, the SL1 is the smallest DSLR camera in the world!

Small as it is, it does feature a wide range of advanced features that can satisfy the needs of both beginners and advanced photographers alike. Some enthusiast photographers even prefer invest in that type of camera body, and invest more money in a better lens.

At the heart of the SL1 / 100D is a 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5 image processor. This sensor utilizes Canon’s Hybrid CMOS AF II technology, which combines the advantages of both contrast-detect AF and phase-detect AF for more accurate and faster AF performance when shooting in Live View or when recording videos. This also allows the camera to accurately focus on a fast moving subject (aka subject tracking), so you get less out of focus photos and more special moments to retain and share with your friends.

Speaking about movie recording, the EOS Rebel SL1 can record Full HD videos at 1080p30, 1080p24 and also at 720p60. The downside that it has a monaural microphone instead of a stereo mic. However, Canon put a stereo mic input, so you’ll be able to connect an external microphone in order to improve the video’s audio quality if that’s what you desire. The SL1 also feature a video snapshot mode that captures shot video clips (2,4 or 8 seconds) then combile those clips together into one video file. The camera does all the editing automatically for you, so all is left to do is share those videos with family and friends online or offline.

*video by DigitalCameraWorld

At the back you get a 3.0-inch 1040K dot smudge-resistant multi-touch LCD display. This make is easier for people who are used to shoot with a smartphone or compact cameras with a touchscreen to feel right at home. The user interface is intuitive and the Touch AF operation makes it very easy to focus on a subject and take the shot.

There is also a 0.87x magnification optical viewfinder. Many beginners coming from point-and-shoot will find this optical viewfinder to be much superior to the electronic viewfinder found on many compact cameras. It might convince you to start using the viewfinder to compose your shot, and it certainly easier to do so when shooting in bright daylight. I’m sure that many of you will find out that this is one reason what makes DSLR photography special, but of course it’s not the only reason. Shooting via the viewfinder also makes you more connected with the subject and you are less distracted by the surroundings — it’s just you and the subject, and it makes it more special to capture a photo each time. Once you try it you’ll understand what I mean, it’s just a bit hard to describe it in words.

The Canon Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D was designed to be responsive and fast. Forger about the sluggish performance of your smartphone camera, superzoom or compact camera — this performance opens a whole new world of creative possibilities, so you’ll never miss an important moment. The camera will turn on quickly ready to shoot in no time. The camera has fast shutter release response time, can shoot in a decent speed of 4 fps in burst mode, has 9-point AF system that is fast and responsive, and browsing through the menu system is also quick and easy.

The SL1 offers auto modes and scene modes (including some new scene modes like Kids, Food and Candlelight) that allow beginners to start shooting without knowing how to use the advanced features of the camera. On the other hand, it offers the photographer full control over the exposure and a full manual mode that allows you to fully control how the image look like. You can manually change the shutter speed, aperture and ISO to achieve certain effects that aren’t possible to be achieved in Auto mode or semi-auto modes. You either let the camera do all the work, or take control of the camera settings yourself and experiment with it to get the desired results.

This is what DSLR photography is all about, experimenting with different camera settings to get unique and beautiful results that inspire you, the photographer, to make the best out of the available options.

The SL1 also has lens aberration correction, advanced feature guide to help beginners understand how each camera setting effect the image output, in-camera JPEG resizing, image rating and in-camera cropping. The SL1 lacks a built-in GPS or built-in Wireless connectivity. You do however have the option to use the external Canon GP-E2 GPS or an Eye-Fi card for geotagging and wireless image transfer respectively.

All in all, the Canon Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D is an excellent DSLR camera for both beginners and more experienced photographers alike. It’s a great camera for the family, as all the family members can use it, everyone with its own experience. If you’ve started learning photography and taking photography lessons, I highly recommend this camera as well. It gives you plenty of room to grow as a photographers, and if in the future you feel that you need something more advanced, you’ll always have the option to upgrade to a more advanced Canon DSLR.

Samsung NX300

Samsung NX300 camera

Samsung NX300

The Samsung SMART CAMERA NX300 is a very popular mirrorless camera that replaces the NX200 and NX210. Samsung doesn’t enjoy the same market control over the mirrorless market as on the mobile market. Many photographers still prefer going with Olympus, Sony, Fujifilm or Panasonic for various reasons, like a larger selection of lenses, pro body availability, etc.

Having said that, that doesn’t make the NX300 less than an ideal camera, not at all. In fact, the NX300 is a very attractive camera feature-wise, and one that can satisfy the needs of many enthusiast photographers.  Samsung worked hard in the past two years to put itself in a strong position that will help it be embraced among the enthusiast crowd. Samsung lenses are also known for their high optical quality, and with more lenses being introduced each year, Samsung now has a very respectable lens selection to choose from.

The NX300 is Samsung’s NX flagship model, well.. at least it was until Samsung introduced the NX30 camera on January 2, 2014.

