10 Cool Features on the Canon EOS Rebel SL1/100D - dummies

10 Cool Features on the Canon EOS Rebel SL1/100D

By Doug Sahlin

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1/100D is packed with a lot of cool features, more than you might think. Here are the ten coolest features the camera has to offer.

New scene modes

The camera ships with a lot of scene modes. If you previously owned a Canon Point and Shoot camera, you’re familiar with the Sports and Portrait modes. But this camera has some exciting new modes that are tailor-made for taking pictures of very specific subjects. The new scene modes on your camera are:

  • Candlelight: This scene mode is the mode to use when you want to create candlelight portraits of your significant other, your child, or the aspiring model who lives next door.

  • Kids: This scene mode enables you to create compelling pictures of your children at play. With this mode the camera continuously focuses as your child moves toward or away from the camera, which ensures you’ll get a shot that’s in focus. The default drive mode is continuous, which means the camera will capture up to four frames a second as long as you hold the shutter button down, making it easy for you to capture an action sequence of your child at play.

  • Food: If you or someone in your family is a gourmet, the Food scene mode is your recipe for creating compelling pictures of food. This mode makes your food pictures look good enough to eat by creating bright images with vivid colors.

Editing images in camera

Even if you have image editing software on your computer, there may be times when you don’t have your computer with you, such as when you’re on vacation, and you want to do some editing before you download the images to someone else’s computer to share with others. Here are two edits you can perform in camera:

  • Cropping images: When you crop an image, you can remove unwanted elements such as litter, utility poles, or anything else that detracts from the image. When you crop images in camera, you save the cropped image, which means the original is still safe and sound if you want to do some further tweaks when you are with your image-editing software again.

  • Resizing images: This option is handy when you need a smaller image to attach to an e-mail. You can resize a JPEG image to any of the available default sizes.


If you have a touchscreen device such as an iPhone or iPad, you’ll be happy to know that your camera comes with a touchscreen that you can use to enable menu commands, review images, and much more. Just like on any device with a touchscreen, you tap, swipe, and pinch in/out to navigate your way through menus and screens.

Live View and Touch Shutter

With Live View enabled, you can compose your images using the camera LCD monitor, which has a lot more real estate than the itsy-bitsy viewfinder. In addition to composing your images onscreen, you can enable the Live View Quick Control menu, which lets you change settings by touching the screen. You can also enable Touch Shutter through the Live View Quick Control menu, which enables you to achieve focus and take a picture with the tap of a finger to the LCD monitor.

HD Video

Whether you’re a soccer mom who wants to capture video of your kids, or you’re an aspiring Indie filmmaker who wants to knock Frederico Fettuccini off his thrown, your camera has the tools you need to create HD (High Definition) video. And it’s not the wimpy 720P HD video you find on point and shoot cameras; it’s beautiful cinematic 1080P HD video, which is known as Full HD, a whopping 1920 x 1080 pixels. All you need to add is some creativity and imagination.

Video snapshots and albums

Video is cool, but if you’ve never created video before, you should know that to get squeaky clean video, you need to edit it to remove faux pas and other mistakes. You edit the video you download to your computer in an application like Adobe Premiere Elements, which requires a cash investment, and flattening a learning curve. If you don’t feel like treading water in the video-editing software pool, you can dip your toe in the shallow end by creating video snapshots with your camera that are assembled into albums in your camera. Video snapshots are little snippets of places you visit, or people you know. The snippets are from 2 to 8 seconds in duration, and are assembled into a video album. After you create a video album, you can delete snapshots or change the order in which snapshots play in the albums. And this editing is all done in camera. After you fine-tune the video album, you can save it and then download it to your computer.

Creative filters

If you have an image-editing application like Photoshop Elements, you can purchase filters to add special effects to your images, or change them to black and white. These filters are expensive, so you’ll be happy to know that you can apply special effects to your images in camera by using Creative Filters. With Creative Filters, you can create images that look like water color paintings, black and white images, soft focus images, and much more.

External Speedlites

Your camera comes with a tiny pop-up flash that can help illuminate a scene. When you use the pop-up flash, though, you run the risk of creating images of people with red-eye and dark backgrounds. Luckily, your camera is equipped with a hot-shoe where you can insert a much more powerful, external flash unit, which is known in Canon-speak as a Speedlite. Speedlites are more powerful, and you can use camera menu commands to control them.

Pro shooting modes

If you’re an experienced photographer, you know that your Rebel SL1/EOS 100D comes with shooting modes found on professional dSLRs. If you’re not an experienced photographer, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual mode might all be Greek to you. However, these modes are not as daunting as they would seem. You use Aperture Priority mode (Av on the camera mode dial) when you’re photographing portraits or landscapes. Yes, there’s a Portrait and Landscape scene mode, but when you master Aperture Priority mode, you have more control over what is and is not in focus. Shutter Priority (Tv on the camera mode dial) mode is used when you photograph moving objects. Sure, there is a Sports scene mode, but once again, you have more control over how you depict a moving object when you master Shutter Priority mode.

Sensor cleaning

Your camera automatically cleans the sensor when you power the camera on or off. It does so by shaking the sensor, which theoretically removes any dust that may have adhered to the sensor when you change lenses. You can also clean the sensor manually through the use of a menu command. This keeps your pictures squeaky clean. Without sensor cleaning, you’d end up with little black dots on your images, unless you never changed lenses (which kind of defeats the purpose of a dSLR).