The NX300 features a 20.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor which uses an advanced hybrid autofocus system. The Hybrid AF system feature 105 phase detection points and 247 contrast detection point, providing fast and accurate subject tracking performance and enhances the performance of the autofocus system in low-light as well. This sensor is only slightly larger (1.2mm wider and 0.8mm taller) than the 100D/SL1, but it’s still falls into the APS-C size category.

The NX300 can shoot at 8.6 frames per second in burst mode, which make it an ideal camera for sport photographers and those who intend to shoot fast-moving subjects and want the camera to keep up with the subject’s moving speed. Alongside a fast burst speed, the NX300 can also shoot at 1/6000 sec.speed, which can be super useful when combined with the powerful hybrid AF system. The end result are sharp images of the subject without a motion blur.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLOZBdVJMz4

Among its other features are: built-in Dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi wireless connectivity to share images instantly and wirelessly, a 3.31″ large Super AMOLED tilting (up 90º and down 45º) touchscreen display, smart touch user interface, Samsung’s DRIMe IV new image processing engine, 3D stills and videos (with the 45mm 2D/3D lens), 1080p60/30/24 Full HD video recording, RAW shooting, Smart Mode and Smart Filter effects and all this in a compact retro-style mirrorless camera.

The NX300 looks great in my opinion. It has a very comfortable grip and it’s built using magnesium alloy and plastic and it feels really solid.  The NX300 is compatible with Samsung NX lenses.  Although the selection is quite limited if you compared it to the Micro Four Thirds system, but I think that many amateurs and enthusiast will find everything they need there. Among those lenses are a 12-24mm f/4-5.6 wide-angle zoom lens, 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 ED OIS telephoto zoom lens, 85mm F1.4 ED SSA portrait lens, 20mm F2.8 very slim pancake lens, and 60mm F2.8 SSA macro lens.

If you are coming from a Nikon or Canon DSLR camera, you certainly wish you had a larger selection — but as I said, most people that this camera is aimed for, will probably be using no more than 2-3 lenses at most. I think that Samsung covers a very versatile focal length ranges that most beginners and more expert photographers use on a daily basis. If you find the lens selection limiting and Samsung NX lens roadmap doesn’t suggest any of your favorite lens specs coming soon, the NX300 might not be the right camera for you. So make sure you understand your needs and at least be able to predict a head of time which lenses you’ll certainly be using for your photography needs.

Samsung NX2000

The NX2000 announced on Mat 1 2013, and it’s replacing the NX1000 which was announced a year earlier (this model is discontinued) in April 19, 2012. The NX2000 is an intermediate entry-level mode. It sits between the Samsung NX1100 and the NX300 / NX mini.

The NX2000 has a slightly redefined look than its predecessor, a slightly more curvy and subtle design. It features a 20.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor, a large sensor, even in mirrorless terms.  This should give the NX2000 an edge with low-light shooting as it can produce better high ISO images. At the back of the camera you’ll find a stunning 3.7″ fixed 1,152K-dot multi-touch touchscreen display. That’s a huge display, and it actually replaces the need for navigation buttons, and those are dropped from this model almost completely. You’ll be doing most of the camera operation through this touch-screen, including composition, as the camera lacks an electronic viewfinder.

For example, you can change the aperture and shutter speed values by just dragging in the appropriate slider from right to left and vice versa. Want to change the white-balance (WB)? — no problem, just tap the white balance button and slide the slider and tap to choose the appropriate one. Samsung calls this UI “Smart Panel”, and it really make it very easy to use with immediate Live view feedback.

You can also use the Touch-AF function. Just touch the appropriate area where you want the camera to focus, resize the focus area size using pinch in and out touch gesture and let the camera do the rest. Too complicated? — Choose the “One Touch Shot” function. Now just click at the area to focus and the camera will both focus and take the picture. You can use pinch to zoom in and out when previewing the images.

Samsung NX2000 mirrorless camera rear and front

Samsung NX2000 Compact System Camera. The flash at the top is an add-on flash, bundled with the Kit. There isn't a pop-up flash in the NX2000.

I think that Samsung did a wise decision. If the camera lacks a viewfinder, why not making the most out of the rear display, and indeed, this is a great experience.

NX2000 also has a built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, which you can use with Samsung’s Smart Camera proprietary app to auto share images, post videos to social networks like YouTube/Twitter or Facebook, backup your photos to Microsoft SkyDrive or Picasa, send them by email or even use your smartphone or tablet to remote control the camera (aka “Remote Viewfinder”).

Among the other key features are 8 fps continuous shooting speed at full resolution, 1080p30 Full HD movie recording with stereo sound, TTL 221 (17×13) block segment metering system, Sweep Panorama, the ability to use the lens ring to change the camera settings (iFn compatible lenses), AE/WB/PW bracketing, 1/4000 sec shutter speed, top dial command to select the appropriate shooting mode,  12 digital filters to play with and dual axis electronic level.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=279vnMzF4uM

The Samsung NX2000 offers great value for photographers on a tight budget, looking for a modern highly-capable mirrorless camera.  Having said that, the NX2000 is not for everyone, as it lacks some of the features that you can find in more  expensive model. I think that it will appeal for those who love the large display and touch-operation, those who intend to take advantage of the Wi-Fi / NFC mobile device functionality and those who want a CSC with a large sensor to enjoy high-quality images, low-noise low-light images and the ability to enjoy highly defocused background (using an appropriate lens).

The NX2000 got very positive review ratings across many leading camera review websites. The camera is very easy to use, to beginners will have no problem operating this camera.. The i-Functionality of Samsung’s lenses also makes it easier to change the settings parameters with little effort and without taking your eyes of the subject. The NX2000 also utilize a dust reduction system that minimize the chance of dust reaching the sensor and resulting in dust speckles appear on your images after changing lenses. The NX2000 lacks a pop-up flash, GPS and EVF, and if you don’t mind leaving without those features, the NX2000 is a very attractive camera indeed. The image quality is also excellent and all in all there is little to complain about if you already decided that you can live with its shortcomings.

SL1 / 100D vs NX300 vs NX2000

As you can see, we have three very interesting cameras here, each one with its own special features. We have two Samsung Compact System Cameras (CSC) and one Canon DSLR camera. Now, you will only choose one of these cameras. In order to make a smart buying decision, one that you won’t regret afterwards, you need to carefully examine the differences between those three cameras. In order to make it easier for you to fully understand how those three cameras stand apart, I made a feature comparison table that draws a clear picture of those differences, including my side notes to make it easier for you to understand what each one means.

So even if you are a total newbie, I recommend reading this comparison table through. I am pretty sure that by the end of this comparison article, you’ll have a much better idea which camera suits your shooting style best and which one you will probably buy.

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Conclusion

As you can see from the above comparison table, there are some significant differences between those three cameras. The Samsung NX300 is a great camera and will certainly appeal to people who want and will take advantage of the large touchscreen display, the advanced autofocus system, 1/6000 shutter speed, fast burst, built-in Wireless capabilities — this camera was built to impress both beginners and enthusiasts alike. Yes, it lacks an electronic viewfinder and it’s not a cheap camera, but I think that this camera brings an excellent experience to every user that tries it. Even for beginners, this camera really makes it easy to capture gorgeous images and videos. It’s a great family mirrorless camera that certainly worth its price in my opinion.

The Nx2000 doesn’t fall too much back from the NX300, at least for novice photographers who still learn how to master all the camera features and making their first steps into the interchangeable lens camera world.  If you find yourself shooting mainly static subjects, want a camera with a touchscreen, don’t mind not having a built-in viewfinder and want a camera that can capture gorgeous images and videos and make it easy to share those with friends and family, the NX2000 might be the perfect camera for you, and for a cheaper price than the NX300.

The Canon Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D is a DSLR camera, and although it has a reflex mirror inside, it’s surprisingly small for a single lens reflex camera. I was surprised when I first held it in my hands. I think that there is a large segment of photographer that prefer a DSLR for its optical viewfinder. I personally don’t mind not having one, but I can’t deny the fact that it makes it much easier to shoot at certain conditions, compared to shooting via the LCD. With the SL1 you have the option to choose whether to compose your shoots and control the camera via the rear LCD or the viewfinder.

The SL1 is impressive in many ways, it’s not as speedy in terms of burst. doesn’t have stereo sound for videos built-in, it lacks built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, it can shoot panoramas and it also doesn’t have a rotating rear display. That being said, some of you might find those features to be optional. I agree that many mirrorless cameras like the NX300 sometimes still the show feature-wise, and the NX300 is one of those cameras.On the other hand, when you look at the lens selection, it’s easy to find out why many photographers still prefer shooting with a Canon DSLR. For some people, a great image quality, optical viewfinder, being able to upgrade to a full frame camera in the future and keep existing lenses, good battery life and fair price is all they need to get the job done. I think that mirrorless camera became better multimedia tools than those of the DSLR cameras.

If I had to choose between the three, I would probably went with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1. My reasons are: lens availability (being able to use the cheap 50mm f/1.8 adds to the overall value of the camera itself), optical viewfinder (not am must for me, but for outdoor shooting you can’t deny its advantage), good ergonomics, very responsive touchscreen with useful smudge coating, in-camera chromatic aberration and very good video quality — all that make the SL1 my preferred choice. I also find it comfortable to know that I have a full frame model to upgrade to if I decide to go in this path in the future, and there are plenty of more advanced models to upgrade to until I decide to do so.

You might have a different preference. Make sure that you understand the cons and pros of each camera and find the point where your desires and needs intersects with some of the camera’s feature list.



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